Community and living, Culture

Lambeth lays commemorative paving stones for WW1 heroes

War heroes from Lambeth who were awarded the Victoria Cross for their bravery have been celebrated with commemorative paving stones laid near their birthplaces.

Exactly one hundred years after their heroic actions in battle during the First World War, Captain John Vallentin and Lieutenant John Dimmer have been recognised in ceremonies near Lambeth Palace and Jubilee Gardens.

Lambeth’s Mayor Cllr Adedamola Aminu presided over the ceremonies held on November 7th and 12th respectively.

He said: “I am honoured to have led the services commemorating the heroic actions of Captain Vallentin and Lieutenant Dimmer.

“We are immensely proud of these great soldiers and their fellow servicemen and women who fought for the freedoms we enjoy today.

“It is important that we never forget the sacrifice made by so many, and these commemorative stones will ensure that Captain Vallentin and Lt Dimmer will forever be remembered.”

Records show Captain Vallentin was awarded the VC “for conspicuous bravery on 7th Nov., at Zillebeke. When leading the attack against the Germans under a very heavy fire he was struck down, and on rising to continue the attack was immediately killed. The capture of the enemy’s trenches which followed was in a great measure due to the confidence which the men had in their Captain, arising from his many previous acts of great bravery and ability.”

His commemorative stone has been placed at St Mary’s Garden Museum near Lambeth Palace.

Lambeth’s second VC winner honoured, Lieutenant John Dimmer, who’s stone has been laid in Jubilee Gardens on Wednesday November 12th, was also awarded the VC for his actions in the Battle of Ypres a hundred years ago, manning a machine gun under intense fire, and despite being shot five times he continued until his machine gun was destroyed. His actions helped ensure the German attack failed and they retreated before reaching the British trenches.

Representatives of both men’s families, the armed forces, Lambeth Palace, Lambeth Council and Lord Ahmed, Minister of State in the Department for Communities and Local Government, were present at the events.

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