John Paul Bromhead from Oakham was posthumously awarded the Military Medal after being killed in action on 3 August 1916 during the Battle of the Somme near Pozieres. He was the son of Newton and Mary Bromhead and lived in Nonnan Cottage, West Road in Oakham. He won a scholarship to Oakham School which he attended between 1904 and 1912, becoming a rugby and cricket Colour and Head of School. He went on to be a Johnson Exhibitioner at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge where he gained 2nd Class Classical Tripos. He joined the 8th Battalion Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment) as a Private. His battalion was involved in the Battle of the Somme from the start and took part in an attack on Ovilliers in early July. By August the fighting had moved the short distance towards the village of Pozieres. The Fusiliers' war diary says on the night of 3 August 1916 the battalion was ordered to attack a section of German trench known as 4th Avenue north west of the village. "At 11pm an intense bombardment commenced and the attacking party crawled out of the trenches... at the precise moment 11.15pm the barrage lifted and the Companies charged. They took the enemy completely by surprise and entered the trenches with little resistance to encounter from the enemy who in many instances had no time to seize their rifles." The diary goes on to talk of hand-to-hand fighting. "A party of A Company was working up the trench to the right with the bayonet... thus by midnight the line was completely in our hands. The success of the attack was due to the fact that the assaulting troops were close behind our barrange ready to charge directly it lifted thus taking the enemy by surprise." The diary records the deaths of three officers "and about 150 other ranks were casualties which included a very high proportion of wounded." John was one of those who died. Although his name does not appear in the battalion war diary as one of those awarded a Military Medal for the fighting in July and August, it does appear in the list published by the London Gazette on 19 September 1916 (although with the wrong Service number), so it is not clear for which action he was awarded the medal. John has no known grave and is remembered on Pier 16A of the Thiepval Memorial, Oakham's war memorial, and in Oakham School Chapel.
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