Biletted Officer Receives Military Cross

 

Amongst the names of those receiving awards for bravery at the front appears that of Temp. Second-Lieut. Samuel Spedding John, of the 9th Cheshires Regt. Lieut. John was with the 9th Cheshires when they were billetted in Weston last winter, and was particularly well know. He was equally popular with civilians as with members of his own company, and the congratulations accorded him can nowhere be more hearty than those extended from Weston-super-Mare. We append the following extract from the official Gazette:

-Temp. Sec.-Lt. Samuel Spedding John, 9th Cheshire Regt.
– For conspicuous gallantry during the fighting near Festubert on September 25th, 1915. After a retirement to the trenches had been ordered, Sec.-Lt. John crawled out under heavy fire, and assisted to bring in, in succession, a wounded officer and about 20 men of another regiment, thus saving many lives. He continued this gallant work throughout the day till he was utterly exhausted. This is not the first time that Sec.-Lieut. John has shown conspicuous courage.


 

Records for the personal life of Samuel Spedding John are sparse, and I have thus far been unable to find his date/place of birth, or other similar information. The only documents I have acquired relate directly to his service in the First World War, in which he served as part of the Cheshire Regiment’s 9th Battalion. Archival materials seem to detail that John was a member of the Regiment as early as 1908. As far as I am aware, Samuel Spedding John survived the First World War.

In addition to being awarded a Military Cross in 1915, and mentioned in the 16th November, 1915 edition of the Gazette, John was mentioned in despatches in Gazette, 31st December, 1915;

The following despatch has been recieved by the Secretary of State for War from the Field Marshall Commanding-in-Chief the British Army in France. I have the honour to bring to notice the name, whom I recommend for gallant and distinguished service in this field.

John was again mentioned in Gazette issue 31152, (28th January, 1919), for “gallant conduct and distinguished services rendered during the period from the 1st March to the 1st October 1918.” By this point he is recorded as Acting Captain.

John’s Medal Index Card details that he was eligible for the three standard First World War medals. The 1914-15 Star, for having served against the Central Powers between 5th August, 1914, and 31st December, 1915; The British War Medal, for having served between 5th August, 1914, and 11th November, 1918; and the Victory Medal (or Inter Allied Victory Medal), which was awarded to recipients of the 1914 Star or 1914-15 Star, and, with some exceptions, to those who had also recieved the British War Medal. The combination of these three medals was often referred to as Pip, Squeak, and Wilfred, named after characters from a popular post-war comic strip.

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