A commemorative paving stone has been laid in tribute to a hero soldier who was awarded the Victoria Cross for his outstanding wartime bravery a century ago.
Dozens of people gathered at Rishton War Memorial this week for the ceremony to pay their respects to Hardy Falconer Parsons VC.
The 20-year-old was a temporary second lieutenant in the 14th (Service) Battalion, The Gloucestershire Regiment, British Army, during the First World War.
On August 20 and 21, 1917, near Epehy, France, during a night attack by the enemy on his bombing post, the bombers holding the post were forced back, but Second Lieutenant Parsons remained at his post.
Single-handed and although severely burnt by liquid fire, he continued to hold up the enemy with bombs until he became severely wounded.
Parsons died of his wounds and was awarded the Victoria Cross - the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.
Hardy was born in Rishton on June 13, 1897, the son of Reverend James Ash Parsons and Henrietta Parsons, of Leysian Mission, City Road, London. He was buried at Villers-Faucon Communal Cemetery, France.
The commemorative paving stone was unveiled on Monday, August 21 - 100 years after Hardy’s heroic actions.
Unveiling the stone, Deputy Mayor Coun Mohammad Ayub said: “Hardy Parsons VC was a local hero and it’s a great honour to be able to unveil this commemorative paving stone here today to pay tribute to him and remember his valour.”
Ward councillor Ken Moss said his ‘outstanding bravery and heroism should never be forgotten’.
He said: “Hardy was a Rishton lad, and to be awarded the Victoria Cross, as he was for his outstanding bravery and heroism during the First World War, at just 20 years old, should never be forgotten.
"It is right and fitting then that a paving stone memorial is laid here in Rishton, Hardy’s home town, as a lasting reminder of his immense courage and ultimate sacrifice.”
Other dignitaries at the ceremony included Vice Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire, Colonel Alan Jolley OBE, representatives of The Gloucestershire Regiment, the Royal British Legion and police.