1914 Star, British War and Victory Medal, 1945 Private John Arthur Green, 1st/9th (City of London) Battalion London Regiment, known as the Queen Victoria’s Rifles, Killed in action on the 1st Day of the Somme, 1st July 1916.
Rare to find a 1914 Star Trio killed on the 1st Day of the Somme.
1914 Star off impressed: “1945 Pte J. A. Green. 9/Lond:R”
Pair off impressed: “1945 Pte. J. A. Green. 9-Lond. R.”
Medals all on original silk ribbons.
John Arthur Green, was born during 1891, the son of Arthur Templeman Green and Edith, in Brockley, Kent.
He was 20 years old by the time of the 1911 Census, shown as living and working as a Drapery Assistant on Oxford Street in Marylebone, London.
According to the medal rolls he Entered into France on 4th November 1914, the 1st/9th Londons landed at Le Havre on this day and joined the 13th Brigade, 5th Division.
Some info on a notable action for the Battalion in the fight for Hill 60 were Lieut Woolley of the QVR won a Victoria Cross:
“On 17 April 1915, the 13th Brigade mounted an attack on Hill 60. The Hill was a small promontory on the edge of the Ypres Salient that afforded good views for the Germans across the British lines and in to Ypres.
It was therefore of great tactical significance to both sides who "fought with great gallantry". Prior to the attack, the hill had been undermined for days with five galleries being driven under the German positions.
The plan was to detonate large mines under the hill to destroy the enemy and their positions, then the 13th Brigade would occupy the area. The Hill was captured on 17 April, and on 20 April two and a half companies of the QVRs were ordered up to the front line as the enemy made a counter-attack.
At dawn on 21 April the Germans began bombarding the QVRs with hand grenades. Casualties were heavy, including two officers, Major Lees and Lieutenant Summerhays who were killed.
It was then that Lieutenant Geoffrey Harold Woolley left a position of safety to take command of the soldiers on the Hill. The situation quickly deteriorated, with many men and all the other officers on the hill being killed. Woolley refused verbal and written orders to withdraw, saying he and his company would remain until properly relieved. They repelled numerous attacks through the night. When they were relieved the next morning, he returned with 14 men remaining from the 150-strong company.
For his gallantry Lieutenant Woolley was awarded the Victoria Cross, the first to be won by the Territorial Force.”
A brief 1st hand account of the 1st Day of the Somme by Pte Harry William Bacon, 9th Londons, who was severely wounded on the day:
“On evening of 30th June 1916 marched up to trenches and took up placers in front trench.
Our Company was first to go over. At 7:30 am next morning over we went, under heavy bombardment from both sides. The Germans got wind of what was coming. I managed to get out of the trench and pushed forward as well as I could. I had only gone about 30 years when I was hit by a piece of shrapnel in the stomach…..”