World War One Victoria Cross hero honoured

A commemorative stone is to be unveiled in memory of a Liverpool man who was awarded one of the first Victoria Cross medals during World War One.

Ernest Alexander from Princes Park was a Lieutenant Colonel in the 119th battery of the Royal Field Artillery.

In 1914, against overwhelming odds, he defended his World battery at Elouges in Belgium from German soldiers – enabling them to withdraw without serious loss.

The citation for the medal in the London Gazette also highlighted his bravery in rescuing a wounded man under heavy fire “with the greatest gallantry and devotion to duty”.

On Sunday 24 August, a Commemorative Paving Stone in his honour will be unveiled at the Sunburst Gates at Princes Park – a century to the day since he was awarded the Victoria Cross.

It is part of a national scheme run by the Department for Communities and Local Government which will see every World War One Victoria Cross recipient remembered.

The event will be attended by Lord Mayor, Councillor Erica Kemp, veterans and serving soldiers from the Royal Artillery and members of the Friends of Princes Park.

The Lord Mayor said: “Ernest Alexander was a brave and fearless soldier whose selfless actions saved many lives.

“It is important that his contribution to World War One is remembered and I am privileged to be able to attend the unveiling of the stone.

“It will be a permanent reminder of the incredible contribution that he made to the war effort and his role in making sure that more soldiers weren’t lost.”

Ernest was also awarded the Companion of the Order of the Bath, the Companion of St. Michael and St. George, and the Belgian Croix de Guerre. He is also remembered with a memorial at Putney Vale Cemetery in London.

He retired in 1920 to live in Kingsbridge, Devon, where he died on 25 August 1934, aged 63. Efforts to trace his relatives, including by a local historian have proved unsuccessful.

He is one of eight men from Liverpool to be awarded the Victoria Cross during World War One, and the others will be honoured in the same way between now and 2018.