Military Medal (M.M.)

Instituted on 25thMarch 1916 (and backdated to 1914).

The Military Medal was awarded to other ranks of the British Army and Commonwealth Forces. It was an award for gallantry and devotion to duty when under fire in battle on land.

On the reverse of the medal is inscribed "For Bravery in the Field". Recipients of the medal are entitled to use the letters M.M. after their name. 

 


 

Sergeant 12068 Wilfred Barker  M.M.

 

14th Bn, Leicestershire Regiment.

London Gazette 4129 of 29/3/1919.  

 

 

Sergeant Wilfred Barker of 18, Burleigh Road, was awarded the Military Medal whilst serving with the 8thLeicester's, he was also awarded the Croix de Guerre with star. 

He also served as Sergeant 55749 14th Riding Regiment.

 

Lance Sergeant 1581 George Anthony Bent M.M.

 

1/5th Bn, Leicestershire Regiment.

                                                                              LondonGazette 10918 of 10/11/1916.  

 

          

 

Lance Sergeant George Anthony Bent, of the Leicestershire Regiment, who has been awarded the Military Medal, is an old Cobden Street schoolboy under Mr. Henry Kelsey's care. His wife and three children lived at 53, Cobden Street, Loughborough, and two of his sons are now at their father's old school with Mr., T A Wilkinson. Bents father and mother lived at 72 Cobden Street. Lance-Sergeant Bent joined up when war broke out, and went out to the front ten months ago. The official record upon which the award is based reads:

Devotion to duty as stretcher-bearer. Has shown conspicuous gallantry on many occasions. On 13thOctober 1915, he went out beyond the Hohenzollern, and alone carried in a wounded officer. Cut of by heavy shellfire he took him back again to the redoubt till fire had slackened. Then he brought him down safely to the dressing station.

Served as a medical orderly for Dr. M.H. Barton during early part of World War One. Awarded the Military Medal in 1916, probably at the battle of Gommecourt, Somme. Blinded and gassed at Gorre near Bethune in May 1918 and recovered sight after 3 weeks.

 

Private 44150 Ernest Blankley M.M

 

Durham Light Infantry                                                                   

London Gazette 1610 of 1.2.1918  

 

Private Ernest Blankley, of the Durham Light Infantry, was awarded the Military Medal for conspicuous bravery in the field, he was 25 years of age, and the son of Mr. F. Blankley, the George Yard, Loughborough. The award was made for his fine work when in action round the battlefield of Ypres last year, and he has been congratulated by his commanding officer and all ranks. He joined up in September 1914, and was later on discharged, but again joined the service, and has been on active service ever since. His wife, who is working on munitions of war, lives at 10 Union Street.

 

Sergeant 13244 John William Briggs D.C.M.  M.M.

8th Bn, Leicestershire Regiment.

Killed in action 17th October 1917, Aged 22.                                                                                                London Gazette (M.M.) 8418 of 16/8/17,                

(D.C.M.) 1728 of 6/2/18

 

John was the husband of Mrs. Briggs of 3 Radmore road Loughborough; prior to enlisting he was assistant manager under his father-in-law Mr. J. E. Hodgson at the Universal trading Co, Baxter Gate Loughborough. Sergt. Briggs who was 22 years of age was awarded the Military Medal on June 16th1917 and was recommended for another award for his gallantry between October 1st- 4th. Writing to his widow the officer of the Company says he was killed by a shell while leaving the line with a working party after having just completed a days work. He suffered no pain, as death was instantaneous. He was one of the best N.C.O.'s in the company and had done some remarkably fine work recently in actions in which the battalion took a prominent part. Everyone in the battalion deeply deployed his death, as he was most popular with the battalion. Briggs received a POSTHUMOUS AWARD of the Distinguished Conduct Medal.

 For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty during a hostile attack. (D.C.M.)

 He took his Lewis gun forward as soon as the enemy barrage began, and though the line was out-flanked, he remained in an isolated forward position until his gun was put out of action. He then went back, obtained another gun and kept it in action until the attack was beaten off. He showed the greatest courage and determination in a very difficult position.

 

 

Sergeant 18397 Albert Coulson  M.M.

 

7th Bn, Leicestershire Regiment.

Killed in action 27th May 1918, Aged 22.

London Gazette 11827 of 7/10/1918.  

 

 

Mrs. Coulson, 12 Shakespeare street Loughborough received a letter from the captain and adjt of the regiment informing her that the corps commander has been pleased to award the military medal to her son, sergeant A Coulson, Leicestershire regiment, and extending the congratulations of the brigadier and commanding officer. Sergeant Coulson was reported missing on may the 27th. 

 

  

Corporal 13999 Percy Godfrey Dakin M.M.

 

C' Coy 8th Bn, Leicestershire Regiment.

Killed in action 25th September 1916, Aged 29.                                                                              

London Gazette 10478 of 27/10/1916.  

 

          

 

Percy was the son of Mr. & Mrs. J. Dakin of 19 Cobden street Loughborough. The news of his death was received in a letter from the Lieutenant of Corporal Dakin's Company, who wrote that he met his death when the battalion charged and took an important position he being shot through the head and death was instantaneous. He was doing his duty nobly, and the officer personally mourned his loss as he was a most useful and efficient N.C.O.. Mr and Mrs. Dakin had two other sons, one of whom was wounded, and the other discharged from the army as medically unfit. Prior to the war Corp. Percy Dakin who was 29 years of age and unmarried, worked at the Brush Works. He was one of the first Loughborough men to respond to the late Lord Kitchener's call in September 1914

 

Private 10530 John Darby M.M.

Leicestershire Regiment                                                                    

London Gazette 8419 of 16.8.1917                    

 
The Mayor of Loughborough ( Mr.W.w.Coltman, M.B.E.) publicly presented Private John Darby, of the Leicestershire Regiment, with the Military Medal gained by him. His Worship in making the presentation, at the Loughborough Hospital, said he had arranged with the hospital authorities to make these presentations from the hospital. Many of the presentations had to be hurriedly arranged, and by holding them at the hospital he was certain of an appreciative audience of wounded soldiers who were always ready to acknowledge bravery. This particular act was more of the cold-blooded type of courage, for it was not done in the heat of battle-he left it to his audience to determine which was the highest form of courage. 

During a heavy counter attack, and under very heavy shell fire, under-took the hazardous duty of carrying rations to the advanced trenches, and he managed to do this work, although passing through the barrage several times.  

Private J. Darby who was 21 years old, has seen considerable active service, for he joined the Leicester's when under 18 years of age in the first year of war. He was wounded in 1916, and gained the Military Medal a year later. Before the war he was an apprentice at Messrs Messenger and Co,'s horticultural engineering works. Darby was the only son of Mrs. Darby, of 39 Station Street, Loughborough.

 

 

Private 240294 Robert Downs M.M. & Bar.

 

1/5th Bn, Leicestershire Regiment.

                                                                              LondonGazette 9606 of 17/9/1917.

LondonGazette 6006 of 14/5/1919  Bar.  

 

          

R. Downs on the right

Private Robert Downs was awarded the Military Medal for bravery in the field. He carried despatches to and fro under heavy shell fire, and was badly wounded. He also won a Bar to his medal in 1918. Pte. Downs was an old member of Emmanuel Church lad's Brigade, he joined early the Territorials and went out to France 1915. His mother lived at Wellington Street Loughborough. 

Extract from the book 1/5 Leicestershire Regiment. 

Hill 65 July 1916.

The afternoon of the 30thJuly 1917, however, was far from quiet, and for several hours our new line was heavily shelled. In addition to the usual field batteries, there was one heavy gun which fired continuously on "A" Company's lines, obtaining a direct hit on Company Headquarters. Capt. Petch and 2nd Lieut. Campbell were both buried but not seriously hurt. Serjt. Ault,the acting Serjeant-Major, Wheeldon and Stevenson, the two runners, all three old soldiers of exceptional ability, were killed. Raven, another runner, was wounded, Downs had already been hit, and was again severely shaken, but both these stayed at duty, while they helped Lilley and Balderstone, who pluckily came along, to dig out those who were buried. In all twenty-eight were wounded, making our casualties for the battle three officers and ninety other ranks

PONTRUET. Sept 1918. 

In the centre there was more fighting, and while L/Cpls. Downs and Starbuck and Pte. Meakin led their parties through with tremendous dash, one Lewis Gun section under Dakin, a "No. 1" Lewis Gunner, found itself held up by a strong German post. The "No. 2" was killed, and Dakin himself was shot through both thighs almost at once, so that there was no one left to work the gun. However, Hyden, an untrained soldier, came forward and fired the gun, while Dakin, bleeding freely and with both thighs broken, lay beside him and corrected stoppages, until he succumbed to his injuries.  

CROSSING THE CANAL.    Oct 1918 

At 1-40 p.m. our barrage started and our advance began; our shelling was slightly ragged in one or two places, but for the most part it was very accurate-wonderfully so, as guns were firing at extreme range. On the right "A" Company working along, and on both sides of an old trench, reached their objective without difficulty except for the shelling which, aimed at the Tanks, was falling all round the Company. Captain Petch, after L/Cpl. Downs and others had removed some twenty-one Boches from a hole under the road, made his Headquarters there, went round his outposts, and sent patrols out to his right flank, where the Sherwood Foresters, delayed in Bellenglise, had not yet reached Lehaucourt.

 

Lance Corporal 12857 Walter Gould M.M.

 

7th Bn, Leicestershire Regiment.

Killed in Action 28th April 1918, Aged 27.             

London Gazette 9201 of 21.9.1916

 

 

Walter was the son of James & Fanny Gould of Loughborough, he lived with his Wife & Brother at 13 Wards End, Loughborough.Walter died in Hospital at Boulogne, from shell gas poisoning, He was employed at Messrs, Tuckers Ltd, prior to enlistment in 1914, and and was also an old Emmanuel boy.

Lance. Corp. Gould was awarded the Military Medal for bravery in the Somme battle of July 1916. 

 

Driver 72831 Ernest Grimbley  M.M.

 

Royal Field Artillery.

London Gazette 12407 of 18/3/1919.  

 

 

Driver Ernest Grimbley, RFA, who's home is in Falcon street, and who formally was employed at Messers Cartwright and Warner's, was awarded the military medal for saving ammunition under heavy shell fire. He had been on active service over 3 years, and was slightly wounded in 1915. He also had one brother serving in France.

 

 

Gunner 89061 Henry E. Grudgings  M.M.

 

Royal Field Artillery

London Gazette.  

 

 

Gunner Henry E. Grudgings, of Herrick Road Loughborough, has been awarded the Military Medal for gallantry in the forces in Italy. 

Private 18312 Walter Hammond M.M.

 

7th Bn, Leicestershire Regiment.

Killed in Action 14th July 1916, Aged 24.

London Gazette 9201 of 21.9.1916

 

 

Private W. Hammond Machine Gun Corps who has been awarded the Military Medal for gallantry, has been missing since July. Private Hammond lived at Shakespeare Street Loughborough. Private Hammond has been awarded the medal in recognition of his bravery in the field. He participated in the Big Push on July 14th. The news of the award of the Military Medal was conveyed in a letter from the Captain of his company who wrote in reply to enquiries sent as to Private Hammond's whereabouts, and yesterday the ribbon belonging to the medal was received. The letter sent by the Captain reads. We supplied the information to the base that your husband was wounded and I am awfully sorry to hear you have heard nothing of him.

He was wounded when we got well forward, by a bullet in the shoulder, and was dressed and sent back. He had to pass through a fair amount of shellfire on his way back, and may have been hit again, but I can get no news of this. He did wonderfully well with his gun, and has been awarded the Military Medal. Only four men in the battalion gained this glorious distinction, and he was one of them. All the men join in the wish that we shall still hear safe news of him, and we all send our many congratulations on him gaining this distinction. He was a splendid fellow. When I hear any news I will at once let you know. 

Private Hammond's wife and child reside at 9, Shakespeare Street, and his parents at number 3.

 

 

Private 1557 Thomas W. Hawksworth M.M.

 

Leicestershire Regiment.                                                      

London Gazette 10923 of 11/11/1916.  

 

          

 

Private Thomas. W. Hawksworth, Leicestershire Regiment, who has been awarded the Military Medal for gallantry in the field is a Loughborough man and lived with his parents at 38 Judges Street, Loughborough. He was 21 years old. Formerly he worked for Mr. Jacob Smith. He had been a member of the Holy Trinity Choir, and is another example of the good training of the Church Lads' Brigade, for he was connected with the Trinity Company of the brigade. Hawksworth took a keen interest in shooting and joined the Territorials before the war and played the cymbals in the band. In1913 he won a number of money and other prizes for shooting. His father was also an old Territorial, and one of the old members of the Volunteer Band, in which he was the big drummer. He had worked at Mr. Jacob Smiths before the war, but was called up with the Territorials and acted as a stretcher-bearer and saw service at the front. He was unable to stand the exposure, and was invalided home. And then went to work at the Empress Works.  

 

Corporal 216751 Harry Holmes M.M.

 

78th Bn, Canadian Infantry (Manitoba Regiment.)

Killed in Action 30th March 1918,  Aged 35.

Buried Villers Station Cemetery XII. B. 7. 

 

Harry was the son of Mr. H. Holmes of the Blacksmith Arms, Loughborough. He joined up in Canada, had been in France about a year and was in Loughborough on leave last Christmas 1917. At one time he was at the Loughborough Free Library, and left for a better position near Birmingham, leaving later for Canada. He had two brothers in the Canadian army in France, Fred who was wounded in 1915, and Sidney.  

 

Private 10910 Charles J. Hunt M.M.

 

Leicestershire Regiment.                                                      

London Gazette 346 of 6/1/1917.  

 

          

 

Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Hunt, of 8, Lower Cambridge Street, Loughborough, received intimation that their son, Private, Charles Hunt, of the Leicestershire Regiment, has been awarded the Military Medal. A card from the Major General of the division stated.

Private Hunt distinguished himself in the field on September 26th.27thand 28th1916, and from other information received it appears that the distinction was earned by carrying messages from the various companies under heavy shellfire. 

Private C, Hunt is 22 years of age, and worked before enlisting at Messrs Cartwright and Warner's hosiery manufactory. He is an old member of Emmanuel Bible Class.

 

Sergeant 31277 Bernard Jarram M.M.

 

7th Bn, South Lancashire Regiment.

Atd 19th Bn. Machine Gun Corps. (Inf)

Killed in Action 18th April 1918, Aged 28.

 

Bernard was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Jarram Lower Cambridge Street, and his wife lived at 139 Derby road, Loughborough. Prior to enlisting, he was employed as machine minder at Messrs. J. Corah and Son, printers. The first imitation of his death was received from a comrade in the same corps, who wrote saying he had been killed by a shell, and that he was buried in an English cemetery.

 

 

Lance Corporal 13289 Herbert J. Lee  M.M. & Bar.

 

9th Bn, Leicestershire Regiment.

London Gazette 6832 of 9/7/1917

London Gazette 13186 of 31/1/1918 

 

 

His Worship the Mayor ( Coun, W, W, Coltman ) made a public presentation on the steps of the Loughborough Hospital, on Christmas morning, of a Military Medal to a Loughborough soldier, Lance Corporal Herbert J, Lee, 9thLeicestershire Regiment.

The recipient, who formerly worked at Messrs, Coltman's Boiler Works, Meadow Lane, went through the South African campaign for which he possesses a medal and four clasps. The presentation was made before a large number of wounded soldiers, and the Mayor said he was proud to decorate a Loughborough man for bravery in the field. He was glad to think that L-Corporal Lee had so well maintained the fine tradition, which the old 17thFoot and the Leicestershire Regiments had held for so many years. He had not only been awarded the medal, but he was also entitled to a bar, and they heartily congratulated him on his splendid conduct and on being such a brave, straightforward, honest man, one who had done his very best for his King and Country. Cheers were given for L-Corporal, Lee by the wounded present, and he briefly replied, " Thank you comrades."

 

  

Sergeant 41289 Thomas F. Marston M.M. & 2 Bars MID

 

5th Bn, Leicestershire Regiment.  (MID)

London Gazette 1392 of 28/1/1918.  

 

 

London Gazette 6007 1st Bar, 2nd Bar 9340 of 23/7/1919.  

 

 

Lt.-Col, Toller presented to Sergeant T. F. Marston the Military Medal with two bars for acts of conspicuous gallantry.

 The Military Medal was awarded in the following circumstances.

The attack on the Menin-road was being held up, but this N.C.O. turned the gun on the remaining enemy who speedily surrendered on seeing our men again advancing. Thirty prisoners were taken and the position captured with slight loss, due to the action of this N.C.O. He encouraged his men by his cool demeanour and tireless energy an organisation of the line. After capturing the machine-gun he used it on the enemy and then pushed on, with a few men and captured 39 Germans.

The first bar was granted for conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in the attack on Pontruet on September 24th 1918.

When his company was held up by a nest of machine-guns he went forward with two men and succeeded in overcoming the enemy and destroying the machine gun. Afterwards when his company and platoon commanders were knocked out he rallied his men and engaged other enemy machine guns with covering fire and so enabled other companies successfully to enter the village.

The second bar was granted for conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty, especially during the attack on Fresnoy- le -Grand Railway Station on 9th October 1918.

This N.C.O. was platoon sergeant. He led a small party round the flank of the enemy's position in spite of machine gun fire from high ground on the east side of the railway line. Here by bombing the enemy's machine gun position he enabled it to be attacked from the front. During the attack on Riquerval Wood on 11th October 1918, he was in charge of a flank platoon working with the next position. He showed complete indifference to the enemy's machine gun fire, which was exceptionally heavy, and more than once, by his promptness in dealing with the enemy's indifference, enabled the advance to continue. He set the finest possible example throughout.

Thomas Marston lived at Shakespear Street, Loughborough and died of War Gases 10thJune 1922 and was buried at Loughborough Cemetery. (No stone on grave) 

 

Sergeant   Ernest Neal M.M

 

Silver Cross of St George 4th Class (Russia) 

Machine Gun Corps                                                                   

London Gazette 1610 of 1.2.1918  

 

 

Mr. And Mrs. A. Neal of 14 Station Street, Loughborough, have had the pleasure of hearing from their son, Sergeant Ernest Neal, of the Machine Gun Corps informing them that he has been awarded the Military Medal for his conduct in the field. He is 21 years of age and has been in the army four years. He has done well, and has been several times mentioned by officers. 

In September 1915, he was awarded by the Tsar of Russia the Cross of St, George, 4thclass. In May this year Sergeant, Neal received from his divisional commander a card stating he had been commended by his officers for consistent good work done in the trenches during January February March and April. 

His father is an old regular, and when he left the army joined the Police Force and served 26 years in the Leicestershire Constabulary before retiring on pension. He went through the Egyptian campaign when a regular, and has two decorations for the 1884 and 1885 campaign, with a bar for Suakin. He has two other sons. The eldest in a church army Captain and at present is working with the Army recreation huts in this country. The youngest son, Herbert, joined the army after the war broke out, and had his last Christmas dinner in the trenches. Since then he has been discharged for he was sixteen years old only last April and has gone back to civilian life till of age.

 

Private 2031 Michael F. O'Brien M.M.

 

1/5th Bn Leicestershire Regiment.                                         

London Gazette 10928 of 10/1/1916.  

 

          

 

In a letter to his wife, who lived at 33, Empress Road, Private Michael F. O'Brien of the 5thBattalion Leicestershire Regiment, enclosed a card from Major- General E. Stuart Wortley, Commanding the North Midland Division ( dated May 12th), congratulating him for his conspicuous bravery in the field. The communication reads: "Your Commanding Officer and Brigade Commander have informed me that you have distinguished yourself by conspicuous bravery in the field. I have read their report with much pleasure.

Private O'Brien, who was a member of the Old Loughborough Volunteers, enlisted with the 5thLeicester's in October 1914, and was drafted out to France with the first batch of the regiment to leave these shores. He has for some time been acting as a stretcher-bearer, and writing to his wife he refers to the incident mentioned above as follows: 

"I fetched four men in wounded, only three or four yards from the German lines, and saved three of their lives. They were all Married men." In those few words he sums up the account off his heroism, and as being characteristic of his reticence upon such matters it may be recorded that this was not the first brave deed which he has performed whilst on service at the Front, but the details of a previous one had to be first learned by his wife from a comrade of her husband. On that occasion, when volunteers were asked to fetch in the late Captain Hastings, Private O'Brien stepped forward and started on this dangerous mission and succeeded in bringing the body of the Captain to a place of safety.

 

Michael (centre standing) Also served as Private 419503 Royal Army Medical Corps.   

                      

Sergeant 643998 Leonard Onions  M.M.

 

Canadian Infantry.

London Gazette 

 

Sergeant Leonard Onions of the Canadians has been awarded the Military Medal for bravery in the field. He is the youngest son of Mr. and Mrs., F Onions, Regent Street, who have recently received the above information, and after serving for a short time in the offices of Messrs, Moss and Taylor, solicitors, he went out to Canada about five years ago. On the outbreak of war he joined up and just before Christmas he was home on leave from France. Mr., and Mrs., Onions have another son, Edward, who is a Sergeant Major in the M.T. A.S. C.

 

 

Sergeant 44466 Arthur W. Panter  M.M.

 

M. G. C.  West Lancashire Regiment

London Gazette   

 

 

Sergeant Arthur W, Panter, M, G, C. West Lancashire Regiment, whose home is at 17 Rendell Street Loughborough, has been awarded the Military Medal for gallant conduct on 31st July this year, on active service, and he has been decorated with the ribbon.  He joined the forces two years ago, prior to which he was working away from Loughborough.

 

 

Lance Corporal 115984 Henry George Partridge M.M.

 

Lord Strathcona's Horse

London Gazette.    

 

 

For Conspicuous Gallantry. 

The gratifying news has been received that Lance Corporal Henry George (Jack) Partridge, of Lord Strathcona's Horse, has been awarded the Military Medal for conspicuous gallantry. A Loughburian, he emigrated to Canada six years ago, when 20, and took up farming. He enlisted early in 1916 at Portage La Prairie, Manitoba, and came over to England to finish his training. His sister, lived at 18, Howard Street, Loughborough, received the gratifying news.

 

 

Corporal 241251 Francis P. Pymm  M.M.

 

1/5th Bn, Leicestershire Regiment.

London Gazette 11340 of 2/11/1917.  

 

 

Corporal Francis P. Pymm, Leicester Regiment, attached Trench Mortar Battery, has been awarded the Military Medal for conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty on the night of 28/29thAugust, 1917, when the Trench Mortar Battery made a demonstration while a Brigade twice raided the enemy trenches. The official account states; 

The enemy opened a very heavy artillery and trench mortar fire on his trench mortar. His mortar was twice put out of action, but in case he immediately re-laid it, and continued firing it under intense shelling. During the second raid this mortar again came under very heavy fire, but remained in action the whole time.

Corporal Pymm, whose home was at 55, Wood-gate, was employed at Messrs, Clark's Dyeworks, before the war.

 

Private Jack Ratcliffe M.M.

 

Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry

London Gazette.  

 

 

 

Mrs J, Ratcliffe, Swan Street, Loughborough, has learned that his elder son, Jack of the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry, has been awarded the Military Medal for bravery between 16th-18thAugust. Writing home, Private J. Ratcliffe says, "No doubt you will all be pleased to hear I have been awarded the Military Medal for services rendered on 16th- 18thAugust, when we were engaged and took all before us. When on church parade this morning, the C.O. read out a list of six men who had been awarded decorations, including my own." Mr. Ratcliffe has another son, George, who is serving in France with the Leicestershire Regiment.

 

Sergeant   17879 Herbert Robinson M.M.

Highland Light Infantry.                                                                                                                 

London Gazette            

 

Sergeant Herbert Robinson, of the Highland Light Infantry, has written home to his mother and wife to state that on May Day he was decorated by the Corps Commander with the Military Medal. He is 30 years of age, and married. His mother, Mrs., Robinson, of 19, Cambridge Street, Loughborough, has another son in the Army. Sergeant Robinson volunteered early in the war, and has been on active service for nearly two years. He fought in the battle of Ypres, and on the Somme last year, and has been twice wounded by shrapnel, and on another occasion gassed.

 

C.S.M 9364 Herbert J. Routledge D.C.M.  M.M.

 

Yorkshire Light Infantry.

London Gazette    12415 of 18. 10. 1918             

Herbert. J. Routledge lived at 43 Ratcliffe Road Loughborough at the time war was declared, he occasionally played center for the Wednesday F.C. He had seen service in India and was a time expired soldier who volunteered to serve again.

Citation reads D.C.M.

For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty during an advance. Under heavy fire he led his platoon straight on to the objective and although he was three times blown over by shell bursts and much shaken he continued to lead his platoon, and captured some machine gun posts. Next day he assisted materially in beating off a counter attack on his battalion's position. Throughout he set a splendid example to his men. 

 

 

Sapper 62320 Frank E. Simpkins  M.M.

 

Royal Engineer Signals

London Gazette 8327 of 12/7/1918.  

 

 

Sapper Frank E, Simpkins, of the Royal Engineer Signals, has been awarded the Military Medal for carrying out especially arduous work during his duties as a linesman in the early part of the last big battle. Sapper Simpkins was assistant with Messrs, Albert E, King and Co, architects, for some years and joined the R, E. in the early months of the war. He took up signaling and after training at home and in Ireland, his section was attached to the Guards Division in France, on account of the smartness of their work.

 

Sergeant 11701 William H. Sparks D.C.M. M.M. & Bar.

 

7th Bn, Leicestershire Regiment. 

London Gazette (D.C.M.) 10348 of 30/8/1918

London Gazette (M.M.) 348 of 6/1/1917 

London Gazette (M.M. Bar) 6825 of 9/7/1917 

                                          

A D.C.M. HERO. 

During the interval the Mayor and Mayoress entered the platform with Sergeant W.H.Sparks, of the 7thLeicestershire Regimen, to upon whose breast the Mayoress pinned a Distinguished Conduct Medal, and a bar to his Military Medal. Before this was done the Mayor read the extract from the Gazette for September last;

For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty as signaler Sergeant. His fine example to the men under him caused telephone communications to be maintained under very trying conditions for two days with brigade and battalion headquarters. He frequently carried messages under machine gun fire to the Battalion headquarters. 

This was received with rounds of applause by the audience, who also were at heart with the Mayoress when she said there were no better lads in the British Army than our Loughborough boys.  

With a soldier's brevity Sergeant Sparks acknowledged the honor done to him, saying that what ever he had done was the same as other lads were doing- his duty. The Mayor thanked the promoters and performers at the concert, saying it was on behalf of the prisoners of war, of whom there were 76 from Loughborough, and each man cost the country in parcels £45 10s. a year. 

Sergeant, William Henry Sparks, of the Leicestershire Regiment, has been awarded the Military Medal for his gallant conduct at the front, where he had been serving since early last year. Son of Mr. and Mrs. Sparks, of Swingbridge Road, Loughborough, he is not yet 21. Before the war he was working at the Empress Works, and was one of the early ones who readily responded to the call. He has been in the Signaling Section and received his promotion for this branch of work. Sergeant Sparks is on the Emmanuel Roll of Honor, and has been a member of the Church Lads Brigade and of the Emmanuel Bible Class. He was fond of sport and played for the old Emmanuel Football Club. Miss F.H. Cayless has received a letter from Sergeant Sparks in forming her of the honor. He was an old Emmanuel boy. 

Sparks writes he is in the best of health and "Just a little bit pleased with myself," He had the ribbon presented a week last Sunday by the Commander of the Army Corps. Sergeant Sparks has also been awarded a bar to his Military Medal, which he won on 26th-26thSeptember last. The bar was presented to him before the Brigade on May 25th, and the official notification of the particular action for which this award was given reads as follows:

 "On May 3rdSergeant Sparks, showed great dash, courage, and devotion to duty in going forward through a heavy barrage of fire whilst an attack was in progress, and when the attack got held up, got communication and maintained it for a considerable time." 

 

Lance Corporal STK/1138  Benjamin Townsend M.M.

 

Royal Fusiliers

London Gazette 6837 of 6.7.1917

 

The Military Medal won by Lance Corporal Benjamin Townsend, of the Royal Fusiliers, was publicly presented to him on Saturday evening in the Council Chamber in the Town Hall, by his Worship the Mayor (Conn W. W. Coltman ). Sergeant Townsend, whose home is 19 Storer Road, Loughborough, was a member of Saint Peters congregation, a communicant, member of the Sunday school, and formerly in the Church Lads' Brigade.

 The medal was given for acts of gallantry in the field near Arras, April 9thto 13thlast year, and the Sergeant also received the Divisional honor of the "Green Card," presented by the Divisional General for acts of Gallantry in action from April 23rdto 29th1917, near Gavrelle, in maintaining communications under heavy shell fire

Major C, H, Adams in asking the Mayor to present the Military Medal, said it was with pardonable pride that he regarded one of his old Brigade boys, for Sergeant Townsend was a member of the Saint Peters C, I. B, when he was the Captain of that Company. The Battalion was also making a presentation of a copy of Shakespeare's works and an Army Manual, which would be of use to the recipient in his duties.

The Mayor said not only could the C, I, B. be proud of one of their old members, but he himself felt, as an old boy of the Intermediate School under the late Mr., James Upton, that the Lance Corporal had honored his old school, for he was the first old boy, (he spoke under correction ) who had gained this distinction in the war. The town felt deeply grateful, and appreciated what Loughborough men were doing in keeping the name of the town so honored. It was one of the most pleasurable duties of his office to present decorations for bravery and distinction.

Lance Corporal Townsend, in reply, said he looked on what he had done as a matter of duty, and was there at the time to do it. He had been a signaler from the time he joined, and it was their duty to keep up communications especially during a heavy attack when the line sometimes became broken. This had happened, and in maintaining communications he had simply done his duty as a soldier.

The Rev, R, J, Sturdee stated that the church Council of Saint Peter's had voted unanimously an illuminated address should be presented to Sergeant Townsend, who had brought such honor on them, but unfortunately the address had not been completed in time to hand it over that day. The town had reason to be justifiably proud of citizens who won distinctions because we felt they brought honor on us in achieving honor for them selves. It was also fitting that his medal should be pinned on by one who had himself received honor from His Majesty, and he took that opportunity in congratulating his Worship on having been made a member of the Order of the British Empire.

 

 

Sergeant 10400 Alfred S. Warner  M.M.

 

6th Bn, Leicestershire Regiment.                                                                                 

London Gazette 12418 of 21/10/1918.  

 

 

Corporal Alfred S. Warner served with the 6th Battalion during World War One. Served at the Battle of the Somme. In 1918 he was awarded the Military Medal. He was the son of Mr. William Warner, Church Gate, Loughborough. He also received the French Croix de Guerre with the Silver Star, for good work on the Marne.

 

 
Alfred with his family outside their house in Church Gate, Loughborough.