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The superb Great War First Battle of Ypres action at Zandvoorde near Gheluvelt 30th October 1914 Distinguished Conduct Medal and Imperial Russian Cross of Saint George 4th Class and first day of the Battle of the Somme 1st July 1916 Officer Casualty pair

£3,950.00
Availability: IN STOCK
Description:

The superb Great War First Battle of Ypres action at Zandvoorde near Gheluvelt 30th October 1914 Distinguished Conduct Medal and Imperial Russian Cross of Saint George 4th Class and first day of the Battle of the Somme 1st July 1916 Officer Casualty pair awarded to Sergeant later Lieutenant W.C.S. Warr, Royal Field Artillery, a pre-war reservist, who was living in Bloemfontein, South Africa and working as a butcher when he was recalled, and then saw service with the 106th Field Battery in the 22nd Brigade out on the Western Front from 6th October 1914. It was when in action on 30th October 1914 that he won the DCM, for ‘conspicuous gallantry in assisting to serve a single gun until, and after all but one of the sub-section had been killed or wounded’. Warr was presented with his award in the field by His Majesty King George V circa 1st December 1914, and was subsequently awarded the Imperial Russian Cross of Saint George 4th Class in the London Gazette for 25th August 1915, this being quite probably earned in the same action. Commissioned in April 1915, he remained with the same battery, and was serving as a forward observation officer when shot by a sniper through the head whilst going forward and directing the laying of telegraph wires at Bulgar Trench near Dantzig Alley on 1st July 1916, the first day of the Battle of the Somme. He had apparently been recommended for the award of the Military Cross some time just prior to this, and at the time there was some confusion as to whether the award was made or not.

Distinguished Conduct Medal, GVR bust; (31652 CPL W.C.S. WARR. 106/BTY: R.F.A.); Imperial Russia: Cross of Saint George 4th Class, reverse with officially engraved numbered: ’127135’. Both awards are mounted on individual pins / brooches as worn at the time of presentation.

Condition: Nearly Extremely Fine.

Together with the following:

A typed letter to Sergeant W.C. War, 106th Batt. RFA from the Deputy Assistant Quarter Master General for the 7th Division and dated 1st December 1914, states: ‘His Majesty mentioned today that you would be well advised to send your medal home for safe custody or ask your regiment to arrange. There are four boxes with medal ribbons inside, should you not have taken yours with your medal if you will apply to the D.A.Q.M.G at Headquarters 7th Division you will receive it.’

Buckingham Palace forwarding letter for the Queen Mary 1914 Christmas Tin.

A cutting showing His Majesty King George V presenting the Distinguished Conduct Medal to Warr and some other men out in the Western Front in 1914. Warr is identified third from right.

Also two original newspaper cuttings relating to the recipient. One titled ‘Military Cross Hero Killed’, this has an image of the recipient; the other is titled ‘Officer’s Splendid Record’ and detailing his death in action on 1st July 1916. There is one more cutting titled: ‘Honouring the Artillery’. Also two individual ribbon tabs as once worn on a uniform.

William Charles Samuel Warr was born in Saint Augustine’s, Bristol, Gloucestershire, and having worked as a butcher then enlisted into the British Army at Bristol on 27th June 1903. joining as a Gunner (No.31652) the Royal Field Artillery and being posted to No.2 Depot. Posted to the 26th Field Battery on 9th July 1903, he was appointed to Acting Bombardier on 18th August 1904, and saw service in South Africa from 16th December 1905, and would remain out there through to the outbreak of the Great War.

Warr was promoted to Bombardier on 21st June 1907, and to Corporal on 9th November 1908, and then transferred whilst out in South Africa to the 97th Field Battery on 17th November 1909. Having been transferred to the Army Reserve on 23rd October 1910, he decided to remain out in South Africa where he settled. Warr went to work as a butcher for the Gunter Bros family butchers in Bloemfontein.

Warr was then mobilised on 16th August 1914 whilst out in South Africa due to the outbreak of the Great War, and having been posted back to England on 20th September 1914, was promoted to Sergeant with the 106th Field Battery on 24th September 1914, and saw service out on the Western Front from 6th October 1914.

Warr then found himself demoted to Corporal and embroiled in the First Battle of Ypres and it was during the action at Zandvoorde near Gheluvelt on 30th October 1914 that he won the Distinguished Conduct Medal, the award being published in the London Gazette for 17th December 1914.

The citation reads as follows: ‘For conspicuous gallantry in assisting to serve a single gun until, and after all but one of the sub-section had been killed or wounded.’

Warr was almost immediately promoted back to Sergeant, and he was then decorated with the Imperial Russian Cross of Saint George 4th Class, quite possibly awarded for the same action, this award being gazetted after he had been commissioned, with the award being published in the London Gazette for 25th August 1915.

Warr’s award of the Distinguished Conduct Medal was one of the very first awards for the Great War, and information supplied amongst the research is that it was presented to him by King George V during a visit to the Western Front in 1914, it being issued unnamed at the time and then sent back home to be officially named. The presentation safety pin device attached to the medal is almost certainly as it was presented to him, and a copied photograph amongst the research shows him wearing the medal just after it had been presented to him. An original typed letter from the Deputy Assistant Quartermaster General for the 7th Division and dated 1st December 1914, states: ‘His Majesty mentioned today that you would be well advised to send your medal home for safe custody or ask your regiment to arrange. There are four boxes with medal ribbons inside, should you not have taken yours with your medal if you will apply to the D.A.Q.M.G at Headquarters 7th Division you will receive it.

Warr was then commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant into the Royal Field Artillery on 12th April 1915. Warr married in England in 1915 and in November 1915 was promoted to Lieutenant. He then returned to the Western Front and rejoined the 106th Field Battery, 22nd Brigade, and was killed in action at Bulgar Trench near Dantzig Alley on 1st July 1916, the first day of the Battle of the Somme.

A letter from Major B. Walter R.F.A and published in the Bristol Gazette states that ‘Lieutenant Warr was shot by a sniper through the head whilst going forward as observing officer and directing the laying of telegraph wires. He fell and was buried well within the lines which the German’s lately held. The spot was marked with a wooden cross, a great loss, a fine young officer.’

He had apparently been recommended for the award of the Military Cross some time just prior to this, and at the time there was some confusion as to whether the award was made or not. Warr is now buried in Dantzig Alley British Cemetery, Mametz.