Memorial ceremony for Jarrow Victoria Cross Hero

2nd Lieutenant Joseph Henry Collin.
2nd Lieutenant Joseph Henry Collin.

A commemorative stone is set to be unveiled to honour the memory of a Victoria Cross winner from South Tyneside.

The gallantry of Joseph Henry Collin will be marked at a special ceremony on Monday - marking the 100th anniversary of the 2nd Lieutenant’s actions - which won him the country’s highest battle honour during the First World War.

It was during this act that he was killed.

The event will take place at 11am at Joseph Collin House in Jarrow - Lt Collin’s home town.

Wreaths will be laid by the Mayor of South Tyneside, Coun Olive Punchion as well as a representative of the Duke of Lancaster Regiment – a direct descendent of Lt Collin’s old regiment.

Born in Jarrow in April 1893, 2nd Lieutenant Collin later moved to Carlisle and enlisting in the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders.

He was killed in action the day before his 25th birthday on April 9, 1918, while serving in the King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment at Orchard Keep, near Givenchy in France.

He was awarded the Victoria Cross posthumously after single handededly attacking a German machine gun post armed with just a revolver and grenade - killing and wounding the entire crew - while his men withdrew.

Seeing a second hostile machine gun firing, he then held the enemy at bay until he was mortally wounded.

The Victoria Cross commemorative stone is part of a national scheme that will see every Victoria Cross recipient of the First World War honoured with a paving stone in communities around the UK.

2nd Lt Collin is one of three South Tyneside men who were awarded the medal during the First World War. Commemorative stones were unveiled in honour of South Shields-born Private Henry Robson in December 2014 and Private Thomas Young from Boldon Colliery only last month.

The Mayor said: “This special stone is set to be a very moving and poignant event, marking 100 years to the day that Joseph Henry Collin died defending his comrades.

“This new memorial will not only recognise the gallant actions of 2nd Lt Collin and ensure his legacy lives on, but remind us all of the incredible bravery and sacrifices made by so many other members of the armed forces who fought for their country.”

Coun Ed Malcolm, chairman of the South Tyneside Armed Forces Forum, said: “Joseph Henry Collin was an extremely courageous soldier who was completely devoted to duty, right to the very end when he held back the enemy to save the rest of his platoon.

“It is fitting that he is honoured with this commemorative ceremony and stone.”