HUBBARD George Henry, DCM

Known information

George Henry Hubbard, a regular soldier from the start of the First World War, received the Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM) for bravery under fire during the Battle of Aubers Ridge in 1915. He was born in Alconbury Weston in Huntingdonshire on 13 April 1894, the son of Charles Hubbard and his wife, and step-brother to Charles Henry Read who also died in the First World War. The family moved to Tinwell where George grew up and later on to Stamford. George was a farm labourer before joining the Northamptonshire Regiment on 1 January 1913, initially posted to the 1st Battalion and later transferring to the 7th. He sailed for France on 12 August 1914 arriving at Le Havre the following morning as part of the British Expeditionary Force. He fought at Mons, Aubers Ridge, Loos, and Ypres. George was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal and the Russian Medal of the Order of St. George for his actions on 9 May 1915 at Aubers Ridge. The citation stated: "For conspicuous gallantry in twice crawling out from his trench under heavy fire in order to pass orders to other companies." George's own version of the exploit was given in a letter home, in which he wrote: "On the morning of the 9th of May, the regiment had orders to take the German trenches at Aubers Ridge. We arrived at the trenches on the 8th and had to carry several ladders and lots of other things for the purpose of getting out of the trenches. We had two companies in the front line of trenches, and two in reserve. I was doing orderly to the adjutant when the first two companies went over, and the other two took their place in the front line. While we were going along the communication trench Colonel Dubbin was hit with a hard piece of earth which was thrown from the burst of a shell, and we all thought he was wounded. I had a piece hit me at the same time, but it did no damage. The regiment tried to take the German trench, but found that the barbed wire was not cut, and we could not get through. The colonel gave the adjutant a message to be sent to the officer out between our lines and the Germans, and he asked me to take it if I thought it was possible. I took it, and when I reached the captain I found him and his servant dead, so I crawled about until I found another officer, and I gave him the message, and as soon as he got it he was wounded in the foot. He sat up to cut his boot off, and was shot again in the chest, but he signed my messages, and I crawled back again to the colonel. While I was doing so, I bound several of the wounded up, and the Colonel saw me and said he would do what he could for me. As soon as ever I got back again the adjutant asked me if I would try and take another one, and I told him I didn't want to, but I would try. I managed to find another officer, and gave him the message, and, coming back, brought a wounded man back with me, and then when I got into the trench I helped to bind the wounded up. Then the regiment of the Black Watch had a go at taking the trench we couldn't take and they found the same obstacle as us. That is how I got the medals." In Rutland and the Great War, George Phillips writes that George was killed by a shell on 31 July 1917 during the Battle of Givenchy. But that battle in northern France had taken place more than two years previously, in December 1914. In fact on 31 July 1917 the 7th Northants were taking part in the big offensive that became known as the Third Battle of Ypres (Passchendaele). The battalion war diary records how the Northants attacked German positions in Shrewsbury Forest near the Menin Road before dawn broke on 31 July. But the men became disorientated in the darkness and came under concentrated fire from German machine guns, suffering heavy casualties. At this point the Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Edgar Mobbs, went forward and with a handful of men charged an enemy machine gun post. Mobbs was mortally wounded, one of 254 men killed, wounded and missing that day. George Hubbard was one of them. His body was never recovered and so he is remembered on Panel 43 of the Menin Gate. The name of Lieutenant Colonel Mobbs is also on the Gate. A former rugby player, Mobbs had been Captain of England and Northampton Saints before the war and after initially being refused a Commission because of his age, formed his own Company of sportsmen who became known as Mobbs' Own. George, who had married a Lucy Robinson while on home leave on 19 August 1916, at St Laud's Church, Sherington, Buckinghamshire is also remembered on Tinwell's war memorial. 

George Hubbard's medals, including his DCM and the Russian Medal of St George, 4th class, were sold at auction in 2004 for £2,800. 

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  • Tinwell Church
  • Tinwell Memorial
  • Tinwell Plaque
  • Menin Gate
  • Panel 43 Northamptonshire Regt
  • G H Hubbard
  • Postcard front
  • Postcard rear

User contributions

Corp George Henry Hubbard stepbrother to L/Corp Charles Henry Read (Empingham) He was my mothers brother Son of Mr.& Mrs Charles Hubbard of 12 Belton Street Stamford late of Tinwell . He joined the Army 15th January 1913 and he proceeded to France with the original British Expeditionary Force on the 12th August 1914. He fought in Loos,Ypres, Mon, Aubers Ridge, Givenchey and several other engagements. He was awarded two distinctions, the Distinguished Conduct Medal, and the Russian Medal of the order of St George, these being won on the 9th May for bravery in voluntarily taking important messages to officers under fire, and at great risk to himself and for binding up the injuries of wounded men, one of whom yhe carried to a place of safety although being exposed himself. His letter home said ' on the morning of the 9th May the regiment had orders to take the German trenches at Aubers Ridge. We arrived on the 8th and had to carry several ladders and lots of other things for the purpose of getting out of the trenches. We had 2 companies in the front line of trenches and 2 in reserve. i was doing orderly to the Adjutant when the first 2 companes went over and the other 2 their place in the front. While we were going along the communication trench Col. Dublin was hit with a hard peice of earth, which was thrown from a burst of shell and we all thought he was wounded. I had a peice hit me at the same time but it did no damage.The regiment tried to take the trench but found the barbed wire was not cutand could not get through. The Col gave the adjutant a message to be sent to the officer out between our lines and the Germans and he asked me to take it, if I thought it was possible. I took it and when I reached the Captain I found him and his servant dead. i crawled about until I found another officer and gave him the message. and as soon as he received it he was wounded in the foot. He sat up and cut his boot off, and was shot in the chest, but he signed my messages , and I crawled back again to the Col. Whilst I was doing so I bound several of the wounded up, the Col saw me and said he would do what he could for me. As soon as I got back again the adjutant asked if I would try and take another one I told him I did not want to, but I would try. I managed to find another officer and gave him the message, and coming back I brought a wounded man with me, and when I got to the trench I helped to bind the wounded up. Then the Regiment of the Black Watch had a go at taking the trench we couldnt take, and they found the same obstacle as us.That is how I got the medals. He was killed by a shell at the Battle of Givenchy on the 31ast july 1917. He was married at St Davids church, Sherington Bucks. To Miss Lucy Robinsobn on the 19th August 1916. My mother said she was a very nice young lady. He sent my mother a Post Card of St Joan of Arc with inscription of 'Jeanne d'Arc, devent la batalle, pria Deu proteger la France de 1914.' She is standing at a striped post with 'FSAVE written on it and in the background are soldiers loading a large gun and others in the background. Stamped field post A 14th March 1917.and field sensor 35. He writes ' Dear Dot, I am sorry i cannot send you another card, but I hope this finds you well. Give my love to Mother and Father. Well goodbye with best love from your loving brother George xxx' She was 12 years old at the time. His name was in the Supplement to the London Gazette 11th March 1916. His medals were sold (I do not know who) on the 2nd April 2004. Distinguished Conduct Medal G.V.R. 1914 Star with clasp. British war and Victory Medals. Russia, Medal of St George 4th Class reverse officially numbered 165133 with related Memorial Plaque. His name is on the Menin Gate.also outside and inside Tinwell Church. His wife remarried Mrs L French Stantonbury Wolverton Bucks.
By menna on Tuesday 10th June '14 at 7:26pm
I would like Menna, if she is available to contact me please. Her mother was the sister to my Grandmother. I also have the postcard that she says G H Hubbard sent to Dot. This is the first time after many years of research of GH Hubbard and his brother CH Read that I have come across his photograph and this website. I don't know if this will be allowed but if it is my email address is ianjohnstone53@hotmail.com or if anyone from the moderators can put Menna in touch with me. Thank you
By Ian on Thursday 8th January '15 at 10:03am
2 images Menin Gate
By Ian on Thursday 8th January '15 at 10:19am
In the Regimental Diary in the National Archive at Kew there is a 'Special Order. about the 31. July. 1917 from the Brigadier General commanding 73rd infantry brigade. It reads;I would like to place on record my very high appreciation of the splendid fighting qualities and gallantry or the officers, NCOs and men who took part in the action of the 31st July 1917.The enemy did his best to break up our attack and prevent us from gaining our objective. He employed his best troops for this purpose. His artillery and machine gun fire was heavy and intense during this advance- the ground was boggy and ploughed up with shells. In spite of all these difficulties and opposition the 7th battalion Northamptonshire regiment and the 2nd Battalion Loinster (?) regiment drove the enemy from his position on the high ground which the Brigade had been ordered to seize. Many officers were killed or wounded and the fight resolved itself into a soldiers battle which was won by extraordinary pluck and determination. This was a performance of which the troops may very well feel more than proud. HQ 73 I.B. 6.8.17 ( I cant read the signature). Another man to die that day in the 7th Northants was their commanding officer Lieutenant Colonel Edgar Mobbs, DSO 7th Batt Northants. age 37, former England Rugby Football player and former captain of Northampton Rugby. Also listed on the Menin Gate.
By Ian on Thursday 8th January '15 at 2:54pm
 

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