Memorial plaque for former police officer awarded Victoria Cross on first day of WW1 unveiled in Doncaster

A memorial plaque for a former South Yorkshire Police officer who was awarded the Victoria Cross for his bravery has been unveiled in Doncaster as part of Armed Forces Week.

Saturday, 25th June 2022, 8:57 am

George Wyatt worked in Barnsley prior to his deployment in the First World War and went on to work as a police constable in Doncaster from 1924 to 1932.

On the very first day of the war, he was one of the first 10 men to be awarded the Victoria Cross (VC), which is given for valour to members of the British Armed Forces.

The London Gazette proclamation for his actions that led to him receiving the Victoria Cross reads: “Wyatt twice dashed out under very heavy fire from the enemy, who were only 25 yards away, and extinguished the fire, making it possible to hold on to the position.

A memorial plaque for a former SYP officer who was awarded the Victoria Cross for his bravery has been unveiled at College Road Police Station in Doncaster as part of Armed Forces Week.

"Later, although wounded in the head, he continued firing until he could no longer see owing to the blood pouring down his face.

"The medical officer bound up his wound and ordered him to the rear, but he refused to go and returned to the firing line and went on fighting.“

His career in policing began with working as a stable hand at Hindlip Hall, West Mercia.

On moving to Barnsley, he became a police officer, but was called up to serve in the Armed Forces before the outbreak of the war.

Recipients of Victoria Cross during the unveiling.

On his return, he discovered there was no longer a job for him at Barnsley, so he walked in his uniform to Doncaster and became PC14, based at the Guildhall.

The small unveiling ceremony, held at College Road Police Station in Doncaster, saw the plaque unveiled by members of the Victoria Cross Trust, alongside Doncaster District Commander Chief Superintendent Ian Proffitt, Chief Inspector Dave Struggles and a number of other staff and officers.

Ch Supt Proffitt said: “It was an honour to be here for the unveiling of this memorial to a true local hero...The bravery and service of George Wyatt highlights a strong sense of duty, courage, loyalty and self-sacrifice.

"These are values we hold in high esteem as a police service. Our force bravery award has been dedicated to George Wyatt VC and will appropriately recognise courageous acts of officers in South Yorkshire Police."

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