L.Col. Philip Eric Bent
For most conspicuous bravery, when during a heavy hostile attack, the right of his own command and the battalion on his right were forced back. The situation was critical owing to the confusion caused by the attack and the intense artillery fire. Lt. Col. Bent personally collected a platoon that was in reserve, and together with men from other companies and various regimental details, he organised and led them forward to the counter-attack, after issuing orders to other officers as to the further defence of the line. The counter-attack was successful and the enemy were checked. The coolness and magnificent example shown to all ranks by Lt.-Col. Bent resulted in the securing of a portion of the line which was of essential importance for subsequent operations. This very gallant officer was killed whilst leading a charge which he inspired with the call of “Come on the Tigers”.
Bent was born on 3 January 1891 in Halifax, Nova Scotia and was educated at the Royal High School, Edinburgh and Ashby Grammar School, Ashby de la Zouch. He joined the training ship HMS Conway in 1907. He served two years as a Cadet and then went to sea. He was taking his Merchant Navy officer’s ticket when the war broke out in 1914.
He and a friend joined a Scottish regiment “for a bit of fun” as the war was anticipated to be over by Christmas. He was commissioned in the Leicestershire Regiment in November 1914.
Bent was awarded the Distinguished Service Order in the 1917 Birthday Honours. There is no known grave for Lieutenant-Colonel Philip Bent.
|Conflict||World War 1|
|Decorations||Victoria Cross, Distinguished Service Order|
|Action||October 1, 1917 in Polygon Wood, Belgium|
|Died||October 1, 1917 in Polygon Wood, Belgium|
|Unit||Leicestershire Regiment, British Army|