The Collection of Medals formed by the late Arnold Jackson

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Date of Auction: 12th December 2012

Sold for £1,750

Estimate: £1,200 - £1,500

A scarce Great War ‘Serbia’ M.C. group of four awarded to Captain L. W. Croft, 9th Battalion, East Lancashire Regiment

Military Cross, G.V.R., the reverse inscribed ‘Lieut. L. W. Croft, 9th Bn. East Lancashire Regt.’; 1914-15 Star (Lieut. L. W. Croft, E. Lan. R.); British War and Victory Medals, with M.I.D. oak leaf (Capt. L.W. Croft) good very fine (4) £1200-1500

Footnote

M.C. London Gazette 26 September 1916:

‘For conspicuous gallantry and resourcefulness on 12th August 1916, south of Doldzeli, with a small patrol, he successfully carried out a dangerous reconnaissance in broad daylight. He met and engaged with an enemy piquet at 5 yards range, then successfully withdrew, with one man wounded, under heavy fire at point blank range. He obtained valuable information.’

The Battalion War Diary records, ‘12/8/16. Great gallantry and resource displayed by Lieut. L. W. Croft in reconnoitring enemy’s position, S. of DOLDZELI Village - very valuable information gained and patrol withdrawn, with one man wounded, under heavy fire from Bulgarian patrol.

13/8/16. Lieut. Croft congratulated by G.Os.C. 65th Bde., 22nd Divn., & XII Corps on his reconnaissance of 12th inst.’

He was recommended for the Military Cross three days later and this award was confirmed by an entry on 29 August.

The following extract is taken from The History of the East Lancashire Regiment in the Great War 1914-1919: ‘While we were in Pearse Brook the French made a gallant attack on the Tortue and on the Doldzeli Ridge to the Northwest. Twice they gained and twice they lost their objective, and finally they were compelled to retire. A few days previously great gallantry and resource had been displayed by Croft in reconnoitring the enemy’s positions south of Doldzeli. He actually penetrated, with a small party in daylight the enemy’s advanced trenches and successfully withdrew, with one man wounded, under heavy fire at point blank range. For this, and the valuable information he obtained, he was subsequently awarded the M.C. Private Towler received the M.M. for the same action.’

Note: Pearse Brook was on the border of Greece and Siberia at that time, south-west of Lake Dorian and 1 mile west of Vladaja.

Leonard Wilberforce Croft was commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant on 4 January 1915, and in March was gazetted to the 9th Battalion, East Lancashire Regiment. He went to France in October 1915 and two months later moved to Salonika, arriving there on 7 November and remaining there for the rest of the war. Croft was demobilised on 17 March 1918 and was granted the Silver War Badge.

Sold with comprehensive research including copied War Diary entries.