Distinguished Conduct Medal (D.C.M.)

Instituted on 4thDecember 1854.

The D.C.M. was the first official medal award to recognise an act of gallantry in the field by a member of the armed forces who was below the rank of officer. It was the other ranks' equivalent of the Distinguished Service Order.

The D.C.M. was awarded for gallantry in the field in the face of the enemy. Other ranks in the British Army and also non-commissioned ranks in Commonwealth Forces were eligible for this award.

The reverse of the medal bears the inscription "For Distinguished Conduct in the Field". A bar carrying the date of a subsequent deed could be added to the ribbon until 1916 when the bar was changed to a laurel wreath. A recipient of the award is entitled to used the letters D.C.M. after their name. 

 



Sergeant 11944  Alfred Adams D.C.M.

 

C. Coy. 7th Bn, Leicestershire Regiment.                                                                  

London Gazette 3008 of   9.3.1920                          

 

For marked gallantry. and devotion, to duty.

As signaling Sergeant he has done excellent work in the line. At all times when the battalion has reached its objective, in a very short time he 'had communication with companies. He set a fine example to his section during heavy enemy bombardments. He has served with the battalion since July 1915.

Served in 7th Bn in World War One and received D.C.M. Discharged 7.3.1919. In World War Two he served as Lieutenant in the Home Guard. On photo taken in 1919 he is 2nd row, 7th left. 

 

This pocket razor was given to Sergeant Alfred Adams of the 7th Leicestershire Regiment just prior to going 'over the top' into action during the Battle of the Somme. 

It was given to him by a comrade who felt he would not survive, and did, in fact, die in battle. Sergeant Adams put the razor in his breast pocket and during the action he was struck by an enemy bullet. The full force of the bullet was taken by the razor and his life was saved.
 

 

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 16th 1917 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.

 

Lance Corporal 242362 Herbert William Hardy D.C.M.

 

1/4th Bn, Leicestershire Regiment. T.F.

London Gazette   3384 of 11. 3. 1919               

 

For fine courage and determination.

During the attack on 29th September 1918, near Bellinglise, he attacked and captured single-handed an enemy machine-gun and team who were resisting our advance, bayoneting the officer in command and taking 12 prisoners. He subsequently assisted his platoon commander to capture three machine-guns, and set a splendid example for courage and disregard of danger.

 

 

Private 5818 Albert Hodder D.C.M.

 

1st Bn, Leicestershire Regiment.

London Gazette 11127 of 3/9/19                   

Prior to the war Albert was living with relations at 74 Freehold Street Loughborough, Leicestershire. He served in Boer War with the 1st Battalion Leicestershire Regiment. He later served in France from September 1914 with 1st Battalion. His service included the 2nd Battle of Ypres and at Hooge and the Somme in 1916. 

Citation reads

He came to France in September 1914, and he served continuously with the battalion. He has served throughout in the front line and performed excellent work at 2nd Battle of Ypres and at Hooge, later on the Somme, 1916, and since then he has been employed as company runner: he has always carried through all messages entrusted to him, and shown the greatest devotion to duty. By his courage and devotion to he has set a splendid example to the younger soldiers.

his D.C.M. Queen's South Africa medal with two clasps, three World War One campaign medals are held at The Royal Leicestershire Regiment museum.

 

Sergeant 14994 George W. Lings D.C.M. M.M.

 

Leicestershire Regiment.

London Gazette 9202 of 21/9/16                    

George W. Lings, joined the army in September, 1914, at the age of 17, when his father was local manager for Messrs Burrows and Sturgess, He served with the 110th Brigade (6th, 7th, 8th, 9th Battalions) during World War One. George was awarded the D.C.M, M.M and promoted Regimental Sergeant Major of his Battalion. After taking part in the Somme battles in 1916, he was wounded and spent five months in England. On returning to France he was taken prisoner at the same time as lieutenant FB Pitts, but escaped after five days detention. For a time he lived on water and a packet of spearmint, but eventually found his company again. He was Discharged 4.3.1919.Previous to joining the army he was employed at the brush works. 

For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. (D.C.M)

During critical periods of rearguard fighting he frequently exposed himself under very heavy shell and machine-gun fire, encouraging the men in their resistance. He showed supreme contempt of danger and untiring energy.

 

Sergeant 2571 Walter F. Lockwood D.C.M.

 

1st City of London Yeomanry.

London Gazette 5413 of 30. 5. 1916                                                 

Prior to the war Walter was an inspector of rolling stock in Belgium a position he held for four years. He joined the colours while on a visit to his home in September 1914, Sergeant Lockwood is a native of Loughborough, where he spent his boyhood, having been educated at the Higher Elementary School, and he was apprenticed at the Brush Works. His parents resided at the Great Central Hotel and his father was a steward at the Loughborough Constitutional Club.

In a letter to his parents, Walter tells how he won the distinction. Sergeant Lockwood is a Loughburian, and spent the earlier part of his life in this town. He writes: " We were reconnoiting in the desert when a sinister looking group of hills were sighted. As we approached the hills suddenly bristled with arms, and a heavy fire was directed on our small party of 16 men, and horses. In the resulting confusion several of our men lost their horses, and all we could do was to help these fellows on under heavy fire. For this I received my distinction, which is all the greater since we all ought to have been shot to pieces".

For conspicuous gallantry in rescuing under rifle fire at short range a Private who had become dismounted. Sergeant Lockwood put him on his own horse and galloped away with him.

 

 

R.S.M. 24003 Harry George Lovett M.C. D.C.M.

 

1/5th Bn, Leicestershire Regiment, T.F. 

London Gazette (M.C.) 12312 of 3/10/1919                           London Gazette (D.C.M) 3243 of 7/3/1919                                            

Harry Joined Loughborough 'C' Company Volunteers aged 18. Served with the 5th Bn in World War One. Was seriously wounded in 1915 at the Hoheuzollern Redoubt. Recieved the M.C. and D.C.M. Had previously served in South Africa with the Volunteer Company during the Boer War.

(M.C.)

For conspicuous gallantry and good work during the operations on 11th October 1918, at the Bois de Riquerval. He rendered very valuable service to his commanding officer throughout some fourteen hours continuous fighting. On more than one occasion he reorganised men of different units and held on to a position gained under heavy fire. Throughout the operation he rendered good service.

(D.C.M.)

For the past year he has been R.S.M., He has throughout shown great keenness, courage and initiative, particularly in organising the supply of ammunition in difficult circumstances and under fire. His service in this respect was worthy of special praise during the recent advance at Richebourg. Prior to his appointment as R.S.M. he served for six months as C.S.M., being seriously wounded in 1915 at the Hohenzollern Redoubt, an action in which he took command of his company with great gallantry when all the officers became casualties.

 

Corporal 2176 George Mitchell D.C.M.

 

Leicestershire Yeomanry, T.F.                                 

London Gazette   15/3/16                  

The first Loughborough Yeoman to obtain the coveted honour, the Distinguished Conduct Medal, is Corporal George Mitchell, of the Leicestershire Yeomanry. The new D.C.M. attained his 26th birthday. He had been home on four days leave but said nothing of what might be coming to him except that his name had been taken for a distinguished act done with a Yeomanry officer, and his mother, who lived at 8 Union Street, Loughborough, received from him a letter stating he had just received notice that he had been awarded the D.C.M. with the officer previously alluded to. No further particulars have been received, and his mother and relatives are eagerly awaiting further news. Corporal Mitchell was in the Yeomanry before the war, and rejoined when the Yeomanry was mobilized. He was invalided home having contracted rheumatism in the trenches, but was able to rejoin his regiment at the front, leaving for France on Whit Sunday. When in a civil life the D.C.M. was employed at Messrs Messenger and Co,'s horticultural engineering works. He was an old member of St. Peter's Church Lads' Brigade and was also connected with the Emmanuel Brigade.

D.C.M. PUBLICLY DECORATED.

On Monday afternoon, in the presence of a large gathering which included a number of wounded soldiers, the Mayor (Coun. W.W.Coltman ) Publicly decorated Sergeant George Mitchell, Leicestershire Yeomanry, on the steps of the Town Hall, with the Distinguished Conduct Medal, which he had won. His wife and mother accompanied Sergeant Mitchell who was married last Thursday while on leave, while the Mayoress was also present. According to the official news, Sergeant Mitchell won his D.C.M. in January of last year at Vemelle, for gallantry in repelling a heavy bombing attack, and for reconnoitering a crater close to the enemy's trenches and bringing back correct information. The Mayor, who wore his chain of office, said that acting on instructions sent down from the War Office that all medals and decorations must now be given in public, he had arranged for that presentation. Of course, as they knew, all soldiers on occasions like that were of a very retiring disposition, but he felt all would agree that it was only on occasions like that, for our soldiers were never so when facing the foe. They of Loughborough were very proud of Sergeant Mitchell's achievement, and although he (the Mayor) had had two Military Medals sent down to him for decoration, that was the first time that he had to present a Distinguished Conduct Medal to anyone. They were perfectly sure that before earning that decoration, Sergeant Mitchell had done his very best, and he had not only proved himself by becoming a recipient of that decoration, a most courageous soldier, which he had shown by his bravery in the field in the face of the enemy, but he had during his present leave shown it by getting married the previous week. (Laughter.) His Worship wished Sergeant, and Mrs. Mitchell much happiness in the future, and congratulated them, after which he pinned the Medal on the recipient's breast. Sergeant Mitchell thanked the Mayor for presenting the medal, and the company for the manner they had received him.

Citation reads

For conspicuous gallantry in holding a sap against a heavy bomb attack. On another occasion he reconnoitering a crater close to the enemy's trenches and brought back accurate information.

 

  

Second Lieutenant Alfred John Parr D.C.M.

 

59th Bn. Australian Light Infantry. A.I.F.                                                                       

Died of Wounds 1st October 1918,  Aged 24.            

London Gazette 30879 of 3/9/18  

 

 

Alfred was the son of Mrs. Newbon (formerly Parr) 72 Pinfold Gate, Loughborough was awarded the D.C.M. 7/6/18 for conspicuous services in the field. He emigrated to Australia about a year before the war, after working at the Empress Works, and joined the Expeditionary Force early after the outbreak of war, having seen service in Gallipoli (wounded right nee 14/7/1915) Egypt and elsewhere before going to France. 

For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. 

During our attack the services rendered by this NCO were most valuable; he kept his platoon well in hand, and afforded every information to his Company officer as to the needs of the situation. He led an attack on and captured an enemy machine gun that was causing casualties, and near the final objective, with a bombing party, he captured another machine gun and two officers and fifty men. He showed great courage throughout and set a fine example to his men. 

2/Lieut. A. J. Parr 59th Battalion was reported wounded in action on the 29. 9. 18 and was carried out of the line by stretcher-bearers of this Battalion. He was conveyed to a R.A.P. of the 14th brigade and died a few minutes after arrival there. He was later buried at Prospect Hill Cemetery ½ mile E. of Gouy, 10 miles N. of S.T Quentin. 

Alfred's D.C.M is on display at the Carillon War Memorial.

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 centre 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. 

 

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 7th Leicestershire 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 honour 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." 

 

   

Private 8569 John Taylor D.C.M.

 

2nd Bn, Leicestershire Regiment.

London Gazette   1905 of 18. 2. 1915               

His home was at 26 Albert Promenade Loughborough. He won his D.C.M. on the 24thNovember 1914.

 Just after the regiment had finished the first spell in the trenches, two platoons, of about 50 men and half a dozen officers, marched back to the firing line, he being among them, not knowing what was required. They then commenced an attack on a German trench, upon which several unsuccessful attempts had been made, and eventually were successful, although suffering heavy casualties. The officers who were in front were the first to be shot and Taylor who was just behind his Captain when he fell, was the first man to get into the trench which was held until the arrival of reinforcements. Five of the men who returned received the D.C.M.

Private Taylor was with his regiment in India when war broke out and was ordered straight to the front. Their first spell in the trenches was near La Bassee, in October.

 

Sergeant 16469 George Tomlinson D.C.M.

 

1st Bn, Leicestershire Regiment.

Died of Wounds 27th March 1917, Aged 21. 

London Gazette 11561 of 25/11/16                    

Sergt George Tomlinson died of his wounds in the Red Cross hospital at Calais. He had been seriously wounded in the shoulder. The wound became poisoned and death endured after a couple of days in hospital. His mother Mrs Tomlinson of 53 Burder street Loughborough received from the hospital the following letter: I am very sorry to have to tell you that your son died suddenly from his wounds on Tuesday evening, he was very badly wounded in the shoulder and the poisoning from the wound got to his heart. He has been buried in the cemetery just outside Calais besides many other brave men who have so nobly given their lives for king and country. Sergt Tomlinson won the Distinguished Conduct Medal 1916 for splendid courage and example he showed while fighting four trench mortars against the enemy.  He was a year in training in this country and went abroad with his battalion in January 1916 and had served nearly 15 months of active service.

For conspicuous gallantry in action.

He commanded and fought four trench mortars with great courage and determination. He stood on the parapet to observe the fire of his guns. He set a splendid example throughout the operation.

 

Private 72755 Herbert Utting D.C.M.

 

Tank Corps. (formerly Notts & Derby Regt.)                                                                           

London Gazette   1335 of 26. 10. 1918               

Private Herbert Utting Meadow Lane Loughborough, was in the Notts, and Derby Regiment before the war, and has now seen seven years service. He is a son of Mr., J. Utting Southfields Road, a well-known retired postman. 

The official details of the deed for which the D.C.M. medal was awarded read as follows.

 For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty.

When his tank had been knocked out by a direct hit, which killed the officer and wounded most of the crew, he volunteered to remain and act as orderly to the section commander when the crew was sent back. Half an hour afterwards, when guiding a tank, on foot over very difficult ground he was hit in the leg, but continued to take messages for two hours under heavy shell and machine gun fire. The assistance he gave to his section commander was invaluable, and his coolness and disregard for personal danger were most marked. 

 

  

Lance Corporal 9022 Charles Herbert Winfield D.C.M.

 

1/4th Bn, Leicestershire Regiment. T.F.

London Gazette   3389 of 11. 3. 1919               

 

Citation reads

On the morning of the 29th September 1918, near Bellenglise, he rushed a machine-gun post single handed, capturing the team and brining them back as prisoners. This machine-gun post had been enfilading the line and holding up the attack and his action enabled the attack to be pushed forward. He showed fine courage and determination and did splendid work.