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Awards

Sergeant George Dewsbury, Cambridgeshire Regiment

Distinguished Conduct Medal. 'He kept his Lewis gun in action for forty-eight hours under continuous and heavy shell fire, inflicting heavy losses on the enemy. His coolness and courage were largely responsible for maintaining the position intact.'

The award of DCM was published in the London Gazette on 20th November 1917, and Little Thetford was given as his town. He wrote from the Kitchener's Hospital, Brighton, where he was suffering from a bad attack of gas saying the event happened on 26th September 1917. On the 29th July 1918 he was wounded again. He was struck by a explosion of and enemy shell, receiving severe wounds in the face and left hand, smashing a bone and causing him to lose the use of his little finger. He also received a wound in the right side, a piece of shell penetrating his lung. The patient wrote in a cheerful strain from a London hospital, congratulating himself upon not losing his eyesight, saying that his face resembled a pepper pot. This was the fourth time he had be wounded or gassed.

Sergeant Frederick Wright, 59786, Royal Field Artillery

Distinguished Conduct Medal. ' For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. When the battery was shelled and an officer was buried he at once extracted him and carried him to a dug-out under heavy shell-fire, and then carried an injured man to safety. He moved about throughout the bombardment, seeing to the safety of his men, several times removing his gas helmet to give orders. He showed extreme coolness and courage.'

The ward of the DCM was published in the London Gazette on 6th February 1918 and Little Thetford was given as his town. The action took place on the night of 16th September 1917. He was also awarded the Military Medal for good work on the Somme. He came from India with his battery in the early part of the war with the Indian Expeditionary Force.

Corporal Harry Norman, of the Gordon Highlanders from Grunty Fen, Little Thetford was awarded the Military Medal.

Commissions

F. Victor Yarrow, farmer and publican, the eldest son of Mr and Mrs Fredrick Owen Yarrow, The Three Horseshoes, Little Thetford, gained a Commission in December 1917. He became a Second-Lieutenant in the Rife Brigade. At the age of 18, he enlisted in September 1915. He went to France in April 1916, and gained experience at Ypres and other places on the Western Front. He was promoted to corporal and eventually recommended for a commission.

Notes

Several Little Thetford men were in Scottish Regiments. Local people told me that many men were good with horses. Several went to the Norfolk coast to train horses from Argentina and Chile, and then joined the Scottish Regiments with their horses. e.g. Private Ernest Taylor.

George James Brown ran away from home when only 13 to help train horses for gun carriage. He was to young to join the Armed Forces.

Gwen Taylor of Merryville, Little Thetford, told a story often recounted by her father, Private Ernest Taylor, where he met Sergeant James Gent sitting in ditch, shortly before he was killed, but Sergeant Gent did not recognise him because Private Taylor was wearing a kilt and a goat skin and had not shaved for a long time.

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Page 4 Awards, Commissions and Notes
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