A Great War 1918 ‘Somme’ M.M. awarded to Lance Corporal F. J. A. Bent, 18th Australian Infantry Battalion, Australian Imperial Force, originally recommended for the D.C.M. for his gallantry at Morlancourt, 19 May 1918, he was subsequently wounded in action, 31 May 1918
Single: Military Medal, G.V.R. impressed to 4512 Pte F. J. A. Bent. 18/Aust: Inf:
M.M. London Gazette 7 October 1918. The original recommendation (for a D.C.M.) states:
‘For conspicuous bravery. On reaching the objective in the attack near Morlancourt on the 19th inst. [May], it was found that no machine guns had arrived and this soldier immediately returned across the area which was swept by intense machine gun and rifle fire to a spot where we had suffered most casualties in penetrating the enemy’s wire. On searching the ground, he found a gun of which the gunners had been killed and returned with it to where his platoon was holding the line. He immediately went back again and brought in another gun under similar circumstances. On making a third trip Pte Bent obtained several panniers of machine gun ammunition which had been lost on the way across. His conduct throughout was extremely cool and his bearing inspired the remainder of the men.’
Francis Joseph Arthur Bent was born in Wangaratta, Victoria in 1884. A printer by trade, he enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force at Melbourne, 10 October 1916. Bent was initially posted for service with the 29th Australian Infantry Battalion, and then to the 61st in July 1917.
Bent transferred to the 18th Australian Infantry Battalion, 13 October 1917, and served with them in the French theatre of war from 9 April 1918. The following month he distinguished himself at Moralncourt, and was wounded in action, 31 May 1918. Bent advanced to Lance Corporal in October 1918, and returned to Australia in April 1919. He was discharged in July 1919.
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