Norwich’s forgotten First World War hero is to be remembered

Corporal Sidney James Day, the Lakenham lad who won the VC in the WWI.

Corporal Sidney James Day, the Lakenham lad who won the VC in the WWI. - Credit: Archant

A forgotten Norwich hero is to be honoured in his home city at last – almost 100 years on from the act of bravery which earned him the Victoria Cross.

Sidney James Day fought in some of the bloodiest battles of the First World War, including the Battles of Loos and Passchendaele.

He won the highest award for bravery for his extraordinary actions in British occupided Hargicourt, France, on August 26 1917.

When a bomb dropped into his trench, Sidney picked it up and threw it out again, saving the lives of many of his fellow-soldiers.

Although there is a memorial honouring him at St Mark's Church in Lakenham - where he was a choir boy - over the decade his name and courage was almost forgotten, despite attempts by a few to get a more prominent tribute.

And so former Lord Mayor Roy Blower and former Sheriff of Norwich and Evening News columnist Derek James called on a street to be named after him,

Now Norwich City Council say the naming will happen – but only when a road in his area of the city – Lakenham – can be found.

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Mr Blower, who contacted the council to put forward Sidney's name, said: 'I think the gentleman could have won three Victoria Crosses. He was so valiant, what he did out there was up there with what people have done in any war.

'We, the people of Norwich, should be proud of what he did.'

Mr James has spoken of his delight that after more than 25 years since readers first suggested there should be a road named after the soldier, it is now close to happening.

'I am absolutely delighted that at long last the memory of Sidney Day VC will live on in a road named after him in Norwich.

'It is a shame it has taken so long but so important that generations to come will grow up seeing the name and wanting to know more about this remarkable man - the butcher's boy from Lakenham who became a national hero a century ago must never be forgotten.'

Norwich City Council have confirmed that the Norwich hero's name is on the list.

A spokesman said: 'We would support the use of Sidney's name. It is a question of making sure when we do use it, it is in a specific and appropriate area.'

• What are your thoughts on the naming of a road after Norwich's First World War hero Sidney Day? Email

• For Sidney's full story, see today's Norwich Evening News.