A Royal Navy captain, who was awarded the Victoria Cross for 'feats of most conspicuous gallantry', has been honoured in his birthplace today.

Captain Alfred Carpenter RN VC will be remembered forever in a paving stone in Church Street, Barnes.

The ceremony was attended by his granddaughter, Commodore David Elford of the Royal Navy, and the Mayor of Richmond, Councillor Lisa Blakemore, on April 16.

Cllr Blakemore said: “Captain Carpenter is remembered as a war hero, and outstanding citizen of this borough. I am delighted that we are able to honour him in the place he was born and hope his memory serves as an inspiration to future generations of where selflessness, bravery and service can get you.

“It was an enormous honour to meet Captain Carpenter’s granddaughter and to host a breakfast in the Mayor’s Parlour before we travelled to Barnes.”

Captain Carpenter was born to a naval family in Barnes in 1881. In 1896 he joined the navy, serving in Crete and China in the late 1900s.

In 1911 he received the Bronze Medal of the Royal Humane Society, along with two others, for his part in rescuing a sailor who had fallen overboard in Portsmouth.

During World War I the then Lieutenant Commander was posted as a Navigating Officer to the HMS Emperor of India. He later volunteered to command HMS Vindictive for the raid to bock Zeebrugge.

For this operation Carpenter was asked to nominate two individuals, one from the ranks and an officer to receive the Victoria Cross on behalf of the Royal Navy for its role in the raid. Carpenter declined to participate on the basis all men were equally brave. He was later nominated by his fellow officers for the award.

Commodore David Elford (the Naval Regional Commander for Eastern England) said: “It is an honour and a privilege to have been invited to represent the Naval Service at today’s poignant reminder of the bravery and self-sacrifice that was demonstrated by so many throughout the First World War.

"On behalf of the First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Phillip Jones, I would like to offer sincerest thanks to the Mayor, Councillor Blakemore, and the whole borough of Richmond upon Thames for arranging this important commemoration.”

Captain Carpenter was also made an Officer of the Legion of Honour and awarded the Croix de Guerre with palm and was sent on a lecturing tour through the USA and Canada, 1918–19.

He continued to serve in the Royal Navy after the war and retired from the service in 1934 as a Rear Admiral.