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Exeter Medals for Bravery

Page added 28th December 2014

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This list is of those awarded medals who were born, lived or died in Exeter, for Acts of Bravery over Two World Wars and other conflicts. There are many missing names, so if you know of a name that should appear on this list, please Email me the details. Latest addition labelled New.

Indian Mutiny 1857


Victoria CrossCorporal William Oxenham, 32nd Regiment


Victoria Cross – 30th June, 1857
For distinguished gallantry in saving the life of Mr. Capper, of the Bengal Civil Service, by extricating him from the ruins of a Verandah which had fallen on him, Corporal Oxenham being for ten minutes exposed to a heavy fire, while doing so. Buried Higher Cemetery

Victoria CrossFarrier George Hollis No. 861


Victoria Cross – awarded 17th June, 1858. (joint act of bravery)
Selected for the Victoria Cross by their companions in the gallant charge made by a squadron of the Regiment at Gwalior, on the 17th of June, 1858, when, supported by a division of the Bombay Horse Artillery, and Her Majesty's 95th Regiment, they routed the enemy, who were advancing against Brigadier Smith's position, charged through the rebel camp into two batteries, capturing and bringing into their camp two of the enemy's guns, under a heavy and converging fire from the Fort and Town. Buried Exwick Cemetery

Zulu Wars - 1879

Victoria CrossGeneral Sir Redvers Buller


Victoria Cross - 1879

During the Zulu War, Buller's Flying Column was employed in scouting ahead of the main British force. Buller's 400 irregular horsemen were involved in an action against 4,000 Zulus at Hlobane mountain - the operation went wrong and Buller had to withdraw under intense fire. Buller and his men had to repeatedly go back to retrieve dismounted and injured men. Buller was awarded one of five Victoria Crosses for that days action, during which he rescued three comrades from certain death.

India - 1904

Victoria CrossMajor, Herbert Augustine Carter, 101st Indian Grenadiers attd. 40th Pathans


Victoria Cross – 9th December 1904
During a reconnaissance near Jidballi, on the 19th December 1903, when two Sections of the Poona Mounted Infantry and the Tribal Horse were retiring before a force of Dervishes which outnumbered them by thirty to one, Lieutenant Carter rode back alone, a distance of four hundred yards, to the assistance of Private Jai Singh, who had lost his horse, and was closely pursued by a large number of the enemy, and, taking the Sepoy up behind him, brought him safely away. When Lieutenant Carter reached Private Jai Singh, the Sections were several hundred yards off.

First World War

Distinguished Service OrderBandsman Thomas Edward Rendle VC New


Victoria Cross (VC) – awarded 11 January, 1915
For conspicuous bravery on November 20, near Wulverghem, when attended to the wounded under very heavy shell and rifle fire, and rescued men from the trenches in which they had been buried by the blowing in of the parapets the fire of the enemy's heavy howitzers. —London Gazette

Bandsman Rendle was a patient at No. 1 Temporary Hospital (Now Magdalen Chapter Hotel), suffering from injuries to his eyes. He was of the 1st Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry

Distinguished Service OrderRev. Theodore Bayley Hardy, DSO, MC, VC


Distinguished Service Order (DSO) – awarded 18 October, 1917
For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in volunteering to go with a rescue party for some men who had been left stuck in the mud the previous night between the enemy's outpost line and our own. All the men except one were brought in. He then organised a party for the rescue of this man, and remained with it all night, though under rifle-fire at close range, which killed one of the party. With hie left arm in splints, owing to a broken wrist, and under the worst weather conditions, he crawled out with patrols to within seventy yards of the enemy and remained with wounded men under heavy fire. —London Gazette

Military CrossMilitary Cross (MC) – Awarded 17 December 1917
For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in tending the wounded. The ground on which he worked was constantly shelled and the casualties were heavy. He continually assisted in finding and carrying wounded and in guiding stretcher bearers to the aid post. —London Gazette

Victoria CrossVictoria Cross (VC) – Awarded 17 July 1918
For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty on many occasions. Although over fifty years of age, he has, by his fearlessness, devotion to men of his battalion, and quiet, unobtrusive manner, won the respect and admiration of the whole division. His marvellous energy and endurance would be remarkable even in a very much younger man, and his valour and devotion are exemplified in the following incidents: —

An infantry patrol had gone put to attack a previously located enemy post in the ruins of a village, the Reverend Theodore Bayley Hardy (C.F.) being then at company headquarters. Hearing firing, he followed the patrol, and about four hundred yards beyond our front line of posts found an officer of the patrol dangerously wounded. He remained with the officer until he was able to get assistance to bring him in. During this time there was a great deal of firing, and an enemy patrol actually penetrated between the spot at which the officer was lying and our front line and captured three of our men.

On a second occasion, when an enemy shell exploded in the middle of one of our posts, the Reverend T. B. Hardy at once made his way to the spot, despite the shell and trench mortar fire which was going on at the time, and set to work to extricate the buried men. He succeeded in getting out one man who had been completely buried. He then set to work to extricate a second man, who was found to be dead.

During the whole of the time that he was digging out the men this chaplain was in great danger, not only from shell fire, but also because of the dangerous condition of the wall of the building which had been hit by the shell which buried the men.

On a third occasion he displayed the greatest devotion to duty when our infantry, after a successful attack, were gradually forced back to their starting trench.
After it was believed that all our men had withdrawn from the wood, Chaplain Hardy came out of it, and on reaching an advanced post asked the men to help him to get in a wounded man. Accompanied by a serjeant, he made his way to the spot where the man lay, within ten yards of a pill-box which had been captured in the morning, but was subsequently recaptured and occupied by the enemy. The wounded man was too weak to stand, but between them the chaplain and the serjeant eventually succeeded in getting him to our lines.

Throughout the day the enemy's artillery, machine-gun, and trench mortar fire was continuous, and caused many casualties.
Notwithstanding, this very gallant chaplain was seen moving quietly amongst the men and tending the wounded, absolutely regardless of his personal safety.
—London Gazette

Victoria CrossLieutenant Richard Douglas Sandford, R.N


Victoria Cross (VC) – Admiralty, 23rd July, 1918
For most conspicuous gallantry. This officer was in command of Submarine C.3, and most skilfully placed that vessel in between the piles of the viaduct before lighting his fuse and abandoning her. He eagerly undertook this hazardous enterprise, although, well aware (as were all his crew) that if the means of rescue failed and he or any of his crew were in the water at the moment of the explosion, they would be killed outright by the force of such explosion. Yet Lieutenant Sandford disdained to use the gyro steering, which would have enabled him and his crew to abandon the submarine at a safe distance, and preferred to make sure, as far as was humanly possible, of the accomplishment of his duty.

Victoria CrossLieutenant Gordon Charles Steele, R.N.

Victoria Cross (VC) – 11th November, 1919
For most.conspicuous gallantry, skill and devotion to duty on the occasion of the attack on Kronstadt Harbour on the 18th August, 1919. Lieutenant Steele was second-in-command of H.M. Coastal Motor Boat No. 88. After this boat had entered the harbour the Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Dayrell-Reed, was shot through the head and the boat thrown off her course. Lieutenant Steele took the wheel, steadied the boat, lifted Lieutenant Dayrell-Reed away from the steering and firing position and torpedoed the Bolshevik battleship "Andrei Pervozanni" at a hundred yards range. He had then a difficult manoeuvre to perform to get a clear view of the battleship "Petropavlovsk,"' which was overlapped by the "Andrei Pervozanni" and obscured by smoke coming from that ship. The evolution, however, was skilfully carried out, and the “Petropavlovsk'' torpedoed. This left Lieutenant. Steele with only just room to turn, in order to regain the entrance to the harbour, but he effected the movement with success and firing his machine guns along the wall on his way, passed under the line of forts through a heavy fire out of the harbour.

Military CrossLieutenant, Roland Bedford,

Military Cross and Bar
9th Bn., Devonshire Regiment. KIA 13 September 1918. Age 20. Son of Samuel John Crocker Bedford and Ida Louisa Bedford, of 32, Oxford Rd., St. James', Exeter. Enlisted July, 1915. Twice previously wounded.

Military CrossCaptain, Francis Geoffrey Eliot,

Military Cross
1st R.M. Bn. R.N. Div., Royal Marine Light Infantry. KIA 27 September 1918. Age 28. Croix de Guerre(Belgium). Son of Capt. Laurence Henry Eliot (R.A. Retired) and Mrs. Eliot, of 20, Wonford Rd., Exeter.

Military CrossCaptain, John Arthur Gascoyne-Cecil,

Military Cross
75th Bde., Royal Field Artillery. Died 27 August 1918. Age 25. Son of the Bishop of Exeter and Lady Florence Cecil. His brothers Randle William and Rupert Edward also fell in the war.

Military CrossCaptain, Donald Stanley Harding,

Military Cross
13th Bn., Royal Fusiliers. KIA at Monchy-le-Preux, Died 10 April 1917. Age 32. Son of Edward Jackson Harding and Clarance Catherine Harding, of Exeter. Also served in German West Africa in Natal Carabineers.

Military CrossChaplain 4th Class, The Rev. Clifford Hugh Reed,

Military Cross
Army Chaplains' Department. Died 7 June 1917. Age 28. Son of William Henry and Caroline Reed, of "Thornlea", Cowley Rd., Exeter.

Military CrossCaptain, Edgar William Sussex,

Military Cross
Cameronians (Scottish Rifles). attd. Third Army Musketry School. Died 25 August 1917. Age 25. Son of William Sussex, of 9, North Avenue, Exeter.

Military CrossMajor, John Leonard Veitch,

Military Cross – Mentioned in Despatches
7th Bn. attd. 1st Bn., Devonshire Regiment. KIA 21 May 1918. Age 31. Son of Peter Christian Massyn Veitch, and Harriett Veitch, (nee Drew) of Exeter.

Military CrossMajor E H Gratwicke

Military Cross – awarded october 1918

"On October 5, 1918, just south of, Montbrehain, he showed conspicuous gallantry - and initiative in an attack on Montbrehain. Seeing that his company was in danger of being cut off, he went forward with a few men and got an enemy machine-gun into action. When all the men with him had become casualties he continued to fire the gun himself, thereby forcing the enemy, who were threatening his flank, to withdraw."

Distinguished Service OrderSerjeant, E A, Bastin,

Military Medal
1st Wessex Field Amb, Royal Army Medical Corps. Died 3 March 1921. Age 37. Son of the late Joseph and Mary Ann Bastin, of St. Thomas; husband of the late Clara Bastin, of St. Thomas, Exeter.

Distinguished Service OrderSerjeant, Basil George Buckland,

Military Medal
65th Coy., Machine Gun Corps (Infantry). Died of pneumonia 8 October 1918. Age 21. Croix de Guerre with Palms (France). Son of George William and Bessie Buckland, of Rougemont House, Castle St., Exeter.

Distinguished Service OrderPrivate E C Callard RAMC

Military Medal – Gazetted 12 March 1918

Distinguished Service OrderPrivate, Ernest Alfred Clow,

Military Medal
9th Bn., Devonshire Regiment. Died 10 October 1917. Age 31. Son of Albert James and Selina Clow, of Exeter; husband of Elsie Beatrice Clow, of 11, Poltimore Square, Longbrook St., Exeter.

Distinguished Service OrderLance Corporal, C Ford,

Military Medal
24th Bn., Royal Fusiliers. Died 31 July 1916. Age 23. Son of Mr. and Mrs. J. Ford, of 37, Old Vicarage Rd., Exeter.

Distinguished Service OrderSerjeant, Henry James Hartnell,

Military Medal
18th Bn., Lancashire Fusiliers. Died 31 October 1918. Age 30. Son of J. and E. Hartnell, of Exeter.

Distinguished Service OrderPrivate, M Hill,

Military Medal and Bar
6th Bn., Somerset Light Infantry. Died 18 December 1917. Age 22. Son of Mrs. Prudence Hill, of 4, Exe Street, Topsham, Exeter.

Distinguished Service OrderSerjeant, A H Keene,

Military Medal
D" Bty. 83rd Bde., Royal Field Artillery. Died 17 October 1917. Age 27. Son of Thomas and Mary Jane Keene, of 8, Lower Shillingford, Alphington, Exeter.

Distinguished Service OrderNurse, Elsie Knocker (nee Elizabeth Blackall Shapter)

Military Medal
Elsie Knocker was born Elizabeth Blackall Shapter in Exeter. With her friend Mairi Chislholm, she set up a First Aid Station on the Western Front. She and Chisholm were awarded the Military Medal when they rescued a wounded German pilot in No Man's Land. They were also made Officers, Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem.

Distinguished Service OrderPrivate, Charles Frederick Lane,

Military Medal
1st/2nd Bn., London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers). Died 16 August 1917. Age 23. Son of Mr. R. and Mrs. E. M. Lane, of 22, Marcia Rd., Old Kent Rd., London; husband of Elizabeth Mary Capocci (formerly Lane), of 4, Exeter Buildings, Zoar St., Southwark, London.

Distinguished Service OrderSerjeant, J B Leaman,

Military Medal
"N" Siege Park, Royal Army Service Corps. Died of pneumonia 26 November 1918. Age 25. Son of James and Susan Ellen Leaman, of 29, South View Terrace, Heavitree, Exeter; husband of Ellen Jane Leaman, of 39, Westgate St., Launceston, Cornwall.

Distinguished Service OrderPrivate, Thomas Lee,

Military Medal
13th Bn., East Lancashire Regiment. DOW (gas) 21 November 1918. Age 28. Son of John and Susan Lee, of Spreyton, Devon; husband of Rosa Lee, of 44, Beaufort Rd., St. Thomas, Exeter, Devon.

Distinguished Service OrderSapper, Henry Wallace Mardon,

Military Medal
58th Div. Signal Coy., Royal Engineers. Died 25 October 1917. Age 25. Son of Wallace and Selina Mardon; husband of Maude Mary Mardon, of 75A, Paris St., Exeter.

Distinguished Service OrderPrivate Edwin Searle,

Military Medal
2nd Bn., Auckland Regiment, N.Z.E.F., KIA 20 January 1918. Age 22. Son of Thomas and Mary Bath Searle, of Shutterton Farm, Starcross, Exeter, England.

Distinguished Service OrderPrivate Arthur John Stokes,

Military Medal
6th Labour Coy., Devonshire Regiment. transf. to (102392) 171st Coy., Labour Corps Died 15 April 1918. Age 24. Son of Mrs. L. and the late Mr. W. Stokes, of Heavitree, Exeter. Native of Exeter.

Distinguished Service OrderPrivate, Percy Branch,

Distinguished Conduct Medal
1/6th Bn. Seaforth Highlanders. T.F. (Exeter). On 25 October 1918, "in an attack near Famars. All the non-commissioned officers in the platoon having become casualties, he, on his own initiative, acted as platoon sergeant, issuing the orders of the platoon commander and encouraging the men by his personal courage and coolness." As a result of his action he suffered gas poisoning.

Distinguished Service OrderGunner, William Ford,

Distinguished Conduct Medal
7th Devons - Cyclist Corp. Gallantry on the battlefield. Lived in Bampfylde Street, he attended St David's School.

Medal of St GeorgePolice Constable Wilfred Hammond

Medal of St George, 2nd Class
Awarded by the Emperor or Russia for distinguished conduct.

Distinguished Flying  CrossLieutenant (Temporary Captain) Alan Robert Nock – Sea Patrol

Distinguished Flying Cross – awarded November 1918

"Has been engaged in twenty bombing raids during a period of three months, and has met with great success in night attacks on enemy aerodromes and docks." Capt. Nock is a member of the staff the Exeter Branch of the National Provincial and Union Bank of England. Ltd., and has been a pilot since 1915.

Second World War

Military CrossCaptain E M Kemys-Jenkin (Indian Army)

Military Cross
For gallantry in the Middle East.

Distinguished Service OrderCaptain (Acting Major) Philip Gladstone Pope

Distinguished Service Order – May 1942

For service in Syria during 1941.

British Empire MedalMrs. Emily Alberta Mardon Knee, Assistant Night Nurse, City Hospital, Exeter.


George Medal (GM) – 9 October 1942
During an air raid incendiary bombs were dropped on the Hospital, and big fires broke out. Mrs. Knee behaved with great courage and fortitude throughout the raid. She remained on the first floor rescuing patients until the fire and smoke were almost unbearable, and the roof and floor above were on the point of collapse. She only left the ward when ordered to come out while it was still possible. Her heroism was outstanding and at the risk of her life saved many lives.

British Empire MedalMrs. Mary Megan Britt, Assistant Nurse, City Hospital, Exeter.

Awarded the British Empire Medal (Civil Division) –awarded 9 October 1942

British Empire MedalMiss Mary Anne Dorothy Walker, Assistant Nurse, City Hospital, Exeter.

Awarded the British Empire Medal (Civil Division) – awarded 9 October 1942
Nurses Britt and Walker were on duty in another part of the hospital fighting fires. They worked splendidly in the face of the rapidly spreading flames, and their exceptional coolness and courage gave the patients confidence. Had it not been for their immediate response to the arduous duty imposed upon them many lives would have been lost.

British Empire MedalMr J P Cundy

Awarded the British Empire Medal (Civil Division)

For service during the May 1942 bombing.

British Empire MedalLeading Fireman William Malcolm Hall NFS

Awarded the British Empire Medal (Civil Division)

For service during the May 1942 bombing.

British Empire MedalMr Leonard Hilary Walton - Civil Defence Casualty Service

Awarded the British Empire Medal (Civil Division)

For service during the May 1942 bombing.

British Empire MedalAlfred August Braven, Male Attendant, City Hospital, Exeter.

Commended for brave conduct in Civil Defence – bombing 4th/5th May 1942

British Empire MedalPercy Hubert Bray, Supervisor, Rescue Party, Civil Defence Rescue Service, Somerset.

Commended for brave conduct in Civil Defence – bombing 4th/5th May 1942

British Empire MedalMrs. Florence Elizabeth Cartwright, Assistant Nurse, City Hospital, Exeter.

Commended for brave conduct in Civil Defence – bombing 4th/5th May 1942

British Empire MedalRoy Robert Cheeseman, Assistant Hospital Master, City Hospital, Exeter.

Commended for brave conduct in Civil Defence – bombing 4th/5th May 1942

British Empire MedalErnest Fraser, Police Sergeant, Exeter City Police.

Commended for brave conduct in Civil Defence – bombing 4th/5th May 1942

British Empire MedalMiss Annie Gunter, Assistant Nurse, City Hospital, Exeter.

Commended for brave conduct in Civil Defence – bombing 4th/5th May 1942

British Empire MedalAlbert Edward Hallett, Male Nurse, City Hospital, Exeter.

Commended for brave conduct in Civil Defence – bombing 4th/5th May 1942

British Empire MedalMiss Elsie Annie May, Charge Nurser, City Hospital, Exeter.

Commended for brave conduct in Civil Defence – bombing 4th/5th May 1942

British Empire MedalWalter Ernest Morris, Gardener, City Hospital, Exeter.

Commended for brave conduct in Civil Defence – bombing 4th/5th May 1942

British Empire MedalColour-Sgt Walter Frederick Herbert Payne – Exeter Home Guard

British Empire Medal (Military Division) – awarded 2nd July 1944

Colour Sgt Payne had seen service in three wars and was the proud possessor of many campaign medals, the first of which was awarded in South Africa.

British Empire MedalCorporal A. H. Hopkins

King's Commendation for Brave Conduct – 1st Devonshire (Loyal City Of Exeter) Battalion
For bravery and devotion to duty when Battalion Headquarters received a direct hit during an air raid on Exeter 4th/5th May 1942.

British Empire MedalPolice Reserve Constable V W Hutchings

George Medal – awarded October 1942

For outstanding bravery, courage and devotion to duty during the blitz.

British Empire MedalCivil Defence Warden Mr E W Howard

George Medal – awarded October 1942

For outstanding bravery, courage and devotion to duty during the blitz.

Distinguished Flying  CrossActing Wing Commander Ronald Clifford Hockey - DFC, DSO

Distinguished Flying Cross – Awarded July 1942 and DSO (Feb 1943 see below)

This officer has been engaged continuously on operations for the past 15 months. Included in the numerous sorties he has completed are several long range operations, which were completed in the most unfavourable weather and in the face of heavy enemy opposition. His tireless and unflagging zeal and determination have set an inspiring example. March, 1942, he was awarded the Czechoslovak Military Cross.

Distinguished Service OrderDistinguished Service Order – Awarded 9 February 1943

This officer has been continuously on operations against the enamy for the past 15 months. Included in the numerous sorties he has completed, are several long range operations, which were completed in most unfavourable weather in the face of enemy opposition.

Military CrossCaptain John William Evance Bradley

Military Cross – Awarded February 1944

For gallant and distinguished services in operations leading to the capture of Termoli (Italian front).

Military CrossLieutenant Maurice William Catesby – Royal Regiment of Artillery

Military Cross – awarded December 1944 on Italian front

Military CrossJohn Farleigh Parsons – Royal Marines

Military Cross

"Capt. Parsons, after a night attack during the Salerno operations, found himself with only 18 men out his troop in a position on a ridge held by the enemy. It was of the greatest importance the Allied operations that the position should be held against the enemy counter-attacks for long as possible. Through the inspiration, personal courage, and example of Capt. Parsons, this small party held out for three hours. Inflicting many casualties the enemy."

Military CrossCaptain K R M Perrott – Royal Marines

Military Cross – awarded September 1944

For distinguished service with the Army during the landings in Normandy.

Military CrossMajor (temporary Major) A P Steele-Perkins – Royal Regiment of Artillery

Military Cross – awarded September 1944

For good service during the Battle of Maltot in Normandy.

Military CrossLieutenant Oswald Heath Watkins – 276 Field Company, Corps of Royal Engineers

Military Cross and Bar – announced 21 December 1944

Military CrossLieutenant J. Wheatley – Reconnaissance Regiment

Military Cross

For exemplary leadership and great courage, "which were an inspiration to his men."

Distinguished Flying  CrossFlight-Lieutenant Robert James Hardiman – 208 Squadron

Distinguished Flying Cross – awarded February 1942

This officer has carried out over 50 tactical reconnaissances with Hurricane and Lysander aircraft over Egypt, Libya, and Greece, involving more than 100 hours flying. He has shown admirable courage and determination in the completion of his tasks.

Distinguished Flying  CrossFlight-Lieutenant Richard Mannering Phillipps RAFVR 103 Squadron

Distinguished Flying Cross – awarded November 1942

He was mentioned in despatches in September, 1941. Flight-Lieut. Phillipps showed "a high degree of courage and determination" during raids on many important targets, including Brest, Kiel, Cologne and Dusseldorf."

Distinguished Flying  CrossActing Flight-Lieutenant Gilbert Bell – Bomb aimer – Bomber Command

Distinguished Flying Cross – awarded December 1943

Flight-Lieutenant Bell was killed in a bombing raid over Lille on the 10th May 1944. He has no known grave.

Distinguished Flying  CrossFlight Lieutenant John Leach – Bomber Command

Distinguished Flying Cross – awarded 21 April 1944

Distinguished Flying  CrossFlight Lieutenant James Rowe – Bomber Comand

Distinguished Flying Cross – awarded 21 April 1944


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