Mexborough and Swinton Times October 26, 1918
Local Promotions and Decorations
Last Friday four presentations of gold watches took place at the Houghton Main Colliery, under the auspices of the Houghton Main Heroes Fund.
The recipients were privates Bernard and Sydney Bedford, York and Lancaster, 22, Hoyland St, Wombwell; bombardier Richard Pugsley, Royal Field Artillery, Springfield House Darfield; and the father of the late Sergeant J Handley, Royal Scots, 21, Broomhill, Wombwell.
Private Bernard Bedford (picture) has been awarded the Military Medal, and Bar for great bravery and for rescuing wounded under heavy fire.
Private Sydney Bedford has been awarded the Military Medal for great bravery in attacking a German machine gun post.
Bombardier Pugsley received the French Croix de Guerre for bravery and devotion on March 21.
Sergeant Handley was awarded the Military Medal for great gallantry at Kemmell last April. He was killed in action on August 5.
Mr John Barber, president of the Houghton Main branch of the Yorkshire Miners Association, presided, and the presentation was made by Mr J.E.Brass, manager of the colliery, who mentioned that 11 of the 17 Houghton Main men who had one distinction in battle and now been recognised.
The remaining presentation would take place when opportunity offered.
He would like to mention that 14 Houghton Main men had gained commissions. Altogether they had reason to be very proud of Houghton Main’s part in the war. He presented Coppell Handley’s watch to that hero’s father, and expressed the sympathy and pride of the colliery.
Cancer TW Illsley, secretary of the Houghton Main branch, W.M.C.A., also spoke