A Collection of Gallantry Awards to the South Wales Borderers

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Date of Auction: 28th February 2018

Sold for £600

Estimate: £400 - £500

A Great War ‘Western Front’ M.C. attributed to Second Lieutenant J. H. Richards, 6th Battalion, South Wales Borderers, late Army Veterinary Corps, for his gallantry at Westhoek Ridge in August 1917. He was subsequently mortally wounded at the Battle of the Lys on 14 April 1918, and died of wounds on 19 April 1918

Military Cross, G.V.R., unnamed as issued, in case of issue, extremely fine £400-500

Footnote

Provenance: Spink, April 2012.

M.C. London Gazette 9 January 1918:
‘For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty when in charge of a convoy. He went forward during a hostile counter-attack and reconnoitred the ground to find the best route for the animals through both the barrage and shell-holes, under heavy shell fire, through which he then led them without hesitation, sustaining only a few casualties. He successfully delivered the stores and ammunition which were urgently required. He has on several occasions shown remarkable initiative and great gallantry during similar journeys.’


John Hywel Richards was born in Carmarthen, Wales, the son of the Reverend B. F. Richards, and attested for the Army Veterinary Corps. He served with the A.V.C. during the Great War on the Western Front from 6 October 1915, before receiving a commission in the South Wales Borderers on 4 September 1916. He served with the 6th Battalion, South Wales Borderers, and was awarded the Military Cross for his gallantry at Westhoek Ridge in early August 1917. He was mortally wounded during the Battle of the Lys on 14 April 1918, during the course of which battle the Battalion suffered nearly 400 casualties, and died of wounds on 19 April 1918. He is buried in Aire Communal Cemetery, France.

Sold together with the recipient’s original War Office issued citation.