A Collection of Medals to Great War Casualties

Date of Auction: 14th April 2021

Sold for £850

Estimate: £400 - £500

Pair: Private J. Young, 21st (2nd Tyneside Scottish) Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers, who was killed in action on the Western Front on the first day of the Battle of the Somme, 1 July 1916, on which date the four Tyneside Scottish Battalions were virtually wiped out

British War and Victory Medals (21-984 Pte. J. Young. North’d Fus.); Memorial Plaque (John Young) in card envelope, with Buckingham Palace enclosure, good very fine (3) £400-£500


Provenance: Acquired by the vendor directly from the recipient’s family.

John Young was born in Cowpen, Northumberland, and attested for the Northumberland Fusiliers at Blyth, Northumberland. He served with the 21st (2nd Tyneside Scottish) Battalion during the Great War on the Western Front from 1916, and was killed in action on the first day of the Battle of the Somme on 1 July 1916, on which date the Battalion advanced together with the 20th, 22nd, and 23rd (1st, 3rd, and 4th Tyneside Scottish) Battalions up Mash Valley north of La Boisselle, across the widest part of No Man’s Land, and were almost completely destroyed within minutes of leaving their start positions. Of the 80 officers that went into action from the four battalions only 10 returned, and of the men some 80% became casualties. There were 940 all ranks killed and some 1,500 wounded, with the 20th Battalion losing every Officer and Sergeant.

Young was amongst those killed; he has no known grave and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, France.

Sold together with a Tyneside Scottish Brigade Memorial Certificate, named to ‘Private J. Young, 984, 2nd Battn.’, mounted on card; a Tyneside Scottish Brigade Message to the recipient on his departure to the Front, this similarly named and mounted; a Tyneside Scottish sweetheart brooch; a photographic image of the recipient; and copied research.