THE bravery of a Furness Victoria Crosswinner has been marked with a road name in a new housing development close tothe base of his old regiment in Lichfield

Pte Samuel Wassall - a hero of theZulu War - was born in the Midlands but worked at Barrow shipyard and is buriedin the town’s cemetery.

His descendents include granddaughterMay Purcell and husband Ron of Shearwater Crescent, Walney.

They were invited by housing companyOrbit to attend a ceremony at the 99-home Saxon Gate development but MrsPurcell, 90, was not well enough to make the trip.

Many other relatives of Pte Wassalldid attend the ceremony in honour of six VC winners from the SouthStaffordshire Regiment and the regiment's mascot - a Staffordshire bull terriercalled Watchman,

Andrew McDermott, regional managingdirector at Orbit, who unveiled a plaque, said: “As a supporter of the ArmedForces Covenant, Orbit is privileged to pay its respects to these six VictoriaCross recipients at Saxon Gate.

"This is a long-lasting tributeto those soldiers who fought for their country on behalf of the local regiment.

"We are honoured to commemoratethese brave men in this way, and to have their names live on and be associatedwith the new community we have built in Lichfield.”

Although Pte Wassall lived much oflife in Barrow he was born in Deritend, in the Aston district of Birmingham, inJuly 1856.

Regimental records show that SamWassall was only 5ft 4 and three-quarters, had grey eyes and light brown hair.

He left the army in the summer of1880 and went to live at the home of his brother, William, at 28 ExmouthStreet, Barrow.

He was a silk dyer by trade but got ajob in the electrical department at the shipyard.

He married Rebecca Round on April 10in 1882 at St Matthew’s Church, Barrow.

At that time he was a 23-year-oldlabourer living at 5 Bath Street.

He welcomed King George V and QueenMary at Furness Abbey Station when they visited the town on May 17 in 1917.

He met them again on June 26 in 1920when he was one of 324 holders of the VC who attended a garden party atBuckingham Palace.

He was present at the unveiling ofthe cenotaph in Barrow Public Park.

Samuel Wassall, one of last threeZulu War VC holders, died at the North Lonsdale Hospital, Barrow, on January 31in 1927. He was aged 70.

After a service at St James’s Church,he was buried in Barrow Cemetery with military honours provided by the King’sOwn Royal Lancaster Regiment.

In 1985 his Barrow grave got aheadstone recording his deeds and featuring an image of the Victoria Cross.

A total of 85 relatives from fivegenerations attended the dedication ceremony, many of them from Furness.

He had served with the mountedinfantry in the 80th Volunteers, later the South Staffordshire Regiment, atIsandlwana, Africa, when it was overrun by Zulu warriors.

He joined the throng who made theirway over Fugitive’s Trail to the Buffalo River, where he performed the act forwhich he was awarded the Victoria Cross.

His official citation in the LondonGazette on July 4 in 1879 read: “For his gallant conduct in having, at theimminent risk of his own life, saved that of Private Westwood of the sameregiment.

“On the 22 January 1879, when thecamp at Isandlwana was taken by the enemy, Private Wassall retreated towardsthe Buffalo River, in which he saw a comrade struggling, and apparentlydrowning.

“He rode to the bank, dismounted,leaving his horse on the Zulu side, rescued the man from the stream, and againmounted his horse, dragging Private Westwood across the river under a heavyshower of bullets.”

The following day Wassall rode toRorke’s Drift where he learned of the famous defence which had been performedthere.

Lord Chelmsford shook his hand andremarked: “You are a lucky man to have got away.”

Wassall’s exploits were recorded andconfirmed by the man he had saved – who was still recovering in hospital.

He remained with the mounted infantryand was present at the battle of Ulundi for the final crushing defeat of theZulu army on July 4 in 1879.