Medals from the Collection of Peter Duckers

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Date of Auction: 17th July 2019

Sold for £2,800

Estimate: £1,400 - £1,800

A Great War, 1915 ‘Mesopotamia’ M.C. group of seven awarded to Lieutenant-Colonel E. J. Loring, 3rd Bombay Sappers and Miners, who was wounded three times in Mesopotamia, the final time being shot through both lungs at Ctesiphon in 1915 and left for dead, and was three times Mentioned in Despatches

Military Cross, G.V.R., unnamed as issued; India General Service 1908-35, 1 clasp, North West Frontier 1908 (Lieut. E. J. Loring. R.E. No 1 Co. 1st S. & M.); 1914-15 Star (Capt. E. J. Loring. R.E.); British War and Victory Medals, with M.I.D. oak leaves (Major E. J. Loring.); General Service 1918-62, 2 clasps, Iraq, Kurdistan (Lt. Col. E. J. Loring.); Defence Medal, mounted as worn, contact marks and edge bruising, nearly very fine (7) £1,400-£1,800


M.C. London Gazette 17 April 1917:
‘For services rendered in connection with military operations in the field’

Edward Joshua Loring was born in 1883 near Nantwich, Cheshire. He was educated at Bradfield College and was a Gentleman Cadet at the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, before being commissioned Second Lieutenant in the Royal Engineers in February 1901. He was promoted to Lieutenant in February 1904 and arrived in India in March 1906 as Lieutenant attached to the 3rd Sappers & Miners (O.C. 23rd Coy.). He served with the 1st Sappers and Miners in the Mohmand Campaign of 1908, and was advanced Captain in February 1911. In the same month he was appointed Company Commander, 19th Company, 3rd Bombay Sappers and Miners at Quetta, with which unit he served in Mesopotamia during the Great War from November 1914. He was wounded three times in Mesopotamia; at Shaiba on 12 April 1915; at Nasiria on 24 July 1915 (the Regimental History stating that his Military Cross was also an award for the Battle of Nasiria); and at the Battle of Csetiphom on 22 November 1915.

The History of the 17th and 22nd Field Companies, Third Sappers and Miners, in Mesopotamia 1914-18 by D. S. O. R. E. Lieutenant-Colonel E. V. Binney gives a graphic account of the circumstances:
‘General Hoghton sent for Loring and pointed out the Water Redoubt seven hundred yards distant, which he said was holding up the attack and must be taken at all costs...he ordered Loring to take these men [110 of the Ox. And Bucks. L.I. and 150 of the 22nd Punjabis] and his own half company and assault the Redoubt. Loring was shot during the attack and ‘left for dead outside the Water Redoubt where he had been hit’. He had been shot through both lungs. Loring left a very detailed account of his experiences (copy included with lot) in which he describes being eventually picked up by a wandering stretcher party and subsequently overhearing the voices of men of his company asking for his body in order to bury it. He was later sent downriver on the notoriously unpleasant boat journey which took the wounded to Basra from Kut-al-Amarah just prior to the siege setting in. The regimental history tells how he ‘made the voyage down the Tigris lying with hundreds of other wounded on the hard deck of a river steamer in conditions of indescribable filth and misery’.

Loring was advanced Acting Major 1 January 1916 and Major on 2 November 1916. In addition to his M.C. he was Mentioned in Despatches three times (London Gazette 5 April 1916, ‘for Euphrates operations between 26 June 1915 and 25 July 1915’; London Gazette 5 April 1916, ‘for operations between 6 November 1914 and 14 May 1916’; and London Gazette 13 July 1916.)
Recovering in India he held wartime staff appointments and when fully recuperated from his lung wounds he served in Iraq and Kurdistan. Appointed Lieutenant-Colonel in 1926, Loring retired in March 1931. He died in 1951.

Loring is mentioned extensively in histories of the Royal Engineers, the Sappers and Miners and the Mesopotamia Campaign, including the Official History. He contributed to the writing of the official account of the 3rd Sappers and Miners in Mesopotamia, Kirkee 1932 in which he figures prominently.

Sold with detailed research notes including relevant military histories and accounts.