Fallen solider honoured with street naming 100 years after being awarded Victoria Cross

Fallen solider honoured with street naming 100 years after being awarded Victoria Cross

A Wigan street is to be named after soldier Lance Corporal Thomas Woodcock this week, 100 years after he was awarded the Victoria Cross.

As part of the World War One Centenary commemorations, Wigan Council pledged to name streets after soldiers from Wigan Borough who were awarded the highest honour the country can give during The Great War.

At 11am on Friday 15th September, just days after the 100th anniversary since Lance Corporal Woodcock was awarded Victoria Cross, a ceremony will be held on the footpath in front of 166-174 Hardybutts where Woodcock Walk will be officially unveiled by his family.

A commemorative flagstone will also be uncovered at the ceremony, where Lance Corporal Woodcock’s granddaughter, Veronica Ashton, will make a short speech on behalf of his family.

Lord Peter Smith, leader of Wigan Council said: “We are extremely proud to say there were four soldiers in World War One and one soldier in World War Two from Wigan Borough who have been honoured with this prestigious award, the highest military medal, for their immense bravery and sacrifice for our country.

“Lance Corporal Woodcock showed immense bravery in rescuing a wounded colleague under a hail of enemy machine gun fire. As a council, we are proud of all those who have served and continue to serve our country in the armed forces in war and in peace but the exceptional gallantry of Thomas Woodcock needs to be recognised for future generations.”

School children from St. Patrick’s Catholic Primary School will read poems they have written about Lance Corporal Woodcock to the crowd and Lieutenant Aprahanian, a representative from the Irish Guards and Tom Walsh, a local historian, will both say a few words before the last post is sounded.

As well as the street naming, Lance Corporal Woodcock has been honoured with a new artwork installation at nearby flats named after him.

Artist Mark Mennell worked with pupils from St Patrick’s Catholic Primary School to produce the striking metal sculpture and glass mosaic at Woodcock House in Scholes.

The piece is based on the pupils’ drawings, photographs of old street scenes from the Scholes area and a portrait of Lance Corporal Woodcock.

The work has received the support of tenants, Lance Corporal Woodcock’s family as well as historian Terry Atherton.

For more information about the work Wigan Council does with the armed forces community, email Armed Forces.

Posted on Tuesday 12th September 2017

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