Denial of medal to first black officer "unjust" say campaigners
Second lieutenant Walter Tull, who played for Tottenham Hotspurs and
Now a petition has been launched to convince the Government to recognise his achievements and award him the Military Cross posthumously.
Tull was the first black officer to lead white troops into battle, and was recommended for the Military Cross at the time but it was not awarded to him.
Author of the petition Phil Vasili, who describes Tull as “an outstanding soldier” says the original decision should be over-turned.
“It is now manifestly unjust for Walter to be denied his medal,” Phil said. “His character, ability and popularity raised him to a level at which he and his kind were barred.”
Tull was denied the Cross because Army rules going into the War stated that “aliens”, which including black British men, could not be promoted to officer ranks.
Phil said The Ministry of Defence claims reversing the decision now would create a problematic precedent, and that the case falls outside of time period allowed for a review.
“To be denied his MC, given his strengths, is not only unfair but mocks the notion of natural justice,” Phil said. “A unique decision should now be made to award Walter his long overdue and much deserved medal for bravery in a war in which he made the ultimate sacrifice."
The petition, calling on the Government to correct this historical error, requires 100,00 signatures for the issue to be raised in Parliament.
It can be found on the Government’s E-Petitions website.