​The superb Great War Battle of the Somme 1916 Military Medal and Mentioned in Despatches group awarded to Sergeant later 2nd Lieutenant A.T. Coles, 1st/6th Battalion, Gloucestershire Regiment, a pre-war member of the Volunteer and Territorial Force, he served on the Western Front from March 1915, and as a signaller, distinguished himself in November 1915, and then again during the Battle of the Somme, showing “conspicuous gallantry in action when on many occasions he repaired and superintended the repair of telephone lines and maintained the b

Price: £1,275


Product ID: CMA/21063
Condition: official correction to rank on last two, Good Very Fine.
Availability: IN STOCK
Description:

The superb Great War Battle of the Somme 1916 Military Medal and Mentioned in Despatches group awarded to Sergeant later 2nd Lieutenant A.T. Coles, 1st/6th Battalion, Gloucestershire Regiment, a pre-war member of the Volunteer and Territorial Force, he served on the Western Front from March 1915, and as a signaller, distinguished himself in November 1915, and then again during the Battle of the Somme, showing “conspicuous gallantry in action when on many occasions he repaired and superintended the repair of telephone lines and maintained the battalion’s communications during heavy barrages”, he also assisted in digging out three buried French soldiers in January 1917.

Group of 5: Military Medal, GVR bust; (1497 SJT: A.T. COLES. 1/6 GLOUC: R. – T.F.); 1914-1915 Star; (265047 SJR A.T. COLE. GLOUC:R.); British War Medal with half-size Mentioned in Despatches ribbon attached to ribbon, and Victory Medal; (2.LIEUT. A.T. COLES.); Defence Medal 1939-1945.

Condition: official correction to rank on last two, Good Very Fine. 

Together with the following:

Mention in Despatches Award Certificate, issued to No.1497 Sjt. A.T. Coles, 1/6th Bn. (T.F.), Gloucestershire Regiment, dated 13th November 1916.

“Preamble” sheet reference the publication of his award of Military Medal in the London Gazette on 9th November 1916.

“Preamble” sheet reference the publication of his award of a Mention in Despatches in the London Gazette on 4th January 1917.

Photocard Photograph of the recipient on the march during the Great War, recipient is identifiable second from the front with moustache, the reverse annotated in pencil: ‘Signals 1/6 Glouc Rgt (About) July 1916 Somme’.

Newspaper cutting detailing his award of the Military Medal, detailing what he did to receive it, mentioning his previous distinguished service in action, and also containing an image of the recipient. Taken from a newspaper on 16th February 1917.

Bristol Humane Society Long Distance Swimming Prize Medal to Pupils of Bristol Public Elementary Schools for Swimming ½ Mile, pewter, engraved to: ‘Fred Coles 1905’.

Gloucestershire Kingswood School Board Attendance Medal, bronze, reverse engraved to: ‘Alfred T. Cole 1903’.

Great War Western Front Regimental 1st Prize Medal for a Sports Competition held in France in 1916, engraved to the 1/6 Gloucester Regt.

Commemorative Jubilee Medal 1887. 

Commemorative Coronation Medal 1902. 

Great War British Army Signallers’ brass sleeve badge.

Pair of Great War ‘Gloster’ brass shoulder titles.

Gloucestershire Regiment Back Badge.

Scarce Great War 6th Gloster Territorial brass shoulder title.

Letter to recipient from his father, dated 6th January 1914, written on Royal Talbot Hotel headed paper, two sides.

Letter to recipient from his father, dated 11th September 1914, written on Royal Talbot Hotel headed paper, two sides.

Letter to recipient from his father, dated 18th September 1914, written on Royal Talbot Hotel headed paper, four sides, giving him advice on how to act whilst on active service.

Alfred Thomas Coles was born in Bristol, Gloucestershire, the son of Charles E. Coles, the secretary of the Talbot Hotel Company in Bristol. He worked as a turner for the Avonside Iron Works in Fishponds, and then when aged 17, joined the British Army Volunteer Force at Clifton on 29th January 1908, joining as a Private (No.1497 later No.265047) the 6th Battalion, Gloucestershire Regiment, he transferred into the newly formed Territorial Force in April 1908.

Coles qualified as a signaller, and on the outbreak of the Great War, then saw service with the 1st/6th Battalion on the Western Front from 31st March 1915, where from 15th May 1915, his battalion formed a part of the 144th (Gloucester and Worcester) Brigade in the 48th (South Midland) Division. Coles re-engaged for further service in July 1915, as he was due to become time expired in December 1915. During November 1915 according to a newspaper article – when serving with C Company ‘he was involved in the memorable C Company “stunt” in November 1915, and for his work and that of other members of his section he was warmly commended by his commanding officer.’ Coles was promoted to Sergeant.

Coles’ battalion took part in the Battle of the Somme during 1916, and specifically distinguished itself during the Battle of Pozieres which lasted from 23rd July to 3rd September 1916, a part of the wider battle of the Somme.

According to a newspaper cutting of 16th February 1917, it was for his “conspicuous gallantry in action when on many occasions he repaired and superintended the repair of telephone lines and maintained the battalion’s communications during heavy barrages” that led to the award of his Military Medal in the London Gazette of 11th November 1916.

Coles’ was further decorated when he received a Mention in Despatches for “good work whilst in charge of his section”. As the newspaper cutting goes on to mention – ‘he has never been wounded, though hit and shaken on many occasions. Recently, when in “a quiet part of the line,” he discovered and helped to rescue three French soldiers who had been buried by a shell.’

Coles was subsequently commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant into the Gloucestershire Regiment, and then found himself attached to the Lancashire Fusiliers, and then transferred to this unit.


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