Presentations at Denaby – Gratitude to Men who have Won the War

November 1918

Mexborough and Swinton Times November 16, 1918

Presentations at Denaby
Gratitude to Men who have Won the War.
Mr. Chambers on What we owe them

There was an excellent audience in the Large Hall, Denaby Main, on Tuesday evening for, an illustrated lecture on the war, and for presentations to six men of the Denaby and Cadeby Collieries who have won distinction in battle. The lecture was given by Mr. Felix Mills, F.R.G.S., and was most interesting.

Mr. Mills, who before the war was a tourist guide on the Continent, and familiar with every considerable town in the war area, was able to talk very entertainingly on the scenes amid which Armageddon has been fought and won. He traced the various phases of the war, and amid his serious discourse there was a vein of light-hearted humour which was very much in accordance with the spirit of the moment. At various stages of the lecture the audience sang patriotic airs and hymns. The lecture was illustrated by a great many lantern slides, one of the finest collections of its kind in existence.

Mr. Mills has, during the war, delivered over three thousand lectures, many of them to the troops at home and on the Western Front. He was given a hearty ovation at the conclusion of his lecture. The lanternist was Mr. Ernest Robinson, and the pianist the Rev. H. B. Greeves, the vicar of Denaby. The lecture was arranged by Messrs. W. Astbury and W. L. Worsley, joint secretaries of the Denaby and Cadeby Heroes Fund Committee.

The presentations were made by Mr. W. H. Chambers, managing director of the Denaby and Cadeby Collieries, Ltd., and he was supported on the platform by Mr. H. S. Smith, manager of the Denahy Colliery. Mr. H. Hulley       manager of the Cadebv Colliery, Mr. Davies, president of the Cadeby Branch, W.M.A.; Mr. W. L. Worsley, president or the Denaby Branch W.M.A. and secretary of the Heroes Fund.

Mr. Chambers said he was very happy to be there that night: with representatives of that gallant Army and Navy which, had just completed so gloriously its great task. (Applause.)            These men had passed through a long period of arduous and perilous service. They had beaten the barbarian back, and had helped to save the people of England from the horrors and excesses which the lecturer of that evening had illustrated so graphically. It was very fitting that they should do what honour they could to such men. We could hardly realize yet what these men had done for us, or what this peace meant to the world. But we could all strive to be mere worthy of the noble sacrifices that had been made for us. (Applause.)

Mr. Chambers then proceeded to make the presentations.

Sergeant Fred Crowson

He handed to Mr. John Crowson, formerly of Mexboro’, an enlarged portrait of his son, Sgt. Fred Crowson, M.M. 8th Y. and L., who was killed in action in France on March 29, 1918, together with an illuminated address and a purse of currency notes. Sgt. Crowson was awarded the Military Medal for gallantry in action on July 1, 1916, near Ovillers, on the Somme. After his officer had become a casualty, he took command of a platoon and gallantly led his men in the assault until he had only two men left. He then shot an officer leading an enemy attacking party, and drove back the remainder, both men with him being shot down. He then organised a small party of various units and again attacked the enemy line and continued the assault until all the men with him were killed. He subsequently rendered valuable aid to wounded men in No Man’s Land. and succeeded in bringing seven back to the trenches.      Sgt. Crowson was formerly employed at the Cadeby Colliery.

Petty Officer Fred Atkin

Petty Officer (now Cadet) Fred Atkin Drake battalion, Royal Naval division received an illuminated address and a gold watch in recognition of gallantry which resulted in his being awarded the Military Medal.

During the advance on Gavolle, on the Arras front on April 13, 1917, his officer became a casualty, and he took charge of the men and led them through a heavy enemy barrage, thus getting food, water and ammuninon to the battalion in the front line. He had previously been mentioned in dispatches. Petty-Officer Atkin, was formerly employed at Cadeby, and lived at Tickhill Street.

Sergeant Major Rudd

Company Sergeant Major F.W. Rudd, DCM, 2/5 York and Lancaster Regiment

Walter St, Denaby Main, employed at the Denaby Colliery and now discharged from the army with wounds, received in an illuminated address and a gold watch in recognition of his bravery.

At Graincourt, on April 12 1918, during an attack, the advance was held up by intense enemy machine-gun fire. On his own initiative, Sergeant Major Rudd rushed the gun, accounting for all the team. This enabled the advance to continue.            He showed complete disregard for danger and set a fine example to all ranks.

Private Victor Albert Rhodes

Pte. Victor Albert Rhodes, 6th York and Lancaster Regiment, Hirstgate Mexboro’, employed at the Denaby colliery and now discharged from the army with wounds, received a gold watch and illuminated address in recognition of his having one of the Military Medal at Thepval on July 8, 1916.

A bombing party of 12 men, in which he was included, was sent to attack a strong wind out which the enemy held. After attacking it with the loss of 10 men private Rhodes and a comrade held it until assistance came, beating of a hostile bombing party. When relief arrived he delivered a message to headquarters under heavy enemy barrage fire.

Lance Corporal Williams Scott

Lance Corporal William Arthur Scott, 6th York and Lancaster Regiment, 49, Main Street, Mexborough, employed at the Denaby Colliery, and now discharged from the armed with wounds, received a gold watch and illuminated address full bravery which won him the Military Medal at Langemarck in Belgium on August 13 – 14 and August 21, 1917.

He was greatly instrumental in repelling with his rifle a hostile attack on some mortar position, and was most invaluable to his section officer by his determination in most difficult conditions.

Lance Corporal James Wright

Lance Corporal James Wright, 6th York and Lancaster Regiment, formerly employed at the Denaby Colliery, now an inmate of a Sheffield hospital, received a gold watch and illuminated address for the gallantry which gained for him the award of the Military Medal. He took a distinguished part in repelling bombing attacks at Pestrement Form.

In several cases Mr Chambers Pinder decorations on the breasts of the men who had so gallantly earned them.

Sergeant major road, returning thanks, said he had lived in Denaby over twenty years, and he had reason to know and admire Denabv people, especially Denaby men. He was quite sure that if a Denaby man had been in his position on the occasion when he won the Medal he would have done just the same thing. (Applause.)

Petty-Officer Atkins said that for hundreds of men whose deeds were noticed and recorded there were thousands whose bravery had gone unnoticed. Men had fought and died doing brave deeds, and there had been no one by. He was very proud to have been awarded a Medal, but he could not forget that every man who had taken his stand “out there” was a hero. It was over now. The Germans had been beaten, and we could look forward to peace and safety for the world. It was a time for rejoicing, but he hoped it would be decent rejoicing, rejoicing of the right sort. He hoped we should not forget in the midst of our rejoicing that there were thousands who could not yet be glad, for they were still mourning their husbands, their brothers, and their sons. (Hear, hear,)

A hearty ovation was given to each of the heroes at the completion of the ceremony.

The illuminated addresses, which were beautifully executed, were the work of Ralph Catterall, of the Colliery Company’s drawing staff.

Mr. Worsley announced that three more Denaby heroes were at present home on leave and would receive gold watches in the course of the next few days.

Mr Chambers said that thirty watches had now been given by the committee of the Heroes’ Fund.