1st Battalion The Hertfordshire Regiment
- Distinguished Conduct Medal (23.6.1915 Cuinchy)
- 1914 Star with bar
- British War Medal
- Victory Medal
Medals earned with the Grenadier Guards:
Queen’s South Africa Medal with the following clasps:
- Belmont (23.11.1899)
- Modder River (28.11.1899)
- Driefontein (10.3.1900)
- Johannesburg (29.5.1900)
- Diamond Hill (11-12.6.1900)
- Belfast (26-27.8.1900)
- Kings South Africa Medal 1902
Ernest Abbott was born in Kingston, Somerset in 1878. He spent nearly three years serving as a Corporal in South Africa with the Grenadier Guards. By 1905, he and his wife Ada had moved to Ware, Hertfordshire, where their daughter Gertrude was born. Ernest worked as a horse keeper, for Henry Page & Co Maltsters in Ware, and it is likely his skill in handling horses served him well throughout his periods of military service.
Having enlisted with the Hertfordshire Regiment as a Colour Sergeant, Ernest was amongst the expeditionary forces in France in 1914. By 1915 he was a Company Sergeant Major and was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for his actions at Cuinchy in June 1915. Unfortunately, we have no further detail of these actions.
Ernest fortunately survived the war and returned to Ada and Gertrude in Ware, where he continued working with horses at the Maltsters. No further information regarding the family has been found, other than a 1939 record of Ernest and Ada, now aged 61 and 57, still living in Ware, with Ernest’s profession now listed as a maltster. His medals were purchased at auction by the museum in 1978.
It was later discovered that Phillips had been taken prisoner and he was fortunately repatriated on Christmas day 1918.
It is not known when Phillips was awarded the Distinguished Service Order, however it may well have been connected to the action prior to his capture. It is a gallantry award, given for highly successful command and leadership during active operations.