Triple Honours Won by Bedfordshire Soldier
Stirring Stories of Heroism
The following N.C.O’s, who have won distinction on the Western Front, have lately joined the Ampthill Command Depot: Sgt. A. Stringer, 2nd Bedf. Regiment, and Cpl. K W. Jones, 7th Bedf. Regt.
Sergt. Stringer has won triple honours, a distinction, which few men can claim. He joined the Army in 1909 and went overseas on October 4, 1914. He has twice won the D.C.M. and has also received the Russian Order of St. George. The first occasion on which he distinguished himself was on May 16, 1915, when the 2nd Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment attacked and occupied the German trenches in front of Festubert. The advance was held up by the blocking of a road by tie enemy, and, "until the barricade was removed, the motor machine guns were unable to go forward. In face of a heavy fire Sergt. Stringer, with a small party of men, rushed the barricade and succeeded in removing it.
Two days later when the Battalion again went over the top Sergt. Stringer, with 10 men, reached a German trench in advance of the Battalion, and held it against heavy odds until ordered to retire. The bar to the D.C.M. was gained by this N.C.O. in Sept., 1915, at the first battle of Loos, where he led a bombing attack at night. The objective was to recapture a trench which had been taken by the enemy during the afternoon. The trench was strongly held and a fierce bombing duel ensued, the fighting being almost hand-to-hand. Foot by foot the little party fought their way forward until, after an hour's struggle, the trench was reached and taken. But, in the meantime, some of the enemy, by an encircling movement, had managed to get behind Sergt. Stringer and the survivors of his party. A retirement for about 50 yards along a communication trench therefore became necessary. By blocking the trench with sand bags, they were able to keep the enemy at bay and replenish their bombs. About 2a.m. Sergt. Stringer again advanced, re-took the trench, and successfully held it until a relieving party arrived and consolidated it.
On August 10, 1917, Corpl. E. W. Jones was with his Battalion at the attack on West Hoek Ridge. On this occasion he was employed as an orderly to the Medical Officer with the Battalion. After the ridge had been taken, the enemy made a counter attack, and the Battalion was withdrawn to some trenches behind Glencorse Wood. During the retirement casualties had taken place in the wood, which was being heavily shelled by. the enemy. On hearing this, Corpl. Jones advanced into the wood and succeeded in bringing out several of the wounded. Later on when the Medical Officer became exhausted, he took charge of the medical arrangements. In the afternoon the Battalion again advanced through the wood and re-took West Hoek Ridge. For his gallantry and good service on this occasion Corpl. Jones was awarded the Military Medal.