I have updated “Taking tea with the enemy…..” Hope you like the extra info 🙂
Sergeant Thomas James Sevier MM, MSM 2/3rd South Midland Field Ambulance R.A.M.C. (T.F.)
Seargent Sevier had an interesting war; he had served through the Battle of the Ancre winning a military medal for rescuing wounded men under heavy shell fire near Beaumont Hamel on the 16th of November 1917. It is his post war service however that is most interesting, not much is noted about the Royal Army Medical Corps involvement in the North Russian campaigns in 1919, however the citation that Thomas receives show that the front was an interesting place to be….
“Meritorious Service Medal” awarded on the 30th September 1919 (Archangel Command, Russia), for:
“This N.C.O has performed meritorious service in the DVINA force. Practically the whole time he has been the senior N.C.O. in the forward hospital at TOULGAS. On one occasion when the hospital was captured by the enemy, by his presence of mind, in remaining with the patients, he protected them when threatened, and persuaded the enemy to sit down to tea, until the village was recaptured.”
It does make you think that this must have been an absurd sight to see Bolshevik forces drinking tea with a British Sergeant and wounded men….
The town of Toulgas, was fought over fiercely by British and American troops and was taken and recaptured several times during 1919, with rumours abounding of Leon Trotsky even being present with troops. The hospital was situated at the North end of Toulgas was near the Dvina river, and only 200 miles from Archangel.
For information on the battles at Toulgas:
Video of Toulgas and troops:
Whilst digging through my record boxes, I found the original personal commendation for bravery presented to Thomas Sevier by the Major-General, officer commanding of the 61st (South Midland) Division.
This parchment has been awarded to no. 439298
Sergeant Thomas James Sevier 2/3rd South Midland Field Ambulance R.A.M.C. (T.F.)
In recognition of the act of gallantry that he performed on 8th December 1917 near Viliers Plough.
During the day the shellfire was so severe that the wounded in the dressing station (Charing Cross S.W. of Beaucamp) had to be moved on five occasions. This was done under very heavy shell fire. Owing to the personal courage of this N.C.O. the transference of these cases was effected without further casualties.
On another occasion this Sergeant was blown over by a shell whilst assisting Ptes. HISCOCK and WILSON to carry in some wounded lying outside the advanced dressing station at Charing Cross.
This certificate issued in appreciation of the act, but does not entitle or qualify the recipient to any reward, extra emolument or pension.
Signed Major – General,
Comdg 61st (South Midland) Division.