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Plaque unveiled to mark bravery of Preston’s Victoria Cross hero Private William Young

Posted on - 16th April, 2016 - 4:14pm | Author - | Posted in - City Centre, Events, History, News, Preston City Centre
The plaque to Private Young, a very large family photo after the ceremony

The plaque to Private Young, a very large family photo after the ceremony

Family members of a Preston man who received the Victoria Cross in the First World War have spoken of their pride at a plaque unveiled in his honour.

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The memory of Private William Young and his bravery has been immortalised close to the Cenotaph in Preston’s Flag Market.

At a ceremony on Saturday lunchtime more than 50 members of Private Young’s extended family gathered to pay their respects, joining dignitaries from Preston City Council and the armed forces.

Standard bearers paraded into the Flag Market and the crowd heard from Preston Mayor councillor Margaret McManus who read Private Young’s citation.

He was given the Victoria Cross after dragging his sergeant to safety in the trenches, despite being shot in the jaw and the chest – and ordered by his superiors not to go to the man’s aid.

Councillor McManus recalled the heroes welcome Private Young was given on his return to the city in 1916 and hoped the plaque would remind Prestonians of the sacrifice made.

Councillor McManus unveils the plaque, young descendants of Private Young around the plaque

Councillor McManus unveils the plaque, young descendants of Private Young around the plaque

Stella Greatorex, 88, who is Private Young’s granddaughter made the trip up from Southampton for the ceremony.

Stella, 88, picture front, who is the granddaughter of Private Young

Stella, pictured front, who is the granddaughter of Private Young, and Anthony Young,  (back right) is a great grandson

She said: “I am so very proud to see this. He was a very brave man.

“This is a very special day. It’s wonderful to see all the family here, many of them I’ve not met before. It’s just wonderful.”

The family gathered for a giant group photo on the Cenotaph before making their way into the Harris Museum and Art Gallery for light refreshments.

Related: Guided tours to tell stories of Preston’s unsung war heroes

Anthony Young, 44, who is a great grandson of Private Young, said he was impressed by the event put on.

Crowds watching the ceremony on the Flag Market

Crowds watching the ceremony on the Flag Market

Standard bearers in action

Standard bearers in action

The IT consultant from South London said: “We’ve been humbled by the work that’s going on in Preston to remember by great-grandfather.

“As a family we are immensely proud of what he did and I found the service very moving.

“The bit that really got me was when his citation was read out. I’ve read it many times but to hear those words here and in this place that was something.

“We’re very impressed by the whole set up and the work that Preston is doing to remember him.”

Related: Homes where First World War soldiers lived in Preston to receive postcards in arts project

An exhibition to remember the life of Private Young is part of the Preston Remembers project and is on inside the Harris to view.

Did you attend the ceremony? Let us know in the comments below

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