VC hero Harry Cator is honoured a 100 years on from his heroics in the First World War
It was on April 9, 1917, in the French town of Arras, that Sgt Harry Cator battled his way into enemy trenches on the blood-soaked Western Front with a comrade who was killed almost immediately. Despite facing a withering barrage of bullets the immensely brave soldier put his life on the line to kill the German machine gun team and save his pals' lives.
And bloody-minded Sgt Cator held the key position until support could reach him.
Sgt Cator's heroic actions resulted in the capture of enemy troops and more machine guns and he was awarded the coveted VC, the highest medal given for gallantry.
Now a century later the Great War warrior's incredible courage has been commemorated.
Sgt Cator, who also served as a captain in the Home Guard in the Second World War, was remembered in Drayton, Norfolk, the village where the East Surrey Regiment soldier was born.
Sgt Cator took a German machine gun crew to save his comrades lives on the Western Front
The war veteran's three grandchildren were among 200 guests to attend the special ceremony at St Margaret's Church last Sunday.
It is important that Harry Cator lives on in our local history
Phil Kirby, Broadland District Council
Members of the armed forces and civic figures, including the Lord-Lieutenant for Norfolk, Richard Jewson, also attended the emotional event.
It was followed by the unveiling of a commemorative paving stone in Florence Carter Memorial Park.
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The ceremony, hosted by Drayton Parish Council and Broadland Council, is part of a nationwide scheme by the Department for Communities and Local Government.
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The huge pioneering initiative will see a commemorative paving stone laid in the place of birth of every VC winner of the First World War.
Cllr Graham Everett, the chairman of Drayton Parish Council, hailed it as an “historic day for Drayton”.
The heroes grandchildren were among the 200 guests at the ceremony at St Margaret's Church
He said it was a “real privilege” to be able to honour Sgt Cator's outstanding bravery in such a way.
Phil Kirby, the chief executive of Broadland District Council, said: “It is important that Harry Cator lives on in our local history and he, along with all others who have served in the military, is remembered in our community.”
Sgt Cator, who later settled in Sprowston, near Norwich, died in 1966 aged 72. He was interred in Sprowston cemetery.