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downsmail.co.uk


Lance Ser- geant John- son Beharry, centre, with Gordon New- ton of The Stone Shop and mason Ian Acott, left


Plaque tribute to a local hero


AMONG the dozens and dozens of local people at a simple service of commemoration – not least the 90 or so Hunton primary school- children – only two had one dis- tinct thing in common.A Victoria Cross. One was a surviving VC holder,


Lance Sergeant Johnson Beharry; the other, Lieutenant Colonel Arthur Drummond Borton, long dead yet evidently not forgotten. Lance Sgt Johnson


Beharrywon the high- est medal for battle- field “valour” for trying to save the lives of his comrades under fire in Iraq, suffering terrible injuries doing so.


1917,


On November 7, in Palestine,


Hunton man Lt Col Arthur Drummond Borton led his battal- ion into a dawn attack against a strongly- held enemy position under withering fire until itwas captured. Later, he led a party


of Hunton primary school (pic- tured). In attendance at the unveiling of


the plaque were members of the Borton family, including Major General Nicholas Borton DSO MBE, aswell as Lance Sgt Beharry, who served with the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment. "It was a great honour to meet


MajGen Borton and his family and Lance Sgt Beharry, who suffered horrendous injuries when he won his VC. But you’d never have known it,” said Gor- don Newton of The Stone Shop. “It was a lovely event and a privilege to be part of this important event to mark the achieve- ments of Lt Col Bor- ton.” The unveiling was


of volunteers against a battery of field guns in action at point- blank range, again showing fearless lead- ership during the Battle of Gaza. So on the exact centenary, to the


THE Victoria Cross (VC) is awarded for acts of “most conspic- uous bravery, or some daring or pre-eminent act of valour or self- sacrifice, or extreme devotion to duty in the presence of the enemy”.


day, his admirers gathered to re- member his gallantry, his defiance and contempt for danger. Local firm The Stone Shop, in East Far- leigh, sponsored the installation of a memorial plaque in the grounds


attended by the Mayor of Maidstone Cllr Malcom Greer, local Maidstone bor- ough councillors and all


the pupils of


Hunton school who sang the national an- themduring the cere- mony. Cllr Brian Mortimer had made the suggestion of a


plaque and he was able to track down Maj Gen Borton, who is a distant cousin of the VC holder. Lt Col Borton survived the war


but died in 1933, aged 49, at South- wold in Suffolk.He is buried in the churchyard at Hunton. Remembrance, pages 22&23


Village hall needs your help


AN appeal has been launched for new members to sit on the village hall committee at Langley. The committee has soldiered on


since former chairman and leading light Ray Cuthebert retired a year ago.NowtreasurerDavidGallafant wants to step down – leaving just three regular committeemembers. David,who has been keeping the books for five years, said: “I shan’t


leave until I have found a replace- ment, but while everyone supports the hall,we needmore activemem- bers. “Wewould like volunteers to come


forward. The role is not onerous, we meet only once a month and full training will be given.” Contact David by email at


dgallafant@btinternet.com or on 07712667757.


Maidstone Weald December 2017 11 Calling all 16-18 year olds


Get unlimited use of the gym and classes Free induction & 6 week programme Over 50 classes per week


Only £21 per month


News


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