9 August 2019

First World War medal groups for sale

G-1809 Pte. A. Lilywhite. R. Suss. R
I have various First World War medal groups for sale. Contact me if you would like to buy any medals on this page or if you would like to see additional photos. I also have single First World War Victory Medals and single British War Medals for sale. Postage extra.


11066 WO Cl II A E Betts MGC and R Sussex Regt

Warrant Officer Class II A. E. Betts, Machine Gun Corps & Royal Sussex Regt
British War and Victory Medals (11066 W.O. Cl.2 A. E. Betts. M.G.C.); Army Long Service & Good Conduct medal, G.V.R., 2nd issue, fixed suspension (..7451 C. Sjt. A. E. Betts R. Suss. R.). 


These medals have been well-loved and polished as can be seen, above. The LSGC medal number is worn; an army number ending in 7451. Royal Sussex Regt numbers were within the series  6390001 to 6446000 so the full number was possibly 6397451. This man almost certainly has papers extant with the MoD £100.

SD-578 Sjt H J Chandler, 11th Royal Sussex Regiment
SD-578 Sjt H J Chandler R Suss R
SD-578 Serjeant Harold James Chandler was born in Rotherfield, Sussex and enlisted at Hurstmonceux in September 1914, an early volunteer and an original member of the 11th Royal Sussex regiment (1st South Down battalion). Appears to have survived the assault on the Boar's Head on 30th June 1916 unscathed but was KiA on the 18th September 1917 when a shell burst on a sap exit whilst the battalion was being relieved by the 17th KRRC "... killing 7 ORs including sniping, police and gas serjeants..." [battalion war diary]. Buried in La Clytte Military Cemetery, Belgium; entitled to pair & plaque etc £130.


G-39867 Pte Sidney Daniels, 6th & 1st  Bns,The Queen's

G-39867 Pte S Daniels, The Queen's
Born on the 18th September 1885, G-39867 Pte Sydney (or Sidney) Daniels attested under the Derby Scheme on the 10th December 1915 and almost certainly joined The Queen's in France on the 31st March 1918 having previously trained in the UK with one or more training reserve battalions. He served with the 6th and 1st Battalions overseas and his name appeared in casualty list published 31st October 1917 which gives place of residence as Willesden Green, NW. Discharged 18th May 1918 aged 32 years and eight months. Sold with copied research. Entitled to pair and SWB. £60.


SD-3943 Pte J T Hughes, 11th R Sussex Regt

SD-3943 Pte. J. T. Hughes. R. Suss. R.

Private John Thomas Hughes, 11th (1st South Downs) Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment
British War and Victory Medals (SD-3943 Pte. J. T. Hughes. R. Suss. R.), above, together with three Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes Jewels, below; 
the first a Somerton Lodge Jewel, silver-gilt and enamel, the reverse engraved ‘Presented to Bro. J. T. Hughes by the Somerton Lodge No. 2566 Raised to 2nd Degree Sept 2nd 1925’, with top ‘Primo’ riband bar; the second a Grove House Orphange, Harrogate, Donor’s Badge, gilt and enamel, the reverse inscribed ‘Presented to Bro. J. Hughes C.P., Donor’, with top ‘Donor’ riband bar; and the third a First Degree Jewel, silver-gilt and enamel, unnamed, with top riband bar, generally very fine


John Thomas Hughes' regimental number dates to early 1915. His name appears twice in casualty rolls, the first in a extensive list of Sussex Regiment casualties published in The Times on the 20th July 1916. This suggests that he was a casualty during the Boer's Head assault on the 30 June 1916. The second appearance dates to the 14th September 1917 and suggests that he was a casualty in August 1917. This gives his place of residence as Newport. The battalion took part in the 3rd Battle of Ypres which commenced on the 31st July 1917, sustaining 150 OR casualties on the 31st. No significant action or casualties noted after the 1st August and so almost certainly a 3rd Ypres casualty. Pair and RAOB jewels sold with copied research which will be emailed. Photos above. £150.


G-6565 Pte Charles Lee, 11th Royal Sussex Regt
G-6565 Pte C Lee R Suss R
G-6565 Pte Charles Lee was KiA on the 3rd June 1917 whilst serving with the 11th Battalion, Royal Sussex Regt. Buried in Vlamertinghe Military Cemetery, commemorated on the Chailey war Memorial in Sussex. £75.

G-1809 Pte. A. Lilywhite. R. Suss. R
Private Albert Lilywhite, 8th (Pioneer) Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment, who was wounded in action during the Battle of the Somme at Trones Wood on 13 July 1916, which necessitated his right arm being amputated. Trio sold with copied research which will be emailed. Photo at the top of this page. £100.


G-2023 Pte B A Whiter, 8th R Sussex Regt

G-2023 Pte. B. A. Whiter. R. Suss R.
Bertie Alfred Whiter attested for the Royal Sussex Regiment  in the first week of September 1914 and served with the 8th (Pioneer) Battalion during the Great War on the Western Front from 24 July 1915. Wounded in late 1916 (he appears in a casualty list published on the 11th Jan 1917), following the cessation of hostilities he was discharged to Class ‘Z’ of the Army Reserve on the 25th February 1919. Trio sold with copied research which will be emailed. Photo above. £100.



24 July 2019

British War Medal 1914-1920 - For Sale



I have various British War Medals for sale. Please contact me if you would like to buy any medals on this page or request additional photos. 

British War Medal, erased (pictured above); perfect gap-filler; £40.


Left to right: Aquila Bradley, Alfred Broadbent, Fred Clarkin
3-12617 Sjt. A. Bradley. W. Rid. R.
12167 Sgt Aquila Bradley, 9th West Riding Regt. Number dates to early Oct 1914. Arrived France 29th July 1915 as a private; later promoted. Pte appears on 1914-15 Star, Sjt on other two medals. Appears in casualty list, wounded, on 20th March 1916. Entitled to 1914-15 Star trio. To Class Z on the 18th Feb 1919. £30.

6552 Pte. A. Broadbent. W. Rid. R.
6552 Pte Alfred Broadbent, 1/4th West Riding Regiment; later 547209 Labour Corps. Appears in casualty list, wounded, published 20th January 1917. £30.

4/1815 Pte. F. Clarkin. W. Rid. R.
1815 Pte Frederick (Fred) Clarkin was born in Halifax, Yorkshire in 1883. He attested with the 4th (Militia) Bn of the Yorkshire Regt on the 5th November 1902 (stated aged, 17 years and 3 months) and then enlisted with the regular Yorkshire Regt on the 19th December 1902 (reg number 7081), for 3&9; later extended to 8&4, serving in the UK, India and South Africa until discharged for misconduct on the 17th May 1909 (6 years and 150 days).

Attested with the 4th Duke of Wellington’s Regiment on the 8th August 1914. Served overseas with D Coy, 1/4th Battalion from the 14th April 1915. Accidentally wounded in the chest on the 20th September 1915 by a bullet exploding in a fire when lunch was being cooked. Returned to duty on the 26th September and killed in action on 16 October 1915. He is buried in Bard Cottage Cemetery, Ypres, Belgium. Entitled to 1914-15 Star trio. Papers in WO 96, WO 97 and WO 363. £70.

ZP 1251 AB Lawrence Edward Crane, RNVR
ZP 1251 L I E Crane AB RNVR
ZP/1251 Able Seaman Lawrence I Edward Crane was born in 1897 and was living in Sawbridgeworth, Herts when he enlisted in December 1915. Entitled to pair. £30. 

Frederick Dott, William Moon, Herbert Russell
60904 Pte. F. E. Dott. York. R.
60904 Frederick Ernest Dott, 2nd Yorkshire Regt; later 59045 1st King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. To Class Z 8th Jan 1919. £30.

21615 Pte. W. Moon. York. R.
21615 Pte William Moon, 1st GB Yorkshire Regt; later 53177 2nd GB, Northumberland Fusiliers. Discharged KR 392 (xxviii). Entitled to pair. retaining rod missing. £30.

3265 Sjt. H. W. Russell. York. R.
3265, later 203447 Sgt Herbert William Russell, 4th Y&L. Enlisted 17 Apr 1915; disch 27 Mar 1918, wounds, aged 28. Entitled to pair and SWB. £30.

Richard Stevens, Robert Walton, Oswald Wheater

203857 Pte. R. H. Stevens. W. Rid. R.
203857 Richard Henry/Harry Stevens. Enlisted 17th July 1916, discharged sick 9th March 1918 aged 33. Served overseas with the 1/4th Battalion, West Riding Regt. £30.

38929 Pte R Walton. Yorks L I
38929 Pte Robert Walton, 2nd KOYLI, later 9th KOYLI. Number dates to Jan 1918. For instance, 38923 joined the 2nd KOYLI on 4th Jan 1918, having arrived in France the previous day. This man had originally attested 31st Oct 1916, mobilised 19th Feb 1917 and joined 90th TRB on the 22nd Feb 1917. Transferred to 264 Infantry battalion on the 1st July 1917. Likelihood is that Robert Walton was a young soldier, probably 18 years old in 1917 and probably from Yorkshire. Entitled to pair. £30.

10196 Sjt. O. F. Wheater. E. York R.
10196 Oswald Fraser Wheater, a career soldier who served with the 2nd and 8th Battalions, East Yorkshire Regt; later 23442 6th Dorsetshire Regiment. Transferred to Section B, Army Reserve on the 8th February 1919. 10196 indicates that he joined the East YorKs Regt in about Feb 1914.

Whilst serving with the 8th E Yorks Regt received a slight gunshot wound to his right thigh. He was sent to No 4 Stationary Hospital on the 9th October 1917 and was discharged to duty on the 28th October 1917. By this stage he was 29 years old, and had served 6 years of which two years and 4 months had been with the Field Force. His name appeared in a casualty list published on the 25th October 1917. £40


16835 Pte L. G. Playle R. Suss. R.

16835 Pte Lewis George Playle, Royal Sussex Regiment; later 554686 Pte, Labour Corps. Born in Ridgewell, Essex in 1898 or 1899 (aged 2 and 12 in 1901 and 1911 census returns). SWB roll states that he enlisted on 25th May 1916 but this is the date of mobilisation and suggests that John was born on the 25th May 1898. The regimental number dates to June 1917. Research suggests he probably arrived overseas in May or June 1917 and possibly served with 2nd Battalion. 

Appears in War Office casualty list published on the 25th September 1917. Subsequently transferred to Labour Corps and discharged due to sickness on 18th July 1919. Married Ellen L Whatley in 1921 (Lambeth, 1st quarter) and son, John E F Playle, born in 1922 (birth registered Lambeth, 3rd quarter). Died 1923 (Halstead, 3rd quarter) aged 25.

Sold with copied research which will be emailed. £40.

* * *

The following, as illustrated, are mostly planchets only. General condition of medals is fair to fine and better. Postage extra.

Left to right: Thomas Fish, Walter Heaton, John McGrath

202225 Pte. T. Fish. Bord. R.
202225 Pte Thomas Fish. Served overseas with 1st Battalion, although number belongs to the series used by the 4th (TF) Battalion and dates to June 1916 (202229 joined 8th June, arr o/seas 9th Jun 1917). Entitled to pair. £30

1996 Dvr. W. Heaton. R.A
1996, later 686027 Driver Walter Heaton, 3rd West Lancashire Bde. Enlisted May 1915, arrived France 30th Sep 1915. Entitled to 1914-15 Star trio. £30.

49722 Pte. J. McGrath. S. Wales Bord.
49722 Pte John McGrath. Entitled to pair. Papers in WO 363. £30.

Left to right: Samuel Sigurdson, Frank Walker

765332 Pte. S. Sigurdson. Can. Tak Bn.;
2765332 Samuel Sigurdson, 1st Canadian Tank Battalion. Enlisted April 1918. £30.

61267 Pte. F. W. Walker. Durh. L.I.) 
61267 Pte Frank W Walker, later 19014 Labour Corps. Papers in WO 364. Naming largely obscured. Entitled to pair. £30



Inter Allied Victory Medal 1914-1919 - For Sale


I have various Victory Medals for sale. Please contact me if you would like to buy any medals on this page or request additional photos. General condition of medals is fair to fine and better. Postage extra.

Victory Medal, erased (pictured above); perfect gap-filler; £40.


5098 Benjamin Balding, 6th London Regt

5098 Pte B. Balding 6-Lond R.
5098, later 322311 Pte Benjamin Balding, a resident of West Ham, probably attested under the derby Scheme and  joined the 6th London Regt in January 1916. He was KiA on the 20th July 1917, one week before his daughter's first birthday. Buried at Metz-en-Couture Communal Cemetery, France and commemorated on the Gas Light & Coke Company Memorial at Twelvetrees Crescent, Bromley by Bow, E3 3TE. Entitled to pair. £40.

203507 Pte L A Harris Essex R
Probably 203507 Leslie Arnold Harris who I wrote about previously on this blog. Entitled to British War Medal and Victory Medal, serving overseas with the 5th and 10th Battalions, Essex Regiment. Survived the war. Photo available on request. £40. 

G-36978 Pte A Reid, 11th R Sussex Regt

G-36978 Pte A Reid R Suss R
G-36978 Pte Albert Reid served overseas with the 11th Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment. Entitled to pair. £30


315067 Pte S J Slade, 16th R Sussex Regt

315067 Pte S J Slade R Suss R
315607 Pte Sydney James Slade served overseas with the 16th Royal Sussex Regiment. Entitled to pair. £30.

B-2966 Pte S S G Smeeton Rif. Brig.
Extensively researched and written about on this blog: Stephen Samuel George Smeeton enlisted on the 1st September 1914 and served overseas with the 11th Battalion, Rifle Brigade from the 21st July 1915. Entitled to trio and SWB. Photo available on request. £40. 


G-21022 Arthur Turner, 8th R Sussex Regt
G-21022 Pte. A. Turner. R. Suss. R.
Arthur Turner was born in Little Horsted, Sussex, and attested with the Royal Sussex Regiment at Lewes. He served with the 8th (Pioneer) Battalion during the Great War on the Western Front, and died of wounds on 27 November 1917. He is buried in Dozinghem Military Cemetery, Belgium. Commemorated on Chailey memorial.  Extensive supporting research. £40.



G-22254 Pte F Turner, 16th R Sussex Regt
G-22254 Pte F Turner R Suss R
G-22254 Pte Frank Turner was born in Holloway, Middlesex, and attested with the Royal Sussex Regiment at Mill Hill, Middlesex. He served with the 16th (Sussex Yeomanry) Battalion and was killed in action on 2 September 1918. He is buried in Peronne Communal Cemetery Extension, France. £40.




Left to right, William Bell, Sarah Cahill, George Clulow

39259 A. Cpl. W. Bell. Linc. R.
39259 A/Cpl William Bell; later 31252 Labour Corps. Entitled to pair. £20.

25483 Wkr S. Cahill.  Q.M.A.A.C.
25483 Worker Sarah Cahill served overseas with Queen Mary's Army Auxiliary Corps from 23rd March 1918 until 19th August 1918. Naming worn and partially obscured on regimental number and regiment. £50.

12008 Pte. G. Clulow. Ches. R.
12008 Pte George Clulow, 1st Cheshire Regt. Enlisted 29th August 1914. Arrived France 17th Feb 1915. Discharged due to wounds on the 3rd July 1916. Entitled to 1914-15 Star trio and SWB. £25.

Left to right: William Cousins, Frank Gibson, William Hardy
L.9937 Pte. W. E. Cousins.  Midd’x R.
Born in December 1884, L/9337 Private William Ernest Cousins was a career soldier who originally attested on the 16th November 1904. He was wounded and captured at Mons on the 23rd August 1914; one of 453 4th Middlesex other rank casualties on this day, later repatriated as a PoW and discharged on the 29th December 1915. Papers in WO 364 contain a lot of correspondence from William Cousins and there is also a PoW report in WO 161 (below, courtesy The National Archives). Entitled to 1914 Star trio and SWB. Name partially obscured. SOLD


M2-182464 Pte. F. Gibson. A.S.C.
M2/182464 Pte Frank Gibson, No 4 Aux Coy, ASC. Entitled to pair and SWB. £20.

T4-060672 Dvr. W. Hardy. A.S.C.
T4/060672 Dvr William Hardy, 3rd Base Horse Transport, ASC. Born Hyde, Cheshire, resident in Hyde, enlisted Manchester. Died at 65 General Hospital, Greece on the 26th Sep 1917. Soldiers Effects Register gives "ASC HSL". Widow and sole legator, wife Mary A Hardy. Buried in Kirechkoi-Hortakoi Military Cemetery in Greece. Entitled to 1914-15 Star trio. Replacement suspension ring. £30.
Left to right: George Keane, George Lane, Ottiwell Lodge
100136 Pte. G. Keane. R.A.M.C.
100136 Pte George Keane, RAMC. Entitled to pair. £20.

73772 Pte. G. Lane. Welsh R
Believed to be 73772 Pte George Gilbert Lane, 14th Welsh Regiment. An attempt has been made to erase details but those partial details which are still visible suggest that George Lane was the original recipient. Entitled to pair. Some traces of verdigris. £20.

S4-090200 Sjt. O. Lodge. A.S.C.
S4/090200 Sgt Ottiwell Lodge. Entitled to pair. £20.

Left to right: Harry Marland, Edward Walton

PW-1497 Pte. H. Marland. Midd’x R.
PW/1497 Pte Harry Marland, 19th Middlesex. Wounded 1916. Entitled to pair. £25.

598 Pte. E. Walton. R.A.M.C.
598, later 350336 Pte Edward McK Walton. Entitled to 1914-15 Star trio and SWB. £20.



9 October 2018

2nd Devonshire Regiment officers, Razmak, India 1924



There are a number of lucky breaks which aid identification in this photograph. Having said that, at the time of writing I have not even attempted to put names to the faces of these Devonshire Regiment men.

Helpfully, the photographer is recorded as Arora of Razmak and the date is the 24th April 1924. Razmak is in Pakistan these days but it was still India in 1924, of course. The regimental identification comes from the officers' helmets, the old reference to the 11th (or XI) Foot still in use thirty-three years after these designations had been abandoned. The 2nd Battalion had been in India since 1919 and it would proceed to Aden in 1926, returning to the UK the following year.

There is a good array of medals on view here. With one exception, all of the officers in the front row wear at least two campaign medals from the First World War, and the man third from right wears a QSA (and an OBE). Four of the men wear clasps on their 1914 Star ribbon and there are two men who wear the Military Cross. The most decorated man of this group is the man seated fourth from right who wears a DSO, MC and an oak leaf emblem on his Victory Medal ribbon, signifying that he was mentioned in despatches. At least two other men also wear this oak leaf emblem.

The man second from right appears to be suffering from some form of paralysis which affects his left side. Of the other officers in this group, two men wear a campaign pair from 1914-1918. It's a superb photo and now I need to find an Army List for 1924 to try and identify these men.




27 August 2017

Volunteer Service Gazette & Illustrated War News


There have been some significant military releases by the British Newspaper Archive and Findmypast in the last week and it's appropriate to publicise these here as so much of what most medal collectors do involves as much background research as possible about medal recipients.

Surviving service records for members of the Volunteer Force are few and far between. Some later records may survive as part of a man's Territorial Force record but for the most part these papers (1859-1908) simply do not survive. This leaves those of us with an interest in the VF turning to other sources, and The Volunteer Service Gazette is a fantastic source and resource.



The British Newspaper Archive has published digital copies of this weekly publication between October 1859 and December 1903 and these can be searched on the BNA website and also on Findmypast.

The second publication of note this week is the Illustrated War News. This was one of the better weekly publications during the First World War, and in particular those earlier issues, mostly from 1915, which feature (often) third-line Territorial Force photographs of officers and NCOs which name the individuals concerned.



Some issues also feature pages of potted biographies and portraits of (mostly) officer casualties similar to the one I have posted at the top of this particular blog post. 

Both of these collection have been run through an OCR process which means that it is possible to search by name, although one would hope that Findmypast might also consider making a separate indexed collection of The Illustrated War News available in due course. As for me, I shall now hopefully be making room on my bookshelves by selling off my two bound volumes of the IWN.



25 February 2017

Superb two-volume Scots Guards history massively discounted

 Till the Trumpet Sounds Again


Naval and Military Press has acquired copies of this recent two-volume Helion publication and is massively discounting from £75 to £30. I remember reviewing these books last year (and frankly, it seems a little early to be remaindering these, if this is what has happened) and they are superbly well-researched and very readable.

 Scots Guards

Randall, as former Scots Guards officer himself, knows the regiment well and has access to thousands of Scots Guards service records and other regimental material that he has used unsparingly in this massive two-volume account. At £75 the books were something of a bargain. Now, at £30, these books are no less than a steal ands to be recommended not only to Scots Guards medal collectors and enthusiasts, but to anyone with an interest in the First World War. This is the First World War regimental history that the Scots Guards never had and once these books are sol they will quickly become highly and deservedly sought-after.

 Scots Guards






14 February 2017

Somme VC to go under the hammer


The star in Dix Noonan Webb's March 1st auction is this First Day of the Somme VC and German Spring Offensive MC group to Captain George Sanders who served with the 1/7th and 1/6th Battalions of the West Yorkshire Regiment. This from DNW's catalogue:

The exceptional Great War ‘First Day of The Somme’ V.C., ‘German Spring Offensive’ M.C. group of six awarded to Captain George Sanders, who was awarded his Victoria Cross whilst serving as a Corporal in the 1/7th (Leeds Rifles) Territorial Battalion, for gallantry near Thiepval on 1 July 1916, when, following an advance into the enemy’s trenches, he found himself isolated with a party of thirty men - Impressing upon them that it was ‘his and their duty to hold the position at all costs’ they fought a series of desperate actions over a period of 36 hours, all without food and water, the gallant Sanders eventually returning to British lines with nineteen of his comrades. 

Subsequently commissioned from the ranks and posted to the 1/6th Battalion, Sanders again found himself in a fight against overwhelming odds on 25 April 1918 at the Battle of Kemmel Hill, following which action he was posted as missing - Witnesses stated that he was last seen standing on top of a pill-box rallying his men, shot in the right arm and leg, but continuing to fire his revolver at the enemy at point blank range with his left hand - This, however, was not the last to be heard from the heroic Sanders, as the following July a letter was received from him, sent from Limburg Prisoner of War Camp and two months later the 
London Gazette carried the announcement of the award of his Military Cross.


The group has an estimate of £180,000 to £220,000.

For more on this lot, and all lots in the 1st March 2017 sale, browse the Dix Noonan Webb catalogue online.

12 February 2017

No 2 RFA officer cadet school - Four MMs on show


I bought this photo in Cambridge last week.  What's interesting - and unusual - about it is that the men are named. There is no location noted but I believe it to have been taked in 1918 at the No 2 officer cadet school at Topsham Barracks, Exeter. A number of the men have prior service and four of them are recipients of the Military Medal. I have carried out some research but there is still more to be done.  Here are the bare bones.

Robert Fletcher. Formerly 2/1714 Dvr NZFA.
William Sinclair Barbour. LG 4 Sep 1918. To be Temp 2nd Lt 19 Aug 1918.
Leslie Robinson Sampson. LG 21 Oct 1918. To be Temp 2nd Lt 30 Sep 1918
Ellis Ivan Prime MM. Formerly 2/2239 Gnr, 10th Battery, 4th Bde, NZFA. LG 09.12.1916. Citation for 20th Sep 1916 on the Longueval-Flers Road
Liddle. Nothing found on Google search of Liddle/gazette/artillery/1918.
John James CrottyFormerly 2/2803 Cpl NZFA
William Gordon MacClintock MM. Formerly 2/2211 Cpl, 3rd Battery, 1st Bde, NZFA. LG 02.11.1917. Citation for 25th August 1917, south of Messines.
Henry Archer Pascall MM. Formerly 8618 Sgt, RFA & G Battery AA Group. From East Dulwich. LG 02.11.1917, an award for 3rd Ypres, August 1917.  [LG 4 Sep 1918. To be Temp 2nd Lt 19 Aug 1918]
Hermann Henry Osmers MM. Formerly 2/232 Gnr, 1st Battery, NZFA. LG 21.09.1916. Citation for 8th June 1916, near Houplines.
Alastair Stewart MacWhirter. LG 4 Sep 1918. To be Temp 2nd Lt 19 Aug 1918.
Roland William L'Estrange Heppard. LG 9 Nov 1918. To be Temp 2nd Lt 24 Oct 1918.
Dawson. Nothing found on Google search of Dawson/gazette/artillery/1918.
Captain Louis Alfred Pantlin. RFA, WO 339/78359.
Sgt Finch
George Malcolm Thomson. LG 4 Sep 1918. To be Temp 2nd Lt 19 Aug 1918.
Howard Carston Catcheside. LG 30 Aug 1918. To be Temp 2nd Lt 15 Aug 1918]
Reid. Unknown.

Howard Catcheside (1899-1987) would later play rugby for England, making his international debut in January 1924. He was the first player to score a try in each round of the then Five Nations Championship, a feat not equalled by another Englishman until 2002 by Will Greenwood. 



22 January 2017

An Arras casualty: S/20896 Rfm Herbert Charles Hines, 1st Rifle Brigade


Here's a nice little group which is my latest acquisition, courtesy of The London Medal Company. These have been on the market before, and were certainly sold at auction in 2005. Nevertheless, with the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Arras just around the corner, I thought it would be fitting to add this Arras casualty group to my collection.

S/20896 Rfm Herbert Charles Hines of the 1st Rifle Brigade was killed in action on the opening day of the Battle of Arras on the 9th April 1917.  He was born in New Cross, South London in 1883, his birth registered at Greenwich in the fourth quarter of that year. He was the son of William Hines, a bricklayer by trade, and his wife Emily, and they baptised him on the 5th December 1883 at Christchurch, East Greenwich (image below, courtesy of the LMA via Ancestry).


On the 1891 census the family was living at 6 Glenville Grove, Greenwich and comprised William and Emily and their six children, Herbert, aged seven, being the second eldest. His place of birth is recorded here as Deptford.

By the time the 1901 census was taken, Herbert was working as a sculleryman at Greenwich Naval College and, ten years on, aged 27, he was living alone at 14 Goodwood Road, New Cross, and working as a pastry cook. The following year he married Eliza Gibson (born 2nd January 1882)  in Greenwich and the year after that, on the 2nd August 1913, their daughter Lilian Agnes F Hines was born, her birth registered in Lewisham district in the third quarter of that year.

No service record survives for Herbert but his regimental number suggests that he joined the Rifle Brigade on the 6th June 1916. Other men with numbers in this range are mostly Derby Scheme men who had attested in November or December 1915 and were now being called up. As a married man, born in 1883, Herbert would have been placed into Group 38, and groups 33 to 41 began to be called up at the end of May 1916. The extract below shows other men with regimental numbers close to Herbert's, the date they attested, the Derby Scheme Group they belonged to (if they had attested under the Derby Scheme) and the date on which they were mobilised. Six of the nine men in this small sample were Derby Scheme men:


Unfortunately there is no pattern of service beyond early September 1916. The majority of these men - and presumably Herbert too - joined the regiment at Winchester on the 7th June and were posted to the 15th Battalion on the 10th June. From there, it was a transfer to the 20th Training Reserve Battalion for many, and then transfer again for many of the men. Three of the men listed above were transferred to the King's Royal Rifle Corps whilst others found themselves with the Northamptonshire Regiment and The Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

Herbert remained with the Rifle Brigade though. He was drafted to the 1st Rifle Brigade, probably via an Infantry Base Depot in Etaples or Havre and thus found himself serving with a regular battalion which had been in France since the 23rd August 1914 but which would have completely changed in complexion, many of the original members of that battalion having become casualties long ago. The battalion formed part of the 11th Brigade in the 4th Division.

The battalion war diary entry for the 9th April 1917 reads:

"Bn taking part in 3rd Army operations left the camp at 6.15am being engaged in the final objective of this day... Casualties: Capt Jackson and 2nd Lt Schiff killed; Capt Cavendish, 2nd Lts Day, Wellerd and Bridgman wounded. Other ranks, 20 killed , 71 wounded, 32 missing (16 subsequently being found holding shell hole posts)."

Herbert's name initially appeared on a Rifle Brigade list dated 29th April 1917 which appears to record him as being wounded, although note the speech marks around the letter W.


Soldiers Died in The Great War records that Herbert was killed in action and his widow would later receive a gratuity of £3 in addition to the princely sum of £3, three shillings and sixpence owing to him at the time of his death.

Eliza would have been sent Herbert's medals and memorial plaque, and it was presumably she who arranged for them to be framed together with a tiny portrait photo of him.  Eliza Hines never remarried and died in 1962 having been a widow for thirty-five years. Lilian Hines, who barely knew her father, married Victor C Benfield in 1946. The couple had one daughter, Margaret A Benfield, born in 1947. Lilian Benfield died at Hove in Sussex in 1989. 

Herbert Hines has no known grave and is commemorated on the Arras Memorial. He may be remembered by family members. He is now remembered by me. RIP.

The final image on this blog post is from series WO 363 and is Crown Copyright of The National Archives.

I research soldiers!