THREE LT. COL. HEBBLETHWAITES IN W.W.1
far as I know there is no record of how many Hebblethwaites fought in
W.W.1. My cousin Roger Hebblethwaite recorded that sadly 12 were
killed in Europe and are buried in European cemeteries. He also
recorded that a further 8 were killed and buried in Europe in W.W.II.
Hebblethwaites were lucky enough to survive and all rose to the rank
of Lieutenant Colonel before they eventually retired.
were all decorated and coincidentally all had, to a greater or lesser
degree, a medical background.
three, with their ranks when the decoration was awarded, were:
Lieut. Roger Vavasour Hebblethwaite,
M.C., R. A., my father, (1899-1976)
citation for his Military Cross in the London Gazette dated 10th
December 1919 reads:
gallantry and devotion to duty, when leading officers’ patrols
under shell and machine–gun fire, between 4th
November, 1918, in Foret de Mormal, in order to obtain dispositions
of enemy and our own troops. Also for excellent work when acting as
liason officer to battalion commanders during the same period. He
showed entire disregard of personal danger.”
must have been one of the last, if not the last, M.C. of the war as
the Armistice was on 11th
Cross, British War medal 1914-20, Victory medal, 1939-45 Star,
France and Germany Star, Defence medal, War medal
was born in 1899, left school at the age of 17 and joined the Royal
Artillery. He served in France, where he was awarded the M.C., until
the end of the war. He continued as a career soldier and was posted
to India, Hong Kong and then, in 1938, to Singapore. He was there for
the fall of Singapore and was one of the few important officers
ordered to escape. This he did, leaving Singapore on 13th
February 1942, the day it fell, in a 45ft. patrol boat and succeeded
in reaching Sumatra. He was subsequently posted to Trincomalee in
(then) Ceylon and back to England and the Second Front. He retired in
1946 with the rank of Lieut. Colonel.
he was a Gunner, his father was a doctor. Septimus Hebblethwaite was
born, qualified and first practiced in Yorkshire, particularly in and
around Harewood. He and his family moved to Cheltenham in 1908 and he
continued his practice there. He also found time to write five
memoranda, “Notes on General Practice”, “The
prescribing of Digitalis”, “The use of manipulation-baths
for the relief of pain in the course and distribution of nerves”,
“Intuitive diagnosis” and “The value of a rough
knowledge of the relation of the lungs to the chest wall” He
was also published in the British medical Journal. He was described
as “a great physician a true gentleman and a God fearing man”
Arthur Stuart Hebblethwaite,
M.B., M.C., R.A.M.C., (1891-1972)
citation for his Military Cross in the Edinburgh Gazette dated 20th
June 1917 reads:
conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He organised and trained
a detachment of stretcher bearers and supervised their operation
under heavy fire. All casualties were cleared within a short time of
the completion of the operations. This was due to the excellent
training and example set by this officer.”
Cross, 1914-15 Star, British War medal 1914-20, Victory medal,
War medal 1939-45, Coronation medal 1937.
born in 1891, the son of a surgeon who was also a Territorial major
in the Royal Army Medical Corps. He went to Leeds University and
qualified as a doctor in 1914, aged 23. He was also a member of the
Territorial Force, the forerunner of the Territorial Army. He must
have volunteered at an early stage of the war and became a Lieut. in
1915 in the R.A.M.C., serving in France. He was promoted captain in
1916 and, when on attachment to the London Irish Rifles, won his
M.C., for which the citation is above. After the war he continued as
a member of the Territorial Force and in 1927, as a major, was in
command of 6th
(Northern) Hygiene Company at their Annual Camp. He finished military
service, in the Territorial Force, as a Lieut. Colonel. in 1933.
1927 he was appointed Medical Officer of Health for Sunderland and
continued in that appointment until his retirement in 1956. Records
show that he was a very active M.O.H. with interests in, among other
things, disabled ex-service men, the treatment of tuberculosis, the
problems of slum clearance, the setting of standards for the
manufacture of ice cream for health reasons and the treatment of
those suffering from chlorine gas. He wrote a pamphlet entitled
“Treatment of chlorine gas poisoning by venesection” and
corresponded in the British Medical journal on, amongst other things,
“Pyrexia during the Puerperium”.
medical experience was tested in 1936 when the ship “Krishna”
was in for a refit in Dry Dock in Sunderland when two of the crew,
Cook, Tan Yam and Fireman’s Boy Tung Thung, were found
unconscious in a small locker space. They had been overcome by carbon
monoxide fumes while sleeping instead of attending to their duties.
They were discovered by the Chief Officer on his rounds. A.S.H.
directed their removal to the Borough Hospital. It is believed that
Tan Yam had been unconscious for about 12 hours and Tung Thung for
slightly longer. Their condition was reported by the hospital as
progressing favourably after oxygen treatment.
Alfred George Hebblethwaite
M.B.,D.S.O., R.A.M.C., (1869-1953)
is never a specific citation for a Distinguished Service Order but it
is awarded to “commissioned officers below field rank for
distinguished service in time of war and for which the V.C. would not
appointment appeared in the London Gazette on the 1st
January 1918, thus confirming that it was awarded in the New Year’s
Honours, a normal way in which such an award was made.
Service Order, 1914 Star, British War medal, Victory medal with
mentioned in despatches, Special Constabulary Long Service medal,
Medaille d’Honnour des Epidemies “en Argent”.
was born in 1869, went to Sedbergh School and then to Leeds
University. He qualified as a doctor in 1891, aged 22, and was 45
years old when war broke out. He was a member of the Territorial
Force, the equivalent of the T. A. and in 1914 served as a senior
surgeon in a mobile Field Ambulance attached to the French Cavalry.
In 1915 he became second in command of the 2/2nd West Riding Field
Ambulance, part of the R.A.M.C.
was appointed a Lieut. in 1915 and Captain in 1916. Whilst a Captain
he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order. In 1917 he was
appointed Deputy Assistant Director of Medical Services, an
appointment covering the whole of the 7th
corps with the rank of Major. In 1918 he relinquished this
appointment and took command of 2/1st
West Riding Field Ambulance with the rank of Lieut. Colonel. which he
held until he retired from the Army.
the war he became Deputy Commissioner of Medical Services, on H.Q.
Staff, Ministry of Pensions, Leeds.
was also an inventor. One patent covers a device for removing a
cigarette from a holder without leaving the paper round the
non-smoked end inside the holder. Another is for improvements to the
manufacture of stockings in order to turn them inside out. Neither
appears to be of great value in today’s world.
was also a golfer, having been honorary secretary of the Keighley
Club he subsequently became the “enthusiastic secretary of the
Seascale Club on the Cumberland coast” in 1933.
and Campaign medals
is a distinction between Campaign medals which are, of course, for
taking part in a campaign and Decorations which are for acts of
valour. These three Lieut. Colonels were all decorated and the most
important of them is the D.S.O. of Alfred George. Because the D.S.O.
is usually awarded for more than one action and involves leadership
there is no formal citation, so we know little about why it was
awarded. However with the two M. C.s we have full details of the two
very different actions.
are a number of interesting things about these Campaign medals.
Stars trace his movements during WWII. from the Pacific theatre to
Europe and the U.K. with the Defence medal.
medals show that he was not on active service in the Army in W.W.II,
probably because of his position as M.O.H. for Sunderland and his age
which was 48 on the outbreak of the war. However he did receive the
Defence Medal, suggesting he was in the Home Guard or a similar
service. His Coronation medal 1937 he was probably awarded because of
his position as M.O.H. for Sunderland.
medals show that because of the award of the 1914 Star he was in
Europe, under fire, and took part of the retreat from Mons at the
beginning of the war. His mention in despatches (the oak leaf
attached to the Victory medal) may have been for his actions in this
retreat. He did not serve in W.W.II because of age (he was 70 when
W.W.II started) but was a member of the Special Constabulary
qualifying for the Long Service medal after at least 9 years unpaid
service. Finally the Medaille d’Honnour des Epidemies is a very
special award as only 85 medals were awarded in silver and the award
was presumably made because of A.G.H.’s actions in France when
he was attached to the French Cavalry in 1914.
are a number of coincidences between these three gallant men. They
were all born in Yorkshire, had a medical background, received a very
high military award and retired as Lieut. Colonels, having served
their country with distinction.
Hebblethwaites are, almost certainly, descendents of James
Hebblethwaite of Sedbergh (circa 1400) so all three would have been
related, although probably distantly because of the number of
generations which had elapsed.
wonder if the three of them ever met?
thanks to Steve Aarons for his extensive research and to Diane
Partington of Digital Magic Memories for her work on enhancing the