Thank you for visiting our studio for the past couple of days.
Last night whilst we were busy talking to some visitors, someone tied a red poppy to the post outside our house. It was tied on the post just as it was getting dark. We would like to thank that person. It was placed in remembrance of company Sergeant Major William Brant of the Royal Berkshire regiment. He died on the 25th April 1917 aged 35. He was the brother of Mrs E Howe, who used to live at our house. For a few years we used to receive Christmas cards for Mrs Howe. I could never return to sender as there was no address, they stopped after a few years.
Her brother was awarded, by the French government, the medal of the Croix de Guerre. The Croix de Guerre may either be awarded as an individual or unit award,
to those soldiers who distinguish themselves by acts of heroism
involving combat with the enemy. The medal is awarded to those who have
been "mentioned in dispatches",
meaning a heroic deed or deeds were performed meriting a citation from
an individual's headquarters unit. The unit award of the Croix de Guerre
with palm was issued to military units whose members performed heroic
deeds in combat and were subsequently recognized by headquarters.
He was decorated with the Croix de Guerre for bravery and resourcefulness at Loos. His company took a position, but all the officers fell. Brant rallied the remainder of his company, who held the trench till victory was secured.
I managed to find a photograph of William Brant along side his company. (Reading Library) See below bottom left hand corner.