Bermondsey’s hero in WW1
Bermondsey-born Fred Holmes was one of the first soldiers to receive the Victoria Cross (VC) in the First World War. He was given this award for two acts of bravery on 26th August 1914 during the Battle of Le Cateau just weeks after the start of the war. He carried a badly wounded soldier out of the trenches on his back for two miles until he reached other people who could help.
Fred Holmes was given his Victoria Cross by King George V at Buckingham Palace on 13th January 1915. Afterwards he was driven through the streets of Bermondsey with the Mayor and was presented with a testimonial and a purse of gold at the Town Hall. He became known as the “Bermondsey Hero.”
On 26th August 2014, Fred Holmes was honoured with a commemorative paving stone marking his birth place on Abbey Street, Bermondsey outside what is now the Bermondsey Square Hotel.