A WREATH-LAYING ceremony took place in a New Forest village to honour a First World War hero who was awarded the Victoria Cross.

Commander Edward Unwin, who was born at Forest Lodge, Hythe, performed outstanding acts of bravery during the ill-fated Gallipoli landings on April 25 1915.

The ceremony took place at his memorial on Hythe Promenade on the 103rd anniversary of his heroic actions.

He trained aboard HMS Conway and the event was attended by three "Old Conways" - Ian Watson, of Downton, near Fordingbridge, Mike Omissi, of Hythe, and and Chris Nelson of Southampton.

The parish council was represented by parish and district councillor James Binns, who described Unwin as someone of "great significance" to Hythe's story.

He added: "We can never repay him, or his generation, for the sacrifices that were made to ensure our liberty and freedom."

Unwin commanded the SS River Clyde, which was given the task of landing 2,000 troops at Cape Hellas, Turkey, in 1915.

The plan was to beach the 4,000-tonne vessel and create a bridge comprising small boats known as lighters.

When the bridge began to break up Unwin and Able Seaman William Williams dived into the sea and pulled the remaining boats back into position - despite coming under heavy fire from Turkish troops.

Unwin, who left the Royal Navy in 1920 with the rank of Captain, died in 1950.