Grave of Croydon war hero Vice-Admiral Gordon Campbell to be restored by Government

Croydon Guardian: Vice-Admiral Gordon Campbell Vice-Admiral Gordon Campbell

The grave of a Navy officer who sank a German submarine to save to lives of his own ship's crew is to be restored to mark the centenary of the First World War.

Vice-Admiral Gordon Campbell, from Croydon, was commander of the stricken HMS Farnborough when he tricked and then opened fire on a U-Boat.

His grave, in Crondall, Surrey, is one of 74 in London and the south-east to be returned to their former glory using £100,000 of Government funding, announced last week by communities secretary Eric Pickles. 

V-Adm Campbell won the Victoria Cross - the highest military prize awarded for "valour in the face of the enemy" for his actions, which saw the Farnborough's entire crew escape to safety despite being torpedoed in the Atlantic Ocean on February 17, 1917.

He was just 31 when he spotted the German SM U-83 in pursuit of the Farnborough off the Irish coast and chose to allow its torpedo to strike British Navy vessel, badly damaging it.

His crew then staged a decoy evacuation to lure the submarine into coming closer to the sinking ship, which they then fired on and sank.

Croydon Guardian:

The winning stone was designed by Charlie MacKeith

A commemorative paving stone dedicated to V-Adm Campbell, who died in 1953 aged 67, will be laid to mark the 100th anniversary of the war.

Its design, by Charlie MacKeith, was selected by a panel of experts as the winning entry in a competition.

V-Adm Campbell's family will decide whether his stone is laid in Croydon.

A spokeswoman for Croydon Council said it hoped the stone would be laid in the borough and was waiting to be notified of the family's wishes before selecting a site.

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