On 27 December 1915, Pat Armstrong was awarded a Military Cross ‘for devotion to duty, showing marked energy and administrative ability’. It was a proud moment for the young soldier and his family. The British Military Cross had been created on 28 December 1914 as a means of recognizing the wartime gallantry of junior officers with the rank of Captain or below. In addition to the British Army, individuals in the Indian Army and Colonial Forces were also eligible for the award. Holders of the Military Cross were entitled to use the letter M.C. after their names. From August 1916, one or more Bars could be added to the Military Cross in recognition of further acts of valour. In the course of the First World War, some 37,000 Military Crosses were awarded to soldiers for gallantry in the field.
Monday 27 December
Went to the hospital, I am to be in Ward I till the next change, I am awfully glad.
Helles. Some heavy rain in the night. Put on trench boots and went round Battns. Went up to bombing ground in the afternoon with Percy. Left here at 10.30 with Howard de Walden & met 400 men of the Bde arriving from Mudros. 39th Bde came in from Imbros. Got to bed about 2.30.
Tuesday 28 December
Went to the hospital.
Helles. Stayed in bed till about 10 o’c then went round Battns. Glorious warm sunny day. Stayed in all afternoon & wrote letters. H. trenches were shelled by our guns but nothing much happened.
I got enclosed last night & am sending it to you as you may like to keep it. Perhaps the Boss might like to see it too. I think I’m awfully lucky getting my name sent forward again like this. No news to-night. Best love dear wee Mus.
Your loving Pat
Recommendation for a Military Cross
Recommendation for a Military Cross
Wednesday 29 December
Helles. Glorious day. Percy a bit seedy. Went round working parties & then went on & saw William of the S.W.B’s. At 1 o’c the 52 Div took G11. Got back about 2.15. Went down to Corps in the evening & saw Sally Flood. Heard from Mrs de Lisle. Worked out working parties for to-morrow with the General after dinner.
Thursday 30 December
Muz & I went up to London by the 8-30, to meet Algie. We went to his club, & met him, & then shopped, then went back to the club for lunch, & his two sisters & a niece went there too – Mrs Leatham, & Mrs Rattray. Then Mrs R. came with us to a matinee “A Little bit of Fluff”,1 it was awfully funny. After tea Mrs R. went back, & we did more shopping & then Algie came to see us off at the station, & we came down by the seven. When we got back Kathleen was here, she had wired to know if she could come. We talked till about 11-30.
Friday 31 December
Gordon’s birthday. Went to the hospital. Doddie came round for lunch. Ione went to the dance at the Grand, & Muz, Doddie, Kathleen, Heppie, Tom & I went to the theatre “Miss Hook of Holland”.2 We went to the 1/- seats. Afterwards we came back & talked, & ate mince pies! We stayed up till nearly two. Ione came in to see us before she went to bed.
Saturday 1 January
Went to the hospital. Dorothy came for lunch & tea. Kathleen & Muz went down to Sandgate before lunch. After tea Ione, Tom, Dorothy, Kathleen & I went to the Manor House for a concert, Tom helped Mr Neill with his tricks. Ione & K left early & Dorothy, Tom & I went round & saw the men. Ione & K went to the dance, & I went to the club, Dorothy went back before dinner.
Sunday 2 January
Went to the hospital, then changed, & went up to the Grand to lunch with Miss Lewis & her brother, & another man. Doddie came up & met us there & talked. We served most of the evening. Then Muz, Doddie, Tom & I went down to the club, but it wasn’t very full. We went to bed at about 11-30.
Pat Armstrong’s Military Cross
Helles. Cold wind but hot sun. Was in all morning making arrangements about evacuating blankets forks etc. Went to Hants, Wor & Essex in the afternoon. Then on to 87th Bde Hd Qrs. Lucas told me that I was to be left to manage rear guard. Got forks away. Home [?] & Gillam came in for dinner.
A British farce by Walter Ellis which was first staged in 1915⇑
An English musical comedy with music by Paul Rubens. Having opened in 1907, the show enjoyed great popularity in Britain until the 1950s ⇑
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