1918 - 2018 Commemoration

Bentham Victoria Cross recipients.
VC sm
 
 
Charles Graham Robertson VC, MM         Charles RobertsonVC

Charles Robertson was born on 4th July 1879 at 17 Millhouses, Wenning Avenue, High Bentham. His mother was Ellen Graham, a domestic servant, who was staying with her sister Hannah. Charles was illegitimate and was named Charles Prince Graham
( Prince probably refers to some sort of family connection).
At some point during the next two years he left Bentham and moved to Penrith to live with a childless aunt and uncle called James and Catherine Robertson. In the 1881 census he was named as Charles Prince Robertson but by 1891 he was known as Charles Graham Robertson (after his mother). He later moved to Dorking (Surrey) and was educated at Dorking High School progressing to become a booking hall clerk for the London and N.E. Railway Company.  Charles enlisted in the 10th (Stockbrokers) Royal Fusiliers and joined the battalion in France on 19th November 1914.
Charles was awarded the Victoria Cross for his bravery at Poderhoek Chateau, Belgium on 8th/9thMarch 1918.
The citation reads: He repelled a strong attack by the enemy, realised that he was being cut off and sent for reinforcements, while remaining at his post with only one man, firing his Lewis Gun and killing large numbers of the enemy. No reinforcements arrived, so he withdrew, and was then forced to withdraw again to a defended post where he got on top of the parapet with a comrade, mounted his gun and continued firing. His comrade was almost immediately killed and he was severely wounded, but managed to crawl back with his gun, having exhausted his ammunition. Charles was discharged from the army on 19th December 1918 and resumed his work as a booking clerk on the railway. He died aged 75 at Dorking where he is buried.
 
 
 

The Revd.Theodore Bayley Hardy VC, DSO, MC      Theodore HardyVC

The Revd. Theodore Bayley Hardy, V.C., DSO, MC was the most decorated non-combatant of WW1 and Chaplain to the King. He was born at Barnfield House, Exeter, on 20th October 1863, the son of George and Sarah Hardy.
Hardy was ordained on the 18th December 1898, aged 34, and combined a career as a schoolmaster with duties as a curate. After teaching at Nottingham High School for 16 years he was appointed Headmaster of Bentham Grammar School in 1907. He was popular in the town but sadly in 1913 his wife fell ill and he resigned and was appointed Priest-in-Charge of Hutton Roof.
His wife died in June 1914 and subsequently he felt a calling for an army Chaplaincy. Time after time he applied to the Chaplaincy Department, but he was turned down as too old, he was 51.
His persistence finally paid off and he was accepted with the rank of Captain in the summer of 1916. Hardy subsequently became the Chaplain of the 8th Battalion the Lincolnshire Regiment and the 8th Battalion the Somersets. These two Battalions served alongside each other across the Western Front from Ypres to the Somme throughout the period 1916 to 1918.
It was during this period, Hardy, by his dogged determination to be with the soldiers at the front, proved to be a shining example of courage, humanity, bravery and loyalty. He was awarded a Distinguished Service Order on 31st July 1917, followed by a Military Cross on 4thOctober 1917 and finally his Victoria Cross at Rossingal Wood in the Somme in April 1918 ...
For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty on many occasions.
Hardy was wounded in action whilst crossing a footbridge accompanying a fighting patrol of the 8th Somersets on 8th October 1918 on the Selle River near Cambrai. He was evacuated to No. 2 Red Cross Hospital at Rouen and died on the 18th October 1918;
His memorial stone was donated by public subscription.
Charles Graham Robertson VC MM (4 July 1879 – 10 May 1954) 
was an English recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most  Charles RobertsonVC
prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be
awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.
Robertson first served with the Imperial Yeomanry during the Second Boer War.
Robertson was 38 years old, and a lance-corporal in the 10th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers,
during the First World War when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.
 
On 8/9 March 1918 west of Polderhoek Chateau, Belgium, Lance-Corporal Robertson having repelled a strong attack by the enemy, realised that he was being cut off and sent for reinforcements, while remaining at his post with only one man, firing his Lewis gun and killing large numbers of the enemy.
No reinforcements arrived, so he withdrew, and then was forced to withdraw again to a defended post where he got on top of the parapet with a comrade, mounted his gun and continued firing. His comrade was almost immediately killed and he was severely wounded, but managed to crawl back with his gun, having exhausted his ammunition.
He served in World War II in the Home Guard.
Theodore Bayley Hardy, VC, DSO, MC (20 October 1863 – 18 October 1918)    
was a British Army chaplain and a recipient of the Victoria Cross.
The highest award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be      
awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.
In addition to the VC, Hardy had been awarded the
Distinguished Service Order and Military Cross,
making him one of the most decorated non-combatants
of the First World War.
 
Early life
Hardy was born 20 October 1863 to George and Sarah Richards Hardy of Exeter.
Hardy was educated at the Royal Commercial Travellers School, Pinner, Middlesex from 1872–1879, City of London School from 1879–1882 and at the University of London. He was ordained in 1898. He was an Assistant Master at Nottingham High School from 1891–1907, at which one of the Junior School's houses is named in his honour. He was married to Florence Elizabeth Hastings, who died in 1914.
 
Finally came the VC on 7 July 1918:
The citation reads:
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 out 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 sergeant, 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.
Bentham has an association with Two VC winners
Theodore Bailey Hardy VC MM.
and
Charles Robertson VC MM.
We will be installing and dedicating a memorial flag stone
to each on Saturday April the 21st.
This is still in the planning stage, but we will
keep you updated.
 
 
 
 
 

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