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The Nicholson War Memorial and Stanley Cartwright

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: April 11, 2014

By Abbey Buxton

An example of the Military Medal.

An example of the Military Medal.

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VOLUNTEERS at the Nicholson War Memorial in Leek are trying to trace the family of a recipient of a First World War medal.

During the first tour of the year at the memorial, a lady visited with a medal, pictured, which she said had been found in the Ashcombe Park area of Cheddleton.

She asked if the volunteers could find out some more about the medal and help to return it to the soldier's family.

The silver item turned out to be a Military Medal awarded during the First World War.

On one side is the face of King George V, and the reverse bears the inscription For Bravery in the Field. On the rim is the number, then name, rank, and unit of the soldier: 365 Cpl S Cartwright C/231 (N Mid) Bde RFA: TF

He was a member of C Battery, the Leek Battery, of the 231st Brigade of the 46th North Midland Division of the Royal Field Artillery, Territorial Force.

Although details of the circumstances in which Corporal Cartwright won his medal are unclear, his award was announced in the London Gazette on October 27, 1916.

Over There, a short history of the Leek Battery, refers to him receiving his award on December 6, 1916. It seems likely it was given for bravery during the summer attack at Gommecourt, a British offensive to divert the Germans from the Somme.

The Military Medal is the 'other ranks' equivalent of the Military Cross awarded to officers. It ranks after the Victoria Cross and the Distinguished Conduct Medal.

The Leek Battery's remarkable record during the Great War is reflected in the number of awards its officers and men received between 1914 and 1918: Distinguished Service Order (DSO) – two; Military Cross (MC) – four; Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM) – six; Military Medal (MM) – 17; and Croix de Guerre – one.

Further research by local historian Chris Sheldon has revealed that Stanley Cartwright was first a gunner, later being promoted to corporal and then sergeant. At the end of his Army career he became an officer when he was 'gazetted' as a second lieutenant.

The 1911 census confirms that Stanley Cartwright was born in 1889. At the age of 22 he was living at 38 King Street, Leek.

After the war he moved away – according to his Army record, when he left in 1921 his last known address was in the Rugeley area at The Bungalow, Etching Hill. There is also a possibility that he may have been in the Royal Army Supply Corps before the Second World War.

However, attempts to trace Corporal Cartwright's descendants have so far drawn a blank.

If you are a descendant of Corporal Cartwright, or know someone who may be, use any of the contacts on Page 2 to let us know.

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