A Collection of Gallantry Awards to the Lincolnshire Regiment

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Date of Auction: 17th July 2019

Sold for £300

Estimate: £340 - £380

A Great War M.M. group of four awarded to Private W. M. Prestwood, 1st Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment, who was killed in action by shell-fire in the Polygon Wood area during the Second Battle of Passchendaele in November 1917

Military Medal G.V.R. (6862 Pte. W. M. Prestwood. 1/Linc: R.); 1914 Star, with copy clasp (6862 Pte. W. M. Prestwood. 1/Linc: R.); British War Medal 1914-20 (6862 Pte. W. M. Prestwood. Linc. R.); Victory Medal, naming erased on VM; minor edge bruising and contact marks, therefore very fine or better (4) £340-£380

Footnote

M.M. London Gazette 14 December 1916

Walter Marshall Prestwood was born at Louth, Lincolnshire, in 1886. After 3 months’ service in the Militia he enlisted in the Lincolnshire Regiment on 2 November 1903, aged 18 years and 2 months. After the outbreak of the Great War he disembarked in France with the 1st Battalion on 13 August 1914 and was awarded the M.M. for bravery in the field in 1916. The London Gazette carrying the announcement of his M.M. largely contains individual awards for small actions such as trench raids, these taking place in September 1916.

Prestwood was killed in action by shell-fire on 8 November 1917 during a relief of the front line by the 1st Lincolns at the Second Battle of Passchendaele. The regimental history describes the relief and the miserable circumstances leading up to it:
‘On the 26th they moved up to the front line, which was then about one thousand five hundred yards east of the Butte in Polygon Wood, the trenches being knee-deep in water. Here they spent five days of misery, and when they came out of the line they had lost nine other ranks killed, thirty two wounded, and fifty-two evacuated sick to hospital, mostly suffering from “trench feet.” Several days were then spent in Railway Dug-outs, Zillebeke, before, on the 8th at 4.15pm, the battalion again moved up into the front line. This relief was a costly affair. Lieutenant R. L. de Brisay (commanding A Company) was wounded, also 2nd Lieutenant and Assistant Adjutant L. C. Williams, who died on the 9th.
Five other ranks were killed, seventeen wounded and two were missing. These casualties were from the enemy’s shell-fire.’ (The History of the Lincolnshire Regiment 1914-1918 by Major-General C. R. Simpson, C.B. refers.)

Prestwood is buried in Menin Road South Military Cemetery, Belgium.