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The British Schools Museum, Hitchin

One of only two men in the Hertfordshire Regiment to be awarded the Victoria Cross for bravery during the First World War is being remembered in Hitchin.

The medal, Britain's highest honour for gallantry, was given to Hitchin-born Second Lieutenant Frank Young after he single-handedly took on the Germans outside a small village in France on September the 18th, 1918.

His honour is on display as part of a special exhibition, entitled 'Devotion to Duty - Frank Young VC' in the British Schools Museum until December 1st.

Sam Mason, Manager at the British Schools Museum said: "This exhibition is a huge step for us. Not only does it feature the most significant and rare object that we have ever had the pleasure of displaying here, but it also gives us the opportunity to enable a fitting memorial to Frank and for his family, here in his home-town of Hitchin".

"The WWI exhibition which we developed in collaboration with Herts at War has been here since February and has culminated quite spectacularly in this significant exhibition for the month of November- we are very proud of what has been achieved"

(BELOW: Second Lieutenant Frank Young)

Richard Young, Frank's nephew added: "We over the moon that uncle Frank's medals will be on public display for the first time in many years and very glad he is receiving the recognition he deserves. It is incredible that they have returned to his home town at this very poignant time, especially as it will be over the period of the end of centenary commemorations."

(BELOW: Cousins Rick and Richard Young at the grave of their uncle)

Military Historian Dan Hill, who is project manager for the Herts at War exhibition told BOB fm: "We are absolutely delighted to announce that in partnership with the British Schools Museum, and with the full support of his family, Frank's VC will be coming home to Hitchin. Frank's story is an incredibly powerful and yet tragic one.

"He joined the Hertfordshire Regiment as a 14-year-old Bugler in 1911 and went to war in January 1915, serving for several years on the Western Front before being awarded a commission to the officer ranks.

"He earned the Victoria Cross for bravery and devotion to duty outside the small village of Havrincourt in France on 18th September 1918 for single handedly defending against a German counter-attack over a number of hours.

"Tragically, Frank lost his life that same day and would never learn that his bravery was to be recognised with the award of the VC".

:: The exhibition will be open 2-4pm Tues, Wed, Thurs, 10 - 4pm Fridays and Saturdays and 2-5pm on Sundays.

 

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