By Kevin Unitt Tuesday 02 October 2012 Updated: 08/10 08:30
THE MOST decorated private soldier of the First World War has been permanently remembered in his home town of Leamington.
Henry Tandey was born and lived in the town until the age of 19 when he joined the Green Howards. Wounded three times and mentioned in despatches five times for his courage and bravery, he was present at Ypres in 1914, the Somme in 1916, Passchendaele in 1917 and the battles of 1918.
A blue plaque was unveiled on Friday afternoon (September 28) outside the Angel Hotel in Regent Street, close to where Henry was born in 1891.
The soldier is also known as the man who could have shot Adolf Hitler in 1918.
Years later, in 1938 and on the brink of the Second World War, Hitler had a copy of the Fortunino Matania painting of a British soldier, perhaps Tandey, carrying a wounded comrade. Hilter recognised the bearer as the soldier who in September 1918 had pointed a gun at him whilst he lay on the ground wounded. The soldier spared him. At a meeting with Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain Hitler asked him to find the man, thank him and pass on his good wishes, which Chamberlain did.
In his younger days Tandey attended St Peter's School and after the war was granted the Freedom of Leamington in 1919 and when he left the army in 1926 he moved to Coventry and lived there, with his family, for the rest of his life until his death in 1977. His ashes are buried in the Masnieres British Cemetery, Marcoing.
* Two further blue plaques were unveiled in Leamington on Friday, the first in Church Street for Thomas Baker, a 19th century artist or watercolour and oil works who became known as “Baker of Leamington”. The other plaque was unveiled in Gaveston Road for Mary Dormer Harris, an historian who wrote dozens of books and essays on Coventry and Warwickshire as well as being a keen member of the town's Loft Theatre.
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