Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Reception for a Local Hero

Thursday 15th June 1916: Biggleswade did honour to its brave young townsman Private Chris Lincoln of the 2nd Bedfords on Tuesday evening, when, in connection with the fund opened by The Biggleswade Chronicle Mr H M Lindsell CB, Chairman of the Urban District Council presented the gallant lad with a watch, Exchequer Bond for £5, a cheque for £1 5s and a Treasury Note case.

The watch was a solid 9 carat gold half hunter with three-quarter movement and was supplied by Mr A H Blake. The inscription on the back of the case is as follows: “Biggleswade Chronicle Heroes Fund. Presented to Pte Chris Lincoln, 2nd Bedfords, by Mr H M Lindsell CB on behalf of fellow townsmen as a token of their appreciation of his bravery in the Battle of Loos May 1916”.

The recipient is still a mere boy, for he is only 19 years of age, but he had served two trainings in the Bedfordshire Regiment (Special Reserve) prior to the war. On mobilisation he went to Landguard Fort until December 1914 when he went to France to join the 2nd Battalion.

For nearly ten months and through five great engagements including Festered and Neuve-Chapelle he escaped without injury but at Hulluch-Loos on 25th September he was terribly wounded, so much so that he is permanently crippled. For his work at Loos he won the praise of his Colonel and of General Watt and their letters of commendation are as follows and in them is the official record of the deed

“7th Division 7114 Private C Lincoln 2nd Bedfordshire Regiment – Your Commanding Officer has informed me that you have distinguished yourself by bravery in the field on 25/9/15. I have read his report and although promotion and decoration cannot be given in every case, I should like you to know that your gallant action is recognised and greatly appreciated – H Watt, Major-General”.

“The Bedfordshire Regiment, 2nd Battalion 7114 Private C Lincoln has been brought to the notice of the Officer Commanding the Battalion for his good work in the field displaying great courage in the advance on 25/9/15 Hulluch-Loos, in making several openings in wire entanglements, which were serious obstacles to an advance and was subsequently wounded – H S Poyntz, Officer Commanding”.

Lincoln, we thought, deserved some tangible token of appreciation from his fellow-townsmen, hence the Chronicle Fund.

Source: Biggleswade Chronicle 16th June 1916

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