THE GRAVE of a soldier awarded the Victoria Cross and Military Medal for his actions in leading his section on the Western Front during the First World War is to be given a military rededication.
The service for Corporal William Amey VC MM will take place on Sunday August 21 at Leamington Cemetery in the presence of The Right Honourable The Viscount Montgomery, The Lord Lieutenant of Warwickshire, and civic representatives from Warwick District Council (WDC), Leamington, Warwick and Whitnash town councils.
The ceremony which includes a gunned salute – with blank ammunition – is being organised by The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, who with support from the Victoria Cross and George Cross Association and WDC, have enabled Corporal Amey’s grave to be restored and obtained permission for the rededication to take place.
Research was undertaken by staff from the Fusiliers Museum (Warwickshire) and local veterans of the Warwick and Leamington (Fusiliers) Branch of the Regimental Association.
Corporal Amey served with the Royal Warwickshire Regiment during the Great War, and was awarded the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.
Corporal Amey led his section against heavy machine-gun fire before capturing 50 prisoners and several machine-guns.
He later single-handedly and again under heavy fire attacked a machine-gun post in a farmhouse, killed two of the garrison and drove the remainder into a cellar until assistance arrived.
Following his time in service he lived on Willes Road in Leamington in a house that now bears a blue plaque in his honour.
He died in 1940 and received a military and civic funeral and was buried in Leamington Cemetery. But over the years his grave had fallen into disrepair.
Major John Bartlett for The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers said: “To obtain the permission to do the necessary work took a lot of research and investigation, time well spent, because the grave has been returned to its original condition, as befits the holder of a Victoria Cross.”
The Lord Lieutenant, Tim Cox said: “William Amey was a modest person who when put to the test in First World War showed great bravery and leadership. His story is inspiring to us all and an encouraging example for today’s youth.”
WDC vice chairman Coun Sidney Syson added: “Warwick District Council is pleased to have been able to support the restoration and rededication of the grave of a local hero, so that Corporal Amey’s courage and actions at a time of great peril are never forgotten.”
The rededication service starts at 11am.