Whilst the Thame Remembers project is complete, our appetite for commemorating Thame’s wartime heroes remains and one of our steering group, Mike Dyer, has been actively pursuing a new initiative which will shortly come to fruition.
We are delighted to share news of the impending installation and unveiling of a Blue Plaque in Thame to remember Frank Howard Kirby VC CBE DCM.
The Victoria Cross is the highest award to British and Commonwealth forces for gallantry in the face of the enemy.
Frank Howard Kirby was born and lived his early life in Thame. He enlisted in the Royal Engineers in 1892 and, with the rank of Corporal, was sent to serve in the South African campaign in 1899. He was awarded the Victoria Cross for an action in which he charged directly back into enemy fire to rescue a comrade whose horse had been shot.
He rose to the rank of Regimental Sergeant Major before being commissioned and transferred to the Royal Flying Corps, with which he served in France in WW1. When he retired in 1926 Frank held the rank of Group Captain in the RAF and had been appointed a Commander of the British Empire.
Unfortunately, the unveiling of the plaque must be an invitation only event for both safety and logistical reasons but a special temporary exhibition at Thame Museum will be open to the public on Wednesdays and Saturdays 11th to 25th September inclusive (10.00 – 4.00, entrance free).