Orders, Decorations, Medals and Militaria (1 & 2 March 2017)

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Date of Auction: 1st & 2nd March 2017

Sold for £14,000

Estimate: £8,000 - £10,000

The exceptional Great War ‘Somme’ D.C.M., M.M. and Two Bar group of six awarded to Lance-Corporal William R. Peniston, 9th Battalion, King’s Royal Rifle Corps and Thoresby Colliery Division S.J.A.B.

Distinguished Conduct Medal, G.V.R. (A-2273 L.Cpl. W. Peniston, 9/K.R.R.C.); Military Medal, G.V.R., with Second and Third Award Bars (A-2273 L.Cpl. W. R. Penistone, 9/K.R.R.C.); 1914-15 Star (A-2273 Pte. W. R. Peniston. K.R.Rif.C.); British War and Victory Medals (A-2273 Pte. W. R. Peniston. K.R.R.C.) these two possibly slightly later issues; St John Service Medal, silver with additional service bar (22652 Sgt. W. R. Penistone. No. 5 Dis. S.J.A.B. 1940) contact marks but generally nearly very fine and very rare (6) £8000-10000


D.C.M. London Gazette 26 January 1918: ‘For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty during an action. His company came under enemy barrage fire which caused considerable casualties, and he remained behind under heavy shelling attending to the wounded, and helped to carry them to the aid post. He undoubtedly saved the lives of many seriously wounded cases by his prompt action, and set a fine example to the stretcher bearers under him.’

M.M. London Gazette 16 November 1916.

First Bar to M.M. London Gazette 1 June 1917.

Second Bar to M.M. London Gazette 22 February 1918 [Announced in Brigade Routine Order dated 7 November 1917].

According to details extracted from the Regimental History, Peniston won his first M.M. on 26 August 1916, at Delville Wood; the D.C.M. on 11 September 1916, at Woodlane; and the first bar to the M.M. on 15 September 1916, at Flers-Courcelette. All four of his awards were won on the battlefields of the Somme. He appears to have been a P.O.W. at the end of the war.

William Peniston was born on 28 June 1889, at Oughtbridge, Sheffield, and educated at Wadsley Bridge Church School, Yorkshire. He was a miner at Thoresby Colliery until his retirement and for 48 years he was a Corporal in the St John Ambulance Brigade. He lived in Edwinstowe for the last 46 years of his life and died there at the age of 85 on 10 October 1974.

The group is sold with a good quantity of original documents including Divisional Certificates for the award of the D.C.M., M.M. and first bar to the M.M., and two original postcard photographs; one of Peniston in uniform wearing his D.C.M and M.M. with Bar, the other a group shot taken in a German P.O.W. camp which was sent by Peniston to his girlfriend (?) on 26 November 1918:

‘Dear S,
Just a line telling you now I am a free man once more in France let my Sis know & all my friends. I cannot say when I shall land in England but you can rest at ease in knowing I am in the Pink I have been in France since last Sunday.
Yours Billy’

Also sold with copied research including Brigade Routine Orders and War Diaries for 9th K.R.R.C.