Order 9th April 2017
Although Pte Ernest Sykes VC was a Northumberland Fusilier he
was born in Mossley Tameside and is to have a paving stone placed
in Mossley on the 9th April 2017 100 years after he was awarded
the VC. We in Lancashire have been asked to attend the parade
in his Honour. We don't have all the details yet but it will take
place 9th April We think it will be like the Radcliffe parade
we did for Hutchinson
Ernest Sykes was born
in 1885, in Mossley, Yorkshire and died, in 1949, at Lockwood,
Yorkshire. He originally enrolled in the Duke of Wellingtons Regiment
(West Riding), 8th Battalion, service number 13425. He served
in the Balkans campaign of 1915 where he received a serious foot
injury. After recovering from his injury, he was assigned to the
27th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers (4th Tyneside Irish),
service number 40989, and embarked for France.
In April 1917, his Battalion was involved in the Battle of Arras
where he was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions. The citation
for the award is: - On 9 April (Easter Monday) 1917, near Arras,
France, the battalion in attack was held up by intense fire from
front and flank, and suffered heavy casualties. Private Sykes,
despite this heavy fire, went forward and brought back four wounded.
He then made a fifth journey and remained out under conditions
which appeared to be certain death, until he had bandaged all
those too badly injured to be moved.
There is a plaque, in his honour, at Mossley Railway Station.
b. 04/04/1885 Mossley,
Yorkshire. d. 03/08/1949 Lockwood, Yorkshire.
The descendants of Ernest
Sykes, VC still reside in Mossley, the town where he was born
at Quick View in 1885. He was educated locally at St George's
School in Stalybridge and he worked as a platelayer for the London
and North Western Railway Company at Micklehurst.
With 1914 came the call
to arms. Sykes was living with his wife and two sons on Bank Street
in Mossley. He joined the 7th Battalion The Duke of Wellington's
(West Riding) Regiment.
Whilst posted at Gallipoli,
Sykes suffered severe injuries to the foot. Amputation seemed
likely but several operations managed to save the limb. He was
posted back to England for home service but was later passed as
fit to serve with the 27th (Service) Battalion, Northumberland
Fusiliers (Tyneside Irish Brigade). He served with them in France
and Flanders and gained his Victoria Cross.
Sykes received his Victoria
Cross from King George V at Buckingham Palace in July. A week
later the people of Mossley turned out in their thousands to greet
him. At a presentation in Market Square the Mayor gave him a gold
watch and other gifts.
Other military service
gained him the 1914-19 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory
Medal. He was demobilised from the army in May 1918, early due
He returned to work for
the railways and was deeply honoured when one of the locomotives,
a LNWR 'Claughton' Class was named after him. The nameplate was
later transferred to a LMS Patriot Class locomotive which was
withdrawn from service in 1962. In 1967 the nameplate was presented
to the Northumberland Fusiliers Museum at Alnwick Castle in the
presence of his son Harold and grandson Stephen.
Our Lancashire Area Standards
and Assault Pioneers will be on parade please support them more
details will follow when known All are welcome to attend