DIGNITARIES from across the UK and Europe gathered together to celebrate the life of an East Staffordshire war hero.
Charles William Bull, of Tutbury, was killed defending Scheldt bridge in Gavere, Belgium, in 1944 in his role as part of the Royal Tank Corps as the allied forces attempted to liberate Ghent.
He was later buried in the town and the bridge was subsequently named after him as a tribute to his efforts.
People from Gavere have an annual commemoration ceremony for him and a delegation from the town visits Tutbury every other year, while people from Tutbury go to Gavere on the alternate years to honour his memory.
Burton’s MP Andrew Griffiths was in attendance at St Mary’s Church, in Tutbury, alongside a raft of officials from Gavere in a bid to commemorate the life of an East Staffordshire war hero.
He said: “I was delighted to attend the ceremony and see how one of Burton’s war heroes is so highly regarded in Belgium.
“Sgt Bull is a true hero and for such a high-level delegation to travel to the area demonstrates the high esteem in which he is still held.
“It was great to welcome these dignitaries to Tutbury and also meet members of Sgt Bull’s family who were at the service.
“The saying often goes ‘we will remember them’, but, in this case, the people of Gavere have shown how they will always remember what Sgt Bull did for them.”
Sgt Bull was born on February 28, 1914, at 40 Bridge Street, in Tutbury, and his parents were farm labourer Alfred Bull and Harriett Corden.
He joined the army at the age of 18 in 1932 and died on September 7, 1944, aged 30. He was married to a Burton woman called Peggy Fessey.
A spokesman for, said: “We were joined by visitors from Gavere, Belgium, who came over to remember Sgt Charles William Bull, who was killed 70 years ago this year, on September 7, 1944 defending the bridge over the River Scheldt at Gavere.
“He was killed commanding a troop of tanks from the Royal Tank Regiment defending the bridge against a German advance.
“He is buried in the village of Gavere and the new bridge over the river Scheldt is named after him – the people of Gavere honour his memory every year on the anniversary of his death.
“There was a short service of remembrance for Sgt Bull.”