A small collection of medals to the Essex Regiment

Date of Auction: 15th September 2021

Sold for £140

Estimate: £80 - £120

The 5th Battalion Essex Regiment (Territorial Force)

Prior to the outbreak of the Great War, there were five Territorial Battalions in the Essex Regiment. The 5th Battalion had its headquarters in Chelmsford and recruited from the bulk of the present county of Essex, particularly the central and northern parts including large rural areas. The Battalion first fought at Gallipoli from August 1915 before serving in Egypt and Palestine, where it was heavily engaged in the First and Third Battles of Gaza in March and November 1917. In the Territorial Force renumbering, men serving with the Battalion (including the 2nd and 3rd lines which had been formed) were given numbers in the block commencing 250001.
The following lots are listed in order of the recipient’s service number.
Three: Sergeant A. J. Spurgeon, 5th Battalion, Essex Regiment, who was taken Prisoner of War at Arras on 28 March 1918 whilst serving with the 2nd Battalion

British War and Victory Medals (870 Sjt. A. J. Spurgeon. Essex R.); Territorial Force Efficiency Medal, G.V.R. (250038 Sjt. A. J. Spurgeon. 5/Essex R.) mounted as worn, nearly very fine (3) £80-£120


Alfred James Spurgeon was born at Enfield on 26 May 1891 and enlisted in the Essex Regiment at Walton-on-Naze on 27 November 1908. Appointed Lance-Corporal on 11 July 1911, he was promoted Acting Corporal on 26 July 1915, and Acting Sergeant on 28 July 1915. He was subsequently re-numbered 250038. Posted to 2nd Battalion, Essex Regiment on 12 February 1918, he was captured at Arras on 28 March 1918, while serving with C Company, and was held Prisoner of War at Linberg, Germany for the remainder of the War. He was discharged on 19 July 1919, being awarded a Silver War Badge no. B283200, and was awarded his Territorial Force Efficiency Medal per Army Order 380 of October 1919. He died in Clacton, Essex, on 11 March 1941.

Note: It is not clear why Spurgeon failed to receive the Territorial Force War Medal – either he had not committed to serving overseas by the deadline of 30 September 1914 or perhaps his eligibility was somehow overlooked.