27029 A/Sergeant Walter Beckett.

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11th Battalion, East Lancashire Regiment.

Awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal in the London Gazette of 3 September 1918.

Awarded the Military Medal in the London Gazette of 29 August 1918.

Beckett was a native of Sabden, Lancashire.

The citation in the London Gazette for his D.C.M. reads "For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. When in charge of a Lewis gun team he got into position to frustrate a flank attack, and enfiladed the enemy, who were collecting in an orchard. He kept the gun in action after all the team had become casualties, and prevented any sorties from the orchard. When ordered to withdraw he brought the gun back, having used all his ammunition."

From the Burnley News of 1 June 1918, Military Medallist - Double Distinction for Gallant Sabden Sergeant. Sergeant Walter Beckett (Sabden), 11th Battalion East Lancashire Regiment, who was awarded the D.C.M., for bravery and good work against the Germans in March last, has now been granted the Military Medal for gallantry and efficient service on the 12th and 13th April last. The recommendation for the distinction reads as follows, "For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty throughout the recent fighting. Continually through the action he and his gun team fought the enemy under adverse conditions, doing considerable damage. On each occasion when we changed positions, he advanced to cover our movements. In a position in front of the wood near Ferme Lynde, he and his gun team did considerable damage; the enemy had practically surrounded his post. He remained and used his gun to such excellent effect that the remainder of his team were able to withdraw to the main line of resistance. He then managed to return himself. Later in the day, 13 April, the enemy attacked again, and suffered very heavily to Sergeant Beckett's gun, at a range of 150-200 yards. The fact that the team he had with him in the last mentioned action contained four men gathered from the remnants of the other team of the Company, and two untrained men, adds considerably to the credit of the performance." Sergeant Beckett, who is to be congratulated on his double distinction, is the only son of Mr. G. Beckett, 21, Padiham Road, Sabden. He possesses a quiet and most unassuming disposition, and the villagers are proud of the honour he has done to his native place. He was connected with the Baptist Sunday school and Church, where he was a member of the choir. He is 25 years of age.

The Burnley News of 5 October 1918 reports, Sabden Hero Honoured - Presentations to Sergeant Walter Beckett, winner of two medals. On Thursday evening, in the Council School, Sabden, a function unique in the history of the village took place, when Sergeant Walter Beckett, East Lancashire Regiment was publicly awarded his decorations by Miss Hindle of the village Comforts Committee, and a gold watch and wallet containing £11 by Dr. Laycock. Mr. William Pratt presided over the densely crowded gathering, supported by Mr. Robert Hindle, J.P., the Rev. A.E. Bowden, M.A., Lieut. the Rev. J.G. Thomas, of Halifax, Councillor Hargreaves, Mr. F. Wilkinson, and Mr. J.E. Britcliffe (Clerk of the Parish Council). A splendid concert also took place the artists being Madam Cissie Wood, [Whalley], (soprano); Mrs. W.S. Haken, (character vocalist); Miss Lizzie Banks, (elocutionist); Mr. Jesse Parsons, (baritone); Mr. Fred Birtwell, (bass); and Messrs. Charles Edge and W. Ratcliffe, accompanists. All the artists were in good form. While they were there to honour Sergeant Beckett, they did not forget the other brave Sabden lads, some of whom were facing indescribable hardships and dangers on the bloodstained fields of France and Flanders; the battle-scarred Alps of Italy; the bleak and rugged mountains of Macedonia; the arid plains of Mesopotamia and India; and the sacred ground once trodden by our Saviour's blessed feet. Brief mention was also made of Sergeant-Major Dickenson of the village who had also won the M.M., "but was missing in action- hopefully a prisoner."

Walter Beckett is buried in the Methodist Churchyard, Wesley Street, Sabden. The grave bears the following inscription: - "Walter Beckett, DCM, MM. 1892 - 1945, and his wife Stella 1896 - 1985. Erected in his memory by his fellow A.R.P's."