Local WWI hero to be rememberedFirst World War hero, and former Longparish resident, Major Lanoe George Hawker, VC DSO RFC, is to be remembered at a short ceremony on Saturday, 25 July, commemorating the centenary of the award of his Victoria Cross medal for outstanding service.

The local ceremony will see the unveiling of a commemorative plaque, commissioned as part of a national scheme, and supported by Test Valley Borough Council. The Council has coordinated the scheme in Test Valley, and has installed the plaque on the wall of Longparish Village Hall in consultation with the local parish council. The stone plaque is etched with an enduring symbol to remind generations to come about the bravery and sacrifice of each Victoria Cross recipient.

Major Hawker was awarded the Victoria Cross when he shot down three enemy aircraft in one day, and thereby became the first British pilot to record five ‘kills’. He died in November 1916 when he was shot down by the infamous Red Baron, and there is a memorial window in his honour in St Nicholas Church, Longparish.

Leader of the Council, Councillor Ian Carr, said: “Test Valley has strong links with the military, both past and present. As such it was an honour to work with the Department for Communities and Local Government to support the Victoria Cross commemoration programme; helping future generations to remember and respect the extraordinary bravery of our local heroes.”

The stone slab will be unveiled by Lieutenant General Sir Mark Mans, Deputy Lieutenant of Hampshire, in the presence of Mrs Caroline Nokes MP, the Mayor of Test Valley, Councillor Iris Andersen, and local villagers.

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