A WAR hero from Bournemouth who bravely sacrificed himself to save his comrades has been recognised with a special commemorative stone.

Corporal Cecil Reginald Noble, from Boscombe, posthumously received the highest military honour – the Victoria Cross – after placing himself in front of German machine gun fire on March 12, 1915, during World War I.

Part of the Rifles Brigade’s 2nd battalion, the 23-year-old and company sergeant Harry Daniels had been ordered to advance towards German lines from their trenches at Neuve Chapelle, northern France, with the rest of the regiment.

However, the German trench was fortified with barbed wire and the two friends realised their men stood little chance of survival unless it was first cut. Risking almost certain death, they crawled to the defences through thick mud and cut the wires themselves.

They succeeded and British troops stormed and captured the German trench.

Both were shot by as they gallantly stood to reach the highest lines of wire and lay wounded through the night desperately awaiting rescue.

Sgt Daniels survived, but Corporal Noble died the following day, March 13, 1915, from his injuries On Thursday – the 100th anniversary of his heroic act – a crowd gathered at the war memorial in Central Gardens where the stone was unveiled during a ceremony in which the remarkable story was again recounted.

Of the tribute, Lord Lieutenant of Dorset Angus Campbell said: “I am confident it will not only be a fitting memorial for a very brave man but also a permanent reminder to all of us of the true price of freedom and democracy. This is something we should never forget.”

He added: “Remembrance is vital. It is so important to remember and to understand the courage and sacrifice of such outstanding individuals. By extension the courage of so many others who gave their lives so we could live in peace and freedom.

“World War I touched every family in this country and of course in many other countries around the world.”