The East Lancashire Regiment

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The East Lancashire Regiment


Drummer Spencer John 'Joe' Bent (1891-1977)


A drawing of Drummer Spencer John Bent, known as 'Joe', of the East Lancashire Regiment, with accompanying text, showing one of the courageous acts which led to the award of the Victoria Cross. The text includes a direct quotation from Drummer Bent, talking about the incident which is depicted, when he rescued a wounded comrade, Private McNulty, by hooking his own feet under McNulty's armpits and pulling him backwards to safety by using his own elbows to drag them both along.
It is not stated when or in what circumstances Drummer Bent made the comments attributed to him. The caption on the image claims that the artist worked from material supplied by a chief actor in the incident, but it is not possible to state who this might have been nor whether they provided a verbal, written or pictorial account of what had been witnessed.


Drawing by Samuel Begg (1854-1936), anonymous author.


Great War Deeds (Panorama): special edition of the Illustrated London News, 22 March 1915: 27


Lancaster University





Biographical account of Samuel Begg:
Biographical information on Spencer John Bent:
Biographical article on Spencer John Bent, including citation of his own words about the incident with Private McNulty from an interview with his local newspaper Suffolk Chronicle and Mercury (date of publication not given):
Account of the incident with Private McNulty, apparently citing Drummer Bent's own words (similar, but not identical to those in the Telegraph article, above): 
Notice of the award of the Victoria Cross to Drummer Bent, Supplement to The London Gazette of Tuesday 8 December 1914:
Portrait of Spencer John Bent:


Twentieth century, World War One

Still Image Item Type Metadata

Original Format

Engraving published in newspaper



1915 GWD BENT VC001_stitch.jpg
1915 Spencer John Bent_stitch_PRINTABLE.jpg


Drawing by Samuel Begg (1854-1936), anonymous author., “The East Lancashire Regiment ,” Local History Resources for Schools, accessed October 14, 2019,