Museum of the Manchester Regiment
The Men Behind the Medals

Tom Betteley

Tom Betteley  :

Tom Betteley  : (L to R) Distinguished Conduct Medal; British War Medal; Allied Victory Medal

(L to R) Distinguished Conduct Medal; British War Medal; Allied Victory Medal

Tom was born between October and December 1893 in Nantwich, Cheshire. He was named after his father and his mother was Ann. He had an older brother named George, and 4 younger siblings: Edward, Albert, Richard and Mary. Two other siblings had died by 1911. Tom senior worked for a shoemaker and the family lived at 16 Thomas Buildings in Nantwich. By 1911 Tom junior was working as a presser at a clothing works.

Tom served in the 20th Battalion of the Manchester Regiment during the First World War. His service number was 40388. This tells us that he joined the Manchester Regiment after June 1916, more probably in 1917. We don't know whether he volunteered for service or was conscripted. We also don't know whether he had served in another unit before this.

By the time of the final advance against the Germans, which began in September 1918, Tom was serving as an Acting Lance Corporal. During this period he was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal. His award was published in the London Gazette on the 12th March 1919, and the following citation was published on the 2nd December:

For conspicuous courage and ability in charge of a Lewis gun section. At Beaurevoir on 4th October, he brought his gun into action against enemy machine guns with great effect. During the attack on 8th October and 9th he did splendid work against hostile machine guns in front of Bronx Farm, and later, when under accurate fire from Foal Copse, he kept his gun in action, and it was under cover of the fire from his gun that the company was able to rush the copse. He was slightly wounded on 10th, but did not leave the company until he knew that it would shortly be relieved.

Interestingly Tom's name is spelt wrongly in the London Gazette, he is listed as Betterley.

We don't know what Tom did after the war. He married Sarah E. Williamson in Nantwich between October and December 1924. We don't know whether they had any children. Tom died in Congleton, Cheshire in September 1985. He was 92 years old. His medals were donated to the Museum of the Manchester Regiment in 1987.

Museum of the Manchester Regiment
c/o Portland Basin Museum
Portland Place
Heritage Wharf
Ashton-under-Lyne
OL7 0QA

Telephone: 0161 343 2878
Email: Portland.Basin@tameside.gov.uk
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Trustees of the Manchester Regiment Museum & Archive and Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council