A Collection of Medals to the 20th (Blackheath and Woolwich) Battalion, London Regiment

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Date of Auction: 25th September 2008

Sold for £1,000

Estimate: £800 - £1,000

A Great War ‘Western Front’ M.C. group of four awarded to Captain R. E. Perrett, 1/20th Battalion, London Regiment, formerly 16th (Queen’s Westminster Rifles) Battalion, London Regiment, who was wounded and taken prisoner of war during the German Spring Offensive of March 1918

Military Cross, G.V.R., unnamed as issued; 1914-15 Star (2331 Pte., 16-Lond. R.); British War and Victory Medals, with M.I.D. oak leaf (Capt.) nearly extremely fine (4) £800-1000


M.C. London Gazette 1 January 1918.

London Gazette 15 May 1917.

Captain Richard Edgecombe Perrett was born in May 1890 and educated at Westminster City School. During the Great War he served first in the ranks of the 16th London Regiment, before being commissioned into the 20th London Regiment on 20 December 1915. He was wounded (gunshot wound left leg) and taken prisoner of war on 24 March 1918, before being repatriated on 20 January 1919. Whilst a prisoner of war his broken femur was reset on five occasions and a spike was fitted through his knee which caused infection, eventually resulting in the amputation of the leg. He died on 30 January 1980 in Darlington, East Sussex.

The following statement with regards to his wounding and capture was given by Perret whilst convalescing at the Prince of Wales Hospital, Marylebone, London on 1 April 1919: ‘The battalion were holding a line of trenches in front of Rocquigny near Ypres (Cambrai area). Our right company and the 1/19th Battalion, London Regiment (on our right) were more heavily engaged than the remainder of the battalion and were subsequently broken. The enemy then got into some out houses on our right and in rear bringing heavy enfilade fire on our position.

The battalion on our left then retired. Orders were given for our battalion to retire to the left and I followed after the companies had passed with H.Q., but only got a short distance when I was wounded and fell. There were no other officers captured with me.’

Sold with original documentation, comprising: Commission document to rank of Second Lieutenant, dated 15.12.1915, M.I.D. certificate, Buckingham Palace letter from King George V to returned prisoners of war, and named certificate from the University of London Officers School of Instruction.