23493 Private William Herbert Fitzpatrick, MM.
7th Battalion, East Lancashire Regiment. Awarded the M.M., in the London Gazette of 16 August 1917. Fitzpatrick was a native of Padiham, Lancashire.
The Burnley Express of 15 March 1919 reported:-
MEDALS FOR PADIHAM MEN.
Two Padiham Military Medallists were publicly honoured at the Grand Theatre on Saturday evening. They were Corporal George Hitchen of 11, Wytham Street, and Corporal William Herbert Fitzpatrick, 20, Oat Street. Mrs. Agnew presented their medals to them in the presence of a large audience.
Corporal W. H. Fitzpatrick, Lewis-gunner, has received the following:- The Major-General commanding the 19th Division says "Both the General Officer commanding your brigade and also your Commanding Officer have brought your gallant and soldierly conduct on June 17th 1917, to my notice. I have read their reports with much pleasure". T. Bridges, Major General.
The official notification of the award is as follows; "On 7 June 1917, at Messines, the infantry company to which Corporal Fitzpatrick was attached with his team of Lewis-gunners was absolutely held up by a strong work or concrete emplacement manned by from 12 to 20 Germans. In order that the infantry could advance it was absolutely necessary that this obstacle should be overcome. Fitzpatrick's team of Lewis-gunners was told off to perform the work, which was splendidly carried out in the face of great danger, the position being taken by the team and immediately used by them as a stronghold to cover their own infantry's advance". Corporal Fitzpatrick was in the East Lancashire Regiment, and joined the army in June 1916. Previously he was a loomer at Albion Mill, Padiham, and identified with St. John's Roman Catholic School and Church.
Mentioned on page 397 of the Regimental History.
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