Orders, Decorations, Medals and Militaria (23 June 2021)

Date of Auction: 23rd June 2021

Sold for £650

Estimate: £300 - £400

Three: Second Lieutenant R. J. Williams, Royal Welsh Fusiliers, who was killed in action on the first day of the Battle of Loos, 25 September 1915

1914-15 Star (2.Lieut. J. R. Williams, R.W. Fus.); British War and Victory Medals (2.Lieut R. J. Williams), VM with replacement ring suspension; Memorial Plaque (Reginald Joseph Williams) Memorial Plaque with soldered hanging loop to reverse, otherwise nearly extremely fine (4) £300-£400


Reginald Joseph Williams was born in Willesden, Middlesex, on 16 October 1896, the son of Joseph and Clara Williams. At the age of 17 he was accepted for a commission in 9th Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers, and served with the Battalion during the Great War on the Western Front from 20 July 1915. He was killed in action at the age of 18, in the ill-fated attack by the Battalion on the German positions near Festubert on the first day of the Battle of Loos.

The attack about Festubert commenced at 6:30 a.m., the attack did not go well and progress could not be judged because of the smoke. The battalion was ordered to advance through heavily wired defensive works, smoke, gas and heavy enfilading machine gun fire from both flanks, the commanding officer Lieutenant-Colonel Maddocks, being killed early in the attack, whilst observing over the parapet. Eventually the battalion was ordered to retire, having suffered total casualties of 11 officers and 249 other ranks killed, wounded and missing.

Williams was amongst those killed. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Loos Memorial, France.

Sold together with a small gilt metal photo locket containing a sepia photograph of the recipient; and extensive copied research.