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Auction: 18002 - Orders, Decorations and Medals
Lot: 494

A Great War M.M. group of three awarded to Lance-Corporal C. Ashford, 1st Essex Regiment, likely an award for storming trenches and assisting at the capture of key villages during the Somme offensive

Military Medal, G.V.R. (8587 L.Cpl. C. Ashford, 1/Essex R.); British War and Victory Medals (8587 Cpl. C. Ashford, Essex R.), very fine and better (3)

M.M. London Gazette 6 January 1917.

C. Ashford landed at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915 (entitled to 1914-15 Star), the first day of the campaign, and would have been part of the 1st Battalion's assault on Hill 138. Under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Godfrey Faussett, they managed to capture the objective and make a small foothold, but the cost was high, with 3 officers and 15 other ranks killed and a further 8 officers and 87 other ranks injured. From then on, it was slow going with small gains under heavy fire; the Regiment were transferred to Suvla Bay after a mauling on 5 August 1915, before finally leaving the peninsula with the rest of the allied forces.

At the Battle of the Somme, the 1st Battalion suffered over 200 casualties at Beaumont-Hamel on 1 July 1916. Many men did not get any further than the British wire. On 27 July the Regiment transferred to the Ypres sector, arriving at Saleux on 7 October and from there marching to Corbie and later, Longueau. Via the Pommiers Redoubt, the men took up positions north of Delville Wood on 10 October and then took over the front line trenches on the outskirts of Gueudecourt the next day. On 12 October they attacked to the north of the village, storming with the Newfoundlanders a section of Hilt Trench; some men made it even further to Grease Trench. On capturing their objectives, the Essex were relieved and returned to Bernafay Wood, before being posted to the line north of Flers on 26 October, Mametz on 30 October, Sandpit Camp on 15 November and Trones Wood three days later.

Ashford later transferred to the Northamptonshire Regiment and Labour Corps; sold with copied MIC.

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