Around a thousand people gathered in Coby this morning for the official re-naming of the area outside the Cube in honour of Victoria Cross hero Lance Corporal James Ashworth.
As millions of people across the country mark Armed Forces Week, Corby remembered the 23-year-old who was killed in action in Afghanistan trying to save his comrades.
In a speech to the crowd by James’ auntie Sharon, on behalf of his mum Kerry, the family said they have been ‘overwhelmed’ by the support given to them by the people of Corby and the borough council.
Speaking to the Telegraph after the ceremony, Kerry Ashworth said: “It meant so much that everybody took the time to turn up today. Everytime there is something for James the people of Corby always turn out, and it’s young and old. It’s not just his friends, or his family, it’s everybody.
“And it just makes us feel just totally loved by the people of Corby.”
The ceremony started at 10.45am and included speeches by Corby mayor Judy Caine, and James’ auntie Sharon. The new street signs for James Ashworth VC Square were unveiled, followed by a two-minute silence and the lowering of two flags to half mast.
Mrs Ashworth added: “Sometimes you can put it to the back of your head a little bit, and when we have occasions like this you remember exactly what he did and that he is not here to share in this day with you. That makes it really hard and that’s when you get emotional.”
Telegraph reporter Danny Mitchell spoke to a number of people watching the ceremony who called the soldier a ‘hero.’ We asked Mrs Ashworth what it meant to her for people to call her son a hero. She said: “Its amazing isn’t it, that you say your son’s a hero. But to me he’s my James, he’s my six-foot-eight baby. So, it’s really weird, but what he did that day was selfless, so he is a hero.”
Cllr Caine said that James Ashworth will be remembered as a ‘local soldier and a national hero.’
The signs are in Tottenham Hotspurs colours because the soldier was an avid fan of the football club.
To watch footage from the ceremony and interviews with Kerry Ashworth, and Cllr Caine, watch the video above.