With the Centenary of the Armistice upon us this year, I wanted to highlight a couple of passages from the 1918 December editions of the Girls’ Chronicle and Berkhamstedian magazines.
The words speak for themselves.
By the end of the conflict, the names of another forty six Berkhamsted boys would be added to the Roll of Honour, additional honours won and a second Victoria Cross awarded to an Old Boy.
Brett Mackay Cloutman OB Bees, 1906 was awarded the Victoria Cross for his act of bravery on the 6th November, 1918 at Pont-sur-Sambre. After reconnoitring the river crossings, he found the Quartes Bridge almost intact but prepared for demolition. Leaving his party under cover he went forward alone, swam the river and cut the leads from the charges, returning the same way, despite intense shelling and machine-gun fire, which swept the bridge and surrounding area. Although the bridge was blown later in the day, the abutments remained intact.
This was the last act to be awarded a Victoria Cross in the First World War.
As part of the national Remembrance events marking the First World War, the Department for Communities and Local Government will be honouring all recipients of the Victoria Cross awarded between 1914 and 1918. On 6th November, 2018 a commemorative paving stone will be unveiled in honour of Brett Mackay Cloutman and representatives from Berkhamsted School will be attending the ceremony at Hornsey war Memorial.