A Blackpool war hero has been celebrated for his bold efforts 100 years following the date of his death.
Second lieutenant Stanley Boughey, a founder member of the 1st Blackpool Scout Troop, was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross for his bravery during the First World War.
The 21-year-old was wounded at El Burf, Palestine, on December 1, 1917, after rushing forward alone into advancing enemy troops, killing many enemy soldiers and causing 30 of them to surrender. He died three days later near Ramleh and was buried in the Gaza War Cemetery.
A commemorative stone was laid in his memory at the Fylde Memorial Arboretum on Moor Park Avenue, Bispham, yesterday.
The ceremony was attended by Blackpool North and Cleveleys MP Paul Maynard, mayor of Blackpool, Coun Ian Coleman, Blackpool Scouts and people from St John’s Ambulance.
Mr Maynard said: “It was an honour to attend the World War One Victoria Cross Centenary Commemoration, to read the exhortation and pay tribute to a genuine hero. It is important we remember the brave acts of Stanley Boughey and men like him. I am grateful to all of those who have contributed to the permanent memorial in his honour.
“In 2013 I was contacted by a constituent seeking help to secure funding for this memorial in Blackpool. Over four years a lot of work went into ensuring Stanley’s Blackpool connection was properly recognised.
“It was a very moving ceremony and the plaque now stands as a permanent reminder of the sacrifice made by Stanley 100 years ago.”
Born in April 1896 in Liverpool, Stanley moved to Blackpool in 1905.
He was a student at Clifton College, Holmfield Road, North Shore, and upon leaving education he was employed by Richard Banks, a solicitor in Abingdon Street.
A keen athlete and swimmer Stanley was also a member of the North Shore Cricket Club.
He was a member of the Blackpool division of the St John Ambulance Brigade. On the outbreak of the First World War he was called to go to France, with other members of the Brigade, at an hour’s notice.
He was assigned to a hospital in Boulogne and served in France, and was discharged from the army towards the end of 1915 due to ill health.
He later joined the Ayrshire Yeomanry in May 1916.
He was appointed to the Royal Scots Fusiliers and travelled with their 1st/4th Battalion to Palestine in July 1917, where he would lose his life.
Coun Ian Coleman, former president of the British Legion in Blackpool, said: “It’s a very moving time. For me to have the honour of reading the citation, I found it very emotional, as I hope all the attendees did.
“Having been a member of the Royal British Legion for many years and the President of Blackpool for over a quarter of a century, it was quite moving for me.
“We are used to celebrating with the people who are left with memories of service of yesteryear, but to be able to unveil the stone plaque and show my respect with the wreath on this day was a trememdous honour for me.”
Norman Pearson, 82, a former Royal Navy Gunner who served in the Mediterranean and West Indies from 1953 until 1966, also attended the ceremony to show his respect.
He said: “I am here to pay my respects to a very brave man.
“His story has been published throughout the armed services.
“I think it was a lovely service, well-attended by very distinguished people. I am very proud to have attended.”