Police building named after war hero Wilfred Fuller who was given Victoria Cross honour

PUBLISHED: 12:00 17 May 2017

Wilfred Fuller (Copyright Avon and Somerset Constabulary PH12199).

Wilfred Fuller (Copyright Avon and Somerset Constabulary PH12199).

Copyright Avon and Somerset Constabulary PH12199

A police building has been named in honour of a World War One hero who captured nearly 50 men single-handedly on the battlefield.

Princess Anne unveiling the plaque alongside John Fuller.Princess Anne unveiling the plaque alongside John Fuller.

Wilfred Fuller was awarded the Victoria Cross for the bravery he showed during the war before he moved to Weston and joined the police force.

Avon and Somerset Constabulary has named its new mounted and dog section The Wilfred Fuller VC Operational Training Centre in his honour.

Mr Fuller was born in Nottinghamshire in 1893 and joined the army rather than follow his father into the mining industry.

By the outbreak of war in 1914, he was a fully-trained ‘bomb-thrower’ and promoted to Lance Corporal.

In 1915, he was on the frontline in France, where his task was to throw bombs into the enemy trenches to allow his colleagues to gain ground.

He was part of a major offensive in March that year and led the assault, for which he received the Victoria Cross.

The citation said: “Seeing a party of the enemy endeavouring to escape along a communication trench, he ran towards them and killed the leading man with a bomb.

“The remainder (nearly 50), finding no means of evading his bombs, surrendered to him. Lance Corporal Fuller was quite alone at the time.”

Mr Fuller suffered from a knee injury, and was medically discharged in 1916.

He found work as a ‘checker’ on the trams in Weston, and moved with his family to Moorland Road.

A book about his life called Our Wilf, written by historian Alan Vowles, says his work came to an end in 1919 when former tram employees returned from the war.

He resorted to walking the streets to find work, and, as a war hero, his plight made national headlines.

He joined Somerset Constabulary, and spent 20 years as a police officer, before retiring in 1940. He died in 1947, aged 54.

Princess Anne opened the new police building in Clevedon, with his family watching.

His son John Fuller said: “The whole family are delighted Wilfred has been honoured in this way and the whole day was very special and overwhelming.”

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