A ceremony has been held in Telford to unveil a paving stone commemorating a local man awarded the Victoria Cross for his part in World War 1.
Charles Allix Lavington Yate (known as ‘CAL’), was born in 1872 and was the son of the Vicar of St Michael's Church, Madeley. ‘CAL’ was a Major in the 2nd Battalion, The King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry.
He commanded one of two Companies in Le Cateau, France where, on 26 August 1914, when all other officers were killed or wounded and ammunition exhausted, he led his 19 survivors in a charge in which he was severely wounded. He was captured and died as a prisoner of war the following November.
On Friday 26 August 2016, on the anniversary of ‘The Battle of Le Cateau’ for which Major Yate was posthumously awarded the VC, a ceremony was held in his honour at Madeley’s war memorial in Russell Square. It was attended by eight representatives from the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry (Major ‘Cal’s’ former regiment) accompanied by a number of figures from Telford and Wrekin.
At the ceremonial unveiling of the stone, Telford & Wrekin’s Mayor, Councillor Rae Evans said: “It is noteworthy that ‘Cal’ Yate was the only VC recipient in our borough. Whilst this ceremony marks the brave actions of Major Yate, it also commemorates all of the people of Madeley who lost their lives in both Wars.”
Colin Cranswick, Regimental Secretary of the Rifles, Light Infantry and King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry Regimental Association, said: “We are honoured to be here to represent his Regimental Association and give him the tribute he rightly deserves. Cal Yate went the extra mile. He got the VC. We are so proud of him.”
The commemorative stone was provided by the Government for all Victoria Cross recipients to mark the centenary of the First World War. It was installed as part of the restoration of Russell Square paid for in part by a ‘Pride in Your High Street Fund’ grant of £41,971 from Telford & Wrekin Council.