A Collection of Medals to the South Wales Borderers
Date of Auction: 27th February 2019
Sold for £320
Estimate: £240 - £280
Queen’s South Africa 1899-1902, 3 clasps, Cape Colony, Orange Free State, Transvaal (6632 Pte. F. Bradshaw. S. Wales Bord.); King’s South Africa 1901-02, 2 clasps, South Africa 1901, South Africa 1902 (6632 Pte. F. Bradshaw. S. Wales Bord:); 1914 Star, with copy clasp (6632 Pte. F. Bradshaw. S. Wales Bord.); British War Medal 1914-20 (6632 Pte. F. Bradshaw. S. Wales Bord.) generally good very fine (4) £240-£280
FootnoteFrank Bradshaw was born in Manchester and served with the 2nd Battalion, South Wales Borderers during the Boer War.
In the Great War he served with the 1st Battalion South Wales Borderers, disembarking in France on 31 August 1914. He was killed in action with his official date of death given as 28 September 1914. The battalion was relieved by the Camerons on the evening of 27 September 1914 after a day in which ‘all was quiet’ according to the 1st Battalion war diary. It is, therefore, most likely his fatal wounds were received in the particularly fierce fighting in the Chivy Valley along the river Aisne earlier on 26 September 1914. The regimental history describes how many of the missing were later identified as casualties:
‘An officer of the Camerons, who relieved the battalion on the evening of September 27th, has written of a line of dead Germans lying almost shoulder to shoulder about forty yards from the quarries, and has described how the German dead were piled most thickly in front of the centre of the line. In all the Camerons buried nearly 300 Germans lying quite close to the British line and further out were many more… But the S.W.B. had suffered grievously: besides the three officers already mentioned, Captains Gwynn and Pritchard and Lieutenants James and Coker were wounded, the last named lost a leg, and in all nearly 200 men were casualties. Still it was no small feather in the battalion’s cap to have successfully repulsed about the most serious effort that the Germans made during the later stages of the fighting along the Aisne.
The Divisional Commander, General Lomax, paid a special visit to the battalion to congratulate it, and in addressing it compared its action to Rorke’s Drift. Sir Douglas Haig wrote, “The conduct of the South Wales Borderers in driving back the strong attack on them made by troops massed in the Chivy Valley is particularly deserving of praise. Please tell the Brigadier how proud I feel at having such splendid troops under my command”.
Originally nearly 100 were returned as missing, most of whom were subsequently found dead, while others were brought in wounded. On September 29th for example, nine were brought in by inhabitants of Chivy. The final figures were 87 killed, 12 missing, 95 wounded.’ (The History of the South Wales Borderers 1914-18 by C. T. Atkinson refers)
Bradshaw is buried in Braine Communal Cemetery, France.
Sold with copied Medal Index Card and medal roll extract.