A Fine Collection of Medals to the South Wales Borderers

Date of Auction: 17th September 2020

Sold for £800

Estimate: £400 - £500

A Great War 1916 ‘French theatre’ M.M., M.I.D. group of four awarded to Corporal A. Ravenhill, 1st Battalion, South Wales Borderers, who served as Lieutenant Colonel B. W. Collier’s runner whilst he commanded the Battalion, 1915-1916

Military Medal, G.V.R. (1-9595 L. Cpl. A. Ravenhill. 1/S. Wales Bord:); 1914 Star, with clasp (9595 Pte. A. Ravenhill. S. Wales Bord.); British War and Victory Medals, with M.I.D. oak leaves (9595 Cpl. A. Ravenhill. S. Wales Bord.) with recipient’s identity disc and M.I.D. Certificate, dated 14 January 1915, the latter mounted on card, generally very fine (4) £400-£500

Footnote

M.M. London Gazette 9 December 1916.

M.I.D. London Gazette 17 February 1915.

Alfred Ravenhill served during the Great War with the 1st Battalion, South Wales Borderers in the French theatre of war from 13 August 1914. He served as Lieutenant Colonel B. W. Collier’s runner, when the latter commanded the Battalion, 1915-1916. Ravenhill distinguished himself on the Loos Salient in 1916:

‘One particular tour in the trenches at the end of March and beginning of April stood out in the memory of those who endured it. Twice within a few days the battalion’s front and support trenches were subjected to an intense and systematic bombardment by heavy howitzers firing H.E. shell and fitted with delayed action fuses, so that they had a burrowing effect. These rained down mercilessly, up and down the line, apparently searching for mine-heads, but incidentally demolishing whole stretches of the trenches inflicting many casualties (seven men were killed and five missing (i.e. buried) on March 31st). One big shell caught D Company’s Headquarters in a dug-out at the side of the quarry near Hart’s Crater and killed all the occupants save two, who were at the very back of the dug-out. A second landed at the entrance to another dug-out, killed several men and completely blocked the entrance. Private Lomas and two others, finding themselves virtually buried, started groping about, and Lomas in doing so pushed aside a waterproof sheet and found himself in a narrow passage. Calling his companions to follow him he crawled along it until he finally emerged in No Man’s Land, though on the far side of our wire. The second man had also reached the open when a fall of earth caught the third near the end of the sap. Being unable to release him Lomas had to leave him for dead, but made his way back to our lines to report, whereupon Private Ravenhill, Colonel Collier’s runner went out and eventually extricated the poor fellow after he had been half-buried for 12 hours.’ (Regimental History refers)