William Short from Eston was awarded the Victoria Cross for his bravery on 6th August 1916 at Munster Alley, Contalmaison, France, during the Battle of the Somme.
At the time it was reported :-
He was foremost in the attack, bombing the enemy with great gallantry, when he was severely wounded in the foot. He was urged to go back, but refused and continued to throw bombs. Later his leg was shattered by a shell and he was unable to stand, so that he lay in the trench adjusting detonators and straightening the pins of bombs for his comrades.
He died before he could be carried out of the trench. For the last eleven months he had always volunteered for dangerous enterprises, and had always set a magnificent example of bravery and devotion to duty.
Short had worked as as craneman at Bolckow, Vaughan & Co Steelworks in Eston. The upper part of the momument looks very much like local ironstone, having weathered in much the same way as the ironstone obelisks in the area.