Memorial ceremony for World War One flying ace - 24 July

A commemorative stone will be unveiled at the Old Steine War Memorial in Brighton on Tuesday 24 July to honour a World War One flying ace.

Major Edward ‘Mick’ Corringham Mannock VC DSO MC, who was born in Brighton, was awarded the Victoria Cross after he died in action in July 1918.

People will be gathering at the war memorial from 11am and the unveiling ceremony will begin at 11.30am. Among those attending will be the Lord Lieutenant of East Sussex, Peter Field; the mayor Councillor Dee Simson; and representatives of the RAF and British Legion.

Council leader Daniel Yates said: “The ceremony is open to all and people are welcome to attend. One hundred years after his death, it is an opportunity to pay tribute to the courage of Major Mannock and the stone will provide a permanent memorial to him.”

Edward Mannock was born at Preston Barracks in 1887. He served in the Royal Engineers and the Royal Army Medical Corps, before training to become a pilot with the Royal Flying Corps. He went on to serve as Flight Commander in 40 Squadron and Major in command of 85 Squadron.

During a remarkable flying career he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order, with two bars for subsequent acts of gallantry, and the Military Cross with one bar.  His Victoria Cross is displayed in the Imperial War Museum in London.

On 26 July 1918, the engine of Edward Mannocks’s aircraft is believed to have been hit by a massive volley of ground fire and he crashed behind German lines. He was awarded a posthumous VC in 1919.

The commemorative stone is part of a national scheme that will see every VC recipient of WW1 honoured with a paving stone in their birth place, to provide a lasting legacy to local heroes.

Edward Mannock’s stone is the third to be laid at the war memorial. Previous ceremonies were held to honour Captain Theodore Wright VC and Second Lieutenant Ernest Beal VC.

Image copyright Imperial War Museum.

Marking the centenary of World War One