Dedicated to the memory of all the men and women of Bridgnorth, Shropshire, who died during the two World Wars.
BRIDGNORTH MAN'S BRAVE ACT [Bridgnorth Journal, 13th January, 1917]
Mr Albert Smallman,5 St. Leonard’s Steps, Bridgnorth, has just received and interesting letter which refers to an action by his brother Joe on the field of battle. It is written by W. Scott, A.I.F., and although the language is crude there is a soldierly appreciation of a kind and brave deed on the part of a comrade. We are pleased to hear of these acts of fearless courage, and Bridgnorth should be proud of such men.
In the course of his letter the writer says:- “I arrived in England the other day from France. I was wounded on the Somme. When I was lying down in No Man’s Land, with my foot off, and thinking in my agony it was all up with me, up comes your Joe and says ‘What’s up, kid? Had a knock?’ I says, ‘Only got a knock. You had better be off or you will get one.’ Mind you, there were shells dropping round about us all the time. Joe says, ‘No; I will do what I can for you, and try and get you to the trench. We will go together, either to heaven, hell, or Blighty.’ So with that he gets me on his back and struggled with me over dead and wounded, and through shell holes, and mud, and slush, till he got me to the parapet, and over he rolled himself and me into our trench.
I am in the same company as Joe. I was with him at Ypres, Guinchy, Armentieres, and Devil’s Wood. He knows no fear, and goes about the same as if he was on parade. He never gets excited, always singing and laughing, and cracking jokes. He and about four more are the life of our company in the trenches.
The reason I am writing to you is that when they got me on the stretcher Joe said ‘Kid, you will be going to Blighty. Here is our kid’s address. When you get there just drop him a line and tell him I am all right and that I will write to him the first chance I get.’ I thought of what Joe said when I found your address amongst my papers the other morning. I am just coming to myself again. I have to thank Joe for being here.”
This memorial has mostly been compiled from official sources. It would be good to be able to expand it with more personal material - memories, stories, photos, etc. If you have any suitable material or any corrections please contact Greg. For news of updates follow @BridgnorthHeros on Twitter.