Victoria Cross
Sergeant Ernest Albert Egerton VC
Victoria Cross
     
 
Sergeant Ernest Albert Egerton VC
     

Sergeant Ernest Albert Egerton VC 16th (Chatsworth Rifles) Battalion Sherwood Foresters At Bulgar Wood on 20 September 1917 volunteered for a mopping up party in which he shot several Germans and took some 29 prisoners.
Died natural causes 14 February 1966. Medals in Regimental Museum Collection.

Ernest's Memory Lives On.
 
A WAR hero's name is set to live on for generations in his home village in North Staffordshire.
Sergeant Ernest Egerton was decorated after launching a solo attack on enemy dug-outs at Passchendaele Ridge on September 20, 1917.
His courage earned the corporal in the 16th Battalion The Sherwood Foresters the Victoria Cross for remarkable bravery.
Now part of a new housing development, which has been built opposite the family's home in Uttoxeter Road, Blythe Bridge, has been named in his honour.
Mr Egerton died in 1966, aged 68, and was buried with a full military guard of honour at St Peter's Church, Forsbrook.
His daughter Margaret Porter, who now lives in Hampshire, said she was delighted by the tribute to her father.
She said "We grew up as girls at the house in Uttoxeter Road and dad used to keep his Victoria Cross there in the bottom drawer of the bureau.
"He did not talk much about his wartime exploits but that as probably because we were all girls.
"After he died, we gave the medal to his regiment's museum in Nottingham, which we thought was fitting.
"I am especially delighted with this tribute because dad used to work for PMT and they always said they were going to name a bus after him - my son used to joke that it would be called Ern 1."
It is the second tribute to be paid to Sergeant Egerton in his home village within the last five years.
Exactly 80 years after his act of courage, a plaque was erected in his honour outside the family's former home.
A full military procession brought the village to a standstill as the community paid their respect to their Victoria Cross war hero.
Family friend John McNeal, who was also formerly secretary-treasurer for Blythe Bridge British Legion, added: I think it is great he should be honoured in this way in his home village.
"He is buried in the church yard and we always place the Royal British Legion wreath on his grave after the parade"
The naming of Egerton Close was recommended by the developers and approved by Staffordshire Moorlands Council.
Sergeant Egerton was one of only three men from the Potteries to be awarded the Victoria Cross.

Sergeant Egerton's Former Family Home

 

Egerton Close,  Blythe Bridge


Act of bravery that saved the lives of many  
   
   
Sergeant Egerton's citation for his Victoria Cross reads: "On September, 1917 south-west of Ypres, Belgium during an attack, visibility was bad owing to fog and smoke.
As a result, the two leading waves of the attack passed over certain hostile dug-outs without clearing them.
Enemy rifles and machine guns from these dug-outs were inflicting severe casualties.
Corporal Egerton at once responded to a call for volunteers to help in clearing up the situation.
He dashed for the dugouts under heavy fire at short range.
He shot a rifleman, a bomber and a gunner.
By which time, support had arrived and 29 of the enemy surrendered."

  Click to hear war declared by Neville Chamberlain. (385kb .wav)

His Citation read

'For the most conspicuous bravery, initiative and devotion to duty when during an attack visibility was obscured owing to fog and smoke as a result of which the two leading waves of the attack passed over certain hostile dugouts without clearing them. Enemy rifles assisted by a machine-gun were from these dug-outs inflicting severe casualties on the advancing waves. When volunteers were called to assist in clearing up the situation, Corporal Egerton at once jumped up and dashed for the dugouts under heavy fire at short range. He shot in succession a rifleman, a bomber and a gunner, by which time he was supported and 29 of the enemy surrendered. The reckless bravery of the NCO relieved in less than 30 seconds an extremely difficult situation. His gallantry is beyond all praise.'

A Village Hero's Life
Ernest Albert Egerton was born on 10th September 1897, at Meir Lane, Longton, Staffordshire, the third son of Thomas Henry Egerton. Educated at Queen's Street, Cooke Street and Blurton Church Schools, he entered Florence Colliery at the age of 16, working as a haulage hand. On his eighteenth birthday, he enlisted at Shelton recruiting office in the 3rd North Staffordshire Regiment. Two brothers also served in the army: his eldest brother Thomas Edward was medically discharged from active service by December 1917 and his second brother William Charles was an Acting Corporal in the Rifle Brigade and was killed in action on 17th August 1917 aged 28. William worked for the Stoke-on-Trent Corporation and resided at, 30 Foley Street, Fenton, Staffordshire. His youngest brother Harold, was only a youth at the time of the War; therefore he was not old enough for active service.
After undergoing training at Wallsend-on-Tyne, Ernest was posted to 1st North Staffordshires in France, and transferred in October 1916 to the 16th Sherwood Foresters.
Promoted lance-corporal on 21st February 1917 and Corporal 23rd August 1917, he came through the fighting on the Somme and at Ypres unscathed. He received his Victoria Cross from King George V at Buckingham Palace on 5th December and was given a tumultuous welcome in his home town. Among the many letters of congratulations was one from the Duke of Devonshire, who had taken special interest in the unit which took its name from his family's seat at Chatsworth. After pressure from Stoke's civic leaders, Egerton was granted extended leave to attend an official reception where directors, managers and workers at the Florence Colliery presented him with an inscribed silver cigarette-case and war bonds worth £85
Egerton was badly gassed during the enemy's spring offensive the following year. After a spell in hospital in France, he returned to his unit and was promoted Sergeant on 11th May. He left the battalion on 20th August and returned to England for officer training. He joined a cadet school at Ripon, but evidently declined a commission, joining the 3rd Sherwood Foresters as a Sergeant-instructor.
On 3rd August he was given a public reception at Longton Town Hall, where he received an illuminated testimonial.

He later married Elsie May Gimbert on Sunday 1st September 1918 at Forsbrook parish church. Miss E. Gimbert was the youngest daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Gimbert of Blythe Bridge. The ceremony was conducted by the Rev. E. W. Bridgwood, Vicar, and was fully choral, the choirmaster (Mr. Saunders) presiding the organ.
In the course of the service, the hymn "The voice that breathed o'er Eden" was sung, and a wedding march was played as the bridal party left the church. The ceremony created great interest in the locality.
The effects of his gas poisoning, however, were beginning to be felt. He entered Sunderland War Hospital suffering from tuberculosis and had a spell in a sanatorium, before being discharged from the Army on 25th April 1919 as permanently unfit for further military service. So serious was his plight that doctors considered he had only months to live.

But Egerton confounded them all. Ten years later, he attributed his 'miraculous recovery' to a 12-month sojourn at Preston Hall, Aylesford, in Kent, where the Ministry of Pensions, and later the British Legion, staged training courses for injured ex-servicemen. Training as a gamekeeper, he obtained the full benefits of open-air life in the Kentish countryside.
He returned to live in Leigh, near Cresswell, North Staffordshire, acting as agent for a firm marketing ex-servicemen's handicrafts. The work was not a success, and Egerton's future appeared bleak until the intervention of his old schoolmaster in 1924 secured him a job as a bus conductor with the Potteries Electric Traction Company. His health was further helped by being employed on mainly rural routes. Four years later, he was appointed an inspector. By 1929 Egerton, who was living in Blythe Bridge, Staffordshire was cycling into Stoke for work each day.

During the Second World War he served in the Volunteer's Local Defence (L.D.V). Later to be called the Home Guard (H.G) and later became a security officer at Rootes Aircraft Works, Blythe Bridge, and then the Staffordshire Potteries Works in Meir, where he worked for 14 years as a lodgeman. Despite his sometimes fragile health, Ernest Egerton survived into his retirement, sadly dying at his Blythe Bridge home on 14th February 1967, aged 68. He was buried with full military honours in Forsbrook cemetery, not far from the church where he was married almost 50 years previous.
On His Majesty, King George V's invitation, an Afternoon Party was held at Buckingham Palace on 26th June 1920 for the recipients of the Victoria Cross in which Sergeant Egerton attended and he also attended the VC Reunion Dinner in The Royal Gallery, House of Lords, Palace of Westminster, London, on Saturday, 9th November 1929.
Exactly eighty years later on September 20th 1997, which was the exact day when Sergeant Egerton bravely launched his solo attack on enemy dug-outs at Passchendaele Ridge a joint ceremony was held.
Firstly a ceremony was held at Staffordshire Potteries where Ernest worked as the lodge man and then a full military procession took place from the cenotaph next to the Forsbrook parish church, through his home village of Blythe Bridge and it ended at his former home in the village. Mrs Woolridge whom has lived at Sergeant Ernest Egerton's family home for many years was an inspiration in organizing the event in Blythe Bridge.
Invested by the King

The King held an investiture at Buckingham Palace, Wednesday
5th November 1917, at which he bestowed 200 decorations, including 7 V.C. s. Including Cpl. Ernest Albert Egerton of Longton. The men were marshalled in one of the reception rooms at the Palace and were taken thence to the Bow Room, where they were presented to the King.

His Majesty in Field Marshall's undress uniform and with him were the Lord-in-Waiting, the Groom-in-Waiting, the Equerry in Waiting, the Master of the household, the Controller of the Lord Chamberlain's Department and a number of distinguished officers.

Each man in turn was presented to the King, and stood while the Equerry- in Waiting read an account of the particular deed for which the coveted decoration was awarded.
Then His Majesty pinned on the V.C., shook hands with the soldier, and said a few words of commendation and congratulations.
After the ceremony, the newly decorated V.C.s left the Palace by the quadrangle and forecourt exits, and were warmly greeted by a large assemblage of people.

Near the main gates each had also to submit to the process of being snapshotted, and Cpl Egerton and his gallant comrades received the hearty congratulations from their friends and others assembled outside the Palace.

Longton's Scheme of Recognition

A meeting was called on Tuesday 4th Dec 1917 in Longton town hall to consider suitable steps to be taken by Longton as a town, to one of its sons and mark his supremely rewarded and thrilling exploit. Officials and committee were elected reflecting the different sections of the community to organise a testimonial fund. It was also announced that a handsome illuminated address of congratulations to Corpl Egerton would be given to the committee. It was stated that at Florence colliery, where Corpl Egerton worked prior to enlistment, the proprietors, staff and workmen were formulating a testimonial. Among those present in the hall were, Mr. and Mrs Kear, (Blythe Bridge Corpl Edgerton's maternal grandparents) Mr. G.P. Hyslop, (agent at Florence colliery) Mr. J.W. Gibson, (Headmaster at Cooke St. school) of which Corpl Egerton was a one-time scholar.
Arrangements were made for a demonstration in honour of Corpl Egerton, namely a procession including the V.C. and prominent residents accompanied by a band, to traverse the Longton neighbourhood on Saturday.
Arrival in the Potteries

Coral Egerton arrived in the Potteries shortly after noon on Saturday December 8th 1917. At one time it seemed North Staffordshire was going to be in the supremely proud position of welcoming with large-hearted gratitude, two V.C. heroes; but a fate, unkind in the extreme, and with a suddenness, which shocked the entire community of the district, was claimed by the death of Lance Sergt Rhodes V.C. of Tunstall, who would have shared in the demonstrative appreciation which awaited Coral Egerton.


After leaving the train at Stoke station Corpl Egerton a young man, look not a bit older than his 20 years and wearing the coverted Victoria Cross on his breast, was accorded a civic reception. Inside a space, which had been reserved for the purpose on the station platform, the hero was introduced to the civic dignitaries. The gallant N.C.O. stood smartly erect while the Mayor, Ald. Robinson, told the V.C., that he was pleased and proud to meet him and welcome him back home. He could say that in Longton, to which Corpl Egerton was more closely attached, there was a warm greeting awaiting him; but he thought it was only right that he, as Mayor of the Borough, should take the first opportunity to assure him that the quarter of a million people in the Potteries had read with utmost satisfaction of the brave deed by which he had won the V.C., the greatest token of merit which it was possible for a soldier to receive. They would ever be mindful of the great sacrifice, which he had rendered to his country, and of the honour, which he had brought to his native district. They wanted hen to know that there was deep gratitude in their hearts for what he had done and they sincerely hoped that his stay among his friends would be one of pleasure. He was sure that Corpl Egerton would like him to say on that occasion that they were also mindful of the heroic bravery of the late Lance Sergt Rhodes of Tunstall. They would remember the late V.C. with sorrow and pride and he was sure that it was the wish of the community that the services which Lance Sergt Rhodes had rendered should not go unrecognised by them, and that the widow in her sorrow might be assured that they were not unmindful of the bravery of her gallant husband. They would see as far as they could, that her loss would be softened by some provision. Ald Robinson concluded his remarks amid rousing cheers from a large crowd. From the station they the party adjourned to the North Stafford Hotel for lunch.

Sentinel Reporter Interview

A Sentinel reporter found Corpl Egerton a pleasant young man. At first he was reluctant to speak of his act of heroism, but eventually he put into his own simple language the official record setting forth his "reckless bravery." "It was in September, he said, I felt lost at first. I was in a shell-hole in front of some concrete dugouts, and someone with a machine gun was causing heavy casualties on our left flank, which included some North Staffords. I could see the damage they were inflicting, so I took it into my head to go forward. I kept running from shell hole to shell hole until I got to the back of this particular concrete dug out, and having gone so far, I could see three men with a machine gun.
I first shot the man who was firing the gun: then I shot the second who was waiting with another belt of cartridges, and I also shot the third man who was a bomber.
By that time I was supported by other men who had followed me up, an 29 Germans including an officer came out of their dug outs holding up their hands and surrendered."
Did the danger of the position ever occur to you before went forward?
"I did not think of getting done in" was the V.C.s modest reply. "I went over with the hope of coming back."
Corpl Egerton also told his interviewer that at the time he shot the Germans in the dug out, he was thinking of the death of his brother, who had been killed in action. I went over with the intention of killing a few; he said to have revenge in the name of my brother's wife. It was my object from the time I heard of his death to get revenge. I was longing to get into action and pay back a debt, and now in a measure, I feel I have done it. Although Coral Egerton had been at the front many months, he stated that he had never been wounded. He had figured in a number of engagements and, almost needless to say, he had not been without many exiting experiences.

Longton's Great Ovation

The Mayor, wearing his chain of office and deputy Mayor along with the Longton testimonial movement officials, went by train from Stoke with Coral Egerton, to Longton, where a striking demonstration awaited them. As the train entered the station a peal of bells could be heard from the neighbouring belfry of St John's church. The crowd of people who had assembled on the platform sent up a salvo of cheers. That however was nothing compared with the deafening reception accorded to the young hero, when carried shoulder high by two men in khaki as he emerged from the station. The vicinity of the station, packed with people eager to get a glimpse of the young hero and the enthusiastic cheering with which he had been greeted on making his appearance was renewed as he drove off in an open carriage accompanied by the Mayor and deputy Mayor on a triumphal tour of the town, along with many sections and organisations in the community. Two former police officers that happened to be on leave, Sergt Flower, (Mounted Military Police) and Sergt Rye of (The Lancers) formed part of the military escort, which flanked the V.C.s carriage, mounted on horses lent by Mr. Wm. Hall of Southlands, Longton. The route traversed by the procession from the station entered Stafford St. as far as the Sutherland Institute, Rosslyn Rd. Trentham Rd. Belgrave Rd. Chaplin Rd. Upper Normacot Rd. High St. and Market St. to the town hall.
Coral Egerton with a few friends and prominent residents sat down to tea in Longton town hall and later proceeded to Blythe Bridge with his grandparents Mr. and Mrs T. Keay. This overjoyed old couple accommodated in an open carriage, following that of grandson, had witnessed with obvious delight the popular acclimation of the V.C. hero.

On Sunday morning Coral Egerton V.C., along with his friends, attended Edensor Church, where only a few weeks ago a memorial service was conducted for his brother, who was killed in action. Members of the Edensor Girl Guides and Wardens Messrs Shaw and Heath had met him at Longton station.

A Cordial Send-Off

Corpl Egerton left the Potteries on Thursday morning for Manchester, prior to reporting in London on Friday 14th December for further service. The send off which he was given at Stoke station was not lacking in heartiness even though it was without the formality and distinction which characterised his arrival on Saturday last. Along with a number of relatives and friends he had arrived at stoke station in good time for the Manchester train leaving Stoke just before 9.30 am.

Handsome Presentation from Florence Colliery

As a result of telegraphic communication between Mr. S. Barber, manager of Florence colliery, and Corpl Egerton after the latter had reached London to report for further service on Friday last, the army authorities granted the young NCO a special four days leave in-order that he might attend at Longton town hall on Monday evening to receive a practical expression of the pride and delight which his decoration has occasioned among the proprietors, the management and employees of the Florence colliery, where Corpl Egerton formally worked. All the departments of the colliery were represented in a gift, which awaited the V.C. although the company was on the small side. Corpl Egerton was presented by the directors, staff and employees with £85.10, the bulk of which was in the shape of war savings certificates. He also received hearty congratulations from all concerned including his former workfellows. It was agreed to leave the bulk of the investment in the hands of Mr. G.P. Hyslop. Mr. S. barber, Mr. G. Till and Mr. S. Haile, as trustees would take care of the investment until Corpal Egerton finally returned from the war.

Corpl Egerton agreed with this and said he had also made provision for any eventuality and if, as god forbid anything any thing should happen to him, he had left instructions as to what must be done. There were more speeches from the colliery representatives, then the presentation took place, and with an enthusiastic ovation, he received the war certificates, £5 in cash and a silver cigarette case. The cigarette case bore the inscription; December 1917 presented to Coral E.A. Egerton V.C. by the officials and workmen of Florence colliery on the occasion of his being awarded the Victoria Cross. (Applause)

Corpl Edgerton's Reply

The applause was resumed with vigour as Corpl Egerton rose to respond. Once or twice in the course of his remarks he paused momentarily, but generally speaking he addressed the audience with fluency and delightfully boyish simplicity, he said it was a great pleasure to him to be able to stand in front of the employees from "the old firm" to which he was proud to belong. He could not express the words how he appreciated all that the staff and employees of the colliery had done. He had had a few gifts presented to him but he would treasure theirs more than any of the others, as having come from his old colleagues, men who had to work hard to get their money. "I know it is hard work" he said "because I have done some". He would be pleased if he if he could think that he was going to resume work at Florence colliery the following day, but they had all got their duty to do to get the war finished, as had been said. The men from Florence colliery responded well to the call of King and country in 1914. He was very proud to say that when he had been in difficult situations in the battlefield, he had come across a few lads who used to work with him "we were not able to have a drink together" he remarked "we were a bit to close to the Germans". Proceeding, Corpl Egerton said that he had enlisted in the North Stafford Regiment, and he would not be surprised if he were called back to that Regiment. Although he was in the Sherwood Forresters at the present nearly the whole of his battalion were North Staffordshire men. It was always re-enforced by The North Staffords, and on one occasion after they had come out of an attack a General came round to see them and specially mentioned his pride in the men from North Staffs who had joined the Sherwood Forresters and had helped them achieve some of the successes which they had secured. He would take that cigarette case back with him to the battlefield, and every time he opened it he would think of the men who worked at Florence colliery. He hoped that the war would soon be over, so that all the boys could resume their old jobs. (Applause)

Mr. Barber, manager, finished off, saying they were all pleased that Corpl Egerton had been granted a special 4 day's leave for the presentation and went on to describe how he managed that, and hoped it would not be too long before he was back at work, because they could do very well with his sort at the colliery.

Longton's V.C.s Return from War

He had returned back to the front, survived the major offensives at the Somme and Ypres unscathed, but was badly gassed during the German "Kaiserschlact" offensive of spring 1918.
On his arrival back home, Longton paid tribute to their hero on Friday 30th August 1918. The entire Potteries community are proud of E. A. Egerton VC, Sergeant in the Notts and Derby Regiment. His name will be for ever cherished and honoured, but Longton claims the special privilege to fete him, because he is a Longton boy who has proved himself worthy of receiving, from his Majesty the King, the highest honour England has to give to her brave soldiers.

As Mayor, Alderman W.E. Robinson indicated while making a presentation to Sergeant Egerton, that the honour is so great that it is saved for the few, and is counted a prize beyond all others because it goes to only those whose glorious gallantry stands out conspicuously above all that is so magnificent and so noble, that no ordinary reward could mark the distinction.
There are some who were awarded the VC did not live to receive the award, fortunately Sergeant Egerton has been spared to receive the congratulations of his fellow townsmen and they are happy in taking the fullest advantage of the opportunity. He looks only a mere youth, a smart open faced, fair headed, handsome lad, who might have been at school only a short time before the war. But he is rather older than he looks although he has just reached manhood. On Sunday at Fosbrook church, he will take unto himself a wife, and one feels sure that in wishing him and his bride to be all possible joy and comfort in life. One is voicing the sentiment of the whole community, who will also join in praying for a special protection for him during his future service in the trenches.

An Illuminated Address

There was a very large attendance at Longton Town Hall on Friday evening.

The chair was occupied by Mr. H. Aynsley J.P. on whose right hand was mounted a handsome illuminated testimonial, the work of Messrs. Hughes and Harber Ltd. It was draped and surmounted with a Union Jack; the inscription was as follows;


To Seargent E.A. Egerton V.C. (Notts and Derby Regiment.)
At a public meeting held at the Town hall, Longton, on Tuesday December 4th 1917 it was resolved that the heartiest congratulations of your fellow townsmen be offered to you on the bestowal of the Victoria Cross at the hand of his Majesty the King on December the 5th, in recognition of your conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty to the cause of your country on the battlefields of France.
(This was followed by the citation of his valour)
Longton is justly proud that one of her soldier sons has won this covetous decoration, and it is sincerely hoped that you may live to a ripe old age to enjoy the honour you have so richly deserved.
Signed on behalf of the people of Longton:
Harry Aynsley, Chairman. A.B. Jones, Treas. W.H. Jones Hon, Sec. of the committee. Longton Stoke-on-Trent.

Representative Assembly

The platform was adorned in tasteful style by the flags of all the Allies; with the Stars and Stripes in particular prominence hung right across the front and a representative assembly of all the dignitaries of Longton.
The audience cheered when the chairman announced at the onset that they had met together to honour their friend, Sergeant. Egerton V.C. They were exceedingly proud of him, and the whole of the Potteries were proud of him.
Mr. A.R. Jones, treasurer of the fund made a financial statement. He said the total amount subscribed was £262-9s-3p of which £24 had already been handed to Sergeant Egerton. The Mayor would present him with a further £39 that evening, leaving £200 in hand for the time being, in the hope that Sergeant Egerton would eventually do something with it, which would be permanent to him.

The Mayors Remarks

The Mayor said it was his pleasing duty and great privilege to make a presentation on behalf of the townspeople, to Sergeant Egerton, who they were glad to see, had been created a Sergeant since he was last amongst them.
It was a proud day for all of them, as no doubt it was to Sergeant Egerton. They were delighted to be able to meet in that beautiful hall, and ask him to accept those tokens of appreciation for his magnificent services on the field of battle. They all new the circumstances of the gallant deed for which he has been so signally honoured, and they believe that the spirit which has prompted him, would carry him through life, that he would perform his duties as a citizen in the fullest possible manor.
It was pleasing to learn that in addition to winning the Victoria Cross, Sergeant Egerton was also winning something else, he, (the Mayor) was told he had won a bride, or would do so at the weekend. It was to be hoped that Sergeant Egerton and his wife would enjoy many years of happy life.

The Presentation by the Mayor

Sergeant Egerton, I have now very great pleasure and the very great privilege to ask your acceptance of this very beautiful illuminated address, the context of which has been read by Mr. W.H. Jones. I also ask you to accept this gift of money, particulars of which have been read out by Mr. A.B. Jones and I pray that everything that is contained in this address, the sentiments as to yourself, may be fully realised:
That in the providence of God, you may be permitted to come back again safely: that when this war is over, as we believe it will be at no very distant date, you may come back to us safe and sound.
The Mayor then handed the testimonial to Sergeant Egerton, who was met with an enthusiastic ovation.

Sergeant Egerton in his reply said:

First of all let me thank you with all my heart for the rousing reception you have given me tonight. Your kindness to me will always be a pleasant memory. I only did my duty, like thousands of more of my comrades are doing every day. Fortunately, I came through safely and what I tried to do has been generously recognised. My family, and I will always treasure the handsome testimonial you have given me especially as Mr. Harber, who has been a great friend to me in so many ways, has given it to me. The money accompanying the address will be extremely useful to me especially as I'm being bold enough to get married on Sunday. My future wife and I intend taking care of that part of your gift that is the money part, for a rainy day.
I should like before I sit down to personally thank the committee and officials who have worked so hard to make the effort such a success, and everyone who has contributed to the fund.
I have met with great kindness in every direction and I am very proud to have made so many friends amongst you. I am still a very young man, but I try to do always what is right and be a credit to you all and never bring disgrace on the townspeople who have so greatly honoured me tonight.

 

FIRST WORLD WAR HERO MOURNED AT FORSBROOK
Sergeant Ernest A Egerton, V.C.

 

Sergeant Ernest Albert Egerton, a First World War hero, who won the V.C. on Passchendaele Ridge, 49 years ago, was laid to rest on Thursday.
Many of his former comrades gathered around his graveside at Forsbrook Parish Church, as the Last Post was sounded for the Potteries last surviving V.C. of the First World War: who died at his home in Uttoxeter Road, Blythe Bridge aged sixty-eight years.
The Last Post was played by two buglers from Mr. Egerton's old regiment. The Sherwood Foresters.
Among the mourners who packed the church were several who were among the crowd which gave Mr. Egerton a hero's homecoming at Longton Station when he returned home from the war.
Members of the British Legion formed a guard of honour at the Church entrance.
 


The service was conducted by the Vicar, the Rev. Basil Williams assisted by the Rev. M. Smith of Blythe Bridge Methodist Church.
The family mourners were Mrs E. Egerton (widow). Mrs. Funge, Mrs. Porter (daughters). Mrs. Steele (sister), Mr. Harold Egerton (brother), Mr. Funge, Mr. Porter (sons-in-law), Mrs. L. Egerton (sister-in-law), Mr. K. Gimbert (nephew) Mr. & Mrs. Gimbert (brother-in-law), Mr. & Mrs. Ernest Egerton (nephew), Mrs. Goodwin (niece), Miss. E. Mottram, Mrs. D. Smith, Mrs. G. Wright, Mrs. Webb, Mr. McGough, Mr. Brassington.
Representing the Cheadle and Blythe Bridge Branches of the British Legion were Mr. J.E Halliwell, Mr. T Ash, Mr. W Hough, Mr. Blackhaven, Mr. R Grocott (Standard Bearer), Mr. A Appleby, Mr. F Salt (Chairman) and Mr. W Brown.
Lieutenant D. S. Carryer (representing Commanding Officer 5/6th Battalion North Staffords); Major General C. B. Fairbanks (Sherwood Foresters) also representing; Colonel A. A. Dean, Warrant Officer E. Blint, Mercian Brigade Depot, Lichfield; Lieutenant Colonel Gofton Salmond, Regiment Secretary Sherwood Foresters; Mr. J. E. Leese, Grenadier Guards Old Comrades Association; Mr. W. North, Royal Engineers.
Mrs. M Barlow (Divisional President Longton Red Cross), Mr. F Brindley (Cadet Officer, Longton Red Cross); Major T Steele R.H.P Association; Major T Simpson, Mr. D Brammer, Mr. B Boulton, Mr. W Sheard (all representing 5th North Staffords Re-Union Association 1914-18)
OTHERS PRESENT
Representing Staffordshire Potteries Limited, Mr. G. T. Basnett, Director; Mr. W.A. Shenton, Engineering Department; Mr H. Gibson, The Lodge; Mr. J. Wrightman, Building and Maintenance; Mr B.C. Coppinger, Mr. C. W. Bowers and Mr Edward Bowers.
Other mourners included Mr. T. W. Clay, Mr. J. Barnett, Sergeant E. K. Bedson (Blythe Bridge Police), Mr. Howard Burley, Mr. J. Fenton, Mr. R. J. Franklin (Forsbrook Parish Council and Simplex Electric Company), Mr. C. E. Frost, Mr. W. A. Shenton, Mrs. S. Faulkner, Mr. A. T. Buxton (Thomas Cone Ltd), Mr. H. Lowe, Mr. George Alcock (cousin), Mr. and Mrs. S Spragg, Mrs. E. Tetley, Mrs. J. Alcock, Mrs. W. R. Penning, Mr. H. W. Pitt, Mrs. F. Hilditch (Forsbrook Parish Council), Mr. J. T. Dobson, Mr. G. B. Emery, Mrs. M. Aston (Parochial Church Council), Mrs. M. Cole, Mrs. C. Salt, Mrs. O. Porter, Mrs. D. Radcliffe, Mr. and Mrs. B. G. Gibson, Miss. M. Hulme, Mr. E. Kirkham (P.M.T), Mr. A. Walton, Mrs. N. Harrison, Mrs. E. Bentley, Miss. J. Bentley, Mr. G. W. Smith, Mr. F. G. Thompson, Mr. H. Keay, Miss. E. Keay, Mr. L Keay, Mr. W. J. Phillips and Mr. D. Brown (Paramount Pottery Co Ltd), Mrs. J. Holloway, Mrs. E Peel, Mrs. Latham, Mr. and Mrs. E Perrins, Mr. and Mrs. D. Bradbury, Mrs. W. Heath, Mr. G. F. Millward, Mr. E. Ball, Mr. and Mrs. Latham, Mr. A. C. Rowley, Mr. G. H. Hind (Eaglehard Industries Ltd) and Major W. H. Robinson.
Messrs W. R. Bettelley of Longton were in charge of the funeral arrangements.

The above was taken from the TIMES AND ECHO Friday February 25th 1966

Army Museums
Medal entitlement of:
Sergeant Ernest EGERTON
16th Bn, The Sherwood Foresters
Victoria Cross
British War Medal ( 1914-20 )
Victory Medal ( 1914-19 ) + MiD Oakleaf
King George VI Coronation Medal ( 1937 )
Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal ( 1953 )
Some Very Useful Refernce Links are Listed Below:
       
   
 
       
   
 

Finally my thanks go to Mr. John Lumsdon for allowing me to use some of his work, also a big thankyou goes to Mrs. Mary Woolridge (nee Jolly), whom was a fantastic help in collating a vast amount of information, photographs and memorabilia in which in turn made my job in making this website on Sergeant Egerton both enjoyable and a privilege to research and document for future generations


 
 
 
 
     
Maintained and Funded by Steve Nail
© egerton.org.uk 2006-2007
Updated 4/07/07 3:55 PM