A heroic Haringey soldier – the last person to receive a Victoria Cross in the First World War – has been honoured yesterday, in a touching ceremony.
A commemorative paving stone was unveiled in memory of Acting Major Brett Mackay Cloutman at the Hornsey War Memorial. The ceremony was attended by Haringey Mayor Cllr Gina Adamou, Lieutenant General Tyrone Urch CBE, and Tottenham Hotspur Club Ambassador Gary Mabbutt.
Born in 1887 in Muswell Hill, Major Cloutman was awarded the Victoria Cross for “conspicuous bravery” in 1918 for preventing a bridge from being destroyed under enemy fire. Major Cloutman survived the First World War and went on to attain the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
The Mayor said: “It is a privilege to be able to pay tribute to a true Haringey hero, Major Cloutman, 100 years since the end of the First World War. His bravery was marked with the Victoria Cross – the highest honour, and now we have a fitting tribute here in our borough. Over the last few months we have been marking the bravery of Haringey’s First World War heroes – their amazing courage will live on in our borough.”
The event was marked by having the Last Post played, a minute of silence and a poem read. It is the last of four paving stones that have been unveiled in our borough over the last year as part of the Department for Communities and Local Government campaign to recognise those who received the prestigious award because of their bravery in the face of the enemy.
Lt General Tyrone Urch said: “I am honoured to have been included in the event to celebrate this great member of the Haringey community. With the end of hostilities imminent, this extraordinary act of bravery by an ordinary man underlines the sacrifice made by millions of other ordinary people during the war who were not so honoured. On Remembrance Day this year, the centenary of the end of the First World War, I hope everyone will find a few moments to remember not only the sacrifices made in the past but those that continue to be made by members of the Armed Forces today.”
Tottenham Hotspur ambassador Gary Mabbutt said: “As a Club we are delighted to be marking the heroic actions of all four Victoria Cross recipients who lived in Haringey. During this time of Remembrance, it’s important for us to come together and reflect on the incredible courage displayed by those who made the ultimate sacrifice for us.”