The superb Great War 3rd Salford Pals Final Advance in Picardy Crossing of the River Rhonelle Distinguished Conduct Medal group awarded to Private A. Wolfenden, 19th Service Battalion - 3rd Salford Pals, Lancashire Fusiliers, formerly 11th Service...

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Product ID: CMA/32164
Condition: some contact wear, Very Fine.
Description:

The superb Great War 3rd Salford Pals Final Advance in Picardy Crossing of the River Rhonelle Distinguished Conduct Medal group awarded to Private A. Wolfenden, 19th Service Battalion - 3rd Salford Pals, Lancashire Fusiliers, formerly 11th Service Battalion, Lancashire Fusiliers, who was originally present out on the Western Front from 25th September 1915 with the 11th Battalion, and was serving with “A” Company when he was admitted to the 34th Casualty Clearing Station suffering from shell shock on 19th July 1916. Having then joined the 3rd Salford Pals, Wolfenden was serving with a platoon of “B” Company during the final advance in Picardy on 1st November 1918 when he earned a well-earned Distinguished Conduct Medal just ten days before the Armistice. He was one of a section detailed to place a bridge over the River Rhonelle east of Famars. The section came under heavy machine gun fire, and the NCO in charge and several men were wounded. Wolfenden then took command and rushed the bridge into position, crossed the river, and attacked the machine gun, capturing it and the gun team. His gallant action ensuring the erection of the bridge on his right.

Group of 4: Distinguished Conduct Medal, GVR 1st type bust; (5320 PTE. A. WOLFENDEN. 19/LAN: FUS.); 1914-1915 Star; (5320 PTE. A. WOLFENDEN. LAN. FUS.); British War Medal and Victory Medal; (5320 PTE. A. WOLFENDEN. LAN. FUS.), mounted court style for display.

Condition: some contact wear, Very Fine.

Albert Wolfenden came from Werneth, and area of Oldham in Lancashire, now Greater Manchester, and saw service during the Great War initially as a Private (No.5320) with the 11th Service Battalion, Lancashire Fusiliers, and was present out on the Western Front from 25th September 1915 when his battalion formed part of the 74th Brigade in the 25th Division. Wolfenden went on to see service with the 11th Battalion during the opening stages of the Battle of the Somme, when as a member of “A” Company, he was admitted to the 34th Casualty Clearing Station suffering from shell shock on 19th July 1916.

It would appear that it was after his recovery that Wolfenden then transferred as a Private to the 19th Service Battalion - 3rd Salford Pals, Lancashire Fusiliers, and was then further present out on the Western Front. The 3rd Salford Pals had been very nearly wiped out on 1st July 1916, the infamous first day of the Battle of the Somme when in action at Thiepval Ridge. Towards the end of the month of July 1916 it then joined the General Headquarters and converted to a Pioneer Battalion, joining the 49th (West Riding) Division on 7th August 1916. In 1917 it was involved in operations on the Flanders Coast and at the Battle of Poelcappelle during the Third Battle of Ypres. Then in 1917 it took part in the Battles of the Lys, the pursuit to the Selle, and the final advance in Picardy.

It was during the final advance in Picardy when in action on 1st November 1918 during the crossing of the River Rhonelle to the east of Famars that Wolfenden won a superb award of the Distinguished Conduct Medal, the award being published in the London Gazette for 18th February 1919, with the citation being published in the London Gazette for 10th January 1920.

The citation reads as follows: ‘On 1st November 1918, he was one of a section detailed to place a bridge over the river east of Famars. The section came under heavy machine gun fire, and the NCO in charge and several men were wounded. He then took command and rushed the bridge into position, crossed the river, and attacked the machine gun, capturing the team. His gallant action ensuring the erection of the bridge on his right.’

“The History of the Lancashire Fusiliers 1914-1918” by Latter notes that ‘mention must be made of the very gallant work done on 1st November by Private A. Wolfenden. Two platoons of “B” Company were given the task of placing bridges over the River Rhonelle, east of Famars, three miles south of Valenciennes, to enable the 147th Infantry Brigade to cross to the attack. Wolfenden’s section came under heavy machine-gun fire and it’s senior N.C.O and several men were wounded. Wolfenden took command, rushed his bridge into position, crossed the river, attacked the machine gun and captured it and its team. His prompt and plucky action enabled the bridge on his right also to be erected. He received a well-earned Distinguished Conduct Medal.’