The Collection of Medals to Great War Casualties formed by Tim Parsons

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Date of Auction: 2nd April 2004

Sold for £520

Estimate: £400 - £450

Three: Private A. Wright, Royal Irish Rifles, who was killed in action near Neuve Chapelle on 27 October 1914

1914 Star (6479 Pte., R. Ir. Rif.); British War and Victory Medals (2-6479 Pte., R. Ir. Rif.), with related Memorial Plaque (Andrew Wright), and original card forwarding box for the B.W.M. and Victory Medals, good extremely fine (4) £400-450


Andrew Wright, a Tynesider from Gateshead, was killed in action near Neuve Chapelle on 27 October 1914, while serving in the 2nd Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles.

The Battalion was all but wiped out in the last week of October as a result of numerous enemy raids and full scale assaults. Two entire Companies disappeared without trace on 26th, and ‘A’ and ‘C’ Companies were decimated when the enemy broke through on the left flank on the 27th, just 2 officers and 48 other ranks getting back into Neuve Chapelle.

Sold with a quantity of original documentation, including memorial scroll and assorted War / Record Office correspondence from 1915-23, among the latter being the forwarding letters for the above campaign awards and 1914 clasp; together with a handwritten letter from Cyril H. Watson (late Sergeant, 2/Royal Irish Rifles), dated 2 April 1930, in which he acknowledges receipt of a letter from Wright’s widow and offers his apologies for having opened an ‘old wound’ by his letter to a local newspaper about Tynesiders who served in the Royal Irish Rifles - not knowing of Wright’s subsequent fate, he had mentioned seeing him at Laon, on the Aisne in October 1914, and that his nickname was “Ginger”.