A Collection of Medals to the Lancashire Fusiliers

Date of Auction: 20th September 2002

Sold for £4,000

Estimate: £2,000 - £2,500

A fine Second War ‘Retreat to Dunkirk 1940’ D.C.M. group of three awarded to Corporal John Lymer, Lancashire Fusiliers

Distinguished Conduct Medal, G.VI.R. (3445531 Cpl, Lan/Fus.) suspension claw tightened; 1939-45 Star; War Medal; together with 'A Wartime Log' kept by Corporal Lymer whilst a prisoner in Stalag 357, containing photographs, poems, coloured sketches and cartoons by members of the camp, the contents generally good and amusing, this with front cover detached, contact marks and edge bruising, otherwise nearly very fine (3) £2000-2500


D.C M. London Gazette 11 October 1945.

During the retreat from Belgium in May 1940, the 2nd Bn. Lancashire Fusiliers were under heavy attack from the advancing German army. Corporal Lymer was in command of a section on the banks of the Escaut canal, when the German attack developed in great strength at daylight on 22nd May, 1940, and his section being within a few yards of the bank, was subjected to intense artillery and mortar concentrations throughout the hours of daylight. When the order came for the battalion to fall back, unable to leave their cover due to intense fire, the party stayed behind and gave covering fire while the remainder of the battalion withdrew to safer ground. It was largely due to Corporal Lymer and his section that no enemy broke through on the Company front in spite of the fact that one by one each man of the section was knocked out. Seven men of his section of ten were killed and three wounded before the Germans overran the position. Corporal Lymer himself received a bayonet wound to the shoulder, and when his commanding officer saw the position overrun, he recommended Corporal Lymer for a posthumuos Victoria Cross. It was however confirmed by the Red Cross, over a year later, that Lymer was alive and being held in Stalag 357. When released at the end of the war, Corporal Lymer was repatriated and on his return to the Lancashire Fusilier H.Q. he was saluted by all the officers of the regiment. He was presented with the D.C.M. by King George VI on 29th July, 1947, at an investiture at Buckingham Palace.

The above information is extracted from the official recommendation and other unsourced research detail included with the lot.