George E Hatch
Rank: Corporal / Lance Sergeant
Regiment: Royal West Kent Regiment
Other Info: New article reads: In the Observer last Saturday it was reported that PC Hatch, who had been injured whilst fighting at the Front, had been awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for meritorious service. Hatch, who is now at the St John Hospital in Holmesdale Gardens, Hastings, received his injury whilst engaged in bringing in the wounded. Whilst endeavouring to take hold of a wounded man, he raised himself slightly, and was shot through the leg. In his trouser pocket he was carrying a small old fashioned Bible which he had picked up in the trenches, and a tobacco box. The bullet went clean through all of the pages of the Bible, and also through the tobacco box. It may be that the presence of these things in Hatch’s pocket slightly affected the course of the bullet, with the result that the bone was luckily not touched. Our picture shows the gallant constable, and the Bible and the tobacco box with the holes caused by the bullet.
George’s DCM citation states the award was made “For For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He was in charge of stretcherbearers, and, when it was considered impossible for the stretcher-bearers to go out owing to the intensity of the fire, he went out by himself and worked with the utmost coolness for about seven hours until wounded. He was seen to carry back at least 50 wounded men.”
Top photo….in the Sessions Court at the Hastings Town Hall last Friday, George Hatch who was formerly a member of the Hastings Police Force, has been awarded by the President of the French Republic the Medaille Militaire for bravery on the battlefield. There was a special parade of the members of the Borough Police Force for the presentation and the ceremony was performed by the Mayor (Councillor W. Perrins), who was supported by Alderman C. H. Hall (Chairman of the Watch Committee), Alderman R. W. Mitchell, J.P., Councillors G. Cox, H. A. Tildesley, W. J. Fellows and G. Shoesmith, the Town Clerk (Mr Percy Idle), and the Chief Constable (Mr F. James). Hatch had previously received the British D.C.M. for great gallantry in rescuing fifty men in the darkness and under continuous fire.
Additional name info from the Lives of the First World War website.
Published: October 1916
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