A Collection of Great War Military Medals to the Lincolnshire Regiment

Date of Auction: 25th September 2019

Sold for £500

Estimate: £280 - £320

A Great War M.M. group of four awarded to Private W. R. Sylvester, 1/5th (Territorial Force) Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment, for his gallantry in attending to the wounded under heavy fire during the attack towards Lens on 19 June 1917

Military Medal G.V.R. (240265 Pte. W. R. Sylvester. 1/5 Linc: R. – T.F.); 1914-15 Star (1851 Pte. W. Sylvester. Linc: R.); British War and Victory Medals (1851 Pte. W. Sylvester. Linc. R.); together with the recipient’s Silver War Badge, the reverse officially numbered ‘357825’, edge bruise and some contact marks to M.M., very fine or better (5) £280-£320


M.M. London Gazette 16 August 1917

William R. Sylvester was born in November 1886 in Ulceby, Lincolnshire. He enlisted in the 1/5th Battalion, Lincolnshire on 5 August 1914 and disembarked in France with his battalion on 1 March 1915. He was decorated for gallantry on 19 July 1917 when the 1/5th at Cite de Riaumont attacked the enemy trenches towards Lens. The battalion suffered 74 casualties in this action and a number of gallantry awards were won. Sylvester’s gallant work as a stretcher-bearer on this occasion is mentioned in the Battalion History:
‘During the action, when communication by runner was the only method possible, Privates J. W. H. Bull, W. Johnson, H. Catchpole, and N. Cox all did excellent work, and showed great courage in passing through the heavy barrage several times between Battalion Headquarters and the front line, while two stretcher bearers, Privates W. R. Sylvester and G. H. Ogden, did valuable work in attending to the wounded and carrying them to the dressing station under heavy fire. ‘(
The History of the 5th Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment by T.E. Sandall refers.)

Sylvester is also given the rare distinction for an M.M. recipient, of being mentioned by name in the full Regimental History for his deeds during this action. He was hospitalised suffering from inflammation of the connective tissue in his right arm and was discharged on 27 March 1918 due to disablement or ill-health and was awarded the Silver War Badge (with lot). He died in 1969 in Spilsby, Lincolnshire.