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Two First World War Heroes From The 4th Battalion King’s Own

28 May

During the First World War the local regiment in the Furness area of England was The 4th Battalion King’s Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment)
This regiment at the time was made up of men from North Lancashire and South Cumberland. Two NCOs from the regiment won the Victoria Cross for bravery.
The first being Corporal (L/Sgt) Tom Fletcher Mayson from Silecroft Cumberland
For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty when with the leading wave of the attack at Ypres his platoon was held up by machine gun fire from a flank. Without waiting for orders, L/Sgt Mayson at once made for the gun, which he put out of action with bombs, wounding four of the team. The team of three men fled being pursued by L/Sgt Mayson to a dug out into which he followed the enemy and disposed of them with his bayonet
Later when clearing up a strong point, this non-commissioned officer again tackled a machine gun post single handed, killing six of the enemy team
Finally during an enemy counter- attack, he took charge of an isolated post, and successfully defended it until ordered to withdraw as his ammunition was exhausted.
There is no doubt throughout is ordeal L/Sgt Tom Fletcher Mayson remarkable Valour and initiative

The second man came from Coniston in the Lake District; his name was Lance Corporal James Hewitson.
At Givenchy in a daylight attack on a series of crater posts, L/Cpl Hewitson led his party of men to their objective with dash and vigour. Clearing the enemy from trench and dug- outs. In one of the dug- outs, six of the enemy would not surrender and were therefore killed. After capturing the final objective, he observed a hostile machine-gun team coming into action against his men. Working his way round the edge of the crater he attacked the team, killing four and capturing one. Shortly afterwards he engaged a hostile bombing party, which was attacking a Lewis- gun post He routed the party killing six of them.
The extraordinary feats of daring performed by Lance Corporal James Hewitson crushed the hostile opposition at this point.
I am sure you the reader will acknowledge both men were very brave indeed. What they and the thousands of troops went through in the First World War was unbelievable.
Both men survived the War James Hewitson is buried in Coniston cemetery, in shadow of Coniston Old Man


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