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Devon County

Devonshire Rgt.

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War Memorials



From the Devon and Exeter Gazette

28 September 1917




An unusually interesting ceremony took place in the Church School, Ipplepen, when Corporal Andrew Rabbage of the Royal Arm Medical Corps, formally received his DCM for bravery in the field on Easter Monday when the advance from Arras was made.


The Rev. E. D. Cooke explained that the presentation was usually made by His Majesty the King, but as the recipient was home from the front to be married and wished to wear it on the occasion, he had been entrusted with the honour and duty.


He expressed the pleasure it gave them all to know that one born and bred in the parish had won this distinction for bravery. Out of 200 men who had volunteered for unusually risky duty, four had obtained distinction.


The Vicar then pinned on the medal amid the applause of a room nearly full of interested spectators. Corporal Rabbage was then presented with a handsome eight-day clock on the occasion of  his marriage with Miss Eva Lee, which took place on Tuesday at  noon. The present had been subscribed for by some 60 well-wishers in the parish. The present was suitability acknowledged.


Mr Jago expressed the delight it gave him to find one of his old scholars had so distinguished himself for bravery and recalled some of his characteristics as a boy. He was ever willing to help, he was sociable which accounted for the interesting event coming off on the following day and he was not a strife-maker.


After Mr. Hodge had spoken of Corporal Rabbage  as an exemplary boy and young man, the Rev. G. H. Fagan of Kingskerswell added  his congratulations as, for some time, Corporal Rabbage had lived in his parish and he had the audacity to think a sort of reflective honour was thrown on that place.


The wedding of Miss Eva May Lee and Corporal Rabbage took place in the parish church on Tuesday, the Rev. R. D. Cooke officiating. Misses S. Rabbage, W. Lee and Joan Matthews were bridesmaids. Mr Matthews gave away the bride and Private Davey ASC of Kingskerswell acted as best man. Mr. Jago played Mendelssohn's Wedding March as the happy pair left the church."



There is a discrepancy between this account and Andrew Rabbage's  Royal Army Medical Corps record which shows, not the award of the DCM but instead, the Military Medal. This is not an infrequent event. Men were recommended for awards in the first place and the public sometimes assumed that they would automatically receive them but all recommendations were reviewed at the War Office by committees. The Military Medal came into being in 1916 because it was felt to be more relevant to the kind of war then being fought.

Andrew Rabbage was killed in action 28 July 1918.

In the December Quarter of 1919, his widow Eva was married again, this time to Samuel James Vallance.


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