PRIVATE Joseph Arrowsmith MM, of the 2nd Grenadier Guards, is considered by local historians to be the ‘bravest of the Middlewich brave’.

On August 20, 1917, the young Private wrote home to his mother, who lived at 8 Nantwich Road, Middlewich, in high spirits.

Shocked and humbled at being honoured with the Military Medal, he wrote: "I have some good news for you. I have been awarded the Military Medal yesterday for carrying on in the attack on July 31st, although slightly wounded. I was surprised when they gave me the ribbon."

Joseph Arrowsmith was 20 years old when he enlisted in November 1915, exchanging his job as a cellar man with the Middlewich Wine and Spirit merchants, R Brown and Sons for life in the Grenadier Guards.

He was killed on the Sunday afternoon, of May 5, 1918, by a piece of shrapnel striking him on the left temple, and he was buried at Bienvillers Military cemetery.

His Officer wrote “A splendid fellow, and always courageous and cheerful in the trenches. He died instantly. The regiment has supplied a cross for the grave, and will continue to look after it.”