Bury locals seek recognition of war hero

Residents in Bury are rallying together to have a road named after the town’s only Victoria Cross recipient.

They believe Angouleme Way should be re-named to honour George Stanley Peachment, who lost his life in September 1915 during World War One at the Battle of Loos whilst attempting to save an army commander. 

A petition started by Owen Dykes and Paul Kerr, two veterans in Bury, has reached 128 signatures of a 200 target and is now under consideration from the council.

A local hero

As a teenager, Peachment twice tried to answer the call to arms, successfully giving a false age on the second occasion.

He borrowed his father’s bowler hat in a bid to appear older and deceive authorities.

He joined the 6th battalion, King’s Royal Rifle Corps, and later transferred to the 2nd battalion where he became a private. 

His regiment partook in the Battle of Loos attack of 1915, where after battling through some barbed wire his Captain, Guy Dubs, was struck by a bomb which blew away part of his face.

After the Captain was injured, Peachment stayed with him, attempting to bandage the wound whilst still in sight of the enemy rather than finding cover in a shell hole nearby.

During this act, he was caught by bomb shrapnel and subsequently shot dead, whilst the Captain he had been aiding somehow survived.

Dubs would later write to Peachment’s family offering his condolences and recounting the tale of admirable bravery.

He wrote: “I cannot tell you how sorry I am that your brave son was killed but I hope it may be some little consolation to you to know how bravely he behaved and how he met his end.”

Peachment’s body wasn’t recovered but he is commemorated in France at the Loos Memorial.

Dubs successfully nominated him for the Victoria Cross award, which was presented to his mother at Buckingham Palace in 1916.

He was one of the youngest recipients. 

Bury Veterans

Owen Dykes, who served 24 years in the army, from Northern Ireland to Iraq and elsewhere, is now president of the Bury Veterans Association. 

Despite Peachment Place, a care facility in Bury, Dykes believes that there isn’t enough recognition of the hero in his town.

He said: “The first I knew of it was recently which is pretty amazing really.

“This is a bloke whose example should be set for others to follow, he lived up to the military ethos completely.”

Several meetings with local council members have been set up and Dyke’s campaign has the public support of local MP James Daly.

Dykes added: “He was just a local lad who seems to be forgotten about, and we think that’s a shame. But the response to the petition has been unbelievable.”

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