The Bravery of Augustus Jennings

On 12th June the Warwick Courier carried the story of Augustus Jennings, the Regimental Sergeant Major with the 2nd Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment, who threw himself on top of a grenade to save his men in the notorious Wormhoudt Massacre on the road to Dunkirk in May 1940.

He was a professional soldier who lived for a few years at the Budbrooke Barracks. When he went to France at the outbreak of war, his family moved to live with relatives in Rugby.

His daughter, Diane Norton, did not find out how her father died until many years after the war. She would like to receive her father’s campaign medals and would like some recognition of his self-sacrifice in France.


The bravery of Sergeant Major Jennings is one of a number of background stories that have emerged as our research team investigate the 112 names on the memorial of Warwick men who died in WW2. Three of them died in the Wormhoudt Massacre. The name of Augustus Jennings, the NCO who tried to save them, was added to Rugby war memorial a few years ago.