7338 Hubert Astin, MM
1st Battalion, East Lancashire Regiment. Awarded the M.M., in the London Gazette of 11 November 1916. Astin was a native of Burnley, Lancashire.
The Burnley Express of 28 August 1915 reported :-
ANOTHER D.C.M., RECOMMENDATION. BURNLEY PRIVATE'S BRAVERY.
Still another Burnley lad has distinguished himself in battle, and for it he has been recommended for the D.C.M. He is Private Hubert Astin of "D" Company, 1st East Lancashires, and his home is at 16, Catlow Street, Burnley. Writing to his wife, he says : - "You will be pleased to hear that our Commanding Officer is recommending me for the Distinguished Conduct Medal for what I did when we were in the trenches last, when the Germans were shelling us day and night. I risked my life a few times, but it had to be done, and my officer told me the other day that I was being recommended. I only hope I get it. It his a great honour to have the D.C.M." The letter is dated July 17th, but writing under date August 17th, Private Astin encloses his official recommendation card, he states :- "We are back in the trenches again, and I still have not got the medal. I hope to do so. All the boys say they are sorry I have not got it so far."
Private Astin had a rather lucky escape early this year, for on one occasion a shell burst close to a batch of soldiers he was with, but all escaped. Then, again, a bullet went through his haversack and ruined it, but he managed to secure the bullet and has kept it for a souvenir. his Burnley friends will be pleased to hear of his recommendation for the coverted medal and all will hope he gets it.
The award of the Military Medal as is outlined below finally rewarded Astin.
From the Burnley Express of 15 November 1916: -
Pte. Hubert Astin, of the East Lancashire Regiment,
gains his distinction on the third recognition for bravery. Last year, in
July, and in October, he was recommended on two occasions for bravery, but
no award followed, and the present coveted honour is no doubt due to the fact
that he has altogether had three distinction cards.
Pte. H. Astin, whose home is at 16, Catlow Street, Piccadilly Road, Burnley, as been out two years, and was at home about twelve months ago on his only leave. On the first occasion on which he was complimented it was for getting messages through when communication wires had been broken. In a letter home at the time he said "Messages had to be got through, and I went out not once but dozens of times. How I kept getting through I don't know. I had to crawl at points, and make a dash here and there, but I got through alright. The trenches were all knocked in and the Germans tried their terrible gas on us. All I can say is that I was one of the lucky ones, if a fellow is hit he is unlucky." His wife received a letter about a fortnight ago saying that he had again been recommended for distinction, but in view of the previous disappointments he evidently did not attach too much importance to it. However, the honour has now been gazetted.