A Collection of Medals to the Yorkshire Regiment (Green Howards)

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Date of Auction: 5th April 2006

Sold for £2,500

Estimate: £600 - £700

Seven: Lieutenant-Colonel J. Mortimer, Yorkshire Regiment, late East Yorkshire Regiment

Queen’s South Africa 1899-1902, 4 clasps, Cape Colony, Transvaal, Wittebergen, South Africa 1901 (Capt., Vol. Co. 2nd E. Yorkshire Regt.); 1914-15 Star (Lt. Col., York. R.); British War and Victory Medals, M.I.D. oak leaf (Lt. Col.); Coronation 1902, silver; Coronation 1911, silver; Volunteer Force Long Service Medal, E.VII.R. (Major, 2/V.B. E. York. Regt.) good very fine and better (7) £600-700

Footnote

C.M.G. London Gazette 1 January 1916.

M.I.D. London Gazette 30 November 1915.


James Mortimer was born in Driffield, East Yorkshire in 1870. He enlisted into the ranks of the 2nd Volunteer Battalion East Yorkshire Regiment in 1888 and was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the regiment on 1 May 1895, attaining the rank of Captain in 1898. With the battalion in South Africa, he served in the operations in the Transvaal, East of Pretoria, November 1900; operations in the Orange River Colony, May-November 1900, including the action at Wittebergen; and operations in the Cape Colony, November 1900-May 1901. In 1908 he transferred as a Major to the 5th Battalion Yorkshire Regiment. With the battalion he entered the France/Flanders theatre of war on 17 May 1915. He was appointed Temporary Lieutenant-Colonel on 18 April 1915 and promoted to the rank on 13 January 1916. He was killed in action, commanding his battalion during the battle of the Somme on 15 September 1916. He was killed, hit by shrapnel from a shell as he proceeded from his headquarters to the assembly trenches, shortly before his men were to go over the top. Detirmined to avenge his death, the battalion succeeded in gaining their objective - a writer from the battalion said it was ‘his due, for it was his work , his encouragement and personality that were alone responsible for it’; his General said of him, ‘He was the soul of his Battalion, the pride of the Brigade, and an example to us all’. Lieutenant-Colonel Mortimer was buried in Flatiron Copse Cemetery, Mametz. His wife Dora, was living at Grove Cottage, Driffield at the time of his death. Sold with original bestowal document for the C.M.G. and two associated booklets and copied research.