MM GV (Officially impressed: “20141 Sjt E. Annett. 1/4 S. Lanc: R. T.F.”
[ QSA (5) Tugela Heights, Relief of Ladysmith, Laing’s Nek, Orange Free State and Transvaal ]
[ KSA (2) ]
[ Trio ]
Military Medal announced in The London Gazette, 18th October 1917.
With service papers, for Earlier service and detailing WW1 services.
Home, 4th November 1914 – 4th August 1915
France, 5th August 1915 – 20th September 1918, 3 years 47 days
Home, 21st Sept 1918 – 20th Feb 1919.
Edward Annett, was born in Portsea, Portsmouth, Hampshire circa 1883.
When he was just 14, he attested for service, having been a Musician in the South Lancashire Regiment on 22nd January 1897 at Portsmouth.
He specifically requested to join the South Lancashire Regiment and was accepted.
Joined the regiment as a “Boy” on 22nd January 1917, and was appointed as a Drummer on 23rd January 1897.
Being posted to South Africa to fight in the Boer War as a Drummer, aged only 16.
He saw the following services:
Home, 22nd January 1897 – 29th November 1899
South Africa, 30th November 1899 – 21st January 1903.
India, 22nd January 1903 – 22nd November 1906
Home, 23rd November 1906 to 16th May 1913.
Having been in the reserve for a short break before WW1, he was embodied with the 4th South Lancs Regt on 4th November 1914.
Being Promoted to Corporal on 28th November 1914.
Promoted again to Lance Sergeant on 12th February 1915
Promoted to Acting Sergeant on 17th July 1915. Same Day confirmed in the rank of Sergeant.
After the war he returned home to Warrington.
He had a wife Lillian Catherine Annett from Liverpool (born 1883), and some children.
In 1921 he was working for the Corporation of Warrington on a week on week off basis.
MM GV (3-6076 Pte. F. Thomas. 1/D.C.L.I.);
QSA (3) Cape Colony, Orange Free State, Transvaal (6068 Pte. F. Thomas, 2: D. of C. Lt. Infy.) initial officially corrected;
KSA (2) top clasp facing slightly bent (6068 Pte. T. [sic] Thomas. D. of C.L.I.);
1914-15 Star (3-6076 Pte. F. Thomas. D. of Corn: L.I.);
British War and Victory Medals (3-6076 Pte. F. Thomas. D. of Corn. L.I.)
MM London Gazette 26 March 1917.
Fred Thomas was born at Bodmin, Cornwall, in 1877 and attested for the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry at Truro on 29 November 1899. He served with the 2nd Battalion in South Africa during the Boer War from 16 August 1900 to 25 August 1902, and transferred to the Army Reserve on 28 November 1907. He was discharged on 28 November 1911, after 12 years’ service.
Following the outbreak of the Great War, Thomas was recalled from the Special Reserve and served with the 1st Battalion, Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry on the Western Front from 27 December 1914. For the next two years the Battalion was present during some of the heaviest fighting, notably at Ypres in April 1915, and at High Wood on the Somme in July 1916, suffering over 500 casualties at Meaulte on 1 August 1916. He was awarded the Military Medal for his gallantry during an enemy trench raid carried out by “A” Company on the night of 6-7 February 1917, the Company report stating:
‘The raiding parties consisted of 4 officers and 109 other ranks, with the Lewis Gun teams employed for flank protection. Each main party was sub-divided into small groups usually consisting of not more than 8 other ranks. Each small group was allotted a special objective and had been carefully trained to find their way to it.... On the night of the assault the moonlight was brilliant as the parties left the trenches at Zero hour minus one minute. The right part was immediately observed by the enemy who opened heavy rifle fire and a barrage of trench mortar bombs on the north of Mill Crater, and several men were hit. Our barrage opened exactly at Zero hour and effectually crushed the enemy opposition, although during the whole time the raiding parties were in the trench the enemy kept up a barrage of L.T.M. which burst principally on the north of Mill Crater... No machine gun fire was encountered on the right, and very little on the left. The wire on the right was thin and presented no serious obstacle, but on the left three belts of wire were encountered. All parties were in the enemy trench by Zero hour plus three minutes... Six dug-out we bombed and destroyed with mobile charges which proved remarkably effective... two of the dug-outs were known to be occupied by the occupants would not come out.’
Proceeding with the Battalion to Arras in April 1917, Thomas was killed in action in the Fresnoy area on 8 May 1917; he has no known grave and is commemorated on the Arras Memorial, France.
MM GV (3-8572 Pte. F. Dunton. 2/Bedf: R.);
QSA (4) Cape Colony, Orange Free State, Johannesburg, Diamond Hill (5831 Pte. F. Dunton. Derby: Regt.);
KSA (2) South Africa 1901, South Africa 1902 (5831 Pte. F. Dunton. Notts: & Derby: Regt.);
1914-15 Star (3-8572 Sjt. F. Dunton. Bedf: R.);
BWM and VM (3-8572 Sjt. F. Dunton. Bedf. R.);
Imperial Service Medal GVI 1st issue (Frederick Dunton)
MM LG 21 January 1919.
Frederick Dunton was born in the parish of Shefford, Bedfordshire, in 1878, and initially attested for the Grenadier Guards at Long Eaton on 9 February 1898. Transferred to the 1st Battalion of the Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment six days later, Dunton was first sent to Malta for a year and thence to South Africa from 21 November 1899 to 7 September 1902. Attached to 21st Brigade, his Battalion soon developed a reputation for good work, notably during the many actions from 3 to 24 May 1900, and later at Doornkop on 29 May 1900, and Diamond Hill on 11/12 June 1900. However, his Army Service Record notes two weeks' incarceration not long thereafter, in consequence of 'setting the veldt on fire'.
Discharged in February 1910 upon termination of his first period of engagement, Dunton returned home to Shefford and took employment as a postman.
The outbreak of the Great War saw him return to service with the Colours, being posted to France on 12 August 1915 as Sergeant in the 7th Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment. The following year this Battalion was heavily engaged during the Battle of the Somme, specifically the storming of the Pommiers Redoubt on 1 July 1916, the Battle of Bazentin, where the Division captured Trones Wood on 14 July 1916, and the Battle of Thiepval in September 1916. The latter engagement included the storming of Thiepval Village and the front face of the Schwaben Redoubt on 28/29 September 1916. Dunton was later commended by Major General R. P. Lee, Commanding 18th Division, for gallant conduct and devotion to duty in the Field on 5/6 August 1918, south of the Bray-Corbie Road. Decorated with the MIlitary Medal, he returned to employment with the post office and was awarded the Imperial Service Medal on 3 March 1939 as a postman based at the Harpenden Sub-Office, St. Albans.
MM GV (30493 Cpl. R. Taylor. ‘Q’ By: R.H.A.);
QSA (2) Cape Colony, Orange Free State (30493 Tptr: R. Taylor, 88th. Bty., R.F.A.);
KSA (2) (30493 Tptr: R. Taylor. R.F.A.);
1914 Star, with clasp (30493 Bmbr: R. Taylor. R.H.A.);
British War and Victory Medals (30493 Cpl. R. Taylor. R.A.);
Delhi Durbar 1903, silver, unnamed as issued, lacking integral riband buckle;
Army LS&GC GV (30493 Cpl. R. Taylor. R.H.A.);
France, Third Republic, Croix de Guerre, bronze, reverse dated 1914-1917, with bronze palm emblem on riband
MM London Gazette 27 October 1916.
Ralph Taylor was born in Chatham, Kent, in 1884. A 14 year-old drummer boy - just 4ft 10 inches in stature - he attested for the Royal Artillery in London on 4 October 1898, and served with 88th Battery, Royal Field Artillery during the Boer War. Transferred to “T” Battery, he remained in South Africa until 22 January 1904. Sent to India, Taylor was advanced Gunner on 16 March 1903, Acting Bombardier 15 July 1904, and Bombardier 14 May 1906. Later transferred to “Q” Battery, Royal Horse Artillery, Taylor was appointed Corporal on 1 January 1910 and entered the French theatre of War with this unit on 11 November 1914.
Initially serving as part of the Sialkot Brigade in the 1st Indian Cavalry Division, “Q” Battery was soon in action at the Battle of Neuve Chapelle in March 1915, supporting 8th Division. Concentrated in a large semicircle, the guns were brought up by night with the aim of cutting the enemy wire which lay 15 yards deep in places. On 10 March 1915, the guns opened up, but the infantry attack was soon brought to a standstill by cleverly concealed German strong points. Transferred to the Somme in the early spring of 1916, Taylor likely spent much of his time maintaining the guns in the face of adverse weather and the endless mud. Awarded the Military Medal and Army L.S.G.C. Medal per Army Order 125 on 1 April 1917, his luck finally ran out on 1 July 1918 when he was wounded in action. Sent to the 1st South African General Hospital, the abrasion to his face was sufficient to necessitate evacuation to England per Hospital Ship St. Andrew. He was discharged upon termination of his second period of engagement on 3 September 1921.
Noonan's note that entitlement to the Delhi Durbar 1903 Medal, the clasp to 1914 Star and the French Croix de Guerre all unconfirmed.