Ranil Jayawardena - Odiham

Ranil Jayawardena was honoured to attend the unveiling a paving stone commemorating the Reverend William Addison at the Odiham War Memorial. The Reverend Addison was a former North East Hampshire resident, whose tremendous bravery in the First World War earned him a Victoria Cross

Reverend Addison grew up in North Warnboroughand attended Robert May's School in Odiham. Upon the outbreak of WWI, he volunteered for the Army Chaplain's Department.

He was awarded the Victoria Cross in recognition of his heroic actions when one of his battalions came under heavy fire, fighting in Mesopotamia (modern-day Iraq) in 1916. 

As the citation to his Victoria Cross states, "[Chaplain Addison] carried a wounded man to the cover of a trench, and assisted several others to the same cover, after binding up their wounds under heavy fire and machine gun fire. In addition to these unaided efforts, by his splendid example and utter disregard of personal danger, he encouraged the stretcher-bearers to go forward under heavy fire and collect the wounded."

Ranil said " The ceremony was a wonderful opportunity to remember the bravery of Reverend Addison, and to reflect on the tremendous sacrifices made by British servicemen and women, past and present. It was a delight that 30 members of the Addison family were able to join us for the occasion."