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Sunderland's only WW1 VC soldier honoured

Photo: ITV

One of Sunderland's greatest military heroes is being honoured this week at centenary commemorative celebrations.

George Maling received the Victoria Cross (VC) medal a hundred years ago to the day (25 September) for his bravery during the First World War. He was the only Sunderland born soldier to receive this honour during the First World War.

He was awarded his medal for the bravery he displayed serving in the Royal Medical Corps, where under heavy shell fire he saved the lives of more than 300 people during the Battle of Loos.

Last month a 'Blue Plaque' was installed at his birthplace, Carlton House in Mowbray Road. Today, a memorial paving stone has been placed at the cenotaph in Burdon Road and there is a weekend of themed events and activities in Mowbray Park and the Museum and Winter Gardens.

"I am honoured to represent the people of our city at this civic commemoration of one of our bravest citizens, and hope that everyone will come along to join us and support this event.

"The presence of his family will make the occasion even more special, and I am looking forward to meeting and welcoming them back to Sunderland to be involved in the ceremony to create a permanent reminder of the bravery of George Maling VC.

"We'll be joined by guests including Julie Elliot MP, representatives from the military and veteran's groups and many of my City Council colleagues with music provided by Sunderland High School. The 'Last Post' will also be sounded by buglers before an one minute's silence to commemorate the bravery of George Maling VC, and the many other people from our city who have served this country with such distinction in its hour of need."

– The Mayor of Sunderland, Councillor Barry Curran
Credit: ITV

George Maling was born in Sunderland in 1888 the son of a general practitioner, and was part of the Maling pottery. Members of family, his grandson David and his wife Jenny, travelled from Cornwall to help Sunderland honour him.

"We wanted to help commemorate the bravery of one of our most famous residents George Maling VC, by supporting a programme of events and activities telling his story and celebrating his life.

?"His story is one to inspire present and future generations in the city and the community where he was born and bought up, and I hope everyone will join us with their families and friends on Friday and over the weekend to get involved in paying tribute to his memory in a number of ways."

– Chair of the East Area Committee, Councillor Ellen Bell

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