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Born:12 March 1892, Retford
Died: 9 March 1968, Worth Valley
Address: 2 Wood Top, Windhill
Parents: William & Emma
Spouse: Grace Beatrice, nee Adams
Siblings: William, Ruby, Virginia, Grace, Bessie
Occupation: Signaller, GNR
Rank: Sgt
Medals/awards: D,C,M,; Croix de Guerre
Rolls of Honour:
Children: Duncan
Regiment: Royal Engineers
Cyril Russell Pettinger
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Cyril was born 12 March 1892 in Retford, the son of William and Emma and the family were living there at the time of the 1911 census with 19-year-old Cyril a signalman on Great North Railway. He married Grace Beatrice Adams in the third quarter of 1915, the year he joined the army. Grace was from Idle and it’s not clear how they met although Grace’s mother, May, was born in Retford. The Shipley Times & Express only published one story about Cyril’s war, on 20 December 1918: “Sgt C R Pettinger, D.C.M., Royal Engineers, whose wife lives at 2 Wood Top, Windhill, has now been awarded the French Croix de Guerre for services rendered since September 28th, 1918 “Previous to joining the colours on September 20th, 1915, he was a signalman at Doncaster. He went to the front on June 6th, 1916, took part in several engagements and in March 1918 was awarded the D.C.M. for gallantry and devotion to duty, being instrumental in holding his part of the line during heavy fighting.” But there were more details in the
Retford Times* in two stories: “News has been received that the D.C.M. has been awarded to Sgt. C.R. Pettinger, R.E., youngest son of Mr. W. Pettinger, music teacher, Cobwell Road, Retford, serving in France, for displaying great courage and devotion to duty when in a position of grave danger and responsibility in the battle of March 21st. “Sgt. Pettinger was employed by the G.N. Railway at Doncaster. At the outbreak of war, he was one of the first to volunteer for the Army. “The management declined to give the necessary sanction, but he continued to agitate until he joined the Doncaster Own. “By hard work and study, he was made sergeant in eight months from entering upon his training. “Before leaving for France he wrote to his parents:’“The great day of the greatest test the world has ever known is near, ‘I shall meet the Huns with a brave
heart and a smiling face, and the same British pluck that my countrymen are showing every day and every hour when facing great odds.’ “Sgt. Pettinger was through the Cambrai and also the battles on March 21st and 27th. He has been congratulated on the above decoration by the General Brigade Major and a number of other officers and friends.” Retford Times 21 June 1918 “The French Croix du Guerre has been presented to Sgt. C. Pettinger by the French Military Staff, for bravery and good work during the last few days of the war. “A few months ago Sergt. Pettinger was presented with the D.C.M. for conspicuous bravery when in great danger, and shortly afterwards was recommended for a bar for keeping communications open when in an isolated position of grave danger. “He was also recommended for a commission in the R.E.’s, and had already passed his preliminary examinations in France with honour, and would have been undergoing his training in England
had it not been for the signing of the armistice. “He is a life abstainer, an efficient musician, and before the war took a leading part in local concerts, playing the clarinet and oboe. “His success in the Army has been remarkable. Both his brothers are serving with the Colours. Sapper W. Pettinger, who was gassed in the German offensive of March, and is attached to the Guards Division, and Pte. B.O. Pettinger is in the West Yorks. “Sgt. Pettinger is a son of Mr. and Mrs. W. Pettinger, Cobwell Road, Retford. Retford Times 20-12-1918 Post war it seems he and Grace were living at Wood Top, Windhill and a son, Duncan, was born in May 1920. At the time of the 1939 register, Cyril and Duncan were shown at 73 St Margaret’s Road, Bradford and Cyril was now Assistant Controller LNER and earning £220 p.a. Grace died in 1949 and Cyril married Ann Walker in 1952. He died in Worth Valley on 9 March 1968. *The Retford Times extracts are taken from an online PDF, link below
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