Exhibition to honour heroes

Lance Corporal Wilfrid Dolby Fuller VC.
Lance Corporal Wilfrid Dolby Fuller VC.

A Mansfield and Ashfield war hero who single-handedly captured 50 German soldiers is being celebrated in a new touring exhibition.

Lance Corporal Wilfrid Fuller, who was born on Main Street, Kirkby, and moved to Skerry Hill, Mansfield, as a teenager, later working at Warsop pit, is one of six soldiers from Nottinghamshire who won the Victoria Cross for their bravery during World War One and who are being celebrated in the exhibition.

The Victoria Cross, the highest military honour, is only awarded in the most exceptional circumstances, for “most conspicuous bravery, or some daring or pre-eminent act of valour or self-sacrifice, or extreme devotion to duty in the presence of the enemy”.

The Great War Victoria Cross exhibition, featuring a replica of the VC and information about other medals awarded for service during the Great War, will tour libraries and public events across the county, including Rufford Country Park, on July 11, Mansfield Museum from July 23-August 3, Kirkby library, from September 3-7, Mansfield library, from October 22-26 and Southwell Minster, from November 5-8.

L/Cpl Fuller’s citation in the London Gazette in April 1915 said: “On March 1, 1915, at Neuve Chapelle,France, L/Cpl Fuller saw a party of the enemy trying to escape along a communication trench.

“He ran toward them, and killed the leading man with a grenade, the remainder, about 50 men, seeing no means of evading his grenades, all surrendered to him. L/Cpl Fuller was quite alone at the time.”

Councillor Kay Cutts, Nottinghamshire County Council leader, said: “The Great War was an horrific conflict which claimed the lives of more than 18 million people, with many more wounded.

“However, amid the tragedy, there were numerous acts of incredible bravery and sacrifice - none more so than those displayed by the six Nottinghamshire recipients of the Victoria Cross, our country’s highest military honour.

“The people of Nottinghamshire will get the opportunity to learn more about and be inspired by their heroism by visiting this exhibition as it tours the county on the run up to the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day.

“The accounts of their courageous, often selfless acts, are both awe-inspiring and emotional.

Further information about the Victoria Cross, Nottinghamshire recipients from the Great War and other events to mark the centenary is available at nottinghamshire.gov.uk/nottsremembers

For more about L/Cpl Fuller, see ourmansfieldandarea.org.uk