VC winner’s paving stone belongs here

VC HERO Private Horace Waller.
VC HERO Private Horace Waller.

A concerned ‘Dewsburian’ has made the case for commemorative paving stones in honour of two local war heroes to be sited in Dewsbury.

The government announced earlier this year that it would give the stones to more than 400 communities throughout the country to recognise World War I soldiers who were awarded the Victoria Cross.

Sgt John William Ormsby. (2710/43)

Sgt John William Ormsby. (2710/43)

Dewsbury Area Committee heard at its last meeting that the town would receive a stone in the name of Sergeant John William Ormsby, who was given the medal for gallantry in 1917.

But councillors were told the stone for Private Horace Waller, who grew up in Batley Carr, would go to Batley.

In a letter to the Reporter, the anonymous Dewsburian included Pte Waller’s birth certificate and a 1908 map of the municipal boundary between Dewsbury and Batley .

It showed Pte Waller was born at 11 Woodhill Terrace in Dewsbury in 1896.

Although part of the area considered to be Batley Carr, the street itself was on the Dewsbury side of the border in 1908 and is today.

The Dewsburian said: “[Pte Waller] was actually born and bred in Dewsbury.

“His name appears on a street in the Shaw Cross area of Dewsbury along with Sgt Jogn Wiliam Ormsby – both Dewsbury men.

“You would not make a street or road in Dewsbury [after them] if in fact these two soldiers came from Batley.”

Kirklees heritage officer Joanne Catlow said this week that no decisions had been made on where the stones should be placed.

“It’s given in the year they got the Victoria Cross,” she said. “We won’t be getting the stones until 2017 so it’s quite a way off really.

“It wants to be a high profile place so that people of Dewsbury and Batley Carr can be proud of these men.

“I’ll be working with councillors. We’re looking at some kind of commemoration.”