There are hundreds of variations within the WW1 British Army medal-collecting field. Even for the most standard issue service medals there are different units, battalions, ranks etc – as well as a good number of different Commonwealth countries. Although at first glance many medal groups may look the same when in a frame, the devil is in the details, on the back or the edge of each medal. Often they can be reflective of very different experiences of servicemen during WW1. Below are some basic WW1 British Army medals for sale, which do not have the addition of gallantry medals, but non-the-less, no doubt that they would have involved huge amounts of bravery by the soldiers on a regular basis.
An interesting WW1 Trio awarded to Private Ben Morris of the Royal Fusiliers
On the 23rd of March, 1918 Private Morris, who was a member of a Lewis Gun Section – 10th Platoon, of the Royal Fusiliers was taken prisoner in Jussy in Northern France. He died shortly afterwards; ironically, just as the war had ended in November 1918. His records state that he died of disease but the nature of this is unknown.
This 1914-15 Star trio is all named to him as serving with the Royal Fusiliers and his medals come with research paperwork. This includes a copy of the report sent to his family in Nottingham, stating that he had been taken prisoner by the enemy. The end of the war must have built up their hopes that they would see him again soon, only to be told a short time later that he had in fact passed away.
This interesting medal group is available from Cultman Collectables £135.
1914 Star Trio with Death Plaque for a Northamptonshire Regiment soldier
This trio was issued to Private G. Manning of the Northamptonshire Regiment, who is commemorated on the Le Touret Memorial in the Pas-de-Calais region of France. The cemetery commemorates the 13,479 soldiers who died but whose bodies were never found in the sector between October 1914 and late September 1915. This area saw some of the heaviest combat during the first year of the war.
The Secretary of State for War approved the issue of the clasp to the 1914 Star – also known as Mons star – in July 1919. All those could claim it who fought in Belgium or France between August and November 1914, but it was automatically sent to the next of kin in cases where a soldier was recorded as Killed in Action . Approximately 145,000 – 150,000 clasps were issued. This makes it a fairly rare WW1 find.
The death plaque was often called the “death penny” and it was made of bronze. This one bears the name, Charles Manning.
This group is for sale from Chester Medals £495.
Australian Trio to a Member of the Australian Imperial Force
Our next medal group was issued to one Alfred Thomas Duncan, who was 29 years old on his enlistment date, the 19th of July, 1915. He was quite old to be joining up and he was married as well, so he must have had his reasons for enlisting when he did.
Duncan first went to Alexandria for basic training with the 3rd Infantry Training Battalion and then onto the 50th Infantry Training Battalion in February 1916. He left Alexandria for Marseilles on the 3rd of June, 1916 and then went by train to Marseilles, France. Then onwards to Armentieres on the 12th of June.
He was accidentally injured whilst in the front line on the 16th of August near Pozieres. Following a series of medical issues, he was eventually declared medically unfit for combat. He was later discharged from the army in Adelaide, Australia on the 1st of October, 1917.
This interesting group is for sale from Sabre Militaria in Australia $AU 650.
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