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My Grandfather RSM Fred Seaman DCM


Ian Barton

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 How Company Sergeant Major Fred Seaman, Of The 2nd Battalion

Coldstream Guards Won The D.C.M. At Cuinchy

 

              Worthy, indeed, of their glorious traditions has been the conduct of the Coldstream Guards in the Great War, and terrible have been the losses suffered and many the distinctions gained by the officers and men of that famous corps.  But among of splendid deeds of gallantry and devotion, which we might mention here, that which won Company-Sergeant Major Fred Seaman, of the 2nd Battalion, the D.C.M. will bear comparison with any.

            Shortly after two o’clock on the morning of February 1st 1915, during the action at Cuinchy, the enemy rushed one of our trenches, and Sergeant major Seaman’s company received orders to retake it.  So heavy had been the losses of this company, that only of its officers was fit for duty; and the command of the party, which consisted of twenty men, was therefore, entrusted to the sergeant major, who was instructed to rush the trench from the towpath of the canal, acting in conjunction with a second party, which was to attack from the other side of the railway embankment.

            Under cover of the railway embankment, which runs parallel with the canal, Seaman led his party at the double along the towpath, until they arrived at a culvert beneath the railway, which they found that the enemy had barricaded in such a way that there was only sufficient room for one men to squeeze through at a time.  Around this opening, at a distance of about thirty yards, he drew up his men in a half circle, and had just done so, when he received a message from his commanding officer, inquiring if it were possible to get through the culvert.  The sergeant major sent back answer that it was only possible to get one man in at a time, and that he proposed to go him.  He then entered the place, and, dauntless as Horatius upon the bridge at Rome, remained there for an hour and a half, holding the enemy at bay and repulsing every attempt they made to get through and cut his party and the attacking party off.  For though the Germans tried again and again, they could come at him one at a time, and whenever the Guardsman’s deadly rifle spoke, the forest Hun Fell.  The gallant sergeant major did not escape unhurt, however, as he was wounded in the arm by a bomb thrown by one of the enemy, though, happily, the injury was not serious enough to prevent him from continuing to use his rifle.  Eventually, the trench was retaken by the other party of our men, amongst whom, it is interesting to note, was the famous Michael O’Leary, V.C., who distinguished himself not a little on this occasion.

             Company Sergeant Major Seaman, who received his decoration for conspicuous gallantry and ability is twenty-eight years of age, and his home is at Windsor

MVC-090S.JPG

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Nice to have as a GF

 

He was also mentioned in despatches

 

Pretty sure his medals are at RHQ in Wellington barracks

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Welcone to the forum. Thanks for sharing Ian, you must be proud! And great photo!

 

Chris

Edited by Dragoon
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12 hours ago, Coldstreamer said:

Nice to have as a GF

 

He was also mentioned in despatches

 

Pretty sure his medals are at RHQ in Wellington barracks

I would very much like to know if the medals are there, there was rumour in the family that his silver topped swagger stick may also be there?

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ill look next time.

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if I see will take pic. Medals are on a military base so you wouldn't get in unless you have right passes etc.

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16 hours ago, Coldstreamer said:

if I see will take pic. Medals are on a military base so you wouldn't get in unless you have right passes etc.

Many thanks, a picture would be nice.

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  • 5 years later...
On 25/04/2018 at 11:09, Coldstreamer said:

ill look next time.

Hello did you ever get to find my Grandfathers medals?

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I dont recall as not been there for years since the records moved - as likely Ive never been since the above post

I will ask my contact

leave it with me

Edited by Coldstreamer
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20 hours ago, Coldstreamer said:

I dont recall as not been there for years since the records moved - as likely Ive never been since the above post

I will ask my contact

leave it with me

Many thanks

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