THE breathtaking bravery of a man who repeatedly risked his own life to save ten others is finally to receive a long-overdue commemoration.

Private Arthur Poulter, from East Witton, near Middleham, is the only Dalesman ever to have been awarded the Victoria Cross, Britain's highest honour for courage in the face of the enemy.

And on Tuesday, exactly 100 years after his astonishing actions, a flagstone celebrating his gallantry is to be installed at the village war memorial.

Pte Poulter was a stretcher-bearer with the Duke of Wellington's Regiment and earned his VC during one of the German Army's final attempts to beat the Allies.

Stormtroopers s broke through the front lines and Private Poulter’s battalion was moved up in support at the northern French village of Erquinghem-Lys.

Instructed to hold a railway line, the 150 Yorkshire soldiers sustained heavy casualties from German machine guns. Only one officer and ten men returned from the action, leaving behind many severely wounded.

But Pte Poulter defied the firestorm. Over the next few hours he carried many of the wounded soldiers to safety on his back. On one journey both rescuer and rescued were buried alive by an artillery shell, forcing Pte Poulter to dig them out.

His citation read: "On 10 occasions Pte Poulter carried badly wounded men on his back to a safer locality, through a particularly heavy artillery and machine-gun barrage. Two of these were hit a second time whilst on his back.

"Again, after a withdrawal over the river had been ordered, Pte Poulter returned in full view of the enemy who were advancing, and carried back another man who had been left behind wounded.

"He bandaged up over 40 men under fire, and his conduct throughout the whole day was a magnificent example."

Two weeks later Pte Poulter was shot in the head - but he survived and lived on until 1956. His medals are on show at the regimental museum in Halifax.

On Tuesday a military band and serving soldiers will march to East Witton church at 10.30am for a service at 11am. The plaque will be unveiled at noon.

Major Pat Ralph, coordinating the plans, said: “Pte Poulter’s family, the Lord Lieutenant, military personnel and other guests will be present and the general public are welcome.”

In 1998 Erquinghem-Lys it unveiled its own memorial.