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First World War hero to be commemorated at the heart of St Anne's Quarter development

Orbit has announced plans to commemorate local First World War hero Corporal Sidney Day VC near his birthplace in St Ann Lane, location of new residential development St Anne’s Quarter.

The 40,000-home housing association held a private event on site to unveil a locally-made plaque that will be erected within the Victoria Cross plaza set to open next year.

4Barber _Orbit _St Annes 30

Corporal Day was 26 years old when he was awarded the highest award of the United Kingdom honours system, the Victoria Cross, for gallantry ‘in the face of the enemy’ to members of the British Armed Forces.

It was in the fields of Ypres and Passchendaele in 1917 that Corporal Day showed remarkable bravery killing two machine gunners, capturing four prisoners and clearing a stick bomb that fell into a trench, saving the lives of those in it. Following this, he cleared the trench and remained at his post for 66 hours which came under intense hostile shell and rifle grenade fire.

Commenting on the event, Ian Fieldhouse, land and new business director at Orbit said: “It is incredible to hear about the bravery shown by Corporal Day in the First World War. We are proud to honour his memory on the site he was born providing a permanent tribute for generations to come.

“Our development is steeped in rich Norwich history and we are grateful for the dedication of the project team in supporting us to carefully preserve its historical findings as we build a new, prosperous community in the heart of this city.”

Taff Gillingham, member of The Friends of the Suffolk Regiment designed the plaque. He said:  "I am delighted to help Mr Ian Fieldhouse unveil the plaque dedicated to Sydney James Day, VC. The small project team, led by the late Mr Ron Mace of Sprowston, have spent many, many years working towards a plaque marking Sid's bravery near the site of his birth.

“Orbit has finally enabled this to happen and, on behalf of John Taylor, the late Major Richard Wilson and the rest of the project team, I would like to thank Orbit very much indeed."

Gail Harris, deputy leader and cabinet member for social housing at Norwich City Council, said: “We welcome the unveiling of the plaque as recognition of the bravery and sacrifices made by the people of Norwich in the World Wars.

“The City Council has also commemorated the heroism of Sidney Day and Wilfred Edwards, who were both awarded the Victoria Cross in 1917, by placing two stones in front of the War Memorial which bear their names.”

Divisional director – east at ISG, Nathan McNamara, added: “We are proud to be involved with this project, continuing our long-standing partnership with Orbit.

“In transforming this underused site, all of our project stakeholders are contributing to the creation of a new community with a real sense of its local history and the legacy of a true home-grown hero.”

In a prime location just off King Street, St Anne’s Quarter once complete will offer 437 new homes available for affordable and private rent, shared ownership and outright sale alongside first-class services for living, work and leisure.

With 22,000 square foot of commercial space and central Victoria Cross plaza on the riverfront included in the plans, the development is expected to bring long-term financial, environmental and social benefits to the heart of Norwich.

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