All right, me mon?
Ode uns setting the world to rights in the ’50s
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.
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.
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