Orders, Decorations and Medals (25 September 2008)

Date of Auction: 25th September 2008

Sold for £620

Estimate: £600 - £800

A poignant family group:

Four: Private W. Long, Cheshire Regiment, who died of wounds received on the Somme in December 1915

Queen’s South Africa 1899-1902, 5 clasps, Transvaal, Cape Colony, Orange Free State, South Africa 1901, South Africa 1902 (7535 Pte., Vol. Coy. Ches. Regt.); 1914-15 Star (12202 Pte., Ches. R.); British War and Victory Medals (12202 Pte., Ches. R.), this last with officially re-impressed naming and the first with last four clasps attached to first clasp by wire, very fine and rather better

Three: Private J. Long, Worcestershire Regiment, who was killed in action in evacuation of Gallipoli in January 1916

1914-15 Star (22694 Pte., Worc. R.); British War and Victory Medals (22694 Pte., Worc. R.), good very fine and better

Three: Private W. Long, Lancashire Fusiliers, who was gassed at Ypres in May 1915

1914 Star (6811 Pte., 2/Lan. Fus.); British War and Victory Medals (20404 Pte., Lan. Fus.), good very fine (10) £600-800


Walter Long was the second son of Patrick and Esther Long of Cheapside, Hyde, and served in the 4th Volunteer Company, Cheshire Regiment, attached 2nd Volunteer Company, in South Africa, from whence he returned home in May 1902. Married with five children by the outbreak of hostilities, and then resident at St. Newton, Hyde, he enlisted in the 1st Battalion of his old regiment in October 1914 and was embarked for France in January 1915. Severely wounded at Bray-sur-Somme on 19 November of the latter year, he died after the amputation of a leg at No. 12 General Hospital, Rouen on 17 December - a closing chapter poignantly recounted in letters received by his mother from the Senior Matron, who described him as ‘so brave and patient’ during his final days. William was 38 years of age at the time of his death and is buried in the St. Sever Military Hospital, Rouen; his obituary and photograph was published in the Hyde Herald on 24 December 1915.

John Long was the third son of Patrick and Esther Long of Cheapside, Hyde, where he was resident at the outbreak of hostilities. Enlisting in the 4th Battalion, Worcestershire Regiment in the following year, he first entered the Balkans theatre of war that September, and was killed in action in Gallipoli on 1 January 1916 - at the time of the evacuation, his Battalion was subjected to heavy shelling in the Krithia Vineyard sector. He was 37 years of age at the time of his death, has no known grave and is commemorated on the Memorial at Redoubt Cemetery, Helles; his obituary and photograph was published in the Hyde Herald on 5 and 12 February 1916.

William Long was the fourth son of Patrick and Esther Long of Cheapside, Hyde. A regular soldier in the Lancashire Fusiliers, he served in India, Greece, Malta and in the Boer War, was first embarked for France in the 2nd Battalion in late October 1914. Subsequently among many of his unit to be gassed at Wieltje, near Ypres on 2 May 1915, he transferred to the Labour Corps and was discharged as unfit for further military service before the end of hostilities.

The remarkable story of the Long family first hit the columns of the
Hyde Herald in July 1915, when it was reported that Mrs. Esther Long had received a letter from Buckingham Palace congratulating her that she had six sons serving with the Colours, the three other brothers being Thomas, a Sergeant-Major in the Cheshires - who was severely wounded in February 1915 - Henry, also of the Cheshires - who was taken prisoner in the retreat from Mons - and Joseph, a Trooper in the Life Guards.