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Centenary of brave Doncaster soldier’s Victoria Cross

4 NDOS 26-8-14 VC, Family group of George Wyatt, Front- Great Great Grandsons Mathew & Kyle watts aged 7 & 11, back- Mrs Gillian watts (Grandaughter), Anne Marie Coupe (Daughter), Mrs watts (Great Grandaughter)  BC 4

4 NDOS 26-8-14 VC, Family group of George Wyatt, Front- Great Great Grandsons Mathew & Kyle watts aged 7 & 11, back- Mrs Gillian watts (Grandaughter), Anne Marie Coupe (Daughter), Mrs watts (Great Grandaughter) BC 4

A poignant graveside ceremony in a Doncaster churchyard has marked the centenary of the bravery of a Victoria Cross hero from the Great War.

It is exactly 100 years ago this week that former Doncaster police sergeant George Wyatt showed courage under heavy German fire in northern France to earn the highest award for gallantry.

His daughter, Anne Marie Coupe, now in her 90s, was among four generations of family members at a special service conducted by the Bishop of Doncaster in the churchyard of the now-closed St John’s Church at Cadeby.

It was organised by the Victoria Cross Trust who are planning to mark the centenary of every VC hero from the First World War.

On the pitch black evening of August 26, 1914 and under a hail of bullets from an attacking force of more than 1,000 Germans, L/Cpl Wyatt twice dashed forward alone to extinguish a blazing haystack, which was lighting up the position of his besieged detachment of Coldstream Guards near the village of Landrecies in Northern France.

A couple of days later he was shot in the head and with blood pouring down his face into his eyes, he defied orders to go to the rear and continued returning fire to protect comrades.

He went on to survive the war and retired from the police in 1934 before taking on a smallholding in Park Drive, Sprotbrough, where Mrs Coupe still lives. He died in 1964 aged 77 and was buried at Cadeby because Sprotbrough churchyard was full.

Granddaughter, Gill Watts, said: “It was a very nice service and I felt very proud. My mother said he never talked about what he did in the war and she didn’t know he had won the VC until her teacher told her.”

 

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