A Wallington war hero who received the Victoria Cross for leading a successful counter-offensive during a key battle of the First World War is to be honoured with a commemorative paving stone.

Second Lieutenant Alfred Pollard was given the highest honour that can be awarded to a British soldier for his courage in the recapture of Gaverelle on April 29, 1917, during the Battle of Arras.

In the heat of the offensive Lieut Pollard led a counter-attack with four other soldiers during heavy bombardment by German forces. The small group managed to break the enemy’s attack and regained ground that had previously been lost earlier in the war.

Lieut Pollard, who grew up in Belmont Road, followed in his elder brother James’s footsteps and joined the Honorable Artillery Company just days after the conflict broke out in July, 1914.

James died in action during the war. The loss of his older brother hardened his resolve and Alfred claimed to enjoy going into combat.

After the war he went on to become a professional author and wrote more than 60 books, many of which were crime thrillers. He died in Bournemouth on December 4, 1960.

The commemorative paving stone honouring Lieut Pollard’s memory will be laid by the Mayor of Sutton, councillor Richard Clifton, during a ceremony at the Wallington Library Memorial Garden, which will be held from 11am on Saturday, April 29.

Saturday’s ceremony will coincide with a number of similar events across the country to mark the centenary of the recapture of Gaveralle.

Cllr Clifton said: “This stone will bear witness to the bravery shown by 2nd Lieut. Pollard in action during the Battle of Arras for generations to come. It is fitting we remember the borough’s sole recipient of the Victoria Cross on the anniversary of the action for which he was decorated.”