A Collection of Gallantry Awards to the South Wales Borderers

Date of Auction: 19th July 2017

Sold for £1,900

Estimate: £1,800 - £2,200

A Great War ‘Le Tronsloy’ M.C. group of four awarded to Second Lieutenant A. D. W. Lowe, 2nd Battalion, South Wales Borderers, who was wounded at Mametz Wood in July 1916 and later killed at Passchendaele on 4 October 1917

Military Cross, G.V.R., the reverse engraved ‘A. D. W. Lowe 2nd S.W.B. 27th Jan 1917’; 1914-15 Star (2. Lieut. A. D. W. Lowe. S. Wales Bord.); British War and Victory Medals (Lieut. A. D. W. Lowe.) together with Bronze Memorial Plaque (Arthur Denis Worsley Lowe), Illuminated Memorial Scroll (2/Lieut. Arthur Denis Worsley Lowe, M.C. S. Wales Borderers), and oval portrait photograph in silver frame, nearly extremely fine (5) £1800-2200


M.C. London Gazette 12 March 1917:

‘For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. When the attack was temporarily held up by machine gun fire, he led his party to this place and successfully bombed the enemy gun teams, thus enabling the attack to push on. Later, he himself captured six prisoners.’

Arthur Denis Worsley Lowe enlisted as Private No. 1760 in the 18th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers. He was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant in the 3rd Battalion, South Wales Borderers, on 16 June 1915, and went to France on 23 October 1915. He was attached to the 11th Battalion when he was wounded in the attack on Mametz Wood on 7 July 1916. He won his Military Cross with the 2nd Battalion in the attack just south of Le Tronsloy on 27 January 1917, as described in the regimental history:

‘Second Lieutenant Lowe also did good service. When a machine gun held up the attack he led his party to the point, bombed the gun team, and by putting the gun out of action enabled the attack to get on, besides capturing half a dozen prisoners. He was well backed up by Lance Corporals Griffiths and Stevens and Privates Davies and Salt [these men all awarded the M.M.].

Second Lieutenant Lowe was killed in the aftermath of the battle of Broodseinde on 4 October 1917, when he, together with Second Lieutenant Gibson, had been sent to reconnoitre prior to the 2nd battalion moving up to take over the new front line. The guides did not know their way, the going was bad and the enemy’s shelling was steady and caused several casualties, Lowe being killed and Gibson wounded. He is commemorated by name on the Tyne Cot Memorial.