Spencer John Bent

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Spencer John Bent
Born 18 March 1891
Stowmarket, Suffolk
Died 3 May 1977 (aged 86)
Hackney, London
Buried at West Norwood Crematorium
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch Flag of the British Army.svg British Army
Years of service 1905 - 1925
Rank Regimental Sergeant-Major
Unit The East Lancashire Regiment
Battles/wars World War I
Awards Victoria Cross
Military Medal
Other work School caretaker

Spencer John Bent VC, MM (18 March 1891 – 3 May 1977) was an English recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.

He was 23 years old, and a drummer in the 1st Battalion, The East Lancashire Regiment, British Army during the First World War when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.

On the night of 1/2 November 1914 near Le Gheer, Belgium, when his officer, the platoon sergeant and a number of men had been struck down, Drummer Bent took command of the platoon and with great presence of mind and coolness succeeded in holding the position. He had previously distinguished himself on two occasions, on 22 and 24 October by bringing up ammunition under heavy shell and rifle fire. Again, on 3 November, he brought into cover some wounded men who were lying, exposed to enemy fire, in the open.[1]

He later achieved the rank of Regimental Sergeant-Major.[2] He survived the war and died on 3 May 1977. Bent was cremated at West Norwood Cemetery, London.[3]

Bent's VC, along with his Military Medal and Russian Cross of St. George was sold at auction in June 2000 for £80,000.[4] His VC is on display in the Lord Ashcroft Gallery at the Imperial War Museum, London.


  1. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 29001. p. 10533. 8 December 1914. Retrieved 9 April 2015.
  2. ^ Ashcroft, Michael. "VC Vaults: The Suffolk lad who came out fighting". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved January 6, 2014. 
  3. ^ [1] Find A Grave - Spencer John Bent
  4. ^ BENT, Drummer S. J. (East Lancashire Regiment), Dix Noonan Webb, 28 June 2000, accessed 19 April 2011


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