RELATIVES of a Wearside-born war hero are being sought as the countdown to a commemoration event in his honour nears.
Sunderland City Council’s Heritage Team want to hear from people with connections to Captain George Allan Maling, winner of the Victoria Cross (VC).
Captain Maling is believed to have been born in Sunderland and, after being educated at Oxford, he went on to serve as a lieutenant in the Royal Army Medical Corps, attached to the 12th Battalion, The Rifle Brigade in the First World War.
On September 25, 1915, near Fauquissart, in France, Lieutenant Maling worked for more than 24 hours, collecting and treating more than 300 wounded men under heavy shell fire.
During the morning of that day he was temporarily stunned by a large high explosive shell, which wounded his only assistant and killed several of his patients.
A second shell covered him and his instruments with debris, but he continued his gallant work single-handed.
For his bravery he was given the VC, the highest and most prestigious award, for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.
Maling died in July 1929 and his award is now on display at the Army Medical Services Museum in Aldershot.
On September 25 this year, a commemorative event, including the laying of a dedicated paving stone, will be held in memory of him.
The project is in its early stages and civic bosses say they are hoping to track down his relatives so that they can be part of the tribute.
The council’s portfolio holder for culture, Councillor John Kelly, said: “George Maling was a true local hero. It is believed that he was born at Carlton House, Ashbrooke, here in Sunderland.
“Back then the area was part of Bishopwearmouth, County Durham, and we know that he was definitely living here between 1888 and 1910.
“We would love to hear from anyone who has information regarding friends and family that are still with us.”
Those with information can get in touch with Janet Robinson, cultural heritage development officer, on 561 8413 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.