Blue plaque honour for Mexborough war hero William Hackett

By Michael Upton | 26/06/2019

Blue plaque honour for Mexborough war hero William Hackett
Sapper Hackett's great-grandson Simon Warren (left) performs the unveiling with Tommy Joyce MBE. Picture by Ian Thompson.

WAR hero William Hackett has become the latest local legend to be immortalised with a blue plaque in Mexborough.

The courageous soldier (below), who was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross for his brave exploits during the First World War, is now remembered with a permanent tribute at his former home in Cross Gate.

A crowd gathered outside 49 Cross Gate on Sunday morning for the unveiling, which Mexborough Seritage Society secretary Bill Lawrence called “a truly historic occasion”.

Sunday, June 23, marked the 103rd anniversary of Sapper Hackett’s death on the Western Front in France, when he died after saving three comrades when a mine exploded above where they were tunnelling.

He could have escaped, but refused to leave without a fourth injured man, saying: “I am a tunneller and must look after the others first.”

They both died when the earth collapsed over them.

Sunday’s event, held in conjunction with the local Royal British Legion and  Mexborough councillors, along with members of the Mexborough and District Heritage Society, included performances by musicians Mike Jenkinson and John Young, who have both written songs relating Sapper Hackett’s bravery, and poetry readings.

The heritage society aims to honour more of its heroes as part of an ongoing Blue Plaque Project.

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