A Collection of Medals to Great War Casualties

Date of Auction: 14th April 2021

Sold for £2,200

Estimate: £240 - £280

Three: Commander O. J. Prentis, Royal Navy, who was twice Mentioned in Despatches for his gallantry in the Dardanelles, and was killed in action when his ship H.M.S. Wolverine, minesweeping in support of the Gallipoli Landings, was hit by a Turkish shell on 28 April 1915

1914-15 Star (Commr. C. [sic] J. Prentis. R.N.); British War and Victory Medals, with M.I.D. oak leaves (Commr. O. J. Prentis. R.N.); Memorial Plaque (Osmond James Prentis) all mounted for display purposes; Memorial Scroll, ‘Commander Osmond James Prentis, R.N.’, extremely fine (5) £240-£280


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

Osmond James Prentis was born in Maidstone, Kent, on 17 July 1874, the son of Captain W. T. Prentis, Royal Scots Greys, a veteran of the Crimean War, and entered the Royal Navy as a Midshipman on 15 January 1889. Present at the Bombardment of Crete in 1898, he was advanced Commander on 31 December 1908, and served during the Great War in command of the Torpedo-Boat Destroyer H.M.S. Wolverine.

For his services during the Great War Prentis was twice Mentioned in Despatches, firstly in Vice-Admiral S. H. Carden’s Despatch of 17 March 1915 (London Gazette 29 April 1919: ‘The skilful manner in which Wolverine (Commander O. J. Prentis) and Scorpion (Lieutenant-Commander A. B. Cunningham) ran close inshore after dark, and sent whalers ashore to bring off the remaining officers and men is highly commended.’); and secondly in Vice-Admiral J. M. de Robeck’s Despatch of 1 July 1915 (London Gazette 16 August 1915: ‘On 25 and 26 April 1915 Wolverine (Commander O. J. Prentis) (killed in action) carried out mine-sweeping operations under Captain Heneage inside the Dardanelles in a most satisfactory manner, being frequently under heavy fire.’)

On 28 April 1915 Wolverine was mine-sweeping in the Dardanelles in conjunction with H.M.S. Racoon, when she was hit on the ship’s bridge by a Turkish shell, which killed three men on the Bridge, including Prentis. Buried at sea, he is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial.

Sold with the recipient’s Mentioned in Despatches Certificate, dated 16 August 1915; a hand-tinted photograph of the recipient, mounted in a glazed display frame; various newspaper cuttings, including a portrait photograph of the recipient; and copied research.