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Posted on Tuesday 5th August

A statue to Herbert Columbine VC was unveiled by Field Marshal Lord Guthrie on Friday, 1 August 2014 on the seafront on Walton on the Naze.

In attendance was: the Bishop of Chelmsford, who dedicated the statue, the Royal Signals band and the Light Dragoons, Lord Peter and the High Sherif of Essex.

Author Carole McEntee-Taylor also attended the service. Her biography, Herbert Columbine VC, was published in 2013, with all author royalties being donated to the Columbine Statue Fund.

Dame Judi Dench, who contributed the book's foreword, described it as:

"A fascinating account of a young man who never knew he was a hero, and the kind of world that made him the man he became."

The project to raise a statue in memory of Private Herbert Columbine VC was also in recognition of his mother, Emma Columbine, who presented her late son’s medals, including the Victoria Cross, to the town of Walton in October 1921. She also donated medals won by her late husband who was killed in the Boer War. These medals were to be displayed for the people of Walton in the council chamber. After the amalgamation of the districts of Walton and Frinton in 1934 the council resolved that the medals should be handed to the British Legion to be displayed in their Club. Due to their increasing commercial value the medals were later deposited in a bank vault and only replicas were displayed in the British Legion Club. The original Victoria Cross and other medals had not been on view to the general public since 1934 but are now on display in the Essex Regiment Museum in Chelmsford, Essex.

Further Reading

Herbert Columbine VC

Only £19.99

Herbert Columbine VC

(Hardback - 172 pages)
by Carole McEntee-Taylor

'Save Yourselves, I'll carry on'. These were the last known words of Herbert Columbine, shouted at his two companions on the afternoon of 22nd March 1918. At 9am that morning, in Hervilly Woods, France, 9 Squadron Machine Gun Corps had come under intense attack from a heavy force of German infantry. Private Columbine took command of an isolated gun, with no wire in front and began firing. As the German onslaught grew and casualties mounted,… Read more...


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