I back the council’s plan to bring WW1 trophy back to Worksop

John Mann MP (w110610-3c)
John Mann MP (w110610-3c)

Bassetlaw District Council has saved the Victoria Cross trophy awarded to Worksop hero Sergeant William Henry Johnson in 1918.

Coun Simon Greaves gave the go ahead for the trophy to be saved after it was put on Ebay and could have been lost to a private collector anywhere in the world.

I back the Council’s plans for schools to be able to access the trophy and learn more about Sergeant Johnson, who was awarded the VC for remarkable acts of bravery during World War One. When his platoon was under heavy fire from several machine guns, Sergeant Johnson charged the post, bayoneting several gunners.

Despite being severely wounded, he carried on leading his men and attacked another machine gun post which he then captured. He was a remarkable local man, who had previously worked at Manton pit and was a dedicated bell-ringer at Worksop Priory. It is right and proper that he should be remembered for his brave actions, and I am sure that local schoolchildren will gain a great deal from the council’s actions.

I am currently in Cyprus with the British Army. My role is to help to assess the UK’s strategic needs in the Eastern Mediterranean, with Cyprus also acting as the gateway to the Middle East.

I will also be examining how Government cuts to the military will affect our capabilities, take part in training, and meet spouses and partners of serving personnel to hear how they are supported. Current world events show that we need a strong and effective military, and I am pleased to be working with the British army to achieve that aim.

I have given repeated warnings that the conditions at Ranby Prison are very concerning, with four suicides over the last year, a plummet in the number of staff and a recent report described Ranby as “a prison in crisis”. Those warnings were unfortunately ignored, and last weekend a serious riot took place at the prison. Victims of crime, along with their families and society at large, should expect prison to be an appropriate punishment for criminals and for them to serve a full term.

However, prisons should also be run effectively and safely for both inmates and staff. The Government’s current policy on Ranby Prison is clearly failing in this regard and urgent steps need to be taken to address the situation.

I was delighted this week to arrange for pupils from Worksop’s St. Augustine’s School to go to a first class county cricket match at Nott’s Trent Bridge ground thanks to the sponsors of the one day competition, Royal London Insurers.

I will continue to ask major sponsors to help local children who would never normally have such opportunities to access these top class events.

Huge congratulations go to Worksop’s own Sam Walker, who has won a silver medal in the men’s team table tennis at the Commonwealth Games. It is a phenomenal achievement.