A WREATH-LAYING ceremony will take place in Hampshire on Wednesday to honour a First World War hero who was awarded the Victoria Cross.

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

The ceremony will take place at Hythe on Wednesday - the 103rd anniversary of his heroism.

He trained aboard HMS Conway and representatives from Friends of HMS Conway group will lay a wreath, watched by members of the parish council.

Unwin commanded the SS River Clyde, which was tasked with landing 2,000 troops at Cape Hellas, Turkey.

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.

Writing at the time Vice-Admiral John de Robeck said Unwin returned to the ship suffering from cold and fatigue before resuming his task.

The Admiral added: “He once more left the ship, this time in a lifeboat, to save some wounded men who were lying in shallow water near the beach.He continued at this heroic labour under continuous fire, until forced to stop through physical exhaustion.”

Unwin received the VC - the highest award for gallantry in the face of enemy action - from King George V.

He also took part in the landings at Suvla Bay, Gallipoli, which began on the night on August 6 1915.

The landings were successful but the area was evacuated a few months later. Unwin, the last to leave, went to the rescue of a soldier who had fallen overboard as he was being shipped out.

He left the Royal Navy in 1920 with the rank of Captain, which was back-dated to 1918 in recognition of his record. He and died in 1950, aged 85.

A memorial to him was unveiled on the Hythe waterfront three years ago.

Family members at the ceremony included Unwin’s grandson, Nick Elliott, his grand-daughter, Johanna Dix-Perkin and his great grand-daughter, Dr Rosie Wabe.

Also present were his two great-great grand-daughters, Amber and Daisy, who laid flowers after the ceremony.