A Collection of Medals to the South Wales Borderers
Date of Auction: 27th February 2019
Sold for £2,000
Estimate: £1,000 - £1,400
Military Cross, G.V.R., unnamed as issued; 1914-15 Star (2.Lieut. F. V. Ward-Jones S. Wales Bord.); British War and Victory Medals (2. Lieut. F. V. Ward-Jones) nearly extremely fine (4) £1,000-£1,400
FootnoteM.C. London Gazette 3 June 1916.
Frederick Vivian Ward-Jones was born in 1887 in Waterloo, New South Wales, the son of Arthur and Emily Ward-Jones of Goldsworthy Road, Claremont, Perth, Western Australia. He enlisted as a Private in the West Australia Infantry Regiment in March 1904 and resigned with the rank of Sergeant in 1907. He later moved to the U.K., married Sallie and resided at Newton House, Newton Burgoland, Leicestershire.
On 5 May 1915 he was appointed to a temporary commission as Temporary Second Lieutenant and posted for duty with the South Wales Borderers, embarking for France on 29 September 1915 and arriving with the 1st Battalion on 6 October 1915.
The spring of 1916 saw the 1st Battalion engaged in tours in the trenches in the Loos Salient. It was during this period that Ward-Jones distinguished himself, resulting in the award of the Military Cross:
‘Hardly a day passed without some losses from either aerial torpedoes, trench mortars, rifle grenades, machine guns or snipers… Things were specially active about this time. Very sharp fighting was in progress on the Vimy Ridge, not far south of the 1st’s sector and the disturbed area tended to spread to both flanks. The battalion’s patrols were very energetic and had several brushes with the enemy… Lieutenant Ward-Jones, Company Sergeant Major Miller, and Sergeants Freeman and Patten were among those brought to notice for good work at this period and received honours in the June list.’ (The History of the South Wales Borderers 1914-18 by C. T. Atkinson refers.)
By mid July the 1st Battalion was to be engaged in the struggle for Mametz Wood during the intermediate stages of the Somme battles. On 16 July 1916, in support of an attack by the Welsh Regiment on some trenches running N.W. from Bazentin-le-Petit Wood towards Pozieres, Ward-Jones, commanding A company, was killed while gallantly reconnoitring for a bombing attack he was intending to make.
This action and Ward-Jones’ death are described in The History of the South Wales Borderers 1914-18, and also in the Battalion War Diary which recorded the following:
‘Albert Lozenge Wood N. of Fricourt, 15 July 1916:
‘At 11:30 p.m. the battalion moved up via Contalmaison to Mametz Wood in support to 2nd Welch. A Company under 2nd Lt. Ward Jones took up a position in shell holes running N and SW from SW corner of Bazentin le Petit Wood to within about 150 yards of NW corner of Mametz Wood.’
‘Mametz Wood, 16 July 1916:
‘The whole battalion was in position by 2:00 a.m. This move was carried out to support the 2nd Welsh Regiment who occupied Bazentin-le-Petit Wood in an attempt … … in a portion of the German last line running NW from B-le-Petit Wood towards Pozieres. About 2.30 a.m. the wood became under fairly heavy hostile shelling, machine-gun fire and rifle fire during the 2nd Welsh attack which was not unsuccessful. In the afternoon the 2nd Welsh made a further attempt to seize the piece of trench on their left and succeeded in establishing themselves in a portion of it. A and C Companies were moved up to support them but were immediately withdrawn. In moving A Company into position 2nd Lt Ward Jones, No 26310 Sgt. Evans and 16756 Cpl Davies were killed. Other casualties during the day were of men wounded.’
Ward-Jones is buried in Flatiron Copse Cemetery, between Mametz and Bazentin-le-Grand, France.
Sold with a large quantity of copied research.