The Reverend Edgar Popham was a chaplain throughout the First World War. He was awarded the Military Cross for conspicuous gallantry in 1915. RSM Sidney Tite had enlisted in the Hertfordshire Regiment at its foundation in 1908 and was amongst the expeditionary forces in France in 1914.
On 31st July, 1917, the third battle of Ypres, known as St Julien or Passchendaele, devastated the Hertfordshire Regiment. All the officers were killed or injured; 130 men were killed with a further 200 wounded. The survivors were led from the battlefield by RSM Tite, though wounded himself in the leg, assisted by the Chaplain, Reverend Popham.
Popham was awarded a Bar to his Military Cross for his actions as described by Lt Col. Gripper:
“During the whole of this time the Chaplain, with total disregard for personal safety, did all possible to aid the wounded, and when we retired, he was the last to leave and brought with him, almost carrying him, a man who was wounded in the leg.”
RSM Tite was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal: “For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. When all the officers of the battalion had become casualties and the enemy were counter-attacking he collected the remnants of the battalion and consolidated the position. Though wounded, he remained with his men and supervised the defence of the line under particularly difficult circumstances until he handed the remnants of the battalion over to an officer. He set a magnificent example of courage and devotion to duty.”