Brave Chesterfield soldier’s WW1 medals are family’s pride and joy

Sgt Dick Wagg's granddaughter Jinette Hague and his daughter Frances Walters.
Sgt Dick Wagg's granddaughter Jinette Hague and his daughter Frances Walters.

A brave soldier’s story is to be passed down from generation to generation, according to his granddaughter, after his heroics have taken pride of place in her family tree research.

Jinette Hague, 40, of Brimington, Chesterfield, pictured left, started looking into her grandfather Dick Wagg’s time as a soldier in World War One and has outlined his courageous retrieval of three seriously wounded servicemen while under heavy fire.

Sergeant Wagg received the Distinguished Conduct Medal after he carried a Lieutenant Wheatcroft to safety and returned twice for two other men and then reorganised another attack during the Battle of the Somme on July 5, 1916. Jinette said: “I am doing a family tree and as I started to look into the family I found out all about my grandfather and it’s all the more meaningful as we now move towards the centenary of the outbreak of World War One. “We will make sure his story is passed down from generation to generation so Dick will never be forgotten. I hope they will talk about this conflict in the schools because it was a cruel war.”

Sgt Wagg also received further recognition after he was involved in a raid north east of Bethune, in France, where he cut his way through barbed wire while under machine gun fire and pushed forward to seize a bridge.

The former miner went into the forces as a private with the Sherwood Foresters and went on to become Sergeant.

Lieutenant Wheatcroft’s family also recognised his courage and bought him a pocket watch which was presented to him by King George V, according to Jinette.

Sgt Wagg’s daughter Frances Walters, 80, said: “My dad was wounded in the war and when I was a little girl I used to comb his hair and he had a scar on his head and he said a German had hit him with a bayonet.

“But he would never talk about the war and said, ‘It’s not for you to know, my duck’. But he said you will find out when you are at school. I just wonder how he managed to get through it. I was very close to my dad. He was a very brave and modest man and I am very proud of him.”

The former miner went on to work at Robinson’s packaging firm, in Chesterfield, and sadly died when he was 68 years-old.

Frances added: “Dad was very proud of his medals. He wore them for Armistice and Remembrance. He let me clean them on Sunday mornings and if I had not done them very well he would say so and then take them and put a bit of spit on a duster and get polishing. They were his pride and joy and they are now the family’s pride and joy.”