A Collection of Medals to the Norfolk Regiment

Date of Auction: 3rd December 2020

Sold for £280

Estimate: £300 - £400

Five: Sergenat S. O. Earnshaw, 9th Battalion, Norfolk Regiment, who was killed in action in the attack on The Quadrilateral during the Battle of the Somme on 15 September 1916, on which date the Battalion suffered 431 casualties

Queen’s South Africa 1899-1902, 2 clasps, Cape Colony, Orange Free State (5336 Pte S. Earnshaw. Norfolk Regt.); King’s South Africa 1901-02, 2 clasps, South Africa 1901, South Africa 1902 (5336 Pte. S. Earnshaw. Norfolk Regt.); 1914-15 Star (5336 Sjt. S. O. Earnshaw. Norf. R.); British War and Victory Medals (5336 A.W.O. Cl. 2. S. O. Earnshaw. Norf. R.) edge bruising and contact marks to the Boer War pair, these nearly very fine, the Great War trio good very fine (5) £300-£400


Samuel Octavius Earnshaw, a native of Norwich, was born in Collyhurst, Lancashire, and attested for the Norfolk Regiment at Norwich. He served with them in South Africa during the Boer War, and then with the 9th Battalion during the Great War on the Western Front from 30 August 1915. He was killed in action on the Western Front during the Battle of the Somme on 15 September 1916- on this date the Battalion was in the line on the Ginchy-Leuze Wood Road and was tasked with attacking The Quadrilateral. The Advanced is recorded as being without sufficient artillery support, the barrage having a gap of 200 yards just in front of The Quadrilateral to allow for the advance of tanks. The leading waves were held up by uncut wire and forced to retire, and it was not until midnight that the Battalion was relieved via trenches south of Guillemont to Trônes Wood, with total casualties that day of 431.

Earnshaw has no known grave and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, France.

Sold together with a large annotated photograph of the N.C.O.s of the 9th (Service) Battalion, Norfolk Regiment, dated Brighton, 7 February 1915, mounted in a glazed display frame; and two photographic images of the recipient.