2 thoughts on “Old Comrades of the DLI

  1. The medals worn by the men were awarded to most of the British servicemen who served from 1914 or 1915. They were the British War Medal, the British Victory Medal and either the 1914 Star or the 1914-15 Star. They were irreverently referred to as Pip, Squeak, and Wilfred and still are today. These names were taken from a popular strip cartoon in the Daily Mirror at the time.
    The 1914 Star (or Mons star) was only awarded to the officers and men of the British Expeditionery Force (BEF) who saw action between 5 August and midnight on 22/23 November 1914, the opening days of the war and the retreat from Mons. These were the ‘Old Contemptibles’ – a description the men cherished, the name was attributed to Kaiser Wilhelm who reportedly referred to the BEF as a ‘contemptible little army’.
    The 1914–15 Star was issued to officers and men of the British and Imperial forces who served in any theatre of the war between 5 August 1914 and 31 December 1915 (other than those who had already qualified for the 1914 Star).

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  2. My Father, Benny Brown senior, is second from the left on the front row and his best mate Haddie Burton is far left on the back row. I seem to recall that my Father once mentioned that only 120 of 750 originals survived. He and Haddie were gassed and wounded and sent back to England on a hospital ship. They could not walk and were placed on stretchers in the bowels of the ship five decks below. They were issued with life jackets as there was a chance of the ship being torpedoed but they knew they could not possibly make it to the top deck of the ship anyway so, needless to say, they did not bother putting them on. When Dad arrived back in England doctors informed him that he would not live to see his 21st birthday as the gas and wounds would kill him. He lived to 74 years of age after working as a joiner at British Titan products and after retirement he was a odd job man at the Odeon Cinema.

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