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Memorial stone laid in honour of Worksop’s Victoria Cross hero

It was an extremely proud day for all of his family, some of whom had travelled all the way from America to be there."
It was an extremely proud day for all of his family, some of whom had travelled all the way from America to be there."

A Worksop war hero who single-handedly charged a enemy machine gun post has been honoured with a memorial stone.

Sergeant William Henry Johnson served in 1/5th Battalion of the Sherwood Foresters during the First World War and was awarded the Victoria Cross after he showed ‘conspicuous bravery’ at Ramicourt on October, 3, 1918.


On the day and under very heavy fire he single-handedly charged a machine gun post, bayoneting several gunners and capturing the guns despite being severely wounded by a bomb.


The Manton Pit worker and bell ringer at the Priory Church then took a second post on his own and bombed the garrison.


In the London Gazette 1918, he was called “gallant and devoted to duty”.


He has now been honoured with a commemoration stone in Worksop’s Memorial Gardens.


Philip Davis, the Grandson of William Johnson, said: “It was a wonderful celebration to mark the centenary of Sgt Johnson and his heroic achievement.


“It was an extremely proud day for all of his family, some of whom had travelled all the way from America to be there.


“Honouring all the Victoria Cross recipients with memorials such as this is a lasting tribute to their extreme bravery and the sacrifices they made.”


Over a four-year period, 469 commemoration paving stones will be laid in or as close to the birth place of Victoria Cross recipients on the 100th anniversary of their acts of valour as part of the centenary celebrations.


David Challinor, Chairman of Bassetlaw District Council, said: “This memorial gives us the opportunity to remember the heroic efforts of Sgt Johnson, who put himself in harm’s way to save the lives of others.

“He was a Worksop lad and he provides us with a real connection to the heroic acts of individual men and women who laid down their lives during First World War to protect our freedom. The stone laid in his honour is a lasting legacy to his bravery.”


He died on 25 April, 1945 and is buried at Redhill Cemetery.