A Collection of Medals to The South Wales Borderers

Date of Auction: 24th February 2016

Sold for £240

Estimate: £120 - £160

Pair: Private P. E. Fernley, 11th (Service) Battalion (2nd Gwent) South Wales Borderers, killed in action, Flanders, 23 August 1917.

British War and Victory Medals (36010 Pte., S. Wales Bord.); Memorial Plaque (Percival Edward Fernley) this last in card envelope, extremely fine (3) £120-160


Percival Edward Fernley was born in and enlisted at Stepney, London. Serving in the 11th Battalion South Wales Borderers, he was killed in action, Flanders, on 23 August 1917, aged 21 years. Having no known grave, his name is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial. He was the son of George James and Alice Maud Fernley, of 183 Seaside, Eastbourne, Sussex.

With original commemorative scroll; slips to accompany the medals and plaque; slips from the Secretary of State for War and the War Graves Commission; postcard group photograph; postcard of Tyne Cot Memorial; embroidered birthday card from Percy to his sister, March 1917; modern photographs of his name on the Tyne Cot Memorial and copied m.i.c. and casualty details. Together with a (damaged) typed letter to Fernley’s parents from Private E. Morgan, giving details of their son’s death:

‘Dear Mr & Mrs Fernley, It is with deep regret that I write these few lines to you informing you about your son Pte Fernley on the 27.8.17 (sic). We were engaged as linesmen from Brigade Headquarters to battalion Headquarters about 2.30p.m. Our lines were broken from heavy shell fire we were ordered to go and repair them, we had not gone far when I got hit with shrapnel. Percy helped me upon my feet and I had only gone a few yards when Percy himself was hit seriously. Help came at once but they told me it was all over as he was dying. I did not see any more of him as I was taken away to the hospital, as my wounds were bleeding terrible. As soon as I got to the hospital I sent a note back to the Regiment to let them know what had happened. Percy and me have been close chums since he joined us. .... Pte. E Morgan, 222501, No. 14 Ward, 5, Southern Gen Hospital, Southsea, Hants.’