Dover WWI hero and VC winner is honoured in Belgium

A plaque has been unveiled in Nieuwkerke in Belgium to honour a World War I hero from Dover.

Capt John Crowe was awarded the Victoria Cross for bravery at the battle of Nueve Eglise on 14 April 1918.

Before the war he was a member of the Dover Rifle Club and after researching his history, current club members called for him to be recognised.

They arranged for a permanent memorial to be installed on a wall in the town.

Ramsgate and Dover Rifle Club secretary Billy Hollis said: "This guy was a very special member, a very special army officer and I feel it's absolutely appropriate to honour this fellow."

Capt Crowe, then a 2nd Lt, was a member of the 2nd Battalion Worcesters when he was involved in a battle against the Germans in the small village of Nueve Eglise now called Nieuwkerke.

Image caption At the unveiling, guests followed the route Capt Crowe took during the battle

'Recklessly brave'

In need of reinforcements and coming under heavy gunfire, he ran up a steep hill and rushed an enemy machine gun post capturing both weapons.

The plaque commemorating Capt Crowe's achievements was unveiled by his eldest granddaughter, Mrs Doreen Pannett: "It's been wonderful, I felt a real fulfilment when I was unveiling the plaque.

"This is why I've come to Belgium, to be here and relate to him and remember for the rest of my life what he did and treasure that memory."

Part of the Citation for Capt Crowe's award of the Victoria Cross reads: "Throughout the seven days of operations Second Lieutenant Crowe showed an utter disregard of danger and was recklessly brave.

"His personal example and cheerfulness contributed largely to the determination of the garrison of the post to hold out.

"It may be safely said that but for his coolness and skill at the last moment when he personally placed the covering party in close proximity to the enemy, who were again closing round, and were also forming up in fours nearby, the garrison of the post could never have affected its escape.

"The valour and zeal displayed by Second Lieutenant Crowe was of the highest order."

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