John Bent

Spencer John Bent VC MM

A drummer in the 1st Battalion, East Lancs Regt and aged 23, John Bent earned his Victoria Cross on the night of 1st November 1914 near Le Gheer in Belgium.

His citation read:

"For conspicuous gallantry near Le Gheer on the night of the 1st / 2nd November 1914 when, after his Officer, Platoon Sergeant and Section Commander had been struck down, he took command and with great presence of mind and coolness, succeeded in holding the position. Drummer Bent had already distinguished himself on two occasions, 22nd and 24th of October, by bringing up ammunition under a heavy shell and rifle fire, and again on the 3rd November, when he brought into cover some wounded men who were lying exposed in the open"

He was rapidly promoted through the war years and in 1918 was awarded the Military Medal to add to his VC. The citation read:

"In the fighting around the village of Sepmeries, East of Cambrai, Colour Sergeant-Major Spencer Bent VC for leading two patrols which were sent out to gain touch with the enemy on the afternoon of 29th October 1918"

He survived the war, dying in 1977 in Hackney, London. His impressive medal group is in the Imperial War Museums Lord Ashcroft Gallery.