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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Highly decorated soldiers (all ranks)


barrieduncan

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I've seen quite a few discussions on the forum regarding the most highly decorated British and Commonwealth servicemen of the Great War - invariably these tend to revolve around those who were awarded the Victoria Cross. I'd be interested to learn more about men (of all ranks), who were very highly decorated but who didn't win the VC. How many DSOs or DCMs did some of these soldiers receive etc?

The reason I ask is because I have been researching a soldier who was awarded the DCM and bar, and the MM and Bar. One of his contemporaries stated that he was the most decorated man in the Regiment. I take him to mean in terms of the number of awards he received, as in this particular regiment four Victoria Crosses were awarded.

Can anyone offer up some men who received multiple gallantry awards (excluding VCs of course).

Thanks for all input

Barrie

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Hi Barrie,

I came across this chap just last night in Ray Westlake's, Kitchener's Army.

CSM Jack Williams, 10th Bn, South Wales Borderers. CSM Williams was one of the most decorated men of the war. He had already won the DCM and the MM and Bar, when on the night of 7-8 October 1918, during an attack on Villers Outreaux, he also gained the VC.

Regards. Llew.

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I certanly can Barrie, this man from Newtongrange, James Collins Seaforth Highanders has the same combination, which appears to be pretty rare, he was the subject of a thread a while back. Can I ask who your man is please?

Cheers - John

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How about the MC and three bars which was award on four occasions to

Capt P Bentley York LI

Lt H. A. GILKES 21st London

Capt C. Timms RAMC

2nd Lt F. Wallington RFA

The is also only one set of MM DCM MC and DSO awarded to Edmund Wedgebury of the Worcs

Kevin

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Thanks all for the fast replies, interesting stuff.

John, the chap I came across was a Company Serjeant Major J. M. HAY, 5th Bn Scottish Rifles. During the action for which he was awarded the bar to his DCM he was seriously wounded by a grenade. His friends thought that he had 'bought it' for sure. A year later he had re-enlisted in one of the regular battalions and gave another 16 years of service.

For officers, I know that Brigadier General W. D. Croft was awarded the DSO and 3 bars, in addition to something like 10 mentions in despatches. I believe that only a few people have been awarded the DSO 4 times.

Kevin, the DSO MC DCM MM group is pretty spectacular. There was an officer in the 5th Scottish Rifles who managed the MC DCM and MM, but was killed before he had the chance to add the DSO to his 'collection'. If my memory serves me his name was Captain G McCall, and I think there might be a small sketch of him in the War Museum at Edinburgh Castle.

Anyone heard of anyone being awarded two or more bars to the DCM?

Thanks for the response so far,

Barrie

PS - John , just realised you had put a link in your reply, thanks for that :)

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Only a sailor, but Petty Officer James G Cowie, Nelson and Hood Battalions of the RND, was awarded the DCM and two Bars, Military Medal and one Bar.

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In addition to PO Cowie there were 9 other DCMs and 2nd bar

CSM A.J. Bonser London Reg

CSM J.P. Dobson Y&L MM & bar

Sgt J.J. Hickman Middx

Sgt C. Leadbeater Lincs

Sgt W. Logan BW

Sgt G. Mitchell BW

CSM S. Phillips Worcs (1st with the Glos)

CSM T.E. Woodward RSF

Sgt G.H. Soles CIF

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Company Sergeant-Major W. Biddle, 1st Bn Gloucesters

MM 3 June 1915

MID 18 June 1915

D.C.M. 14 Dec 1916

bar to DCM 16th May 1918

M.C. 26 June 1918

bar to MM 22 Nov. 1919

Killed in a German air raid at Clacton-on-Sea 22 Sept 1941.

post-1286-1213771256.jpg

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There was a 2nd Lt Edgar Kermode who served with 1/5 West Yorkshire Regiment. His British decorations were DSO, MC*, DCM. I am not sure if he received any MiD or allied decorations, but he always sticks in my mind as a soldier I really should be taking a deeper look at.

Bernard Freyburg was awarded 4 DSOs in addition to his VC, although not all of them came in the Great War. I think, perhaps 1 bar was as a result of service in North Africa in WWII.

Cheers,

Nigel

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Commander Archibald Walter Buckle DSO RNVR. Petty Officer RNVR at the outbreak of war, commissioned Sub Lt 12/1914. Commanded Anson Battalion RND . Awarded DSO on four occasions, mentioned in despatches five times, recommended for the VC.

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In addition to PO Cowie there were 9 other DCMs and 2nd bar

CSM A.J. Bonser London Reg

CSM J.P. Dobson Y&L MM & bar

Sgt J.J. Hickman Middx

Sgt C. Leadbeater Lincs

Sgt W. Logan BW

Sgt G. Mitchell BW

CSM S. Phillips Worcs (1st with the Glos)

CSM T.E. Woodward RSF

Sgt G.H. Soles CIF

Sgt J.J. Hickman also M.M and bar

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Thank you to all for contributing to the post. Some fantastic stories coming through here.

I notice that CSM W. Biddle of the 1st Gloucesters was awarded a bar to his MM after having being awarded the MC. I can't imagine that would have happened all that often.

This thread has been really interesting; it's easy enough to find information on men who were awarded the VC, but it's amazing how many men there were who had received multiple gallantry awards of different kinds.

Thanks

Barrie

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Nigel

To clear up one of your question's regards 2Lt Edgar Kermode, he he did recieve an MID, what date? not sure.

Regards Kevin

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Some quadruple DSOs for you

T/Lt-Col Edward Allan WOOD

T/Comm Archibald BUCKLE Anson Bn RNVR

T/Lt-Col William DAWSON 6th RWKents, he died of wounds on 3/12/18 and is buried at Etaples

A/Lt-Col Robert KNOX RIFus

T/Lt-Col William CROFT comanding 27th Inf Brig

T/Lt-Col Arnold Nugent Strode JACKSON NLancs and KRRC he later changed his name to STRODE-JACKSON. He also won the gold medal in the 1,500 metres in the 1912 Stockholm Olympics

In addition to the VC Lt-Col Bernard Freyberg was also a quadruple DSO, the first in 1915 and the fourth in 1945.

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Arnold Nugent Strode Jackson, North Lancs Regiment won his DSO's with the 13th Rifle Brigade x2, and with the 13th KRRC x2

L.G. 4/6/17 with 13th RB

L.G. 13/7/17 with 13th RB

L.G. 13/5/18 with 13th KRRC

L.G. 2/12/18 with 13th KRRC

Mentioned in Despatches

L.G. 15/6/16, 23/7/17, 21/12/17, 24/5/18, 28/12/18 and 12/1/20

Wounded three times

Won the Gold Medal in Stockholm in a world record time.

He was also a member of the British Delegation to the Paris Peace Conference for which he received the C.B.E.

Andy

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  • 3 years later...

There was a 2nd Lt Edgar Kermode who served with 1/5 West Yorkshire Regiment. His British decorations were DSO, MC*, DCM. I am not sure if he received any MiD or allied decorations, but he always sticks in my mind as a soldier I really should be taking a deeper look at.

Bernard Freyburg was awarded 4 DSOs in addition to his VC, although not all of them came in the Great War. I think, perhaps 1 bar was as a result of service in North Africa in WWII.

Cheers,

Nigel

Hi there! My grandfather Thomas Kermode was awarded a DCM in the Boer War, first man in in an attack on Grootvlei Farm (General Smuts laager). His younger brother James Kermode was awarded a DCM, a MM and at least two MID's while serving in Palestine in the Camel Corps. James was in a Lewis gun team and twice assisted the withdrawal of several companies of Australians during heavy fighting against the Turks. The Edgar Kermode is very possibly a relative with a surname such as that, but not proven. Someone researching the Kermodes of of the Isle of Man (my lineage) recorded his impressions of the family as "they all had a screw loose" and I am proud to admit to that description!! I am working on compiling a book on Thomas and may (or should) include James as well. I have 3 letters from James written to Thomas, his brother, from the front, including one written just after James has come out of army prison for dunking his sergeant in a horse trough. This sojourn in the clink was the making of James, I think he must have subsequently vented his spleen at the enemy. He ends one letter to Thomas with the words "keep off the skyline", which he must have practised quite successfully!.Another letter is from Gallipoli and has diagrams of the trenches he was in/near. I have 80 letters thatThomas wrote back to South Australia to his wife during 1916/17.

Ed Kermode

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T/Lt-Col William Dawson, 6th RWKents, who is buried in Etaples. A friend of mine owns his death plaque, he picked it up for next to nothing at a boot fayre and only afterwards discovered what a find he had! Some people have all the luck!

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T/Lt-Col William Dawson, 6th RWKents, who is buried in Etaples. A friend of mine owns his death plaque, he picked it up for next to nothing at a boot fayre and only afterwards discovered what a find he had! Some people have all the luck!

Hi Wilhelm,

Looking quickly on the CWGC site, I counted 11 William Dawsons on the first two pages of W.Dawsons!! So it is highly unlikely that this M/Plaque is to Lt Col Dawson---Sorry!! But of course it could be :whistle:

Robert

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Lt John William Russell MC DCM MM, and a mention. Began his war service as a pioneer in the RE, was a serjeant in 24th Divisional Signal Company by the time they went to France in August 1915. Mentioned for Loos, DCM in 1916, MM in 1917, followed by commission in the field, remaining with same signal company. MC for actions in German spring offensive 1918

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Lt/Col Freddy Plunkett. Treble DSO, MC, DCM.

RSM of 2/Royal Irish in 1914. Almost a brigade commander and recommneded for a VC. Men of the moment certainly stepped forward!

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