Egypt-born VC winner to receive Manchester commemoration

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Sergeant Issy Smith, an Egypt-born Victoria Cross winner, will be commemorated in his adopted home city of Manchester, following a campaign by the Association of Jewish Ex-Servicemen and Women (Ajex).

The government plans to commemorate all the British-born VC winners with special paving stones, but Smith was left off the initial list because of his birthplace.

Jacques Weisser, chief executive of Ajex, said: ‘This morning we received a letter on behalf of Eric Pickles [Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government], saying that Sgt Smith will have a paving stone. We are delighted that they have taken our request seriously and responded to us.’

Born Ishroulch Shmeilowitz in Alexandria in 1890, Smith joined the Manchester Regiment in 1904 and was then recalled, as a reservist, in 1914. On 26 August 1915, while serving as a corporal with the Manchesters, Smith recovered a number of wounded soldiers while under fire.

His VC citation reads: ‘He left his Company on his own initiative and went well forward towards the enemy’s position to assist a severely wounded man, whom he carried a distance of 250 yards into safety, whilst exposed the whole time to heavy machine-gun and rifle fire.

‘Subsequently Corporal Smith displayed great gallantry, when the casualties were very heavy, in voluntarily assisting to bring in many more wounded men throughout the day, and attending to them with the greatest devotion to duty regardless of personal risk.’

Smith lived in Melbourne, Australia, after the war.

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3 Responses to Egypt-born VC winner to receive Manchester commemoration

  1. Pingback: Egypt-born VC winner to receive Manchester commemoration | 17th Manchester Regiment on the Somme

  2. Thanks very much for the reblog…

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