East Ham parade will honour teenage war hero Cornwell

John 'Jack' Cornwell was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross for gallantry in the face of the en

John 'Jack' Cornwell was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross for gallantry in the face of the enemy - Credit: Archant

Former soldiers, sailors and airmen are expected to join cadets and members of the public to honour a teenage war hero.

East Ham MP Stephen Timms is due to join members of the Royal British Legion this morning at the annual event to commemorate the sacrifice made by John ‘Jack’ Cornwell who was just 16 when he died on June 2 1916.

The parade will begin at the Jack Cornwell VC Centre in Vicarage Lane and end at St Mary Magdalene Church in East Ham where a service will be held.

The event is usually run by the Manor Park of the RBL branch in the memory of John “Jack” Cornwell and has been held almost every year since 1948.

Jack was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross at the age of 16 for gallantry in the face of the enemy.


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He died on June 2, 1916, after he was injured at the gun of HMS Chester during the Battle of Jutland.

Although the entire gun crew was dead or wounded, Jack remained standing at his post for more than 15 minutes.

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