Medals from the Collection of the Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum

Date of Auction: 14th April 2021

Sold for £1,100

Estimate: £600 - £800

A Great War M.C. group of three awarded to Major H. J. Bennett, 2/4th Battalion, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, who was taken prisoner in March 1918

Military Cross, G.V.R.; British War and Victory Medals (Major H. J. Bennett.); together with an unofficial St John badge, silver-gilt and enamels, very fine and better (4) £600-£800

Footnote

M.C. London Gazette 3 June 1918.

Herbert John ‘Jack’ Bennett served with the 2/4th Battalion in France from 25 May 1916. He had been commissioned as Lieutenant on 14 September 1914, was appointed Temporary Captain on 9 December 1914, promoted to Captain on 1 June 1916, and appointed Acting Major on 22 April 1917. He was captured near Marcelçave on 30 March 1918, whilst attempting to rejoin his men in the trenches before the village which, unknown to him, were no longer being fought for. ‘Near the railway bridge he ran straight into the enemy as they swarmed towards the village and was captured.’ In the Oxford Times of 25 May 1918, Major H. J. Bennett was reported as P.O.W in German hands. Sold with Buckingham Palace letter for returned prisoners of war and a photocopied group photograph of Bennett and other officers of the 2/4th Battalion.