2014 marked the 100th anniversary of the start of World War 1.
Great Britain entered the Great War on August 4, 1914 and to commemorate the 100th anniversary, a number of events will be taking place across the borough and Merseyside to mark this major milestone. Events will be taking place for a number of years as Sefton commemorates such an important part in our history.
August 2014 saw a range of national events to mark the outbreak of war, with other key dates to be commemorated including the centenaries of the Gallipoli landings, the Battle of Jutland, the first day of the Battle of the Somme, the first day of Passchendaele and, finally, Armistice Day.
2014 also saw the 50th anniversary of our twinning with Mons, Belgium - a town which has a strong affiliation with the Great War.
Victoria Cross Centenary Commemorative Paving Stones
As part of a Government First World War Centenary campaign, commemorative paving stones will be laid at the birth places of Victoria Cross (VC) recipients of the war. The VC is the highest award for gallantry that British and Commonwealth forces can receive for acts of extreme bravery and it is hoped that the stones will provide an enduring legacy of local heroes and enable residents to gain a greater understanding of the impact the war had on their community.
The following five VC recipients were born within the Borough of Sefton and commemorative VC paving stones will be laid over the 4 years from 2014 until 2018 on the 100th anniversary of the action for which the VC was awarded.
Private Arthur Herbert Procter – Kings Regiment (Liverpool)
Born on 11 August 1890 in Bootle and awarded VC following an act of conspicuous bravery near Ficheux, France on 4 June 1916. (London Gazette Citation - 5 August 1916) Died on 26 January 1973 in Sheffield and ashes interred at Sheffield Cathedral.
VC Stone laid at King’s Garden, Stanley Road, Bootle.
Captain Harold Ackroyd – Royal Army Medical Corps (Royal Berkshire Regiment)
Born on 13 July 1877 in Southport and awarded VC following an act of conspicuous bravery on 31 July to 1 August 1917 at the Battle of Passechendaele in Ypres, Belgium. (London Gazette Citation - 6 September 1917) Died in action on 11 August 1917 in Ypres and was buried at Birr Crossroads Cemetery, Zillebreke, Belgium.
VC Stone laid at Southport War Memorial, Lord Street, Southport.
Major Alexander Malins Lafone – County of London Yeomanry
Born on 19 August 1870 in Waterloo and awarded VC following an act of conspicuous bravery, which resulted in his death in action on 27 October 1917 at the Battle of Buqqar Ridge, Palestine and burial at Beersheba War Cemetery, Israel. (London Gazette Citation - 18 December 1917)
VC Stone laid at Five Lamps War Memorial, Waterloo.
Private Richard George Masters – Royal Army Service Corps
Born on 23 March 1877 in Birkdale, Southport and awarded VC following an act of conspicuous bravery in Bethune, France on 9 April 1918. (London Gazette Citation - 8 May 1918) Died on 4 April 1963 and buried at St Cuthbert’s Parish Church, Churchtown, Southport.
Lance-Sergeant Arthur Walter Evans – Lincolnshire Regiment
Born on 8 April 1891 in Seaforth and awarded VC following an act of conspicuous bravery at Etaing, France on 2 September 1918. (London Gazette Citation - 30 October 1918. First published under the alias of Walter Simpson, later changed and published on 31 March 1919) Died on 1 November 1936 in Sydney, Australia and ashes interred at Park Cemetery, Lytham St Annes.
Sefton's Victoria Cross Heroes and Human Poppy Formation
School children from across Sefton attempted a new World Record to commemorate the start of World War 1.
To mark Sefton's World War 1 commemorations, a total of 5,821 pupils from more than 47 schools were on Southport beach on 4 July, to form a huge human poppy.