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Middleton’s VC hero honoured

Press release   •   May 20, 2014 12:08 BST

Lance Corporal Joel Halliwell V.C, Middleton’s only Victoria Cross recipient, will be recognised in the town next week with the unveiling of a street sign in his honour in the town centre – Corporation Street will be renamed LCpl Joel Halliwell V.C. Way.

Joel Halliwell V.C was awarded the medal after rescuing 10 injured soldiers from no-man's land during the First World War. Joel, a father of three, was a reluctant hero in his life, saying he had just been doing his duty.  He was buried in Boarshaw cemetery in 1958.

In France in the summer of 1918, aged 37, Lance Corporal Halliwell captured a horse then rode into no-man's land under heavy shell fire to rescue an injured soldier.  He went on to repeat the incredible feat of bravery nine times.

He was a lance-corporal in the 11th Battalion of the Lancashire Fusiliers, The Lancashire Fusiliers.

After the war he was awarded the Victoria Cross – the highest military honour for valour in the face of possible death.

A ceremony unveiling the new street sign will take place on Tuesday 27 May at 11am, exactly 96 years to the day of his act of bravery.  Guest speakers will include Shauna Dixon, Deputy Lieutenant of Greater Manchester, Captain Joe Eastwood from the Lancashire Fusiliers Association and Rochdale Borough Council leader Colin Lambert. 

Deputy Chief Executive Linda Fisher said it will be a fitting tribute and provide lasting recognition in the town for Lance Corporal Halliwell:

“I think it’s very important that we recognise his achievements and bravery in this permanent way.  His conduct was magnificent throughout, and he was a splendid and inspiring example to all."

The council signed the Armed Forces Community Covenant in 2012, aimed at encouraging communities to support services that promote and encourage activities that help integrate armed forces personnel back into civilian life. 

Current or ex Armed Forces personnel can register for help or get more information by visiting If they encounter difficulties when accessing services from the council or its partners email or call the council on 01706 926989.

Interview, filming and photo opportunity

You are welcome to attend the ceremony on Tuesday 27 May.  Guests are being asked to meet at the Olde Boars Head,111 Long Street, Middleton M24 6UE from 10am.  Guests will then walk across to Corporation Street at 10.45am for the unveiling.  Music will be played and there will be a series of short speeches at 11am. The ceremony is expected to last 15 minutes.

To confirm your attendance please contact Mark Roberts on 07754 267252, 01706 924761 or email

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