A Collection of Gallantry Awards to the South Wales Borderers

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Date of Auction: 28th February 2018

Sold for £1,400

Estimate: £800 - £1,200

A Great War ‘Western Front’ M.C. group of four awarded to Second Lieutenant F. W. Hardy, 2nd Battalion, South Wales Borderers, late Devonshire Regiment, for his gallantry in rushing a machine gun post during the final advance to victory near Ypres, 15 October 1918

Military Cross, G.V.R., unnamed as issued; 1914-15 Star (11334 L. Sjt. F. W. Hardy. Devon: R.); British War and Victory Medals (2. Lieut. F. W. Hardy.) good very fine (4) £800-1200

Footnote

M.C. London Gazette 15 February 1919.

Frederick Walter Hardy was commissioned Second Lieutenant in the South Wales Borderers on 1 May 1918, and was awarded the Military Cross for his gallantry near Ypres on 15 October 1918: ‘Rousing from their rest by 5:00 a.m. on 15th October, the 2nd Battalion had time to get a good breakfast and yet reach their assembly position well before time. At 9:00 a.m. the barrage started and the Battalion moved forward. It was on the left of the Division and had as its objective the village of Salines. However, as it approached this point heavy machine gun fire developed from the left flank from the direction of Heule Wood. “D” Company, promptly swerving aside, attacked the wood at its south east corner. However, their diversion to the flank created a gap in the front line and “C” Company’s progress had been checked. Captain Dutton, however, brought up the supporting platoons to “C” Company to reinforce it and, handling his men very skilfully, soon broke down all opposition. Second Lieutenant F. W. Hardy did splendid service at this point; when the leading platoons were checked, he rallied and collected the scattered men and, dashing forward at the machine gun post which was holding up the advance, rushed it, killing several of the enemy. “A” Company also came forward and filled the gap and the advance swept on again, the Battalion’s final objective, the Courtrai-Ingleminster railway, being reached well before midday.’ (The History of the South Wales Borderers, by Captain C. T. Atkinson refers).