Distinguished Conduct


Private William Warman from 51 Alston Road was a twenty year old stretcher-bearer in the East Surrey Regiment, caught up in the aftermath of the German Spring Offensive, 21st-26th March 1918. This surprise attack known as the ‘Kaiserschlacht’ saw the greatest territorial advance since 1914 and almost changed the course of the War. Paul McCue in his book on the Wandsworth and Battersea Battalions describes how Private Warman brought in thirty wounded men under heavy enemy fire and single-handedly carried a severely injured officer several miles back to a dressing station. For this bravery he was awarded a Distinguished Conduct Medal. Unfortunately some weeks later he was captured and taken prisoner. He died a POW in Hamburg on 4th December 1918,  tragically just a few weeks after the Armistice ending the war was signed. A friend in Germany will soon be visiting the grave and sending us a photo. The son of John and Ellen Warman, he was one of seven children, six boys and a girl living at Maskell Road in 1911. By the time the War broke out they had moved to Alston Road, close to the site of the Council’s ‘Dust Destructor’ facility and where St Mary’s Church would soon build its Sunday School.