This children’s play area at the corner of the Sports Centre is in memory of Jack Mantle (1917-1940). He was educated at Taunton’s School before joining the Royal Navy. In 1940 he was in charge of the gun ship Foylebank in Portland Harbour when German aircraft attacked on 4th July.
He was badly wounded but kept firing till he died and was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross.
One of the earliest awarded Victoria Crosses was to another Sotonian, George Day in 1857. In 1918 Lieutenant Commander Marcus Beak, another Old Tauntonian, was awarded one. Only approximately 1,400 have ever been awarded.