A war hero clergyman is honoured

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Pictured here on the front row, centre, and second from right, back row, inset picture, is Lieutenant Colonel Bernard William Vann, a commander of the 6th Sherwood Foresters – the Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment.

Lt Col Vann has been honoured in a book by Matlock Bath author Charles Beresford called The Christian Soldier.

He was posthumously decorated after storming to victory with the 46th North Midland Division at the Battle of Bellenglise on 29 September 1918.

They breached the Hindenburg Line and captured 70 guns and 4,000 prisoners.

Author Charles said; “It was perhaps the greatest success of any territorial formation in the First World War, but tragically, Bernard was killed four days later.”

Lt Col Vann played as an amateur for Derby County FC in the First Division prior to the outbreak of the war.

A muscular sportsman with a strong personality, Vann would go on to become one of only three Anglican clergymen to command a battalion on the Western Front.

As well as being the only Church of England cleric to win the VC as a combatant, Vann is thought to be the most decorated University of Cambridge soldier for gallantry in the Great War – having also been awarded the Military Cross, Bar and Croix de Guerre avec palme. The Christian Soldier is available to purchase from Amazon and www.helion.co.uk.