On Armistice Day 2021 a small gathering took place at Ashby Grammar School where the Royal Leicestershire Regimental Association presented the school with a replica set of medals won by a former pupil, Lieutenant Colonel Philip Bent VC, to comply with his Mother’s wishes.
Born in 1891 Philip Bent embarked in 1915 on active service to France with 9th Battalion The Leicestershire Regiment. In June 1917 he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order as 2nd Lieutenant (Temporary Major, Acting Lieutenant Colonel) whilst in command of 9th Leicesters, for ‘distinguished conduct and devotion to meritorious service in the field’ leading his battalion at the Battle of Bullecourt and the period after. Even by the standards of the time, Philip Bent’s rise from platoon commander in 1915 leading some 35 men, to battalion commander in charge of over 600 men two years later, was remarkable and reflected well on his leadership, management and personality. In addition, Philip Bent was twice Mentioned in Despatches for service beyond the call of duty. On 1st October 1917, while commanding 9th Leicesters in the Battle of Passchendaele at Polygon Wood, near Ypres in Belgium, Philip Bent was Killed in Action. He was 26 years old.