Medals to Great War Casualties from the Collection of the late Ian Livesley

Date of Auction: 5th July 2011

Sold for £1,600

Estimate: £600 - £800

Three: Lieutenant William Keay Falconer, 7th Battalion, Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders, who was killed in action leading his men in a charge against the enemy at Ypres on 25 April 1915

1914-15 Star (Lieut., A. & S. Highrs.); British War and Victory Medals (Lieut.); together with memorial plaque (William Keay Falconer), all mounted on a contemporary oak display board with carved regimental badge to top, generally good very fine (4) £600-800


Lieutenant William Keay Falconer was born at Kinross in 1894 and educated at Edinburgh Academy. He was gazetted Second Lieutenant in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders in September 1913 and promoted to the rank of Lieutenant in September 1914. He was killed in action on 25 April 1915 and is buried at Seaforth Cemetery, Cheddar Villa, Langemarck, Belgium.

The following is extracted from The Bond of Sacrifice, Volume II:

‘An Officer who conveyed the news of his death to his friends said: “He was killed instantaneously about three miles north-east from Ypres. I buried him last night under a tree behind the position we now hold, and a little wooden cross marks the place.”

A former Colonel of his battalion, writing of him, said: “When I was with the battalion in France I frequently remarked to his Captain and others upon his coolness. He knew his work well and was devoted to it. He didn’t know what fear was, and he seemed fully to realise the responsibility for his men’s comfort that rested upon him as a platoon commander, and the men were devoted to him. I will never forget your son’s interest in his work and his valuable services from the time of his mobilisation in August last.”

The Colonel who later succeeded to the Command said: “I had formed the highest opinion of your son’s military capabilities. He died bravely leading his men, and is deeply mourned by his brother officers.” ‘