​ A fine Great War Third Battle of Ypres Sanctuary Wood Zillebeke Light Railway Construction 17th September 1917 Military Cross group awarded to Captain R. Staley, Royal Engineers, who saw service out on the Western Front with the 212th Field Company from December 1915, was wounded in action in the left arm during the Battle of the Somme at High Wood on 21st July 1916, and then decorated for his bravery whilst building a light gauge railway into Sanctuary Wood at Zillebeke on 17th September 1917, in which action he was wounded in three places,

Price: £2,450


Product ID: CMA/23091
Condition: Good Very Fine
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Description:

A fine Great War Third Battle of Ypres Sanctuary Wood Zillebeke Light Railway Construction 17th September 1917 Military Cross group awarded to Captain R. Staley, Royal Engineers, who saw service out on the Western Front with the 212th Field Company from December 1915, was wounded in action in the left arm during the Battle of the Somme at High Wood on 21st July 1916, and then decorated for his bravery whilst building a light gauge railway into Sanctuary Wood at Zillebeke on 17th September 1917, in which action he was wounded in three places, firstly by a gunshot wound to the right hand, losing three fingers, secondly in receiving shrapnel to his right leg, which caused the femoral artery to rupture, as a result of which his right leg was part amputated that day, with a further re-amputation later on; and thirdly in suffering a gunshot wound to the left thigh.
Group of 4: Military Cross, GVR cypher, reverse attractively engraved in a period style: ‘CAPT. RALPH STALEY ROYAL ENGINEERS GAZETTED 1ST: JAN 18 INVESTED 23 FEB. 18’, housed in its fitted presentation case; 1914-1915 Star; (2.LIEUT. R. STALEY. R.E.); British War Medal and Victory Medal; CAPT. R. STALEY.)

Condition: Good Very Fine.

Together with an original London News Agency press photograph showing the recipient leaving Buckingham Palace shortly after his investiture with the Military Cross on 23rd February 1918, he is missing a leg and using crutches, walking side by side with Lieutenant Whittington, another MC winner; and newspaper cutting of the same, which shows the same photograph.
Ralph Staley was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant into the Royal Engineers on 16th October 1915, and then saw service out on the Western Front from 26th December 1915, serving with the 212th Field Company. Wounded in action in the left arm during the Battle of the Somme at High Wood on 21st July 1916, it was however for his gallantry in action whilst building a light gauge railway into Sanctuary Wood at Zillebeke during the Third Battle of Ypres on 17th September 1917, that Staley was subsequently awarded the Military Cross, the award being published in the London Gazette for 1st January 1918.

During this action, Staley was wounded in three places, firstly a gunshot wound to the right hand, losing three fingers, and receiving shrapnel to his right leg, which caused the femoral artery to rupture, as a result of which his right leg was part amputated that day, with a further re-amputation later on. In addition Staley suffered a gunshot wound to the left thigh.

Staley was subsequently presented with his Military Cross at Buckingham Palace on 23rd February 1918, and featured in a press photograph and newspaper article of the time, in which he is shown departing the place missing a leg and on crutches. Staley relinquished his commission on 28th April 1918, and retired with the rank of Captain.  


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