A special commemorative stone dedicated to the heroic actions of East Ham Second Lt Edgar Myles has been installed at the cenotaph in Central Park.

A large crowd looked on as the tribute was unveiled by Newham Council’s deputy mayor Cllr Lester Hudson and Ian Newson, a relative of Second Lt Myles.

The soldier was awarded the Victoria Cross, the highest award for gallantry in the British and Commonwealth military service, for his efforts to relieve the town of Kut in Sanna-i-Yat, Mesopotamia, during a siege on April 9 1916, when he was 21.

During the battle he went out alone under heavy fire to assist wounded men lying in the open and while carrying an injured officer he was hit by an enemy bullet. He still managed to carry the man back to safety.

Cllr Hudson said: “It is so important we remember people who have died serving their country. We should not forget that while they did extraordinary things, they were ordinary people.

“As we remember the valour of people like Second Lt Myles, we should learn from them and continue to honour their endeavours even after a hundred years have passed.

“Their actions should act as an inspiration to us all and remind everyone that helping others in times of need is one of the greatest things we can do in our community.”

The crowd at the unveiling

The event on Monday, April 11, was also attended by Lance Sgt Johnson Beharry, of the Princess of Wales Royal Regiment , who is one of only two serving soldiers to have received the Victoria Cross.

Poppy Appeal organiser from the East Ham branch of the Royal British Legion Bob Stokes read the Victoria Cross citation and chaplain to the Royal British Legion, the Rev Fred Ashford-Okai, blessed the stone.

Lance Sgt Beharry said: “I am here representing the modern military and supporting the family as well. I want to show that the heroic efforts of Second Lt Myles are still remembered and were not in vain.”

A number of wreathes were placed at the cenotaph in East Ham to commemorate the soldier's bravery following the service.

The ceremony was part of Newham Council’s commitment to honour those from the borough who received the medal during the First World War.