A Collection of Medals to Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regiments

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Date of Auction: 17th September 2009

Sold for £2,800

Estimate: £1,200 - £1,500

An impressive Great War M.C. group of ten awarded to Major & Quarter-Master F. H. Osborne, Bedfordshire Regiment

Military Cross, G.V.R., the reverse privately engraved, ‘Presented by H.M. King George V at Buckingham Palace, Dec. 9th 1916 to R.Q.M.S. F. H. Osborne, The Bedfordshire Regiment’; Queen’s South Africa 1899-1902, 3 clasps, Cape Colony, Orange Free State, South Africa 1902 (6887 Pte. F. Osborne, Bedford Regt.); 1914 Star, with clasp (6887 C.Q.M. Sjt. F. Osborne, 2/Bedf. R.); British War and Victory Medals, M.I.D. oakleaf (6887 W.O. Cl. II F. Osborne, Bedf. R.); Defence and War Medals 1939-45; Jubilee 1935; Coronation 1937, privately engraved, ‘Maj. & Qr. Mr. F. H. Osborne, Bedfs. & Herts. R.’; Army L.S. & G.C., G.V.R. (6887 R.Q.M. Sjt. F. Osborne, M.C., Bedf. R.), mounted court-style, the second with contact marks, edge bruising and polished, good fine, the remainder generally very fine and better (10)


M.C. London Gazette 19 August 1916:

‘For conspicuous and consistent gallantry and good work throughout the campaign, notably when he went in advance of the Brigade ration carriers under very heavy fire, and saved many casualties by his skilful direction.’

Frederick Henry Osborne, who was born in November 1882, enlisted in the 3rd (Militia) Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment in November 1899 and transferred to the Regulars in January 1901, quickly witnessing active service in South Africa with the 2nd Battalion. Between then and the Great War, he held appointments in Bermuda and Gibraltar and gained advancement to Company Quarter-Master Sergeant, in which rank he was embarked for France with the 2nd Battalion in mid-October 1914 - subsequently engaged in heavy fighting around Gheluvelt, the Battalion was reduced in strength to four officers and around 350-400 other ranks by the end of the month.

Advanced to Regimental Quarter-Master Sergeant in the following year, Osborne remained on active service in France and Belgium until September 1918, winning his M.C. shortly before the Somme offensive of July 1916. During the latter operations, the 2nd Battalion acted in support of the attack on Montauban on the 1st, in addition to several other attacks in the period leading up to late October, fighting that resulted in nearly 700 casualties. Also mentioned in despatches (
London Gazette 19 August 1916, refers), Osborne was commissioned as a Quarter-Master in 1919.

Between the Wars, up until his retirement in November 1937, he served out in India and Iraq, and was advanced to Captain & Q.M. on his return to the U.K. in 1927 - his advancement to Major & Q.M. being gazetted in the year of his retirement; the Bedfordshires regimental journal,
The Wasp, also confirms his Jubilee and Coronation awards.