Belper park could be renamed for First World War hero

Whitemoor Recreation Ground may be renamed as a hero's memorial in 2018.
Whitemoor Recreation Ground may be renamed as a hero's memorial in 2018.

Amber Valley Borough Council are considering renaming a Belper park in honour of a soldier who was awarded the UK’s highest military honour.

The council are thinking to change the name of Whitemoor Recreation Ground, on Whitemoor Lane, to Charles Stone VC Memorial Park.

Charles was awarded the Victoria Cross for bravery in battle during the First World War and the council are keen to mark the centenary of his achievement next year.

Councillor Chris Short said: “I personally feel that renaming the park would be a fitting tribute to one of Amber Valley’s great military heroes.

“However, we would like to hear the views of local people before a decision is made.”

Charles was born in Ripley in 1889, and was buried at Belper Cemetery in 1952.

During the First World War, he served as a gunner in the ‘C’ Battery 83rd Brigade, Royal Field Artillery.

On March 21, 1918, at Caponne Farm in France, after working at his gun for six hours under heavy gas and shell fire, he was sent back to the rear with an order.

He delivered it and then, under a very heavy barrage, returned with a rifle to assist in holding up the enemy on a sunken road.

First lying in the open under very heavy machine-gun fire and then on the right flank of the two rear guns he held the enemy at bay. Later he was one of the party which captured a machine-gun and four prisoners.

The council would like to hear any views local residents and organisations have about the proposal, by Friday, April 28, 2017.

To contribute to the discussions, write to, or via the Town Hall, Market Place, Ripley, Derbyshire, DE5 3BT.