Medals from the Collection of Brigadier Brian Parritt, C.B.E.
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Date of Auction: 19th March 2008
Sold for £200
Estimate: £300 - £350
1914-15 Star (42178 Pte., R.A.M.C.), surname spelt ‘Merriken’; British War and Victory Medals (2 Lieut.) extremely fine (3) £300-350
FootnoteGeorge Holden Merrikin was born in the Parish of St Mary, Louth, Lincolnshire in 1882. His Father was a Church of England Rector and his Mother was Frances Merrikin. He was educated privately at Bedford House School, Bedford and then at Oxford University where he obtained his B.A. in 1901 and M.A. in 1904. Following Oxford he went to the Ely Theological College where he qualified as a Clerk in Holy Orders. After being ordained he became Chaplain at Wellingborough School, then Curate at Dulwich College and finally the Preceptor of Bristol Cathedral.
On 19 October 1914, aged 32 years and 240 days, he enlisted at Deptford into the R.A.M.C. as a Private. At the time of his enlistment he was living at The Chantry, Westbourne, Emsworth Hampshire. As a Private he served for 92 days in England and then two years six days in France. On 5 March 1917 he returned to England and was posted first to 5 T.R.B. in St Albans and then E Company, R.A.M.C. Blackpool. At this time he applied for an appointment as a Chaplain but this was refused and on 17 December 1917 he was commissioned into the 1/2nd London Regiment. At that time the 1/2nd London Regiment as part of 169 Brigade 56th Division were reorganising after the 1st Battle of Arras and in April 1918 2nd Lieutenant G H Merrikin joined as reinforcement with seven other 2nd Lieutenants.
By 25 August the Battalion were committed to the 2nd Battle of Arras. The “Regimental History of the 2nd City of London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers)” describes the death of George Holden Merrikin on the afternoon of 27 August 1918 -
“The 1/2nd Londons were ordered to establish posts in Fooley Trench opposite their front. With this object two platoons each from “A”, “C” and “D” Companies formed up outside the uncut and very thick wire of Summit Trench and, at 2.45 am on the 27th, made a stealth attack on Fooley Trench. The trench was still occupied by the enemy in strength and heavy machine gun fire from it as well as from the Hindenburg Line and from the direction of Croisilles held up the attackers. A section of “A” Company under Sgt Ayton succeeded in getting within measurable distance of its objective, but in its gallant effort was wiped out to a man. Although the line of Fooley Trench was not made good, a number of posts were firmly established in advance of Summit Trench.”
The Battalion suffered in all 43 casualties and many of the wounded were lying in No Mans Land. The Regimental History records that - “2nd Lieut Merrikin at once volunteered to take out a party to bring them in and, while gallantly carrying out this task, was killed by machine-gun fire.” Aged 40 at the time of his death, he was buried in Summit Trench Cemetery, Croisilles - near the site of Summit Trench. He was the husband of Mrs Norah Louise Merrikin then living at 42 Herberton Road, West Southbourne Bournemouth, Hampshire. Sold with original Officers’ Relatives War Report, copied service papers, m.i.c., and modern photograph of his grave.