On this day 15th June 1916

15.6.1916 LONDON GAZETTE: Mentioned in dispatches by C-in-C for Gallantry & Distinguished Conduct in the field:-

  • Lt Col. Godfrey Davenport Goodman
  • Capt Cyril Benton JohnsonJohnson CD MID
  • 158 C.S.M William Goddard and later to win the Military Medal on 19th February  1917 (posthumously).158 Goodard MIC
  • 456 C.S.M Henry Holland and later to win the Distinguished Conduct Medal in July 1917.456 Holland MIC
  • 2388 Segt Thomas Hunter and later to win the Military Medal on 11th November 1916.2388 Hunter MM 1916 2
  • 1464 Sergt Wilfred Bernard Longson and later to win the Military Medal on 11th November 1916.Longson Military Medal 1916
  • 1644 Drummer James Chatterton and later to win the Military Medal on 11th November 1916.

But why were these Officers and Men “Mentioned in Dispatches”?

LG 15 June 1916Haig 30 June 1916names June 1916

The London Gazette from 15th June 1916 records the individuals Mentioned in Dispatches by General Haig on the 30th April 1916 and lists men from all four Territorial Battalions

Here is the evidence:-

  • The service records for Cyril Johnson, Henry Holland, William Goddard and James Chatterton all record that the men were Mentioned in Dispatches on the 30th April 1916, which is consistent with the London Gazette.
  • James Chatterton was wounded on the 12th March 1916 and was transferred to Hospital in England on the 17th March 1916. He did not return to France until the 16th July with the 15th Reinforcement.
  • James Chatterton, Wilfrid Longson and Thomas Hunter had their Military Medal announced in the London Gazette on 11th November 1916.London Gazette November 1916
  • William Goddard had his Military Medal announced in the in the London Gazette on 19th February 1917 because it was awarded posthumously.MM Postumosly 1917

Despite the fact that “British Gallantry Awards: The Sherwood Foresters” records that these NCOs and men received their awards for gallantry during the attack at Gommecourt on the 1st July 1916, this seems unlikely when all the evidence is reviewed, in particular the service records of 1644 Drummer James Chatterton who was not even present on that day.

It would therefore seem likely these individual acts of gallantry and distinguished conduct occurred whilst the 1/6th Battalion were holding the front line trenches in front of Vimy Ridge.

Chatterton’s wounding suggest that his act of gallantry occurred between 10th and 12th March 1916 during the first trench duty and specifically when the Germans exploded a mine under the French trenches on the right of the 139th Brigade.

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