2nd Battalion West Yorkshire Regiment
Queens South Africa Medal – Killed In Action
VC Action – Lake Chrissie
A very rare Queen’s South Africa medal, awarded to:
5901 Pte H Hawkesley West Yorkshire Regiment
who was Killed in Action at Lake Chrissie, the Regiments only enlisted Victoria Cross action of the entire war.
Herbert Hawkesley (sometimes spelt Hawkesby (Medal Rolls) or Hawksby (1881 Census), but always the same service number 5901) was born in Sheriff Sutton, near York in 1879, the son of George Hawksby, a farm labourer.
He enlisted into the West Yorkshire Regiment and was sent to South Africa probably late 1900 as he only qualified for the one State bar “Transvaal”.
Taken from H. W. Wilson’s After Pretoria: The Guerilla War:
‘On 5 February, General Smith-Dorrien, on the British left, reached Bothwell Farm, in the neighbourhood of Lake Chrissie, which is famous as being one of the very few sheets of fresh water in South Africa. Here he halted for the night and, with the studious attention to all reasonable precautions, which had won him so good a reputation in this protracted war, entrenched his camp strongly. The night was intensely dark, and the obscurity was increased by a heavy mist which hung over these uplands, rendering it impossible for the sentries and outposts to see anyone at a few yards’ distance. It was fortunate that so much care was shown on the British side, as Louis Botha during the day had reinforced Lukas Meyer, who was conducting the Boer retreat in this quarter, and had determined upon a night attack with 2,000 men, to cover the withdrawal northwards of the great bulk of his force, now menaced with the danger of being driven into Natal or penned in upon the Swazi frontier. At 3 a.m. on the 6th the assault was delivered.
The Boers were able to crawl close in to the British outposts before they were seen and challenged. Their forlorn hope then rushed between two trenches held by the West Yorkshires, driving in front of them a troop of loose horses, so as to confuse the British troops and lead them to think they were being charged by mounted men. They did cause momentary confusion, but the men of G and H Companies of the West Yorkshires were good soldiers, tried by months of war, and they held fast, while the supports coming up caught the Boer stormers and fought them hand-to-hand, speedily hurling them back in wild disorder. The enemy left on the ground Commandant Spruyt and some twenty burghers dead, close to or inside the British lines. Spruyt was a man of exceptional bravery. He had previously been taken prisoner, and had escaped, without any taint of treachery of unfairness, by leaping from a train in motion.
While the main attack was going forward, the Boers had opened a heavy rifle fire upon the camp and had also feinted its eastern corner. The crackle of the fusillade, the hail of bullets and the stampeding of the horses caused a great confusion. Many men were killed or wounded as they lay asleep. But order was swiftly restored; the tired troops as they awoke collected their wits, snatched up their rifles, and dashed forth to repel their assailants. They had no mark at which to fire except the fitful flashes of the Martinis and Mausers, yet there is evidence that many of the British bullets found billets in the enemy’s ranks. Long before day broke, seeing that their onset had failed, the Boers withdrew, well knowing that the British were too ignorant of the ground to attempt pursuit until day came. They seem to have made off to the north, sending a detachment eastwards to make the British think that they were retiring in that direction. At daybreak Smith-Dorrien despatched his mounted infantry to follow them up, but they had already got so far that touch could not be recovered.
The British casualties in this affair were heavy, and the large proportion of killed in the figures points to desperate hand-to-hand fighting. Twenty-four officers and men were killed and fifty-three wounded. The West Yorkshires were hardest hit. Their conduct in the face of surprise attack, with the odds heavily against them, was admirable. Among the Boer killed, besides Commandant Spruyt, were two Field Cornets, and Commandant Raademeyer was severely wounded.’
And among our wounded was Traynor, who had won himself a V.C. for the above cited deeds at the height of the action. As stated, however, his wife Jane, whom he had married in June 1897, was the recipient of a War Office telegram stating her husband had been killed, only to learn shortly afterwards that he was in fact alive – with a splinter and bullet wounds to his chest and a thigh.’
The Regimental Medal Roll dated 14th August 1901 confirms the award of the single bar “Transvaal”, but a second medal roll dated 12th September 1903 shows the entitlement for the South Africa 1901 bar. Both Rolls confirm that he was Killed in Action.
Medal has been court mounted and backed on card for display. One edge bruise above the word Regt, but this does not affect the naming.
Fantastic medal, to a small but fierce engagement.
Copy Medal Rolls, 1881 Census, Will of Soldiers effects
1/8th Lancashire Fusiliers
Pair & Plaque - Officer Casualty
Lieutenant James Harper Simpson – 1/8th Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers
James Simpson was born in 1884, in Lancaster, the son of a Scottish Catholic Minster. The 1911 Census shows the family living in Huddersfield with Simpson working as an Insurance Inspector.
In 1917, the Battalion was involved in the Third Battle of Ypres, or Passchendaele. The Battalion War Diary for September 6th 1917, describes ”D” Company 1/8th in support of 1/6th Lancashire Fusiliers for their attack on Beck House and Iberian (strongly held German Pillboxes), and were responsible for the wiring and carrying parties during this attack. 2 Officers were killed in the attack and Simpson wounded.
He was to die of his wounds on the 12th October 1917, and is buried in Outtersteene Communal Cemetery. He is also commemorated on the Ledsham (Cheshire) Royal Sun Alliance Memorial, which is now located at the National Arboretum, Staffordshire.
Plaque comes with it’s waxed card envelope. Also included is a copy portrait photograph, CWGC, SDGW, War Diary, Medal Roll, MIC, 1911 Census, and copy photo of gravestone.
Medals and plaque in excellent condition.
Cameronians (Scottish Rifles)
1915 Star Trio – Casualty
18266 Pte Joseph Allan Scottish Rifles
MIC & CWGC say 1st Battalion, SDGW 2nd.
Born Glasgow, enlisted Lanark
Buried Bray Military Cemetery
To France 31.08.15
Copy MIC, CWGC & SDGW
Mounted on full lengths of ribbon, albeit the wrong ones. Obviously been like this for a long time so I’ve left them as found.
Couple of minor scratches on star.
DSM, 1915 Star Trio & LSGC & Bar Group in WW2 Service
Distinguished Service Medal – Gallipoli
Fresh to the market direct from the family is a fantastic Great War DSM group awarded for the Gallipoli campaign.
J6884 Percy Pearson Smith
Born in Nottingham in August 1892, Percy enlisted into the Royal Navy 5th January 1910 with the trade as Seaman Gunner. He served in the following ships:
Ganges II – Boy 2nd Class – from 5th January 1910 until 1st April 1910
Victorious – (Battleship) – Boy 2nd Class – from 2nd April 1910 until 5th April 1910 then promoted
Victorious – (Battleship) – Boy 1st Class – from 6th April 1910 until 8th August 1910
Albemarle – (Battleship) – Boy 1st Class – from 9th August 1910 until 13th August 1910
Mercury – (Sub Depot Ship) – Boy 1st Class – from 14th Aug 1910 until 17th Aug 1910 then promoted on 18th birthday
Mercury – (Sub Depot Ship) – Ordinary Seaman – from 18th August 1910 until 11th June 1911 then promoted
Mercury – (Sub Depot Ship) – Able Seaman – from 12th June 1911 until 30th June 1911
Hazard – (Gunboat) – Able Seaman – from 1st July 1911 until 14th September 1911
Blake – (Cruiser) – Able Seaman – from 15th September 1911 until 30th May 1912
Excellent – (Gunnery School) – Able Seaman – from 31st May 1912 until 26th March 1913
Irresistible – (Battleship) – Able Seaman – from 27th March 1913 until 14th March 1915 then promoted
Irresistible – (Battleship) – Leading Seaman – from 15th March 1915 until 18th March 1915
Europa I – Leading Seaman – from 19th March 1915 until 13th December 1915 then promoted
Europa I (Vladimir) – Petty Officer – from 14th December until 30th June 1916
Europa II – Petty Officer – from 1st July 1916 until 31st March 1917
Europa I – Petty Officer – from 1st April 1917 until 4th April 1918
Victory I – Petty Officer – from 5th April 1918 until 11th August 1918
Achilles – (Cruiser) – Petty Officer – from 12th August 1918 until 31st March 1919
Victory I – Petty Officer – from 1st April 1919 until 20th May 1919
Hermione (Kilfree) – (Sloop) – Petty Officer – from 21st May 1919 until 30th September 1919
Hermione – (Cruiser) – Petty Officer – from 1st October 1919 until 31st December 1919
Victory (CG Southampton) Southampton – Petty Officer – from 1st January 1920 until 30th June 1920
Victory (Portsmouth) – Petty Officer – from 1st July 1920 until 21st October 1921
Victory I – Petty Officer – from 22nd October 1921 until 15th November 1921
Columbine (Wallace) – (Destroyer) – Petty Officer – from 16th November 1921 until 11th February 1925 then promoted
Columbine (Wallace) – (Destroyer) – Chief Petty Officer – from 12th February 1925 until 7th January 1926
Victory I – Chief Petty Officer – from 8th January 1926 until 29th January 1926
Excellent – Chief Petty Officer – from 30th January 1926 until 4th July 1927
Egmont I – Chief Petty Officer – from 5th July 1927 until 4th June 1929
Victory I – Chief Petty Officer – from 5th June 1929 until 11th July 1929
Excellent – Chief Petty Officer – from 12th July 1929 until 17th August 1932
President – Chief Petty Officer – from 18th August 1932 until 14th July 1942 then promoted
President – Warrant Recruiter – from 15th July 1942 until 15th August 1945
As you can see, Percy was on board the HMS Irresistible on 18th March 1915 when it was struck by a Turkish mine in the Dardenelles and drifted towards the Turkish forts:
From “Naval Operations…” Volume II by Julian Corbett, pp. 220-222:
“About 4.15 the Irresistible, which, in opening out the range, had reached the 11,000 yards line, was drifting with engines stopped, when she was struck. At first her Captain was uncertain whether or not it was a torpedo, but he soon realised that it was a mine, and that it was moored. The results were disastrous.
“It took her under the bilge of the starboard engine-room, very near the centre line of the ship, and the engine-room flooded so quickly that only three of the men who were in it were able to escape. Then under the pressure of the water the midship bulkhead buckled, the port engine-room flooded in its turn and the engines were completely disabled.
“With a list of 7 degrees to starboard and down by the stern, her condition was easily visible to the enemy, and their fire on her redoubled as the destroyer Wear and a picket boat hurried to her assistance. The Admiral, who was then ignorant of the extent of the damage or of its cause, ordered the Ocean to stand by and tow her out of action if necessary. The remaining vessels did all they could to keep down the new outburst of fire from the forts and batteries. By the time the Wear came up, Captain Dent, seeing it was impossible to save his ship, decided to abandon her. It was no easy matter; shells were raining on her deck, causing many casualties, but by a fine display of seamanship Captain Christopher Metcalfe of the Wear managed to take off 28 officers and 582 men. Only ten volunteers were left on board to get out a wire to the Ocean.
“It was not till 4.50 that the Wear got back to the flagship with the rescued crew, and only then did Admiral de Robeck learn that it was a mine that had caused the trouble. He at once signalled the advanced line to fall back. At 5.10 the Irresistible’s crew were disembarked from the Wear, which was then ordered to close on the Ocean and instruct her to withdraw if the Irresistible could not be towed. The Ocean had by this time approached the mined ship, and Captain Dent went on board to confer with Captain Hayes-Sadler, but the Irresistible’s list had increased so much, and she lay so awkwardly bows on to the Asiatic shore, that it soon became obvious this was impossible, and as the Ocean was under a considerable cross fire, it was decided to remove the remainder of the crew and carry out the Admiral’s orders. At 5.50 the ship was abandoned 10,000 yards from Rumili, the intention being to make an attempt to save her after dark with destroyers and minesweepers. As soon as he saw that the Irresistible had been abandoned the Admiral hoisted the ” General Recall” and began to return to Tenedos for the night. It was clear, in view of the unexpected danger and the losses sustained, that battleships could not be left inside the Straits after dark to cover the minesweepers, so that all idea of clearing the Kephez minefield that night had to be abandoned.
“How real the danger was was quickly demonstrated. The Ocean began to withdraw under a heavy fire from Dardanos and Suandere. At about five minutes past six she was a mile from the Irresistible, when a heavy explosion on her starboard side announced that she also had struck a mine. The adjacent coal bunkers and fore and aft passages flooded and the helm jammed hard a-port. Almost at the same moment a shell got home on the same side aft and so flooded the tiller-room and starboard steering engine-room that they could not be reached and repairs were impossible. In spite of a prompt flooding of the port wing compartments the ship rapidly took a list of 15°. So critical was the situation that Captain Hayes-Sadler signalled the destroyers, Colne, Jed and Chelmer, which were passing at the time, to close. With great skill and pluck, under a cross fire from Dardanos and the barrage batteries on both sides, they removed the whole crew, and the Ocean, being well out in the channel, was abandoned to drift out of danger if she continued to float. Till dark Captain Hayes-Sadler lay off a mile away in the Jed, and then returned to the ship and was able to remove four men who had been left by accident on board. It was obvious, however, that nothing more could be done, and she was then finally abandoned about 7.80 p.m.
“After reporting to the Admiral at Tenedos Captains Hayes-Sadler and Dent went back to join the destroyers, which, with six minesweepers, had been ordered to go in and endeavour to tow the Irresistible into the current and prevent the Ocean drifting out of it. But though they searched till nearly midnight not a trace of either ship could be found. Their end was unseen. In the silence of the night they settled down quietly somewhere in deep water and no man knew their resting-place.”
It is probable that at some point during this action that Percy was wounded, as added to his service record is “Bullet Wound left hip”. Further research is a must!
Interestingly he was moved to the HMS Europa, which was the depot ship for the Gallipoli campaign, but one of his service papers entries state the “Vladimir”. The only Vladimir I can find reference to in that campaign is a Russian navy owned ship that was used a troop ship. Maybe he was wounded here?
Percy continued serving through WW2 and had by now reached the rank of Warrant Recruiter. He was discharged on 15th August 1945, having served for 35 years!
The group consists of DSM (named “Gallipoli Opns 1915-16″), 1915 Star Trio, Royal Navy LSGC medal mounted as worn. Naming on DSM pitted from Star. The WW2 War and Defence medal are loose. The bar to the LSGC is also loose, having never been mounted on the medal. Also with the medals is a Great War and WW2 fibre id disc “dog tag”, Gunner trade badge, small lengths of ribbon, ribbon bar for WW2 medals with rosette on LSGC and a loose rosette.
All this is contained in a Players Cigarette tin.
There is also a copy of a photo of Percy in uniform with the ribbons for the above medals.
Copy Great War service papers, copy WW2 service papers.
Fantastic group, rare and complete!
Queens South Africa Medal
6386 Pte John Coles, Northampton Regiment
With bars “Cape Colony & South Africa 1902” (Confirmed on roll)
Come with copy pension papers that show a 24259 Pte John Coles enlisted into the Supernumery Company of the 4th Battalion Northamptonshire Regiment in May 1915, having previously served with the 1st Northants Volunteers. He served on Home Establishment between 25.05.15 and 11.08.16, and then transferred as 15862 Royal Defence Corps. He was then medically discharged due to “Tubercle of Lung” brought on by military service. The CWGC show a 15862 Pte J Cole dying on the 20.02.1920 (though the ages given don’t match).
It looks like that these are almost definitely the same person, and is worth a bit more research to confirm.
Some play in suspension.
Copy Boer War medal roll, WW1 Pension Papers & CWGC
1915 Star Trio & TFEM
7070 Sgt John Ralston, Royal Field Artillery (655825 on TFEM)
First entered Egypt 23.06.15
Copy MIC & Medal Roll
Also comes with box and postal envelopes of issue which rarely survive, along with small lengths of extra ribbon. Address “18 Winton Street, Ardrossan” (Town in North Ayrshire, Scotland)
Royal Navy / Royal Fleet Reserve
1915 Star Trio & RFR Long Service
SS113091 Ernest Arthur Hoyte Royal Navy & Royal Fleet Reserve
Born 18.07.1892 in Woolwich, Kent. Trade given as “Barman”.
Enlisted into the RN in November 1912 and served through the war and transferred to the RFR on 18.12.19. Pre-war he served on HMS Impacable & Goliath, aan was on the Magnificent when it was paid-off on 16.02.15. He then transferred to HMS Acteon which was part of HMS Vernon, the Royal Navy’s Torpedo School.
The BWM has been skimmed down towards the suspension claw and is renamed.
Copy Service Record
1915 Star Trio
S/2972 Pte Arthur Caley Rifle Brigade
To France 21.07.15
Served 11th, 9th, & 13th Battalions
Copy MIC & Medal Roll. Long lengths of original silk ribbon.
BWM & Victory Pair
267429 Pte John Pickles Cheshire Regiment
Also served as 327618 Durham Light Infantry
1977 Jubilee Medal
WW2 Aircrew Europe Star
1st Northumberland Fusiliers - Casualty
8103 Cpl Arthur Loach 1st Northumberland Fusiliers Killed in action 16th June 1915, remembered Ypres (Menin Gate) MIC states to France 2nd November 1914 (thus entitled to 1914 Star Trio)
Born & Lived Radford, Nottinghamshire, enlisted Nottingham
Includes copy MIC, CDGW, SDGW, Medal Roll, Soldiers effects, & 1911 census.
7/8th Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers – Casualty
24128 Pte Peter Kenny 7/8th Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. Medal roll also states served with 1st Battalion. Killed in action 21st March 1918 Remembered Templeux-Le-Guerard British Cemetery.
MIC states landed (2a) Serbia & Greece 9th December 1915, though this could be an admin error and should read (2b) as the 1st Battalion was serving in Gallipoli at this time, and one of their much needed reinforcements before the Battalion was evacuated to Egypt in January due to casualties.
Includes copy MIC, Medal Roll, CWGC & SDGW
1st East Yorkshire Regiment – Casualty
1914 Star & Victory Medal
9780 Pte William Johnson 1st East Yorkshire Regiment To France 8th September 1914 Pte Johnson, real name Pougher, was born and enlisted in Hull. He was killed in action on the 26th September 1916 and is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial.
Includes copy MIC, SDGW, CWGC, Soldiers effects (also confirms mother’s name as Mary J Pougher) & Medal Roll.
1914 Stars are quite scarce to the East Yorkshire Regiment.
1/4th Battalion East Lancs Regiment
BWM & Victory Pair
1654 Pte John Cryer 1/4th Battalion East Lancs Regiment To Egypt (4a) 25th September 1914 (thus entitled to 1915 Star also)
Copy MIC & Medal Roll
2nd East Lancs & 181st Tunnelling Company
10362 Pte John Carney 2nd East Lancashire Regiment To France 6th November 1914. Twice wounded: Manchester Courier, 22nd February 1915. Manchester Evening News 24th June 1916.
Copy MIC x 2, Medal Roll & Newspaper articles Slightly polished condition
British & UN Korea War Pair & GSM “Malaya” – Duke of Wellington Regiment
22676139 Pte Billy Brearley DWR (Note Billy was his christened name, NOT William) Born 30th May 1931 in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire and died November 2000 (Huddersfield).
Malaya bars Very rare to the Dukes, only about 30. Those that were awarded the bar were seconded to the Northumberland Fusiliers as instructors in Heavy Weapons, medics, or those with general combat experience.
Mounted as worn, with purpose made wallet.
Never before on the market.
WW1 1915 Star Trio – Officer
KRRC / MGC / RAF
R519 Sjt J F Thorpe Kings Royal Rifle Corps (on Star) 2nd Lieut J F Thorpe (on pair) Born and lived in Sheffield, South Yorkshire. To France 21.05.15, with the 9th battalion KRRC. Commissioned into the KRRC 2nd Oct 1917, then transferred to the Machine Gun Corps. Just prior to the end of the War he then transferred to the RAF School of Aviation.
Includes copy of MIC, Army service records and RAF service record Interesting group
Queens South Africa Medal
West Riding Regiment
1595 Pte J Lynch West Riding Regiment First type (b) with Ghost dates Confirmed on the Medal Roll (copy included)
Impressed in typical style to the Regiment
GVF Price: £110
West Riding Regiment (Duke of Wellingtons) 1914 Star & Victory and SWB
Pte Thomas Healey 9704 2nd West Riding Regiment To France 14.08.14 Suffered Gas Poisoning 05.05.15 & serious head wound 24.07.16
Copy MIC, Medal Rolls, SWB List & service papers
West Riding Regiment (Duke of Wellingtons)
1915 Star – Military Medal Winner
Pte James Jennings 11270 8th & 10th West Riding Regiment To Balkans 07.07.15 London Gazette – 17.12.17 From Keighley
Copy MIC, MM award card, Medal Rolls & London Gazette
West Riding Regiment (Duke of Wellingtons) & Machine Gun Corps
1914 Star – Distinguished Conduct Medal Winner
Pte Tedlah Siddle 10237 West Riding Regiment London Gazette 03.06.15 From Liversidge, Nr Dewsbury, West Yorkshire Entitled to Clasp & Roses for Star – to France 08.09.14
Copy MIC, Medal Roll, Extensive Service Papers, London Gazette
Original Clasp for IGS 1854
West Riding Regiment (Duke of Wellingtons)
Pte H B Burfitt 31028 West Riding Regiment
Durham Light Infantry
BWM & Victory Pair
Pte J Brooks 8-3243 Durham Light Infantry
Also entitled to SWB
West Riding Regiment (Duke of Wellingtons)
Pte Joseph Rhodes 31056 West Riding Regiment Also entitled to IGSM 1908 with Clasp “Afghanistan North West Frontier 1919”
Copy MIC (interestingly MIC gives rank as Signaller on IGSM)
1915 Star Trio
Pte Robert Smith 1639 Manchester Regiment