MILITARY personnel and the public joined the Lord Lieutenant of Hamp­shire, Nick Atkinson, in his first public engagement as they paid tribute to First World War hero Ernest Horlock on Monday. Mr Horlock, who was born at Beech Farm near Alton on October 24, 1885, was awarded a Victoria Cross for manning an 18-pound gun against the advancing German army after the rest of his crew had been killed and he had been wounded twice, but he still refused to leave his post. So it was appropriate that the exact same model of the one he manned so bravely at the Battle of the Marne in Vendresse, France, on September 15, 1914, should be fired in his honour at Anstey Park, Alton, exactly 100 years later. For full story, see this week's Alton Herald.