A Fine Collection of Medals to the South Wales Borderers

Date of Auction: 17th September 2020

Sold for £100

Estimate: £80 - £120

Three: Sergeant A. J. Prout, 1st Battalion, South Wales Borderers, an early regimental casualty who died of wounds, 28 September 1914

1914 Star, with copy clasp (9417 Sjt A. J. Prout. S. Wales Bord.); British War and Victory Medals (9417 Sjt. A. J. Prout. S. Wales Bord.) VM details erased, good very fine (3) £80-£120


Alfred John Prout was born in Devonport. He served during the Great War with the 1st Battalion, South Wales Borderers 13 August 1914. Having been involved in the Retreat from Mons, and operations around the Marne, Prout died of wounds, 28 September 1914. During September the Battalion, ‘crossed the Grand Morin at Jouy (8th) then via Sablonnieres to Hondevillers. Crossed the Marne at Nogent (9th) then via Beaurepaire and Bontemps to Le Thiolet. To Sommelans (10th), bivouacs near Bourg (13th). Advanced west of Vendresse towards Chivy (14th) and took up positions along the Chivy-Beauln road. Came under heavy shell fire. Advanced again towards the slopes of the Chemin des Dames Ridge. Held positions north-west of Troyon against attacks (15th). Casualties - Captain Yeatman killed, Lieutenant Johnson mortally wounded, 18 other ranks killed, 1 officer, 76 other ranks wounded, 54 missing. Withdrew (21st) - 2 companies in trenches around the Quarries on the Mont Faucon Ridge, 2 in reserve around Vendresse. Casualties among other ranks now total 35 killed, 131 wounded. Enemy attacked in large numbers (26th) and broke through Battalion’s line. In his war history of the South Wales Borderers, C. T. Atkinson records that much hand-to-hand fighting took place - the men picking up any weapon available. One man, he notes, used a table fork. Casualties - Major Welby, Lieutenant G. P. Blackall-Simonds and Second Lieutenant Sills killed, Lieutenant Coker mortally wounded, 3 officers wounded, 87 other ranks killed, 95 wounded, 12 missing.’ (British Battalions in France & Belgium 1914 by R. Westlake refers)

Sergeant Prout is buried in the Villeneuve-St. Georges Old Communal Cemetery, Val de Marne, France.