Other Single Medals
A Very Rare WW1 1st Batt Welsh Guards Military Cross - Named To Derek Ben Davies
A very rare WW1 Military Cross, (sourced directly from the family), attributed (and later engraved) to Lieutenant Derek Ben Davies, 1st Battalion the Welsh Guards.
The details of his award are as follows:
Military Cross (originally issued unnamed) privately engraved with the following details: ‘LT D B DAVIES, WELSH GUARDS, FLESQUIERES, SEPT 27 1918’.
The medal is supplied with its original box, and the remnants of its original ribbon (with pin mount) and a modern replacement ribbon provided by ourselves. This listing also includes a paper copy of his Medal Index Card which can also be viewed by clicking on here (if you have access to Ancestry).
Davies was commissioned from Officer Cadet to 2nd Lieutenant on the 1st August 1917, his London Gazette entry can be viewed by clicking on here.
The Welsh Guards came into existence on the 26th February 1915, by Royal Warrant of George V in order to include Wales in the national component to the Foot Guards, ‘…though the order to raise the regiment had been given by the King to Earl Kitchener, Secretary of State for War, on the 6th February 1915’.
They were the last of the ‘Guards’ to be created, and just three days later, the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards mounted its first King's Guard at Buckingham Palace on the 1st March 1915 - St David's Day.
On the 17th August 1915, the 1st Battalion sailed for France to join the Guards Division to commence its participation in the First World War. Its first battle was some months after its initial arrival, at Loos on the 27th September 1915. The history of the Welsh Guards can be viewed by clicking on here, whilst the actions and activities of the Guards Division can be viewed by clicking on here - although a more detailed account can be viewed by clicking on here.
Davies would have joined the regiment in time to be included in the Battle of Passchendaele (or the Third Battle of Ypres), including the Battle of Pilckem Ridge (31st August - 2nd July 1917), the Battle of Poelcappelle (9th October), and the First Battle of Passchendaele (12th October), and the Battle of Cambrai (24th November - 3rd December).
In 1918, the Guards Division had to withstand the German Army's Spring Offensive in the First Battles of the Somme (1st - 25th March) then switched over to counter-attack in the Second Battles of the Somme (21st - 23rd August), the Second Battle of Arras (26th August - 3rd September), and the Battles of the Hindenburg Line (12th September - 12th October).
It was during this last encounter that Davies earnt his Military Cross, when, (in reference to the detailed account mentioned above): ‘…they joined in the Final Advance, taking part in a significant number of mainly small battles, but often extremely fierce for those who fought them, and in the major attack on 27th September across the unfinished Canal du Nord, over the Hindenburg Support Line and along the Flesquières Ridge…’
Davies citation, which was printed in the London Gazette in January 1919, (which can also be viewed by clicking on here), states: ‘at Flesquieres on 27th (September, 1918. He volunteered to take out a party to deal with the enemy machine guns in Orival Wood, which were enfilading his company. He succeeded under intense fire in killing six of the enemy and capturing the guns. His example was inspiring to all ranks…’
Following this, the Division took part in the battles of the Selle and of the Sambre, its final action was the Capture of Maubeuge on the 9th November.
The Division ended the war with VI Corps in the British Third Army.
Davies was promoted to Lieutenant in March 1919, his London Gazette entry in regards to this can be viewed by clicking on here, he later resigned his commission and was transferred to the Reserves in March 1920 and finally in 1940 he was removed from the reserve list due to ill health.
Price £1495 - please read the terms and conditions below.
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