Medals from the Collection of the Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum

Date of Auction: 14th April 2021

Sold for £1,300

Estimate: £700 - £900

A Great War ‘Kut-al-Amara’ D.C.M. awarded to Sergeant T. W. Armitt, 1st Battalion, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, who died in captivity after the fall of Kut

Distinguished Conduct Medal, G.V.R. (8397 Sjt: T. W. Armitt. 1/O. & B.L.I.) nearly extremely fine £700-£900

Footnote

D.C.M. London Gazette 12 December 1917. No citations were published for the 65 awards of the D.C.M. announced in this gazette. It is believed that they were all rewards for services prior to the fall of Kut-al-Amara or whilst in captivity.

M.I.D. London Gazette 13 July 1916: ‘Officers, N.C.O.’s, and men under Major-General C. V. F. Townshend, C.B., D.S.O., brought to notice for Gallant and Distinguished Service in the Field from 5th October 1915 to 17th January 1916.’

Thomas William Armitt served with the 1st Battalion, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, and entered the Asiatic theatre of war on 5 December 1914. The battalion history records that he was wounded at the capture of One Tower Hill on 31 May 1915 (p 61) and that he led “R” Company (67 men) on the march to captivity (p 225). He was captured at Kut and died in captivity at Afiun Qarahisar on 4 November 1916. He is commemorated by name in the Baghdad (North Gate) War Cemetery, Iraq.

Banbury Guardian, 20 January 1916: ‘Sgt. T. W. Armitt of the 1st Oxf. & Bucks. L.I., son of Mr W. Armitt, 50 Calthorpe St., has been wounded in the Persian Gulg and his parents received notification a few days ago. This is the second time Sgt. Armitt has been wounded. Mr & Mrs Armitt have three other sons serving with the colours.’

Banbury Guardian, 29 June 1916: ‘Mrs Armitt, 50 Calthorpe St., has been advised that her youngest son L/Cpl. Edward Armitt was killed in action on the 16th inst. He was serving with the South Wales Borderers and was only 18 years of age. Sgt. T. W. Armitt, the eldest son, is presumed to be a prisoner of war with the Turks having been with General Townshend’s force at Kut-al-Amara, and another son Pte. Charles Armitt was wounded by a shell a year ago and is still in hospital. A fourth son is serving with the local territorial battalion at the front.’

Banbury Guardian, 15 February 1917: ‘Mr William Armitt of Calthorpe St has this week been notified of the death of his eldest son Sgt. T. W. Armitt of the Oxford & Bucks L.I. which occurred from intestinal inflammation at Afiun Karahisar on November the 4th. Sgt. Armitt was with General Townshend’s force throughout the defence of Kut and died a prisoner in the hands of the Turks. He was mentioned in despatches for bravery and was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal.’