All right, me mon?

Ode uns set­ting the world to rights in the ’50s

Black Country Bugle - - FRONT PAGE - By RICHARD PURSEHOUSE

DE­SPITE the steady, gen­tle au­tum­nal rain on Mon­day, 15th Oc­to­ber, a dig­ni­fied cere- mony took place in Wolver­hamp­ton city cen­tre to hon­our the mem­ory of one of its sons for his brav­ery ex­actly a cen­tury ago.

Af­ter the un­veil­ing of the Vic­to­ria Cross memo­rial paving stone, the first wreath was laid by Do­minic Owen and his sis­ter Chris­tine Kin­sella, the grand­chil­dren of Roland El­cock, born in Alma Street, Heath Town, Wolver­hamp­ton.

Do­minic rec­ol­lected that when aged 15 and con­sid­er­ing his fu­ture, his fa­ther told him about his grand­fa­ther be­ing awarded the Mil­i­tary Medal and the Vic­to­ria Cross; he de­cided he had to join the same reg­i­ment in which his grand­fa­ther had served.

Do­minic was at­tend­ing with his part­ner Mar­garet Ma­gen­nis, and his sis­ter Chris­tine, from Han­ley in the Pot­ter­ies, at­tended with her daugh­ter Sarah Hal­lam (also from Stoke on Trent) and hus­band Paul.

Wreaths were also laid on be­half of the Royal Scots Reg­i­men­tal As­so­ci­a­tion (Ma­jor Dela­combe), the Stafford­shire Reg­i­ment As­so­ci­a­tion, the Wolver­hamp­ton branch of the West­ern Front As­so­ci­a­tion (Mar­garet Pursehouse), the Mayor of Wolver­hamp­ton (Coun­cil­lor Phil Page), The Deputy Lord Lieu­tenant (Dr Sharmah), the Chase Pro­ject, the High Sher­iff (Chris Lounghran) and also by a cap­tain from the Royal Reg­i­ment of Scot­land.

Prayers

The cer­e­mony, prayers and bless­ing were led by the Rev Richard Mer­rick, from Holy Trin­ity Church, Heath Town. The Last Post and Reveille were played by Don Somers and Stan Wilkin­son, and the haunt­ing skirl of Flow­ers of the For­est by piper Ian Reid Flem­ing.

The VC ci­ta­tion was read by Colonel Ed­ward Cowen OBE, of the Royal Scots Reg­i­men­tal As­so­ci­a­tion, which fol­lowed Chris­tine Kin­sella read­ing from the 1987 mem­oirs of Lt Colonel J.J. Wil­son Smith OBE about the ac­tion for which El­cock was awarded the VC. The Reg­i­men­tal ‘Col­lect’ of the Royal Scots was read by her brother Do­minic Owen.

Epi­taph

Fred Bunce, Vice Chair­man of the Wolver­hamp­ton Cen­tral Royal Bri­tish Le­gion read the Kohima Epi­taph; Fred and the RBL have worked closely in plan­ning the cer­e­mony with Maria Smith at Wolver­hamp­ton Coun­cil. Ev­ery­one in­volved should be con­grat­u­lated its suc­cess.

The cer­e­mony fin­ished and pho­to­graphs taken, ev­ery­one was in­vited to a civic re­cep­tion at the nearby coun­cil of­fices, the stan­dard bear­ers led out by the pa­rade mar­shal Paul Ni­cholls.

The Royal Scots Reg­i­men­tal As­so­ci­a­tion at the un­veil­ing of the VC memo­rial stone to Roland El­cock

Roland Ed­ward El­cock VC MM (1899-1944)

The Last Post was sounded

VC Memo­rial stone to Roland El­cock in Wolver­hamp­ton

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