A Collection of Gallantry Awards to the South Wales Borderers

Date of Auction: 19th July 2017

Sold for £1,200

Estimate: £1,400 - £1,800

A Great War ‘Western Front’ M.C. group of six awarded to Regimental Sergeant Major H. J. Vatcher, 12th (Bantam) Battalion, South Wales Borderers, formerly Royal Dragoons, a veteran of the Boer War who was twice wounded in France and Flanders

Military Cross, G.V.R., unnamed as issued; Queen’s South Africa 1899-1902, 6 clasps, Tugela Heights, Orange Free State, Relief of Ladysmith, Transvaal, Laing’s Nek, Cape Colony (3947 Pte. H. Vatcher, Rl. Drgns.) clasps mounted in order stated with unofficial rivets to top clasp; King’s South Africa 1901-02, 2 clasps (3947 Corpl. H. Vatcher, Rl. Dragoons) this with unofficial correction to surname; British War and Victory Medals, with M.I.D. oak leaf (23563W.O.Cl.1. H. J. Vatcher, S. Wales Bord.); Jubilee 1935, mounted loose style as worn, very fine and better (6) £1400-1800


Sold with with five good photographs which include the recipient, comprising, picture of Vatcher and four other decorated members of the regiment, including CSM J. H. Williams, VC, DCM, MM and bar; picture of B Company, 12th Battalion, South Wales Borderers; picture of recipient in army uniform with his wife; picture of recipient in uniform of the Newport Police wearing his medals; and another on the occasion of a Royal Visit in July 1937; together with original copies of the London Gazette announcing award of M.C. and M.I.D.; South Wales Borderers cap badge; two collar badges; cloth badge and assorted ribbon bars.

M.C. London Gazette 3 June 1918 (Sergeant Major, South Wales Borderers).

M.I.D. London Gazette 22 May 1917 (Regimental Sergeant Major, South Wales Borderers).

Henry John Vatcher, a native of Newport Monmouthshire, served during the Boer War with the Royal Dragoons, subsequently joining the Newport Borough Police. Following the outbreak of the Great War he again volunteered for active service and was appointed R.S.M. of the 12th (Bantam) Battalion, South Wales Borderers. After a period of home service he saw service with the British Expeditionary Force from 1 June 1916 to 17 December 1918, during which time he was awarded a Military Cross and mentioned in despatches, and was twice wounded, the first time on 25 May 1917 and the second during the first day of the German Spring Offensive on 21 March 1918 by a gunshot wound to the left hand. Vatcher transferred to the Welsh Regiment in August 1918 before his eventual demobilization in March 1919, following which he rejoined the police, attaining the rank of Inspector. He died in November 1943. Sold with copied service papers and medal roll for Q.S.A. confirming entitlement to Cape Colony clasp only.