A Collection of Gallantry Awards to the Lincolnshire Regiment
Date of Auction: 17th July 2019
Sold for £500
Estimate: £500 - £700
Distinguished Conduct Medal, G.V.R. (44576 Pte. H. Bodsworth. 2/ Linc: R.) good very fine £500-£700
FootnoteProvenance: Spink, July 1997.
D.C.M. London Gazette 3 September 1919:
‘He has been serving with the battalion since March 1918, and has always shown under fire those qualities which prove him to be a soldier of outstanding merit. His devotion to duty on many occasions during the period Feb-Sept 1918 was of the highest order. In the withdrawal on the Marne on 28th May 1918, he was in charge of a LG section, and by his marked gallantry under fire on this occasion he was able to keep his gun in action the whole time. ‘
Henry Bodsworth was born in Sheffield, Yorkshire, in 1899, the second son of Walter and Emma Bodsworth. During the Great War he initially served with the 51st Graduated Battalion, Leicestershire Regiment, a training reserve battalion formed in October 1917 that saw no overseas service. His medal index card and D.C.M. citation show that he transferred to the 2nd Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment in France and Flanders in early 1918.
The events of 28 May 1918 referred to in his DCM citation are described in the following terms by the Regimental History:
‘Of the fate of the 2nd Lincolnshire, on the right of the brigade front, there are no details, only the brief story as related in the Battalion Diary. Having launched his attack the enemy apparently broke through the line of posts held by the battalion, which seems to have been almost immediately surrounded, two officers and about thirty other ranks only getting away. The nucleus party and transport moved back to a point (approximately) one and half miles south east of Bouvancourt. At 10pm the enemy were reported in Bouvancourt. Transport continued the retirement. Brigade nucleus parties, under command of Major Winter, Northumberland Fusiliers, after covering the retirement, moved to Pevy.
On the 28th, at 6:00 a.m., a defensive position was taken up on the high ground east of Prouilly. This position, though heavily attacked, was held until the evening, when the whole Force was ordered to withdraw across the Vesle River. The brigade nucleus party was then ordered to defend a portion of the river, and a line of posts were occupied about one mile east of Muizon. This line was held until 7:30 p.m. on the 29th.’ (The History of the Lincolnshire Regiment 1914-1918 by Major-General C. R. Simpson, C.B. refers.)
When Bodsworth died aged 28 in 1927 the Sheffield Daily Telegraph reported on his funeral adding that he had been badly gassed during the war.