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MM and QSA combinations 1 year 4 weeks ago #71379

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DCM GV (6458 C.S. Mjr. B. Pratten. MM 3/S. Wales Bord:);
MM GV (2-6456 [sic] Sjt: B. Pratten. 1/S. Wales Bord:);
QSA (3) Cape Colony, Orange Free State, Transvaal (6458 Cpl B. Pratten. S. Wales Bord:);
KSA (2) (6458 Corpl: B. Pratten. S. Wales Bord:);
1914 Star, with clasp (6458 Sjt. B. Pratten. S. Wales Bord.);
BWM and VM (6458 Sjt. B. Pratten. S. Wales Bord.);
Defence Medal;
France, Third Republic, Croix de Guerre, bronze, reverse dated 1914-1918;
Belgium, Kingdom, Croix de Guerre, A.I.R., bronze,;
National Fire Brigades Association L.S. Medal, (1) Ten Years, bronze (10299 Benjamin Pratten.)

DCM LG 2 December 1919: ‘During operations near Wassigny on 18th October 1918, he displayed marked courage and initiative in leading the attack after the officer commanding the attacking troops had become a casualty. When the line was temporarily held up by heavy machine gun fire, he urged on the men, and led them to the objective. It was largely due to his personal example and exemplary conduct that the attack was carried out with complete success.’

MM LG 3 June 1916.

Belgium, Croix de Guerre LG 12 July 1918.

Benjamin Pratten was a native of Marlborough, Wiltshire. He served with the South Wales Borderers during the Second Boer War, and with the 1st Battalion during the Great War in the French theatre of war from 13 August 1914.

Having fought through 1914 and advanced to Sergeant, Pratten distinguished himself with the Battalion whilst on the Loos Salient in May 1916:

‘Things were specially active about this time. Very sharp fighting was in progress on the Vimy Ridge, not far South of the 1st’s sector, and the disturbed area tended to spread to both flanks. The battalion’s patrols were very energetic and had several brushes with the enemy, notably on one occasion when Privates Quinn and Macaulay were out near the German wire and the enemy suddenly opened fire on a patrol from another regiment which was quite near. One man was hit and the Germans came out to capture him, whereupon Quinn and Macaulay turned the tables by promptly opening fire with good effect, and not only drove the Germans off, but were able to help the wounded man in. Lieutenant Ward Jones, Company Sergeant Major Miller, and Sergeants Freeman and Pratten were all among those brought to notice for good work at this period and received honours in the June list, while Private Quinn got an immediate DCM and Macaulay, who had previously won a DCM at Loos, received a bar.’ (Regimental History refers)

Pratten’s MM was amongst the first batch of the newly created award to be gazetted. He then served with the Battalion as part of the 3rd Brigade, 1st Division on the Somme, July - November 1916. The Battalion moved to Bazentin-le-Petit on 20 August, and Pratten’s good conduct is mentioned again in the Regiment History during an attack on the Intermediate Trench North-East of Bazentin-le-Petit five days later. An unsuccessful attempt to capture the trench had been made by the Royal Munster Fusiliers on 24 August:

‘Next afternoon (August 25th), however, A Company, now under Captain Inglis, renewed their attack, this time successfully. A heavy barrage had been put down at intervals with the object of driving the enemy back from the barricade and so clearing the Eastern half of the trench, and at 6.30pm A Company pushed past the barrier and advanced nearly 300 yards, bombing the Germans back. Serious opposition was offered at a strong point, containing a machine gun which had been largely responsible for the non-success of the earlier attacks. It was captured, however, several prisoners being taken... The attackers then pushed on, Privates Fitzpatrick [See lot 91] and Murphy leading the way with the bayonet. Coming to a block of wire mixed up with bayonets which formed a chevaux de frise they climbed up on to the parapet and removed the obstacle, thus enabling the attack to get forward. C Company had simultaneously attempted to advance across the open against the Western portion of the trench, but this effort failed. A Company, however, captured another 80 yards and consolidated their gains, a trench being dug back from the Westernmost point reached to the old front line. In this fighting the example and leadership of Captain Inglis were conspicuous, and he was ably seconded by Private E. Williams who helped him to capture several Germans, while Sergeant Sheehan engaged successfully in a sniping duel with a German officer who had already shot two sergeants but was now picked off. Sergeant Geary too did fine work in charge of a party bringing up ammunition and rifle grenades, making several journeys from the support line to A Company’s trenches when A was being hard pressed, and organised his men with great gallantry and skill, exposing himself freely and remaining at his post though wounded. Specially good work was also done by the battalion signallers who were constantly out repairing the repeatedly severed telephone wires between Headquarters and companies. Despite heavy shelling and machine gun fire they stuck to their work and succeeded in maintaining communications, Sergeants Pratten and Sanders and Corporal Melham being specially conspicuous.’

Pratten advanced to Company Quartermaster Sergeant and distinguished himself at Wassigny, 18 October 1918, where the 1st Battalion ‘had in all one officer (Lieutenant H. S. Bennett) and 29 men killed or died of wounds, and three officers and 60 men wounded, so that its captures alone, one officer and 76 men, nearly equalled its casualties, while its trophies included five field guns and eleven machine guns.’ (Ibid).

Pratten subsequently transferred to the 3rd Battalion, South Wales Borderers and served as a Fireman after the war.
Dr David Biggins
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MM and QSA combinations 9 months 2 weeks ago #73579

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MM GV (650 Sjt: C. Isaac. MMP.);
QSA (3) Cape Colony, Orange Free State, Johannesburg (4377. Pte C. Isaacs [sic 7/D.G..]);
KSA (2) (4347 [sic] Pte C. Isaac. 7th Drgn: Gds: );
1914 Star, with copy clasp (650 Sjt. C. Isaac. MMP.);
BWM and VM (650 Sjt. C. Isaac. MMP.);
Army LS&GC GV 1st issue (650 Sjt: C. Isaac. MMP.);
MSM GV (650 Sjt: C. Isaac. MMP.)

MM LG 27 October 1916.

MSM LG 1 January 1918.

C. Isaac was born in Reading in December 1869. He attested for the 7th Dragoon Guards in March 1898, and served with the Regiment during the Second Boer War.

He transferred to the Military Mounted Police in 1905, and advanced to Sergeant in August 1914. Isaac served during the Great War in the French theatre of war from 10 September 1914, and was attached to the 6th Division.

He was awarded the LS&GC in 1917, and discharged, 31 December 1919.
Dr David Biggins
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MM and QSA combinations 9 months 1 week ago #73751

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DCM GV (9280 B.S. Mjr. H. R. Fautley. MM 17/By: 41/Bde: R.F.A.);
MM GV (9280 B.Q.M. Sjt: H. R. Fautley. D.189/Bde: R.F.A.);
QSA (4) Defence of Ladysmith, Orange Free State, Transvaal, Laing’s Nek (9280 Gnr: H. R. Fautley, 69:B, R.F.A.) rank officially corrected;
King’s South Africa 1899-1902, (2) South Africa 1901, South Africa 1902 (9280 Gnr: H. Fautley. R.F.A.);
BWM and VM (9280 W.O. Cl.2. H. R. Fautley. R.A.);
Army LS&GC GV 1st issue (9280 Bmbr: H. R. Fautley. R.H.A.)

Provenance: Buckland Dix & Wood, May 1992.

DCM LG 15 November 1918: ‘For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. When his Battery coming into action was heavily shelled he showed great resource in getting the detachment to a flank. Later when the S.O.S. message was received, he brought the men back to the guns and set a magnificent example of coolness and complete disregard for his own safety.’

MM LG 6 June 1917.

Herbert Richard Fautley was born in Bermondsey, London, in 1877 and attested for the Royal Artillery at London on 19 April 1895, having previously served in the 4th (Militia) Battalion, East Surrey Regiment. He served in South Africa from 15 May 1897 to 3 April 1903, and, after a spell with the Royal Horse Artillery, with whom he was awarded his Long Service and Good Conduct Medal, reverted back to the Royal Field Artillery, serving with them during the Great War on the Western Front from 3 May 1916 to 16 January 1919. Wounded in action on 16 October 1916, he was advanced Battery Sergeant Major on 12 September 1917, and for his services during the Great War was awarded both the Military Medal and the Distinguished Conduct Medal. He was discharged on 14 February 1919, after 23 years and 302 days’ service.
Dr David Biggins
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MM and QSA combinations 5 months 1 week ago #76023

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From an eBay listing.

[ MM ]
QSA (5) Transvaal, Relief of Ladysmith, Orange Free State, Lang's Nek and Tugela Heights (4972 Pte A.J. Leach, Devon: Regt )
[ BWM and VM ]
Entitled to a silver War badge as 63831 Corporal 1/5th Devonshire Regiment

Alfred John Leach born 1879, Clyst St Mary, Devon, attested 2nd Battalion Devonshire Regiment. Enlisted in 1/5th Devon Regiment in December 1915, posted to France and earned a Military medal "MM" for bravery plus British war and Victory medals as 63831 Lance Corporal, discharged Feb 1919. He served in the ARP during WW2 (1939 census) living with wife Sophie in Clyst St Mary, Devon, he died aged 75 recorded in Exeter 1954.
Dr David Biggins

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MM and QSA combinations 4 months 6 days ago #76456

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I can present some information about Essex Regiment recipients of the MM who had previous service in South Africa. It suggests that the MM/QSA combination may be slightly more common than estimated. I know of ten, eight of whom earned the QSA with Essex R as well. One recipient was MM** and another was MM*. Three of the ten lost their lives in WW1. In addition there are perhaps up to four others who have special reserve numbers and who have similar names to men who served with Essex R in South Africa but cannot be confirmed as identical without further research.
Two of the ten groups are known and appear in Meurig's list (in my collection: Rogers and White); and two other split groups are known. I do not know whether the others survive.
Essex R earned under 800 MMs for WW1, so using this as a yardstick one might expect - assuming other regiments had similar levels of participation in South Africa and similar levels of MMs awarded in WW1 - somewhere in the region of, say, 1,000 to 1,300 men who had QSA and MM.

If Meurig hasn't already clocked the rare trio of MM/QSA/Silver Medal for Valour, Serbia, he will now!

Ian

Definite recipients of MM/QSA - at least one MM earned with Essex R

5167 Coy/SM Richard Abbott, 1st Bn
MM LG 23 July 1919 p9377 (Dovercourt)
Queen’s South Africa Medal clasps Cape Colony, Orange Free State and Transvaal and King’s South Africa Medal with two date clasps as 5176 (sic) Pte, 1st Bn
BWM/VM; continued serving as 5998004 after WW1.

3/3119 Cpl William George Bell, 1st Bn
MM LG 14 January 1918 p832 (Southend; initial W)
Previously 2585. In South Africa with 1st Bn 11.11.99 to 2.10.01
Queen’s South Africa Medal clasps Relief of Kimberley, Paardeberg, Driefontein, Johannesburg, Diamond Hill, Belfast and South Africa 1901 as 2585 Pte, 1st Bn.
1914-15 Star trio (initial W).

4543 Sjt Arthur Dovey, 1st Bn
MM LG 11 November 1916 p10921
Bar to MM LG 6 January 1917 p351 (Sjt)
2nd Bar to MM LG 13 March 1918 p3223 (Sjt; Canning Town)
A/CSM. Born & lived Leytonstone, enlisted Warley. Killed in action 1 February 1918.
1914-15 Star trio.
QSA clasps CC, OFS, Tvl, SA01, SA02 with 1st Bn (10th MI)

6282 Sgt John McQuade, 2nd Bn
MM LG 19 February 1917 p1760
Killed in action 1 July 1916
In common with the regiment’s only other MM recipients who were killed on the first day of Somme, his MM was gazetted as killed in action or died of wounds or disease subsequent to date of the award – did they gain their awards early on 1 July before being killed?
QSA clasps South Africa 1901 and South Africa 1902 as Boy, 2nd Bn – to home establishment 13 April 1902. 1914 Star trio as Sjt-Dmr, 2nd Bn.

4490 Sjt John Rogers, 2nd Bn
MM LG 11 November 1916 p10929
With Queen's South Africa, three clasps, Cape Colony, Driefontein, Transvaal (Pte, Essex Regt.); King's South Africa, two clasps (Pte, Essex Regt); 1914 Star with Bar (Pte, 2/Essex R.); British War and Victory Medals (Sjt, Essex R.); Army Long Service & G.C., G.V.R. (Pte, Essex Regt.)

5414 CSM Arthur John Roland, 1st Bn
MM LG 11 November 1916 p10929
His correct name was Rowland and this appears on all his medals except his MM. Died of wounds 21 October 1916. 1914-15 Star trio.
His MM, Queen's South Africa Medal - Clasps Cape Colony, Orange Free State, Johannesburg, Diamond Hill, Belfast (Pte, 1: Essex Regt) and King's South Africa Medal – Clasps South Africa 1901, South Africa 1902 (Pte, Essex Regt) and VM are in a private collection.

49987 Pte Thomas Worthington, 1st Bn
MM LG 26 March 1917 p2993 as 3752 Pte, Notts & Derby R
Bar to MM LG 20 August 1919 p10556 (Nottingham)
Previously 3752, 2nd Bn Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment and 245764, Royal Engineers. 1914 Star and bar trio. Later 612739, RE.
Originally enlisted as Private 5639 in the Derbyshire Regiment on 14th July 1897. Deserted on 5th September 1897, sentenced to imprisonment and forfeit all former service, which now reckoned from 15th October 1897.
Wounded slightly Moedwil 30.9.01. 29th May 1901 saw him promoted to Corporal and earning promotion to Cpl for Distinguished Conduct at Vlakfontein.
Medal Entitlements:
Queens South Africa Medal + 4 clasps (Johannesburg, Diamond Hill, Wittebergen, Cape Colony)
King’s South Africa Medal + 2 clasps (South Africa 1901, South Africa 1902)
A further transfer saw Thomas being moved on 25th August 1918 to the 1st Battalion Essex Regiment under number 49987. GSW neck 11.10.18; France to 21.10.18 – presumably bar to MM for 11 Oct 1918??


34803 Sjt Charles Bertram Saxton, 1st Bn
MM LG 18 October 1917 p10727 (Grays)
MM has been on market with QSA clasps CC, OFS, SA02 (3807 Tpr, SAC) and BWM.

4529 Sjt George William Standing, 2nd Bn
MM LG 11 November 1916 p10931
Silver Medal for Valour, Serbia LG 20 September 1919 p11759 (Canning Town)
QSA clasps OFS, Tvl, SA01 and SA02 as Pte, 2nd Bn
1914 Star & bar trio.
LSGC 4529 Sgt (MM), recommended 1.7.18 AO 305, October 1918

251337 Sgt Edward White, 1/5th Bn
MM LG 18 July 1917 p7287
MID LG 12 January 1918 p800 Noted as Special Reserve (Spec Res)
MM (251337 Sgt, 5 Essex R TF), QSA CC, OFS, SA02 (6477 Pte, Essex Regt), 14/15 Star (6477 Sgt, Essex R), BWM and Vic (6477. A.W.O.Cl 2, Essex R), Army LSGC (251337 Sgt, Essex R)
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MM and QSA combinations 3 months 2 weeks ago #76746

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exyeoman,

That is excellent research. Many thanks.

800 MMs out of a GV total of around 115,589 is a very impressive proportion. Interestingly, GV MMs outnumber the GVI issues by a ratio of 10:1.
Dr David Biggins

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