A Collection of Medals to the South Wales Borderers

Date of Auction: 27th February 2019

Sold for £170

Estimate: £160 - £200

Three: Private G. Parker, 1st Battalion, South Wales Borderers, who was killed in action on 26 September 1914 during the Battle of the Aisne

1914 Star, with clasp (8242 Pte. G. Parker. S. Wales Bord.); British War and Victory Medals (8242 Pte. G. Parker. S. Wales: Bord.) edge bruising to BWM, nearly very fine (3) £160-£200


Gilbert Parker was a native of Kingswood, Bristol and a shoemaker by trade. He attested for the South Wales Borderers and served during the Great War on the Western Front from 13 August 1914. He was killed in action at Vendresse on 26 September 1914.
A few days earlier, the 1st Battalion had withdrawn from its precarious position at the head of the Chivy Valley and this had allowed the Germans free access to the valley, where woods offered cover in which they might mass for attacks. From the Vendresse Ridge, a good view could be obtained however and it became something of a trap for the Germans. Early on the morning of the 26th September just as a relief of posts was taking place, very heavy fire broke out and the Germans came swarming forward to attack. The defenders of the front trenches were mostly overpowered by sheer weight of numbers. Some men are said to have fought with their fists and one actually defended himself with a table fork. Despite their efforts the Germans failed to reach their objectives and as the morning mists cleared the artillery could be ranged on the clear targets which presented themselves and the gunners did not miss their opportunity. Casualties were heavy on both sides. In all the 1st Battalion lost nearly 200 casualties (87 killed, 95 wounded and 12 missing). See lots 5 and 7 for further details of this action.

Gilbert has no known grave and he is commemorated on La Ferte-sous-Jouarre Memorial, France.

Sold with a small amount of copied research including Medal Index Card and memorial photographs.