Preston war hero Private William Young to be remembered

Posted on - 12th April, 2016 - 8:00pm | Author - | Posted in - History, Preston City Centre, Preston Council, Preston News
Private William Young and his family on his return to Preston in 1916

Private William Young and his family on his return to Preston in 1916

A Preston war hero is to see his bravery marked with a plaque on the Flag Market.


Private William Young’s family will assemble to mark the actions of the First World War soldier.

A paving stone will be laid near the Cenotaph and 50 members of Private Young’s family are to attend from across the UK.

Private Young received the Victoria Cross after seeing his Sergeant was wounded he left his trench to attend to him under heavy fire.

Despite having both his jaws shattered, Private Young dragged his Sergeant back to safety – disobeying a direct order from his officer.

He then walked unaided to the first aid station and it was discovered he had also been shot in the chest.

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

When Private Young returned to Preston in April 1916 he received a hero’s welcome – and was met by his wife Mary, and their seven children, at Preston station.

He died in 1916 and his wife Mary received the Victoria Cross from King George V.

Mayor of Preston councillor Margaret McManus is to lead the ceremony on Saturday to mark the paving stone unveiling.

She said: “Private Young’s bravery is an example to us all and I am honoured to welcome his family back to Preston.

“By unveiling this commemorative plaque, his actions and sacrifice will be remembered by generations to come. We are able to live our lives freely today because of the courage of those involved in this and many other conflicts.”

Related: Guided tours telling stories of First World War soldiers return

The ceremony takes place from 1.30pm on Saturday 16 April at the Cenotaph.

What was said about Private Young when the Victoria Cross was awarded

“For most conspicuous bravery.
On seeing that his Serjeant had been wounded he left
his trench to attend to him under very heavy fire.
The wounded Non-Commissioned Officer requested
Private Young to get undercover, but he refused, and
was almost immediately very seriously wounded
by having both jaws shattered. Notwithstanding
his terrible injuries, Private Young continued
endeavouring to effect the rescue upon which he had
set his mind, and eventually succeeded with
the aid of another soldier.
He then went unaided to the dressing station, where
it was discovered that he had also been wounded
by a rifle bullet in the chest. The great fortitude,
determination, courage, and devotion to duty
displayed by this soldier could hardly be surpassed.”

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