City’s VC heroes to be honoured with commemorative stones

Published: Friday, 6th October 2017

To mark 100 years since being awarded the Victoria Cross (VC), two commemorative stones will be unveiled to honour two of the city’s true heroes.

On Monday, October 9, the paving stones will be laid at the cenotaph in Stoke-on-Trent to remember Ernest Albert Egerton of Longton and John Harold Rhodes of Packmoor, who were awarded the highest award for gallantry “in the face of the enemy” during the Great War.

Members of the Grenadier Guards and the Sherwood Foresters (Mercian Regiment) will stand alongside the Lord Mayor of Stoke-on-Trent Councillor Ross Irving and Lord Lieutenant Ian Dudson as part of the First World War centenary commemorations. 

The unveiling will take place following a memorial service at Stoke Minster – led by Canon Andrew Wickens – at 1pm.

The VC paving stones programme is a national scheme that will see every VC recipient of the First World War commemorated with a paving stone laid in their home towns. 

Lord Mayor Ross Irving said: “It is a great honour to be present at the unveiling of this worthy tribute to two of the city’s greatest heroes.

“It is the ordinary people who pay the price of war and we must never forget that. By laying these commemorative plaques, we are ensuring that the truly heroic deeds of Ernest Albert Egerton and John Harold Rhodes remain in our memories forever.” 

Councillor Anthony Munday, the authority’s armed forces champion, said: “It is an honour for me to represent the city council and the people of Stoke-on-Trent at the unveiling of these paving stones in honour of two incredibly brave young men.

“We should never forget such selfless bravery by our men and women during two World Wars and other wars besides. Indeed, without them we almost certainly wouldn't be here today.

“As I grow older I get more and more annoyed with some people who tend to moan about the least little thing. We should all appreciate how lucky we are to live in a golden era when compared to that of our forefathers.”