NEWS — 27 August 2014

maurice dease

The county Westmeath soldier who was the first ever posthumous recipient of the Victoria Cross in the First World War was commemorated this weekend with a memorial paving stone in Dublin.

Maurice Dease, who was originally from Coole, was awarded the Victoria Cross because he remained at his machine gun post even after being critically injured during an assault on Nimy Bridge outside Mons. He died from his injuries aged 24.

The paving stone was unveiled as part of a British government initiative, and alongside the War Memorial that was opened in Glasnevin Cemetery this summer.

British Communities Ministers are leading tributes to the bravery of World War One heroes on the 100th anniversary of the First World War.

A total of 469 stones are due to be laid by 2017 corresponding to their place of birth or where they lived following the war, on the anniversary that they received the Victoria’s Cross.

Communities Minister, Lord Ahmad  of Wimbledon met with Heather Humphreys, the Irish Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht for the ceremony.

Lord Ahmad said: “It is a tremendous honour to be able to pay tribute to the courage of Maurice Dease, the first recipient of the first Victoria Cross in the First World War.

“As his moving citation reads, his selfless acts of bravery at the Battle of Mons called for ‘no ordinary courage’.

“Today in Dublin we commemorate this supreme act of valour. Over the next 4 years we will pause and remember the sacrifice that was made throughout Ireland and the commemorative stones will ensure that there is a permanent memorial to all these bravemen.”

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