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

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Date of Auction: 2nd April 2004

Sold for £600

Estimate: £400 - £450

Five: Private F. Wilson, East Surrey Regiment, who was killed in action in the Ypres salient on 6 May 1915

Queen’s South Africa 1899-1902, 5 clasps, Tugela Heights, Orange Free State, Relief of Ladysmith, Transvaal, Laing’s Nek (3235 Pte., 2nd E. Surrey Regt.); King’s South Africa 1901-02, 2 clasps, South Africa 1901, South Africa 1902 (3235 Pte., E. Surrey Regt.); 1914-15 Star (1303 Pte., E. Surr. R.); British War and Victory Medals (1303 Pte., E. Surr. R.), with related Memorial Plaque (Frederick Wilson), good very fine or better (6) £400-450


Frederick Wilson was born at Norwood, Surrey and enlisted in the East Surrey Regiment in November 1890, aged 18 years. Transferred to the Army Reserve in November 1897, he was recalled for active service with the 2nd Battalion out in South Africa, where he served between October 1899 and August 1902; some of his experiences maybe found recorded in a lengthy letter home (see below), from the cold at night (‘wake up in the morning covered in frost’) to getting to grips with the Boers (‘We were the leading regiment of our Brigade and the first in ... we had them nicely and we gave them a good smashing ...’ ).

Wilson was discharged at Kingston-on-Thames in November 1902, but re-enlisted in his old regiment at Chelsea on the outbreak of hostilities in August 1914. Posted to the 1st Battalion and embarked for France and Flanders, he was killed in action on 6 May 1915, aged 43 years.

He is commemorated on the Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres; photographs of the relevant panel are included.

Also sold with a quantity of original documentation, including parchment certificates of service and character, both dated November 1902; a lengthy letter home from South Africa, dated at Charlestown on 16 June 1900, with copy typescript; memorial scroll; death certificate from the War Office and another official communication regarding the recipient’s Will.