First World War in the News is an edited review of hand-picked World War I (1914-1918) articles - covering everything from the soldiers and generals to the trenches and militaria.

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Latest hand-picked First World War news. See also: See also 'Victoria Crosses', 'WW1 Militaria', 'WWI Uniforms and Flags'.

First World War medals are a great investment for militaria collectors
After the death of Harry Patch, the last living soldier who fought in the trenches, the demand for WWI medals has increased, as collectors invest in a militaria market that offers both limited supply and high demand. In 2008, the medals of Captain Siegfried Sassoon - including a 1914-15 Star, a British War medal and a 1918 Victory medal - fetched 4,375. A Christie's auction in Melbourne in 2009 saw a Victoria Cross awarded to Australian soldier George Mawby Ingram to go at 271,539. In 2006, Bonham's in Sydney got a world record price for a Victoria Cross granted to Captain Alfred Shout - 410,000.
(paulfrasercollectibles.com)

First World War medals found in Liverpool house may have been there since 1918
Three WWI medals discovered in the attic of a house being cleared out may have lain untouched since the end of the war in 1918. They were found at a house in Sedley Street, Anfield which had been lived in by the same woman for 45 years. She had no knowledge of the medals, and did not know the names of the previous residents. The three military medals are a silver medal, to mark the outbreak of war, a gold Victory medal to celebrate the defeat of Germany, and a cross-shaped campaign medal. They each have the name of Lance Corporal B Nicholson of the 11th Hussars.
(liverpoolecho.co.uk)

WWI military medals valued for the amazing stories - Centenary will increase prices
As the last of World War I veterans pass away, interest is growing in the military medals awarded for their bravery. Each medal has an amazing story behind it. The record price for a medal is 491,567 pounds in 2006 for a Victoria Cross to Captain Alfred John Shout, who led a bayonet charge against Turkish machine gun fire at Gallipoli in 1915. Oliver Pepys, a medal specialist for auctioneer Spink in Bloomsbury, explains: "The medal market is buoyant and there are still plenty of bargains out there. The 2014 centenary of the start of the Great War is expected to push up prices." A good place for collectors to start is regional battalions.
(dailymail.co.uk)

WWI diaries and medals of Captain Arthur Hill to be auctioned
WWI journals of Captain Arthur Hill - who was granted the Military Cross by King George V - include extracts of his life in the trenches during the First World War. He spent the war with 60th Company Machine Gun Corps, 20th Light Division. Hill's descendants are now auctioning off his collection which experts think could bring in 1,200 pounds. --- Feb 29 1916: Southampton Water and English Channel held back by submarines. Attempted to cross on the 27, 28 and 29th but sent back each time. March 10 1916: Nothing doing all day except slight straffing by Germans... Met suspected German spy at McGregor post.
(birminghampost.net)

Medal of First World War bus hero Alfred Chouffot is up for sale
Distinguished Service Medal granted to a bus driver who became a First World War hero is expected to fetch 3,500 at auction. Alfred Chouffot was at the wheel of one of 90 London buses which transported home wounded and dying soldiers from the Western Front in 1914. He was sent to war with his bus on the orders of the First Lord of the Admiralty because of a shortage of vehicles. His employer, the London Omnibus Co., sold 90 buses to be shipped across the Channel, and the drivers were trained by the Royal Marine Artillery. On April 15, 1914, Alfred and his fellow drivers saved 800 wounded and refugees under heavy fire.
(sundaymirror.co.uk)

National treasure, stolen Waiouru medals, returned for slice of reward
There was a phone call, a coded message and Chris Comeskey knew that the medals had landed. For 10 weeks police had searched for the missing Waiouru medals, while old soldiers grieved and angered Kiwis called for answers. All the while, Chris Comeskey, the military-styled lawyer using his contacts in criminal underworld, was on the trail. Within a week he was sure he knew who had seized the medals. His mission was to secure their return: before the thieves sneaked them out of the country into the collectables black market, where they would be worth millions. But as media shone a limelight on the case, the two men holding the collection of medals became nervous.
(nzherald)

Royal Marines Museum Southsea buys WWI Royal Marine Medals
Eagle-eyed curators at the Royal Marines Museum have reunited parts of a medal group belonging to a Royal Marine killed in the Great War. The medal group`s original recipient, Private Robert Cosstick, of the Royal Marines Light Infantry, died on Feb 3, 1915 when his ship HMS Clan McNaughton was lost. Private Cosstick`s medal documents had been donated to the museum by granddaughter and obtaining further parts of Cossticks' medal group had been ruled out before the lucky find on Ebay. The complete set of Private Cosstick`s medals will now be placed on show in the medal room, which has a collection of over 8000 medals, including all 10 Victoria Crosses granted to Royal Marines.
(24hourmuseum)

Australia to have its own version of the Victoria Cross medal
Australia is to consider retrospectively granting its own version of the Victoria Cross to war heroes who were neglected by Britain. The government will set up a special war medals tribunal to review cases of Australian servicemen who were refused VCs. Almost 100 Australians have got the VC in conflicts since the Boer War. In 1991, Canberra decided it would award its own version of the medal, rather than deferring to Whitehall. No Australian VCs have been awarded since then, but the tribunal could change that from early next year, reevaluating cases such as Pte John Simpson Kirkpatrick - nearly mythical figure in Australia - who was killed at Gallipoli in 1915.
(telegraph.co.uk)

Bedfordshire Regiment soldier's medal found by metal detector
A search has begun to find the family of a soldier who was rewarded for his heroics during the Great War. Private Thomas Davey was granted a bronze victory medal, when he fought as part of the Bedfordshire Regiment. The medal was detected by Tim Chittock on a farm in Diss, Norfolk. Chittock wants to reunite the medal with the family of Pte Davey. He was unable to read the full inscription when he found the medal. But after contacting the regiment, they pieced together that it was presented to Pte Chittock. The words 'The great war for civilisation 1914-1919' are written on one side of the medal.
(bedfordtoday)

War poet Siegfried Sassoon's Miltary Cross medal to go on display
A bravery medal awarded to Siegfried Sassoon, one of Britain's most famous war poets, is to go on display at a military museum. Military Cross, which was found on the Scottish island of Mull 90 years after it went missing, was due to be auctioned. But an agreement has ensured the medal will not become part of a private collection. The WWI medal is to go on show at the Royal Welch Fusiliers' museum at Caernarfon Castle in Gwynedd. It will be part of a display of memorabilia artefacts from artists and poets, like Robert Graves and David Jones, who served with the Royal Welch Fusiliers.
(bbc)

Siegfried Sassoon's lost medal found on Scottish island
Walking near the village of Formby in 1917, Siegfried Sassoon's rising frustration with the loss of life in WW1 saw him shake his fists at the sky. "Feeling no better for that," the war hero and anti-war poet wrote in his Memoirs of an Infantry Officer, "I ripped the MC ribbon off my tunic and threw it into the mouth of the Mersey." Sassoon won his Military Cross in 1916, for bringing wounded soldiers to safety under heavy fire after a raid on a German trench. Many assumed it was the full MC medal he tossed in the Mersey. But the medal has now emerged: from an attic chest in a property where his wife Hester lived. It will be auctioned and may fetch 25,000.
(scotsman.com/)

Medal haul too good to be true   (Article no longer available from the original source)
An Anzac Day photograph has angered veterans who say people are wearing medals they are not entitled to. The man's collection, which includes the US Purple Heart, suggests he served in the NZ, British and US forces in WWII, the Korean War and Vietnam War. Asked about his service, the medal-bearer acknowledged he got a few of them on Trade Me, but he said he was entitled to them. His wife had burned the originals and because "the War Office was in short supply at the time" he bought replacements. Rear Admiral Ian Hunter described the man's collection as very eclectic. "The Australian veterans... now have a website where they name and shame the impostors."
(stuff)

Medals awarded to one of Britain's first RAF pilots are up for sale
4 medals awarded to Second Lieutenant Ernest Brownhill who was one of Britain's first RAF pilots are up for sale again, just 18 months after they were sold for 1,900. Now the medals could fetch more, since they are auctioned at prestigious auction house Spink in London. He joined the RAF just weeks after it was formed towards the end of WW1. Just 6 weeks later he was dead, after his De Havilland plane was shot down. His first Military Medal was awarded "for gallant conduct on Sept 5, 1916, in going out several times from a sap in Thiepval Wood to collect casualties from No Man's Land who had been lying out for 36 hours".
(sheffieldtoday)

Vimy commander's medals donated to Canadian War Museum
British commander Sir Julian Byng earned a place in Canadian history when he led the Canadian Corps to victory in the First World War battle at Vimy Ridge. Now the medals he earned in that battle and others have found an important place at the Canadian War Museum. On Monday, Byng's military honours were donated to the Canadian War Museum by collector Dale Murray. During the famous 4-day battle that began April 9, 1917, Canadian troops successfully took back from the Germans a strategic escarpment, where 150,000 French and British soldiers had died trying to achieve the same goal.
(cbc)

Conn Smythe's Victory Medal is coming home and with mystery
Conn Smythe's Victory Medal is coming home, but not without some mystery surrounding it. The World War I medal awarded to the founder of the Toronto Maple Leafs NHL club was sold for $4,000 to two Ontario men who wanted it removed from an online auction and who plan to donate it to the Hockey Hall of Fame. Paul Sanderson and Dave Thomson will receive the medal and documents verifying its authenticity. "We saw something that was wrong and we had a chance to make right." Questions have been raised about how the medal left the Smythe family and who has possessed it for nearly a century.
(thestar)

Bidding keeps rare medal out of N.S. museum
A rare war medal for sale on the net remains out of the Black Cultural Centre's reach, but several groups are offering to help. "It belongs to Nova Scotia. It's an honourable thing to do to bring it home," said Henry Bishop, curator of the centre in Dartmouth. The bidding for World War 1 Victory Medal awarded to Sapper Percy Fenton, a black soldier from Nova Scotia, had climbed to $1,840, and there's still a day to go. The medal was awarded to soldiers of the 2nd Construction Battalion and was the only black Canadian unit in the war.
(cbc)

Gen. Pershing urged Distinguished Service Cross medal's creation   (Article no longer available from the original source)
The Distinguished Service Cross was first awarded in World War 1, although the medal was later given to soldiers of earlier conflicts. It is the Army equivalent of the Navy Cross (for members of the Navy and Marine Corps) and the Air Force Cross. The Distinguished Service Cross was created by President Woodrow Wilson at the urging of General John J. "Black Jack" Pershing, who thought there needed to be a medal that recognized bravery for those who didn't qualify for a Medal of Honor. The cross honors acts of heroism and risk of life so extraordinary as to set the individual apart from his or her comrades.
(kentucky)

Rare First World War medal fetches 2,400 -- Air Force Cross
A rare medal awarded to World War 1 pilots for gallantry - discovered in an attic - fetched thousands at auction. Ian Dickson died and an auctioneer was invited to carry out a valuation of his possessions. Incredibly he discovered an Air Force Cross, awarded to Mr Dickson's father Second Lieutenant Clift Dickson in 1918, and several other service medals. Around 680 Air Force Crosses were awarded to officers in the Great War for courage or devotion to duty while flying, although not in operations against the enemy. The silver military decoration went under the hammer for a 2,400.
(thisisdorset)

Unique WWI medal surfaces
The engraving on the back of the more than 80-year-old medal is simply stated: "Presented to Ira A. Sherman in grateful recognition of his service in World War 1917-1919." The front of the medal is engraved with the city seal of Methuen. The late Ira Sherman of Methuen received the medal from the city as a token of appreciation for his service in World War 1. But beyond that, officials don't know much else about the unique medal that is about to be added to local historical collection.
(eagletribune)

Heroic 16yo received the highest honour for bravery in WW1
One 16-year-old boy stood fatally wounded on the deck of the HMS Chester, quietly awaiting orders as his shipmates lay dead around him. It was May 31, 1916, the day of the Battle of Jutland, and the British ship had been hit 17 times by German cruisers. The boy on the deck was John Travers "Jack" Cornwell, who was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross (VC) for his bravery after his story became the talk of the country. The Battle of Jutland began on May 31 as the German Navy tried to break the British blockade of the North Sea.
(thisislocallondon)

Lost VC hero memorial unveiled -- World War I hero
A memorial is being unveiled to a World War I hero, who was known as the "Lost Victoria Cross" because his grave was unknown for 50 years. L/Cpl Alfred Wilcox won the VC for his bravery in killing 12 enemy soldiers in 1918 but was forgotten after his burial in 1954. A memorial is being unveiled in Aston Parish after his grave was traced. The soldier with the Oxford and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry was the only Victoria Cross winner whose exact resting place was unknown. He was given the highest military honour for "conspicuous bravery" capturing 4 machine gun nests almost single-handedly in the trenches at Laventie in Sept 1918.
(bbc)

Australia's most decorated soldier honoured with display
Australia's most highly-decorated soldier Harry Murray, who fought in both world wars, has been honoured with a special display at the Australian War Memorial. Lieutenant Colonel Murray won the Victoria Cross and a host of other medals for his courage at Gallipoli and France. Lobbying has prompted the Australian War Memorial to return a display of Tasmanian Harry Murray to the World War I section of the museum.
(abc-au)

A rare medal won by a war heroine has sold for more than 3,000
The Military Medal was awarded to nurse Kate Carruthers for showing bravery in the face of the enemy during the First World War. Miss Carruthers was one of only a few women to receive the award for her heroic efforts in treating the wounded on the frontline. The 30-year-old nurse was stationed on the Western Front in 1917 when her field hospital came under attack. She was injured in the fighting but battled bravely through the pain barrier to continue treating the wounded. In 1917 she became one of only a few women to be awarded the prestigious Military Medal, which was created by King George V in 1916.
(coinbooks)

The most decorated serviceman in British military history
Liverpool is to have a permanent tribute to World War One hero Noel Chavasse, who won the Victoria Cross. The Oxford-born son of the Bishop of Liverpool become the most decorated serviceman in British military history, winning the VC twice. Captain Chavasse won his first VC in August 1916 when he took part in an attack on Guillemont. Almost 12 months later, during the Third Battle of Ypres (Passchendaele), he earned his second Victoria Cross. He died of his wounds on 3 August 1917.
(bbc)

More than 5 million WW1 campaign medal records go online
Want to find out how your grandfather was honoured in the Great War? For the first time the medal records of more than 5 million men and women who served in the First World War are available online at DocumentsOnline. The records of the future King Edward VIII, Sir Winston Churchill, composer Ralph Vaughan Williams and war poet Wilfred Owen all appear along with many well known names.
(nationalarchives)


See also

'Victoria Crosses'

'WW1 Militaria'

'WWI Uniforms and Flags'.