A Collection of Medals to the 23rd Foot Royal Welsh Fusiliers

Date of Auction: 27th February 2019

Sold for £10,000

Estimate: £10,000 - £12,000

The rare Great War ‘Western Front’ M.C., Albert Medal group of seven awarded to Second Lieutenant W. M. Morgan, 15th (London Welsh) Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers, late Honourable Artillery Company, and afterwards Lieutenant-Colonel in the Indian Army

Military Cross, G.V.R.; Albert Medal, 2nd Class, for Gallantry in Saving Life on Land (Presented by His Majesty to Second Lieutenant William Marychurch Morgan for Gallantry in Saving Life at Locon in France on the 14th February 1916); 1914 Star, with clasp (1553 Pte. W. M. Morgan. H.A.C.); British War and Victory Medals (Capt. W. M. Morgan.); India General Service 1908-35, 1 clasp, Waziristan 1921-24 (Capt. W. M. Morgan, 3-9 Jat R.); India General Service 1936-39, 1 clasp, North West Frontier 1936-37 (Major W. M. Morgan, 3-9 Jat R.) mounted as worn, nearly very fine (7) £10,000-£12,000


M.C. London Gazette 27 November 1916:
‘For conspicuous gallantry in action. On seven consecutive nights he carried out valuable reconnaissances under intense fire. Later, he led a daring raid, himself accounting for one of the enemy. He has previously done very fine work.’

Albert Medal of the Second Class London Gazette 19 May 1916:
‘Second Lieutenant William Marychurch Morgan, 15th Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers.
On the 14th February, 1916, during grenade instruction in a trench, a man let fall a grenade, which sank in the mud, so that only the smoke from the burning fuse could be seen. Lieutenant Morgan, who was outside the danger zone, at once sprang forward and groped in the mud for the grenade. The difficulty of finding it added greatly to the danger. He picked up the grenade and threw it over the parapet just in time, thereby saving several men from death or serious injury.’

M.I.D. London Gazette 18 February 1938 (Waziristan).

William Marychurch Morgan was born at Jeffreyston, near Tenby, Pembrokeshire, on 16 June 1893. He enlisted into the Honourable Artillery Company on 15 August 1914, and went to France with the 1st Battalion on 18 September 1914. He was commissioned into the 15th (London Welsh) Battalion of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers on 23 April 1915, and became a Captain in the regiment on 9 June 1917.

Following his gallantry during grenade practise at Locon on 14 February 1916, Morgan was initially put forward for the Military Cross, but this was substituted by the General Officer Commanding for the Albert Medal for ‘Saving Life on Land’ which was duly announced in the London Gazette of 19 May 1916. For his reconnaissance work and his part in leading a raid on enemy trenches in October 1916, in which he personally accounted for one of the enemy and which resulted in the capture of four prisoners, he was awarded the Military Cross. Both awards were presented by the King at Buckingham Palace on 16 December 1916. He served in France and Belgium until 8 August 1917, being wounded four times.

He transferred to the Indian Army on 13 May 1918, and was posted to the 2/42 Deoli Regiment and later to the 3/9 Jats. He served with the 9th Jats in the Waziristan operations of 1923-24, and on the North West Frontier in the Waziristan operations of 1936-37, having command of the 3rd Battalion from May to August, 1937 (Despatches). Lieutenant-Colonel Morgan died at Barnwood House, Gloucester, on 23 October 1944, and was buried in Jeffreyston.