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Herbert George Columbine
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Private Columbine was 24 years old, and served in the 9th Squadron, Machine Gun Corps (Cavalry) Service No: 50720

An extract from "The London Gazette," dated 30th April, 1918, records the following:- "For most conspicuous bravery and self-sacrifice displayed, when, owing to casualties, Pte. Columbine took over command of a gun and kept it firing from 9 a.m. till 1 p.m. in an isolated position with no wire in front. During this time wave after wave of the enemy failed to get up to him. Owing to his being attacked by a low-flying aeroplane the enemy at last gained a strong footing in the trench on either side. The position being untenable he ordered the two remaining men to get away, and, though being bombed from either side, kept his gun firing and inflicting tremendous losses. He was eventually killed by a bomb which blew up him and his gun. He showed throughout the highest valour, determination and self-sacrifice."
He and his family were regular visitors to Walton and in 1921 his mother, Mrs. Emma Columbine. gave the Victoria Cross to be displayed in the Town Hall. When Walton & Frinton councils amalgamated in 1934 it was given to The Royal British Legion for display at the club house. After a series of break-ins the Victoria Cross was placed in a local bank vault for safety.
The Columbine leisure centre on the Bath House Meadow in Walton has been named after him.
This bust stands in All Saints Churchyard Extension at Walton-le Soken [Walton-on-the Naze] Essex; his name also appears on the war memorial there.
Added by: geoffrey gillon

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