Sergeant Oliver Poulton DCM

Distinguished Conduct Medal

A DCM (mage via Wikipedia)

I’ve managed to track down citations for Distinguished Conduct Medals won by Portsmouth soldiers during the Great War. Heres a good one to start…

Oliver Victor Poulton was born in Portsmouth in 1889. We know that in 1914 his parents were living at 15 Longs Road in Landport.

In 1911 Poulton was living at Stanhope Barracks in Aldershot. A Lance Corporal, he was single, 22, and serving with 22 Company of the Royal Engineers. His occupation was listed as bricklayer. He was serving in Gibraltar when the war began in August 1914, but was quickly sent to the Western Front in October 1914.

‘For conspicuous gallantry on the 18th December 1914, when engaged with a party of men cutting the enemys wires, he lay on the parapet of a German trench for one hour shooting at every head that appeared. Corporal Poulton subsequently assisted in rescuing a wounded comrade under fire’

Poulton’s DCM was announced in the London Gazette on 1 April 1915. That Poulton took it upon himself to shoot so many of the enemy, as we know that he was a musketry instructor and the best shot in his company. Once again, a Royal Engineer proved to be a devil with a gun rather than a shovel of a pick axe!

Sadly, Oliver Poulton was killed on 28 June 1917. He was 30, and by that time was a Sergeant with 15 Company RE. He is buried at Belgian Battery Corner Cemetery in Belgium.




Filed under Army, portsmouth heroes, western front, World War One

2 responses to “Sergeant Oliver Poulton DCM

  1. johncerickson

    Interesting! I’ve always had a soft spot for the engineers. Them and Signals folk. Anybody who can do a civilian job while being shot at will ALWAYS have my respect. (My dad did that kind of job. ‘Course, he was laying telephone wire on the south side of Chicago when ducking bullets, and it wasn’t even during a war – well, a government declared war, anyway…..)

    • James Daly

      Me too John. I can’t help but think of the Engineers at Arnhem Bridge, and a comment I heard from one Para that they thought just as well as the infantry. But then again, it’s the British Army’s ethos that – in principle at least – every man is a rifleman first and foremost.

      Subjects for my WW1 book are starting to select themselves just nicely!

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