British Gallantry Awards - 45th and 95th Foot, The Sherwood Foresters 1854-1970, by Cliff Housley
Book published by Miliquest. 200 pages. Hardback with Dust Jacket - c.21.5cm by 30cm (N6375PE)
From the introduction: The prime function in creating this volume is to produce a roll of gallantry winners of the 45th and 95th of Foot The Sherwood Foresters (Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire) Regiment, from 1854 to 1970. These dates beginning with the earliest awards and ending with the amalgamation of the Regiment with the Worcestershire Regiment, to form the Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment in 1970.
I decided to collate the details of the winners of The Victoria Cross, The Distinguished Service Order, The Military Cross, The Distinguished Conduct Medal and the Military Medal for inclusion in this volume, it was felt that at this stage, I did not have the resources to include other medals and Foreign awards and indeed the many Mentions in Despatches.
It has proved to have been a momentous task, for the number of actual gallantry awards made between the period in question (1854-1970) is quite substantial. For example during the Great War of 1914-18 there were some 37,000 Military Crosses and over 115,000 Military Medals awarded to the Armed Forces.
The search for the details and photographs of recipients of awards contained within the pages of this book has then, been a long and difficult one, and has necessitated the searching of the London Gazettes, Local News-papers of the time, Battalion War Diaries and Regimental Histories. I have to thank most sincerely Richard Clay, for his patience in searching the Gazettes and local newspaper sources. In addition, it has been possible in some cases for me to make contact with members of a soldiers family, and where this has occurred, I have been exceptionally lucky in obtaining many photographs for inclusion. To all those family members I would here record my most grateful thanks for their co-operation and understanding. I must also thank the Sherwood Foresters Regimental Museum for its co-operation and access to its archives.
In the early days and especially at the beginning of the Great War, medals were awarded to individuals who had shown exceptional gallantry, and it was quite possible that these men had performed two or even three acts of gallantry in a short period of time, receiving recognition by being recommended for an award, and possibly receiving only the one gallantry medal. However, in the latter part of the Great War it appears that where several gallant acts were performed by an individual in the same short period, it was more likely to be recognised by more than one award.
I found that the London Gazette was something of a mine field, for it was impossible to be certain when an award would appear. For example, I have found recorded in several War Diaries, awards to men, and in many cases notification would appear in the London Gazette, on average, about two months later. However, sometimes such would not appear for up to six months or even longer, so whilst there was a pattern, it was not always an easy one to follow. There is in fact, one case at least, where the Bar to a D.S.O. was gazetted before the actual award of the medal. The time spent in checking and re-checking all dates previous to the bar were thus totally wasted.
Where citations have been traced, they are included, and where there is no citation we have endeavoured to trace the date and place of the action through the Battalion War Diaries, and whenever possible, this information has been included. In some cases a War Diary actually states the reason for the award and we have been able to give these details in full. The most difficult citations to obtain have been those for the Military Medals, for there are very few citations actually available. Where awards have been Gazetted in the New Years Honours and Birthday Honours, (3/4 June) no citations appeared as the award was usually made for consistent gallantry and good work over a period of time rather than a specific action.
Where Officers and men have served with the Regiment but have been awarded gallantry medals with other regiments before joining, they have not been included. On the other hand, where Officers and Men have been attached to other units and been awarded gallantry medals, these are shown. It may be then, that for instance an Officer may have been awarded a D.S.O with the Regiment, but had already been awarded an M.C. with his own unit before joining. In such a case only the D.S.O. has been shown but reference in his entry has been made to the fact he has other awards.
Where an officer or soldier has more than one award, this has been recognised by the inclusion of the other awards after his name. An Officer with a D.S.O. and an M.C. will be found in the D.S.O. section with his DSO citation and reference to his M.C. In the M.C. section he will have referral to his D.S.O., but the M.C. citation will be shown. It follows then that all citations are shown within their own section, and cross referenced where applicable.
The condition of the book is generally excellent. The dust jacket has one or two minor scuffs but is clean and bright, the spine is tight and intact, and all pages are clean, intact, unblemished and tightly bound.