Frank Bernard Wearne VC (1 March 1894 – 28 June 1917) was an English recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.
Wearne was born to Frank and Ada (Morris) Wearne, the third of their five children. One of his brothers, Captain Keith Morris Wearne (1892–1917), was another casualty of World War I, falling in the Battle of Arras on 21 May 1917, aged 24. His only sister, Edith Ann (1889–1956), married Thomas Clinton Pears (1882–1912), a great great grandson of soap manufacturer Andrew Pears. Thomas and Edith were passengers on the RMS Titanic. Edith survived while Thomas was lost.
Before joining the British Army he attended Bromsgrove School. Wearne was 23 years old, and a second lieutenant in the 3rd Battalion, Essex Regiment, British Army, attached to the 10th Battalion during the Great War when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.
On 28 June 1917 east of Loos, France, Second Lieutenant Wearne, commanding a small party in a raid on the enemy’s trenches, had gained his objective in the … Read the rest
Frank Lester VC (18 February 1896 – 12 October 1918) was an English soldier in the British Army during the First World War, and recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy awarded to British Commonwealth forces.
Lester was born on 18 February 1896 in Huyton, near Liverpool, to John and Ellen Lester, Prior to becoming a soldier, he was the organist at the Methodist chapel in Irby. He enlisted in the army in March 1916 and was posted to the 10th Battalion of the South Lancashire Regiment. He was soon promoted to the rank of Sergeant Instructor, training recruits at Prees Heath, Shropshire and Kinmel Park, North Wales. In June 1917 he was transferred at his own request to the Lancashire Fusiliers and in December that year he was drafted to France with the 10th Battalion of that regiment.
Lester was part of the British offensive which was steadily pushing the German front line back. They encountered stiff resistance, the Germans were determined to prevent a rout of the “impregnable” Hindenburg Line and fighting for survival. It was 12 October 1918, in driving … Read the rest
Harold John Colley VC MM (26 May 1895 – 25 August 1918) was an English recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.
He was born at 60 Winson Street in the Soho district of Birmingham, England. The family moved to nearby Smethwick sometime prior to the 1911 Census, where they can be found at 74 Cheshire Road. This remained his home address during the First World War,
Colley was 24 years old, and an acting sergeant in the 10th Battalion, The Lancashire Fusiliers, British Army during the First World War when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.
On 25 August 1918 at Martinpuich, France, during a strong counter-attack Sergeant Colley’s company was holding an advanced position with two platoons in advance and two in support. The forward platoons were ordered to hold on at all costs and Sergeant Colley went, without orders, to help these two platoons. He rallied the men, then formed a defensive flank and held it, although out of the two platoons only … Read the rest
Frederick John Hickford, 5th Battalion, Essex Regiment was the son of Mrs A.Kemp of Clare Rd, Tilbury, Essex. Frederick fought in Gallipoli with the 5th Battalion and landed on ‘A’ Beach, Suvla Bay on 9th August 1915. He was wounded at Gallipoli on 17th August 1915 and subsequently transferred to the 10th Battalion.
Frederick was killed in action on 13th May 1917 and buried in the Wancourt British Cemetery, Somme, France. Frederick is also commemorated on the ‘Tenpenny Benefice’ Roll of Honour, Frating, Essex.