Tribute to village hero

VILLAGE HERO: A service was held in memory of Captain Lawrence Oates, whose family lived in Gestingthorpe Hall.
VILLAGE HERO: A service was held in memory of Captain Lawrence Oates, whose family lived in Gestingthorpe Hall.

A VILLAGE’S pride in a soldier who sacrificed his life 100 years ago to save others with the words “I am just going outside and may be some time” was tangibly evident in Gestingthorpe at the weekend.

Captain Lawrence Oates, whose family lived at Gestingthorpe Hall for 60 years and where he grew up, died after surrendering his own life to save that of the others in Scott’s fated Antarctic Expedition in 1912.

A plaque commemorating the village’s gallant hero describes the soldier as a gentleman who “went out into the blizzard to die in the hope that by so doing he might enable his comrades to reach safety”.

More than 170 people attended Sunday’s service at St Mary the Virgin, including a detachment from The Royal Dragoon Guards and members of the Oates family from London.

Wendy Jones, who is organising the village’s centenary events, said: “The service was a deeply moving and inspiring occasion.”