Many Raunds men received awards for gallantry and exceptional service during the Great War, the full list can be found in "Roll of the Decorated".
Here, we reproduce the reports that we have found of these awards, as they appeared in the local press:
25 August 1916, under the headline of “Military Medals – Local awards for Bravery in the Field”, the Kettering Leader reported that “a supplement to the ‘London Gazette’ issued on Wednesday night announces that His Majesty the King has been graciously pleased to award the Military Medal for bravery in the field to: Lance Corporal Ernest Stringer, 9597, Northamptonshire Regiment.”
1 December 1916, the Rushden Echo reported that “Sergeant Fred Gates, Northants Regiment, the son of Mr Thomas Gates, has won the Military Medal. He also holds a South African War Medal. In the “great push” in July he was wounded.”
12 October 1917, the Kettering Leader announced “Conspicuous Gallantry – Raunds Sergeant Wins Military Medal” and told readers that “Sergeant H Pell, Sussex Regiment, has been awarded the Military Medal for most conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in the battle of Ypres on July 31st and August 1st and 2nd. It is officially recorded that he showed the utmost devotion to duty and disregard of personal safety. He worked continuously for over 48 hours without rest, and gave the medical officer every help possible until wounded. He continually went to attend to and dress wounded men in shell holes under heavy shell fire, and his courage, devotion to duty and marvellous staying powers were a splendid example to all ranks, especially the part he played in treating the wounded men during the three days operations.”
The report added that “Sergeant Pell is the youngest son of the late Mr John Pell, of Raunds, and brother of Mrs P Battersby, of Hill Street, Raunds, who has received news this week that her brother has been again wounded in the left hand and knee. Sgt Pell was previously an apprentice with Mr E Gaunt, hairdresser, of Raunds.”
19 October 1917, and again the Kettering Leader was proclaiming “Gallant Service – Raunds Company Runner Wins Military Medal”. This time the hero was Private George W Agutter, and the story read “Mr and Mrs William Agutter, of Harcourt Street, Raunds, have been notified that their son, Pte George W Agutter, of the Middlesex Regiment (Company runner), has been awarded the Military Medal ‘for gallantry and good service in the field.’ It went to say that, writing home, Private Agutter said that he won it the first week in August, the week he usually has for his seaside holiday, so that he has something to show for a change!
The report concluded with the news that at the last meeting of the Raunds Appeals Tribunal, committee member Mr William Agutter was congratulated upon the honour conferred on his gallant son.
Sadly, also in this issue was the story: “A Postumous Honour – Raunds Corporal Succumbs Before Receiving Military Medal. Mr and Mrs Wm Stringer, of Marshall’s Raod, Raunds, have received a letter from their son, Private W Stringer, saying that their second son, Corporal E Stringer, of the Northants Regiment, had died of wounds and been buried in a cemetery in France. Corporal Stringer went to France at the beginning of the war, and had been there over three years. He had been wounded twice and home on leave twice. The last occasion was in August last. He was in his 22nd year, and was a most courageous and gallant soldier, and had been recommended for the Military Medal.”
18 January 1918, “Modest Hero – Raunds Sergeant Wins Military Medal”, headlined the Kettering Leader story: “Mrs Plant, of 22 Spencer Street, Raunds, has received a letter from her husband, Sergeant J W Plant, of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force, in which he says: ‘No doubt by now you have heard that I have won the Military Medal; but I was only doing my duty as a sergeant should.’ Sergeant Plant joined up in April 1915 and went out to Egypt in November of the same year. He was wounded on November 30th last, and we understand that the medal was awarded to him for devotion to duty after being wounded.”
15 February 1918, and just four weeks later the Leader announced: “Brave Conduct – Raunds Soldier Wins Military Medal. Mrs W Bettles, of Midland Road, Raunds, has received a letter from her husband, Lance Corporal W Bettles, of the Northants Regiment, dated 16th December 1917, in which he says that he has been awarded the Military Medal for good work on November 2nd, 3rd, and 4th, and that he has also been promoted to the rank of sergeant. Sergeant Bettles was a member of the Territorial Force, and has been serving during the period of the war. He went out to Egypt in June last, and up to the present has got through without a scratch. He is 26 years of age, and previous to active service worked at Messrs C E Nichols and Co’s, Midland Works.”
18 October 1918, and three weeks or so before the signing of the Armistice, the following story: “Military Medal – Wounded Raunds Soldier Honoured” appeared in the Kettering Leader. “Mrs E Harris, of Harcourt Street, Raunds, has received news from Headquarters that her husband, Private Ernest Harris, East Kent Regiment, has been awarded the Military Medal, and also Special Army Orders presented to her husband for gallantry in the field. Private Harris was wounded whilst bringing in the wounded under fire, and has been home recently on leave and told his wife that he had been mentioned for some decoration. He is now at Shoreham Camp.”
6 December 1918, into post-war peacetime and the Leader reported “Bravery In The Field – Promotion and M.M. For Raunds Soldier. Lance Corporal Percy Rollings, of the Royal Scots, and second son of Mr and Mrs Harry Rollings, Chelveston Road, Raunds, has been awarded the Military Medal and promoted for bravery in the field during the big advance in Flanders. Lance Corporal Rollings, who will be 20 years of age next month, enlisted in September 1915, and has seen two years active service in France. He was wounded in the face and hand in April this year.”