Distinguished Conduct Medal, GV, 240057 Drummer E.H.G. Farmer, 1st/5th Gloucester Regiment, Territorial Force
Edward Harold George, was born during 1895 in Gloucester and joined his local regiment during the war, he was the only Drummer in the regiment to earn a D.C.M.
Official citation: “For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He displayed great courage and determination on several occasions in carrying messages under the most intense fire.”
Gloucester Journal 28th April 1917:
‘DCM FOR GLOUCESTER DRUMMER
OFFICERS TRIBUTE TO GALLANT CONDUCT
Drummer Harold Farmer, Gloucester Regiment has been awarded a D.C.M. for gallant conduct in action.
In a letter to Mr Farmer, the Company Commanding Officer states the distinction was gained “During a recent attack on a village which was defended by Machine Guns and wire, through which we had to make our way. At a very critical period, while trying to turn my flank in order better to make the assault, your son went forward, taking my message under extremely heavy fire, and not only conveyed his orders but also personally cheered and encouraged the men, so that I consider the success of the final assault was due to your son’s absolute disregard to danger and personal initiative. At present (April 22nd) unfortunately your son is in hospital suffering from slight chest trouble, but I don’t think there is any need for anxiety as the doctor expects him to come out and rejoin us in a few days. Please accept my sincerest congratulations on your son’s fine work.”
In forwarding the ribbon for the decoration, the Colonel of the Battalion conveys his own and the congratulations of the Divisional and Brigade Commanders to the recipient.
Drummer Farmer’s old Sergeant-Drummer has also written Mr Farmer congratulating him on Harold’s honour and on having so brave a son, “He is not very big (writes the Sergeant), but he has proved that every ounce of him is of the very best. I know the value he has been to me and others, and to the battalion, and no one is more proud of him than I for the honour he has nobly earned. Every one of Harold’s company knows that his conduct was most distinguished. He is now in hospital, but I do not know exactly where. I should like to have been the first to congratulate and thank him for the honour he has brought on the Drummers and the Old Band.
I hope he will have the health and strength to wear the decoration for many years to come.”
Drummer Farmer, who was an old Calton-Road Schoolboy was employed at the Gloucester Shirt Factory, Magdala Road, when his battalion was mobilised on the outbreak of war. He has been on active service in France since March, 1915.’
Dinner in his Honour, reported in the Gloucester Journal 8th September 1917:
“A pleasing function took place on the premises of the Gloucester Shirt Company Ltd on Tuesday morning, when Drummer Harold Farmer, who is home on leave from France and who was married last week, was made recipient of a dinner service, subscribed for by his fellow employees, and an oaken timepiece, suitably inscribed, presented him by the Directors of the Company, in commemoration of his having won the D.C.M. in France for gallantry in action on the 5th April 1917. Mr Acton made the presentation on behalf of the employees, and Mr George W. Brace for the Directors.
The recipient feelingly acknowledged the gifts. It is interesting to note that out of the Gloucester Shirt Company’s staff of 31 men of military age when the hostilities commenced, 24 have at various dates been called up for the service, of whom one has been killed, one discharged, 4 wounded.
Farmer was with the Company for seven years, coming as a boy. He was a member of the Choral Society and Voluntary Choir at the Cathedral.
His wedding was reported in the Gloucester Journal on 1st September 1917:
A very pretty wedding was solemnised at St Peters Church, GLoucester, on Wednesday, the contracting parties being Drummer Harold Farmer, D.C.M., Gloucester Regiment, eldest son of Mr and Mrs G. Farmer, of Calton-Road, Gloucesterm and Miss Edith Westle, eldest daughter of Mr and Mrs E. Westle, of Sinope-street, Gloucester. The Rev. Canon J.B. Chard officiated.
The bride, who was given away by her father, was charmingly gowned, and carried a sheaf of lilies.
The bridesmaids were Miss Nita Farmer and Miss Bella Westle, who wore gold brooches, the gifts of the bridegroom, The Misses Eva and Grace Westle also being in attendance on the bride. Mr Ernest Farmer (Brother) carried out the duties of “Best Man.” The newly-wedded couple were the recipient of a large number of useful presents. Later in the day Mr and Mrs Farmer left for the Forest of Dean, where the honeymoon will be spent.”
At the dedication of the War Memorial at St Peters Church in Gloucester in February 1920 the newspaper report ends with:
“At the conclusion of the Canon’s address, ‘Last Post’ was sounded by ex-Pte Harold Farmer, D.C.M., 1/5th Gloucesters, and an impressive service was brought to a close with the singing of ‘Faith of our fathers.’”