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Next year we commemorate the centenary of the ending of the First World War. This brings into sharp focus the incredible sacrifice made by a generation of young men and women in order to help make the world a better place. We may not all agree with the reasons for the conflict and the brutal warfighting, but one cannot but have admiration for individual acts of courage and humanity which stood out amongst the death and despair.

You may have recently seen in the local papers, or heard on the radio, the story of Allan Leonard Lewis. He was born in Whitney-on-Wye in the far West of Herefordshire and later moved to a the neighbouring parish of Brilley. Allan served in the First World War (1914-18) and went on to show exceptional bravery that was witnessed on two separate occasions during the final allied push to break the German Hindenburg Line in late 1918. Tragically, he was killed on 21st September 1918, only a short time before the end of the war. He has no known grave.

To date, he remains Herefordshire’s only county-born Victoria Cross winner. There are memorials for him in both Whitney and Brilley church yards; the one in Whitney on the side of the church is in wood and was hand-carved by his father. It is not surprising that raw emotions meant that his father gave his son the wrong initial, an error that is still there to this day.

To coincide with the 100th anniversary of his death, the A L Lewis VC Memorial Fund has been set up.

The group is working with the support of Herefordshire County Council to honour this Herefordshire hero and to also commemorate all those who died in the conflict. The aim is to commission a life-size bronze statue of Allan to be located in a prominent position in Hereford. The artist will be Jemma Pearson, who sculpted the statue of Elgar which stands in the Cathedral grounds.

The design will not be martial or triumphal, but will show Allan in his soldier’s uniform with a smile on his face, looking upwards in anticipation of a better future; a future that evaded him and many others.

To make this a reality, the Memorial Fund has been set up and is actively seeking your support. If you would like to help, donations can be made as follows:

1. Online via the JustGiving page https://www.justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/lewisvcmemorial/lewisvcmemorialfund

2. By cheque payable to: A L Lewis VC Memorial Fund and sent to: 38, The Meadows, Hay on Wye, Hereford HR3 5LF (please contact the Fund organisers if you need a Gift Aid form).

3. By Bank Transfer: A/c Name: A L Lewis VC Memorial Fund, Sort Code: 20-45-45, A/c No:

For more information, email: lewisvcmemorialfund@gmail.com

Follow on:-

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lewisvcmemorialfund

Twitter: https://twitter.com/search?q=MemorialFd&src=typd

Date: 04/11/2017
Contact Name: See above
Email: See above

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