Captain Noel Chavasse VC & Bar MC

Many of you will know about the most highly decorated soldier of World War One, William Harold Coltman VC, DCM & Bar, MM & Bar.  In turn, many have joined me as we have stood at the grave of the most highly decorated officer, Captain Noel Chavasse VC & Bar, MC, near Ypres in Belgium whilst reading the citation to what many have said is

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Vinter Brothers – The Final Journey


If you have not already looked at the start of this Vinter Brothers story then I strongly urge you to do so. Click Here, to fully understand why Derek needed to take this very special battlefield tour. It had been a long journey for Derek in terms of time, from finding the Vinter brothers medals to re-uniting them with the family was over 30 years.  But the

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The Great War Medals – Pip Squeak & Wilfred

The Great War of 1914-18 was fought on a scale never before witnessed with casualties and damage beyond any war previous to it.  In military, social and economic terms it was immense, touching almost every single family with millions of people, military and for the first time civilian men and women, involved from Britain and all over her Empire. It was soon agreed that the

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Search to Return a Military Medal

Just occasionally something in life comes along that you really want to get your teeth into and offer to help someone.  This happen last summer following a telephone call from our local radio station, BBC Radio Lincolnshire.  I am no stranger to the radio station and often help with World War One stories and on the 70th anniversary of D Day had a full morning

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The Military Medal

The Military Medal (MM) was a military decoration for British and former Commonwealth forces awarded for bravery in battle on land with the following requirement – ‘for acts of gallantry and devotion to duty under fire’ The Medal was established on 25th  March 1916, but backdated to 1914 with the first award dated 1914.  The medal was discontinued in 1993. It was the other ranks’

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The Deadmans Penny

So often on a battlefield tour people are fascinated at the World War One Memorial Plaque, often better known as The Dead Man’s Penny or sometimes The Widows Penny, that was given to the family of the fallen in World War One, and so often the comment ‘I can remember my Gran or a Great Aunt having one of them’ but sadly it has since

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Most Decorated Soldier of World War One

Much has been written about Captain Noel Chavasse being the most decorated officer of the First World War, and many of you will have joined me as we stood by his grave and tried to understand what drove him to achieve such levels, normally with one of the group reading his citation.  As a reminder he was unique in World War One for earning a

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Footballer Wins a Victoria Cross

The first professional footballer soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross was “Donny” Bell.  Donald Simpson Bell was born on 3 December 1890 to Smith and Annie Bell, who resided in Queen’s Road, Harrogate, and attended Harrogate Grammar School.  He was married to Rhoda Bell. Before the war, he had been a footballer, and had played full-back as an amateur with Crystal Palace while training at

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In Search of a Victoria Cross

Many of you who have travelled to the battlefield of France and Belgium with me will know that if is there is one thing I hope you take away it is that you will forever remember the men who paid the ultimate price.  A charity that will not let us forget and works hard to help us remember with its good work is The Victoria

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The Queen’s ‘first’ Victoria Cross

Since 1952, The Queen has conferred many honours and awards; the first investiture of the Queen’s reign took place at Buckingham Palace on 27th February 1952, just three weeks into her reign, when the first person to be presented to her was Private Bill Speakman, who received the Victoria Cross for his actions during the Korean War. Private Speakman was born and raised in Altrincham, and

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