NOWELL, Esmand Cpl. DCM, MM 15961

Esmand Nowell

Esmand Nowell

Esmand Nowell was born in Abbey Village, Withnell near Chorley on the 25th March 1896 to Doctor T and Alice Nowell. His name is spelt and recorded as Esmond and Esmund, but Esmand on his gravestone. By 1901 he was living at Bensons Farm, being one of 10 children.

He enlisted at Chorley on the 23rd September 1914, eventually serving in the Battalion Signalling Section. Esmand was wounded at Serre on the 1st July 1916, being awarded a Distinguished Conduct Medal for actions on that day. His citation, published in the London Gazette on the 22nd September 1916, stated:

For conspicuous gallantry in attack. He was sent by his company commander to deliver a message and performed his duty, although wounded, under heavy shell fire, after returning to his company.

Clearly Esmand knew of his gallantry award in mid-August. In the 2nd September edition of the Chorley Guardian & Leyland Hundred Advertiser they reported that he had written home to his mother at Abbey Village, saying:

I have been awarded the D.C.M. On July 1st an officer, seeing I was a signaller, sent me with a message along with another man, but unfortunately he never arrived. I myself got wounded, but arrived all right. The recipient of the message told me to go to the doctor, but I said ‘No sir, I would much rather take the message back, as I know where to go’. Then he took my name, I got back with the message but failed to find my officer, so I reported it to another, and I went back with my information and then went to the doctor.

After receiving treatment for his wound, he was posted to the 2nd Battalion of the East Lancashire Regiment and won a Military Medal a few weeks later (London Gazette, 21st October 1916). However, Esmand lost a hand and was discharged from the Army in 1917.

At a ceremony on Saturday, 14th July 1917 at St. Paul’s Church in Withnell to unveil a memorial to James Miller V.C., Esmand was presented with his two bravery medals by Lt. Colonel Thorne of the King’s Own Lancaster Regiment.

Esmand was known to live at 107 Bolton Road, Abbey Village but went on to run a newspaper shop at Bromley Cross near Bolton. He married Ellen Dixon in 1919 at St. Barnabas Church in Heapey; they had two children, Dorothy and Margaret.

Esmand died on the 3rd January 1976 and is buried in Heapey.

Other Information: James Miller V.C. was serving as Private 12639 with the 7th Battalion, King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment when he was killed in action on the Somme on the 30th July 1916.