A Collection of Medals to the York & Lancaster Regiment

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Date of Auction: 6th May 1992

Sold for £190

Estimate: £100 - £120

A fine Great War M.M. announced posthumously to Private Ernest Spencer, 12th Sheffield City Battalion, who was killed in action on the first day of the Somme

MILITARY MEDAL, G.V.R. (12-785 Pte. 12/Y. & L.R.) nearly extremely fine


M.M., London Gazette, 28th July 1917. ‘H.M. the King has been graciously pleased to approve the award of the Military Medal for bravery in the field to the undermentioned N.C.O. and men since deceased, who have been killed in action or died of wounds or disease subsequent to the date of the award of the Military Medal to them by the C-in-C in the field.’

The following details are taken from the 'History of 12 (5) Bn. York and Lancaster Regt.': ‘2/785 Pte. E. Spencer and 12/822 Pte. B.C. Wilkinson. These two men brought up fresh supplies of S.A.A. from Company Reserve in Rob Roy when that trench and Nairne commuinication trench were being heavily shelled. They had to climb out of the trench in several places where it was blown in, and doing so Pte. Wilkinson was stunned for several seconds by shrapnel hitting his helmet. They persevered, however, and were successful in their attempt to bring up ammunition. They were awarded the M.M. as a reward for their gallant conduct.’

Private Ernest Spencer was killed in action, 1st July, 1916, when the 12th Bn., as part of 84 Brigade, acted as the leading Battalion in the attack on Serre, suffering over 600 casualties in the space of only 3 hours.