DISTINGUISHED CONDUCT MEDAL, G.V.R. ‘2085 CPL F.S.SMITH. 1/MANCH.R.’
DCM London Gazette 20th October 1916;
‘2085 Cpl F Smith
For Conspicuous gallantry during the attack on a redoubt. When his platoon officer and NCO had been killed, he led his platoon into the redoubt, and exhibited great courage and skill in successfully resisting a counter attack’.
Given the date and Gazette awards for Es Sinn, this DCM is almost certainly for Dujailah redoubt 8th March 1916. Here Manchester’s formed part of the force attempting to relieve Kut but at the battle of Dujailah, advancing across a front of 400 yards, they came under heavy fire from the Sinn Aftar redoubt and cross fire from supporting trenches, they gained a footing in the redoubt and took two trenches, however with bombs running out and under heavy counterattack from the left flank, they were forced to retire with many casualties ( 172 killed or missing, 288 wounded) Private Stringer of the battalion would be Awarded the VC;
“Manchester”, wrote Fraser, “can look upon that sunset attack with anger, but with mournful pride…The Manchesters led the way over 3,200 yards of open ground, and in spite of terrific rifle fire actually stormed their way into the redoubt, together with the 59th Rifles, an Indian Regiment. They were bombed out, and the attempt to relieve Kut had failed.”
1st Battalion Manchester Regiment was based in in Jullundur, India in August 1914. Part of the 8th (Jullundur) Brigade in 3rd (Lahore) Division. This Division left India on 29 August 1914 as part of the Indian Corps and moved to France, landing at Marseilles on 26 September 1914. It served on the Western Front until leaving France on 10 December 1915, whereupon it moved to Mesopotamia, landing at Basra on 8 January 1916. The Division moved to Egypt in March 1918 and later moved into Palestine.
MIC confirms also awarded 1914 Star trio, qualifying from 27th August 1914.
Condition GVF, an excellent Mesopotamia DCM.