A Collection of Medals to The South Wales Borderers

Date of Auction: 24th February 2016

Sold for £650

Estimate: £220 - £260

Three: Captain J. M. L. Vernon, South Wales Borderers, severely wounded, battle of the Aisne, 14 September 1914

Star, with copy clasp (2 Lieut., S. Wales Bord.) ‘S’ of ‘Wales’ double-struck; British War and Victory Medals (Lieut.) good very fine (3) £220-260


John Murhall Lossford Vernon was born in 1893, son of Thomas M. L. Vernon, J.P., of Tushingham House, Whitchurch, Shropshire. Educated at St. Peters College, Radley, 1907-11. As a 2nd Lieutenant in the 1st Battalion South Wales Borderers, he entered the France/Flanders theatre of war on 12 August 1914. Lieutenant Vernon was severely wounded when leading his men on 14 September 1914 in the Chivny Valley during the battle of the Aisne.

‘.... It was nearly sunset by this time, but light enough for the Brigadier to point out a barn on the far ridge as directing point to Captain Ward, whose company, A, was leading with C, D and B following. As the troops pushed down the slope they were greeted with a sharp burst of shrapnel and some H.E. shells, one of which, bursting in the middle of Lieutenant Vernon’s platoon of D, knocked out nearly the whole platoon, the officer being severely wounded. However, the battalion pushed ahead, leaving Chivy on the left, and was soon pressing on uphill through a thick wood with dense undergrowth. ...’ (ref.
The History of the South Wales Borderers, by C. T. Atkinson).

Vernon later attained the rank of Captain with the 3rd Special Reserve Battalion South Wales Borderers. His m.i.c. records that he applied for the 1914 Star on 12 December 1917. His address at the time being Tushingham House, Whitchurch. He was married for the first time in 1929 to Monica Deasey and for a second time in 1937 to Edith Jean Marriott.

With copied m.i.c., photocopied photograph of the recipient and other research. Also with a photograph of the headstone of fellow officer, Lieutenant Mervyn T. Johnson, S.W.B., who was killed in the same action Vernon was wounded, 14 September 1914.