Distinguished Conduct Medal, Military Medal, 1914 Star, with original bar, “5th Aug – 22nd Nov 1914”, BWM and Victory, Defence Medal, Sergeant Albert Charles Dean, 3rd Manchester Pals, 18th Service Battalion Manchester Regiment. With a Manchester Regiment Cap Badge.
A rare combination of the Distinguished Conduct Medal, Military Medal with a 1914 Star and Bar Trio.
DCM named: “43658 Cpl. A. C. Dean. 18/Manch: R.”
MM named: “43658 Sjt: A. C. Dean. 18/Manch:R.”
1914 Star and mounted with original clasp named: “874 Pte A. C. Dean. 2/Lan: Fus.”
WW1 Pair named: “874 Sjt. A. C. Dean. Lan. Fus.”
Served after the War with 1st Battalion Manchester Regiment, Click here to go to the Manchester Regiment Archive which has a photograph of him in a group picture of the Warrant Officers and Sergeants of the 1st and 2nd Battalion Manchesters on Parade, October 1919. Sgt Dean is on the third row back, farthest to the right standing up.
Awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal on 9th July 1917, with citation:
“For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He supervised and organised the regimental stretcher-bearers, and set a fine example by repeatedly going out under heavy fire and bringing in wounded men.”
The annotated roll records that he performed his brave duty between 12-16th October 1916 South of Ligny Thilloy, during these 4 days the Pals went over the top of their strength to advanced on the enemy, but almost immediately as they appeared, a heavy artillery barrage appeared, and as they advanced, the German Machine Guns intensified, as the commanding officers all fell, the Platoon Sergeants took it upon themselves to lead the men.
Military Medal announced very shortly afterwards on 28th September 1917 in the London Gazette, he had already been promoted to Sergeant.
Albert first entered the war as an “Old Contemptible” arriving on 22nd August 1914 at Boulogne just in time to be engaged at Mons and the Great Retrat as a member of the 2nd Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers.
During his time with the 2nd Lancs Fusiliers they saw the following service:
1914: Battle of Le Cateau, Battle of the Marne, Battle of the Aisne, Battle of Messines (1914), This battalion is also noted as taking part in the Christmas Truce.
1915: 2nd Battle of Ypres.
Transferred to the Manchester Regiment on 18th September 1916, joining the 3rd Manchester City (Clerks and Warehousemen’s Battalion) Pals, which was then the 18th (Service) (3rd City) Battalion.
The day he earned his Distinguished Conduct Medal was one of the most hellish the 18th Manchester's had encountered throughout the war.
A massive trench attack was launched on 12th October 1916 and in command of the stretcher bearers he certainly had a full few days ahead of him. The battalion rushed at the German Trenches but it would not be so simple, the report states that they:
“Encountered a very severe barrage put up by the enemy immediately as they left the trench, which in spite of severe casualties they resolutely pushed through.
I wish to draw special attention to bravery and determination of the company and platoon commanders who led their men through the barrage and through the heavy machine gun fire which appeared almost instantly at the zero hours.
The company commanders of the two companies on the left (Lt Brown and Trimmer) became casualties just before reaching the British front line, but notwithstanding this they advanced under their platoon Sergeants on crossing the British line the machine gun fire became much more intense and more heavy casualties ensued, a member of men of A and B Companies moved forward and attached themselves to the 18th Manchesters, the support troops thus becoming merged with the assaulting lines.”
The attack south of Ligny-Thilloy lasted 4 days from 12th to 16th October, the resulting Casualties were:
Capt W. Penn Gaskell, Lt H Peters and Lt H Taylor all killed.
2nd Lt F.G. Trimmer, wounded and now missing, 2nd Lt S.J. Brown, 2nd Lt Rumney, 2nd Lt W. Evans wounded.
Amongst the ranks 250 men were killed wounded and missing.
The broken battalion retreated on 16th October and marched back to Marlborough Wood in bivouac.
A lengthy full report of the action is in with the War Diary of the battalion.