The Langham Collection of Medals to the Royal Army Ordnance Corps

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Date of Auction: 17th September 1999

Sold for £5,200

Estimate: £3,000 - £3,500

The exceptional Great War ‘Somme’ D.C.M., M.M. and Two Bar group of six awarded to Lance-Corporal William R. Peniston, 9th Battalion, King’s Royal Rifle Corps and Thoresby Colliery Division S.J.A.B.

Distinguished Conduct Medal,
G.V.R. (A-2273 L.Cpl. W. Peniston, 9/K.R.R.C.); Military Medal, G.V.R., with Second and Third Award Bars (A-2273 L.Cpl. W. Penistone, 9/K.R.R.C.); 1914-15 Star (A-2273 Pte., K.R.Rif.C.); British War and Victory Medals (A-2273 Pte., K.R.R.C.); St John Service Medal, silver with additional service bar (22652 Sgt., No. 5 Dis. S.J.A.B. 1940) contact marks but generally nearly very fine and very rare (6) £3000-3500

Footnote

See colour plate.

D.C.M. London Gazette 26 January 1918: ‘For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty during an action. His company came under enemy barrage fire which caused considerable casualties, and he remained behind under heavy shelling attending to the wounded, and helped to carry them to the aid post. He undoubtedly saved the lives of many seriously wounded cases by his prompt action, and set a fine example to the stretcher bearers under him.’

M.M. London Gazette 16 November 1916.

First Bar to M.M. London Gazette 1 June 1917.

Second Bar to M.M. London Gazette 22 February 1918.

According to details extracted from the Regimental History, Peniston won his first M.M. on 26 August 1916, at Delville Wood; the D.C.M. on 11 September 1916, at Woodlane; and the first bar to the M.M. on 15 September 1916, at Flers-Courcelette. All four of his awards were won on the battlefields of the Somme.

William Penistone was born at Oughtbridge, Sheffield, and educated at Wadsley Bridge Church School, Yorkshire. He was a miner at Thoresby Colliery until his retirement and for 48 years he was a Corporal in the St John Ambulance Brigade. He lived in Edwinstowe for the last 46 years of his life and died there at the age of 85.

The group is sold with a large quantity of original documents including Divisional Certificates for the award of the D.C.M., M.M. and first bar to the M.M., and two original postcard photographs. One of these is a group shot taken in a German POW camp and appears to have been sent by Peniston on 26 November 1918: ‘I am a free man once more in France.’