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.