Veterans plan memorial for First World War VC hero

05/02/2015 - Pic by Lucy Davies''Veterans Joe Robinson and John Buckley look at a plaque in Efford Cemetery in memory of James Bulmer Johnson who recieved the Victoria Cross. They are trying to trace any relatives of him and want to organise a wreath laying service for him.''Reporter Tristan'Contact John Martyn on 07934619213
05/02/2015 - Pic by Lucy Davies''Veterans Joe Robinson and John Buckley look at a plaque in Efford Cemetery in memory of James Bulmer Johnson who recieved the Victoria Cross. They are trying to trace any relatives of him and want to organise a wreath laying service for him.''Reporter Tristan'Contact John Martyn on 07934619213

Veterans are on a mission to commemorate a Northumberland-born First World War hero.

The Plymouth City Centre Armed Forces Supporters branch of the Royal British Legion is planning to stage a memorial service and wreath-laying ceremony for James Bulmer Johnson, who was awarded the Victoria Cross in 1918.

Branch members are now reaching out to his home county of Northumberland to try to trace family members to invite them to the occasion, provisionally set for March 23, in Plymouth, to where he moved in the early 1940s.

Johnson was 25 and working as a clerk at the Newcastle Infirmary when the First World War broke out.

He was awarded the VC, the highest award for bravery, for his heroics serving as a Second Lieutenant with the Northumberland Fusiliers. He left his medal to his regiment and it is on display in the Royal Northumberland Fusiliers Museum at Alnwick Castle.

Branch standard bearer John Martyn said: “He was obviously a Plymouth hero and we feel it’s only right that we treat him as one. Our aim is to honour him with a memorial service and wreath-laying in March. From what we have learned, he deserves no less than that, that’s for sure.”

James Bulmer Johnson was described as a ‘true hero’ who repeatedly dodged enenemy machine- gun fire to rescue wounded comrades during a battle in the Wez Macquart region, near the Belgian border , on October 14, 1918.

He died at the age of 53 in Plymouth in March, 1943.

John can be contacted on 07934 619213.