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Stone laid to remember daring deeds of Fulham soldier

Private Edward Dwyer was the youngest recipient of the Victoria Cross for his actions during the First World War in 1915

The outstanding bravery of a soldier from Fulham was remembered when a commemorative stone was laid in his honour.

Private Edward Dwyer received the Victoria Cross (VC) for his gallantry in the First World War, when he left his under-fire trench to save the lives of wounded colleagues, before repelling an enemy attack. His acts of heroism saw Pte Dwyer, who was just 19 at the time, become the youngest VC recipient at the time.

On Monday (April 20), precisely a century later, Hammermsith & Fulham Council laid a commemorative paving stone at the war memorial in Vicarage Gardens, Church Gate, to remember the soldier’s bravery.

“Edward Dwyer was one of the true heroes of Hammersmith & Fulham and the laying of this stone is a brilliant way for us to not only pay tribute to him, but to provide a lasting legacy and permanent reminder of the truly unique and laudable heritage of our communities,” said the council’s interim chief executive Nigel Pallace.

Pte Dwyer, who was known as ‘The Little Corporal’ because of his diminutive stature, was born in Cassidy Road in 1895 and served with the East Surrey Regiment during the First World War.

He received the Victoria Cross while on Hill 60 in Zwartaleen, Belgium, when he left his trench under heavy shell fire to bandage wounded comrades.

Commemorative stone in honour of Private Edward Dwyer at the war memorial in Church Gate, Fulham High Street

Later when his trench was under attack from a hail of German grenades, he again put his life on the line by climbing the parapet and using his own hand grenades to successfully disperse the enemy.

He attempted to keep his return to Fulham on leave a secret, but was later discovered and made the centre of celebrations by the community.

Pte Dwyer returned to action and was killed in action on September 3 1916 in the Somme and was buried in France.

The ceremony in his honour was attended by Mayor Mercy Umeh, and members of the Registered Association of the East Surrey Regiment, the Royal British Legion, schoolchildren and musicians from the HQ Household Division.

The VC is the highest military decoration awarded for valour. A total of 628 were awarded during the First World War.

A memorial to Pte Dwyer is at Fulham Library.

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