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Robert Stoddart (1894-1964)

Medomsley miner served with 19th DLI won DCM and Bar during the '100 Days Offensive'

Robert Stoddart, the son of William Thomas and Sarah Stoddart, was born on 7 April 1894 in Medomsley, Consett, Durham. He had three brothers and six sisters and, apart from his military service, appears to have lived in the area all his life. He enlisted in the 13th Battalion Durham Light Infantry (DLI) and was later transferred, firstly to the 14th and then to the 19th Battalion DLI. He was also promoted to the rank of sergeant. He landed in France on 3 October 1915 and early during the ‘100 Days Offensive’ won the Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM), winning a bar to it some two months later. After demobilisation he married Mary Ellen Iley at Lanchester in 1925 and they had one son.

His award of the DCM was gazetted on 10 January 1920 and the Bar was gazetted on 2 December 1919. The citations read:
“For consistent gallantry and devotion to duty from 28th September to 2nd October, 1918 during the attack from Zillebeke Lake. he commanded a platoon throughout the whole operation in a most able manner. Also, he alone rushed a machine-gun post, killing three of the crew and capturing the remainder and the gun. Subsequently, he helped to get in wounded under exceptionally heavy artillery fire.”

“For most conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty during operations east of Moorseele on the 14th October, 1918. he alone charged two machine-gun posts which were firing at him point-blank, bayonetting two of their crew and taking the remainder prisoner. Later, he again rushed a machine-gun post which was menacing our left flank. In the attack on the 15th October, 1918, he took a party of sixteen men to raid two farms which were giving a considerable amount of trouble. He accomplished his task, and, although severely wounded, established posts in the positions he had taken”.

International Encyclopedia of the First World War, Hundred Days Offensive:

Durham Light Infantry, medal collection database:

Civil Parish: Medomsley

Birth date: 7-Apr-1894

Death date: 1964

Armed force/civilian: Army

Residence: 23 Bradley Cottages, Medomsley, Consett, Durham (1901 census)
5 Templar Terrace, Medomsley, Consett, Durham (1911 census)
22 Pont Bungalows, Leadgate, Consett, Durham (1939 Register)

Employment: Miner, Hand putter (1911 census)
Colliery Deputy (1939 Register)

Family: Father: William Thomas Stoddart
Mother: Sarah Stoddart (nee Bewick)
Siblings: John Thomas, Margaret Elizabeth, Annie, Hannah. Johnathan, Ethel, Florence, William & Jenny Stoddart
Wife: Mary Ellen Stoddart (nee Iley)
Son: Jack H Stoddart

Military service:

13th, 14th & 19th Battalions Durham Light Infantry
Regimental number: 24559

Medal(s): Distinguished Conduct Medal and Bar (In the DLI Medal collection)
1914-1915 Star
British War Medal
Victory Medal

Gender: Male

Contributed by John Edwards

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