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First World War hero’s Great Bridge pub left to rot

By Clare Butler | Tipton | News | Published:

A derelict pub which once honoured ‘one of the bravest of the brave’ Tipton war heroes has been left to rot.

The Nags Head, Market Place, Great Bridge, Tipton

Calls have been made for The Nags Head, in Market Place, Great Bridge – also the former home of Tipton Royal British Legion – to be brought back to life.

In the mid 1990s the pub was renamed The Fusilier in honour of Corporal Joseph Davies, before reverting back to The Nags Head.

A blue plaque used to be situated on the front wall of the building commemorating his heroic actions after he saved the lives of eight comrades at Delville Wood on July 20, 1916, during the Battle of the Somme. The dedicated soldier, who lived in nearby Nock Street, was awarded the Victoria Cross by King George V.

Corporal Joseph Davies
Corporal Joseph Davies

The plaque was put on the building in 1992, after a campaign by Tipton Civic Society and the Royal British Legion Tipton Branch.

It is now on The Kings Arms in Toll End Road. A memorial stone honouring Corporal Davies’ life was unveiled last year at Victoria Park. It was due to be converted into apartments and shops after plans were pushed forward in 2014 following objections to its demolition, but work is yet to get under way.

Chairman of Sandwell Council planning committee, Councillor Paul Sanders, said: “It was a lovely pub that sadly got abandoned.

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“It would be great to see it refurbished or converted into flats.”

The Nags Head, Market Place, Great Bridge, Tipton

Keith Hodgkins, chair of Tipton Civic Society, said the building was ‘one of the best’ in the area.

He said it was designed by local architect George Wenyon, who was also behind Tipton Library and Dudley Library. Corporal Davies died in the 1970s.

“We think The Nags Head is a very important building. When it closed we took the plaque off and last year had it put on The Kings Arms, in Toll End Road.

“We are very sad to see it as it is.”

Clare Butler

By Clare Butler
Senior Reporter - @CButler_Star

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