A commemorative stone has been laid today at an event to mark 100 years since Derby born Lt.–Col. Charles Hudson VC was honoured with the Victoria Cross.
The Mayor and Mayoress of Derby, Cllr Mike Carr and Mrs Cilla Carr, hosted a Civic Reception for invited guests at the Council House, including descendants of Charles Hudson, after which members of the public were invited to join them at the War Memorial in the Market Place for the official unveiling of the Commemorative Stone.
Charles Hudson, received the Victoria Cross on 15th June 1918 from King George V as Lt.-Col., after his brave actions during World War One. He later went on to achieve the rank of Brigadier.
Hudson was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions on 15 June 1918 near Asiago, Italy, during the Second Battle of the Piave River, as a 26-year-old temporary lieutenant colonel in command of the 11th Battalion Sherwood Foresters.
Mayor Cllr Mike Carr said:
“It is a real privilege to unveil this stone today in honour of a real Derby hero alongside his descendants. The actions of Lt.-Col. Hudson showed tremendous courage and no doubt saved many lives and it is only right for us to remember him on this the 100 year anniversary.”
The citation appeared in a supplement to the London Gazette on 11 July 1918.
“Capt. (T./Lt.-Col.) Charles Edward Hudson, D.S.O., M.C., Notts. & Derby. R.
“For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty when his battalion was holding the right front sector during an attack on the British front.
“The shelling had been very heavy on the right, the trench destroyed, and considerable casualties had occurred, and all the officers on the spot were killed or wounded. This enabled the enemy to penetrate our front line.
“The enemy pushed their advance as far as the support line which was the key to our right flank. The situation demanded immediate action. Lt.-Col. Hudson, recognising its gravity, at once collected various headquarter details, such as orderlies, servants, runners, etc., and, together with some Allies, personally led them up the hill.
“Driving the enemy down the hill towards our front, line, he again led a party of about five up the trench, where there were about 200 enemy, in order to attack them from the flank. ‘He then with, two men got out of the trench and rushed the position, shouting to the enemy to surrender, some of whom did. He was then severely wounded by a bomb which exploded on his foot. Although in great pain, he gave directions for the counter-attack to be continued, and this was done successfully, about 100 prisoners and six machine-guns being taken.
“Without doubt the high courage and determination displayed by Lt.-Col. Hudson saved a serious situation, and had it not been for his quick determination in organising the counter-attack a large number of the enemy would have dribbled through, and counter-attack on a larger scale would have been necessary to restore the situation.”