The Columbine Centre, a leisure and community centre in Walton-on-the-Naze, was opened in 1992. It is a centre that has a world class indoor bowling facility, a theatre with a stage that can seat up to 300, plus various meeting / dressing rooms, a bar / kitchen and an airy reception area. It's a great place to host your next event.
The centre was named in honour of Herbert George Columbine VC (28 November 1893 – 22 March 1918). He was a World War I hero that was awarded the Victoria Cross for his gallantry in the face of the enemy.
Columbine was 24 years old, and a private in the 9th Squadron, Machine Gun Corps, British Army during the First World War when the action for which he was awarded the VC took place. On 22 March 1918 at Hervilly Wood, France, Private Columbine took over command of a Vickers gun and kept firing it from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in an isolated position with no wire in front. During this time wave after wave of the enemy failed to get up to him, but at last with the help of a low-flying aircraft the enemy managed to gain a strong foothold in the trench. As the position was now untenable, Private Columbine told the two remaining men to get away, and although he was being bombed on either side, he kept his gun firing, inflicting losses, until he was killed by a bomb which blew him up along with his gun.
The Columbine Statue Fund was set up under the patronage of Dame Judi Dench to raise money for a statue of Columbine in Walton on the Naze. The statue, sculpted by John Doubleday, was erected on 1 August 2014 on the seafront at Walton on the Naze.
The Columbine Centre is owned and managed by the Frinton and Walton Town Council.