Wednesday, 2 November 2016

A Blue Plaque for a Home Child in his Home Town

On 26 October a motion was passed by the Borough of Hastings, Sussex, “That Hastings Borough Council will support the placing of a new Blue Plaque on 447 Bexhill Road, St. Leonards on Sea to commemorate Claude Nunney, the most decorated ordinary private soldier in the Canadian Army in WW1 and the only Great War soldier who was born in this town to be awarded the Victoria Cross.”

Stephen Sargent Claude Nunney travelled to Canada on the SS Tunisian in October 1905. Part of a 42 member party from the Catholic Emigration Association, he landed at Quebec and then on to St George’s Home at Hintonburg, Ottawa, Ontario. He was age 13,  Known by the name Claude, he was placed with Mrs Donald Roy McDonald of Pine Hill, North Lancaster, Ontario. He enlisted in August 1915, the information on his name and birthplace is confused. There's comprehensive information on his life and actions for which he was awarded the Victoria Cross at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claude_Nunney

The initiative leading to the adoption of the motion was that of Peter Silk, a resident of St Leonards on Sea who has been researching Nunney for many years. See more at the Facebook group www.facebook.com/groups/298649253676161/members/.

Thanks to Glenn Wright for drawing this to my attention.

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