Former serviceman's disappointment as idea to commemorate fallen war heroes in Bourton-on-the-Water and the rest of the country is refused by Royal Mail

First published in News Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Photograph of the Author by , Chief reporter

A FORMER serviceman says he is disappointed Royal Mail bosses have kicked his idea to commemorate fallen war heroes into touch.

John Cork, chairman of Bourton-on-the-Water Royal British Legion, wanted greater recognition for Major General Dudley Johnson, who was born in the village and was one of only three men in Gloucestershire to be awarded the Victoria Cross.

Mr Cork, who served in the army for 46 years, thought painting the village post box in VC colours would have made a fitting tribute.

“If Royal Mail can do it for Olympic champions why can they not do it for Victoria Cross winners?” he asked.

“Don’t get me wrong, it’s something to get an Olympic medal but it’s much harder to get a Victoria Cross and live through it."

The Victoria Cross Society has organised for Bourton to receive a paving stone in recognition of Major Johnson.

Mr Cork enlisted the support of Bourton county councillor Paul Hodgkinson, who wrote to Royal Mail bosses.

The reply he received said the idea was commendable but not one they would put into action.

“It was very disappointing really,” said Cllr Hodgkinson. “Bourton is the only place in the Cotswolds where a Victoria Cross recipient was born.”

Royal Mail spokesman Tim Cowen said it was planning a number of activities to commemorate the centenary of the start of the First World War, including a five-year special stamp series as well as the publication of which remembers all Royal Mail employees who have died in conflict.

Major Johnson, of the 2nd Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment, was awarded the VC for his part in the forcing of the Sambre Canal on November 4, 1918, where he showed “a fine example of great valour, coolness and intrepidity”.

He died in December 1975 in Hampshire.

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