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South Wales Borderers KIA group

Article about: I have thought long and hard before buying this group and even now it still disturbs me a bit to think that this is all that remains of a young man who paid the ultimate price for his servic

  1. #1

    Default South Wales Borderers KIA group

    I have thought long and hard before buying this group and even now it still disturbs me a bit to think that this is all that remains of a young man who paid the ultimate price for his service to his country. i mentioned this group in a thread a few weeks back and I am still not sure that buying these was the best thing to do, though at least now they will again be honoured and displayed with pride for this gallant Welshman who died in the service of his nation.

    He must have been well loved and missed as the plaque has been polished so often his name has almost been removed from the years of polishing it. The frames are home made and the items had already been removed when I bought them and hints that perhaps his family had little money or maybe they were lovingly hand made by a relative, though sadly now are a bit worse for the passing of so many years and appear to have been neglected for some time.

    He was born in Newquay in Cardiganshire and died of his wounds on the 31st of July in 1917 after service in France & Flanders. He enlisted in Pentre in Glamorganshire into the 11th Service (2nd Gwent) Battalion of the South Wales Borderers, his service number was 44388 and his name was John Davies and he was a private.

    They came from a local dealer who removed them from their frames, partly because of their condition and also to be able to read the details on the Victory Medal to enable them to be researched and I am not sure whether it would be best to attempt to restore the original frames or have them re-framed by a professional framer.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

Name:	J. Davies SWB 44388 group.jpg 
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Name:	J. Davies SWB 44388 group Victory medal detail.jpg 
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    Regards,

    Jerry

    Whatever its just an opinion.

  2. #2

    Default Re: South Wales Borderers KIA group

    I know the feeling!
    Same sentiment I get when finding medals and other personal things at fleemarkets!
    Some times sold by they relatives that can not answer any question regarding the original owner!
    I can't advice you about the frames, i still have simillar dilemmas regarding what to do with the old frame....
    cheers
    |<ris
    Always looking for Belgian Congo stuff!
    cheers
    |<ris

  3. #3

    Default Re: South Wales Borderers KIA group

    I downloaded his medal index card from the national archives at Kew and they were not helpful, though I did a search on the Great War Forum from which I was able to find out that his battalion took part in the assault on Pilckem ridge as part of the 115th brigade, 38th Welsh division on the date he died of his wounds so it is likely that he took part in this battle. It was the opening battle of the third battle of Ypres.

    Battle of Pilckem Ridge - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    38th (Welsh) Infantry Division - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    the second link shows the units in the 115th brigade 38th division.
    Regards,

    Jerry

    Whatever its just an opinion.

  4. #4
    ?

    Default Re: South Wales Borderers KIA group

    Hi Jerry , a really nice set honouring a brave soul . I personally think they display superbly in the original frames , they have been together a long time !
    REGARDS AL

    We are the Pilgrims , master, we shall go
    Always a little further : it may be
    Beyond that last blue mountain barred with snow
    Across that angry or that glimmering sea...

  5. #5

    Default Re: South Wales Borderers KIA group

    Quote by Alan M View Post
    Hi Jerry , a really nice set honouring a brave soul . I personally think they display superbly in the original frames , they have been together a long time !
    Thank you Alan and I think my preferred option is to try and restore the original frames and replace them in them as they are part of the history.
    Regards,

    Jerry

    Whatever its just an opinion.

  6. #6

    Default Re: South Wales Borderers KIA group

    From searching the Commonwealth War Graves Commission site I found he was 29 years old, he is buried in the Bard Cottage Cemetery (ref.# I.M.4.) and from another source that he had formerly been in the Royal Engineers with service #187362.
    Regards,

    Jerry

    Whatever its just an opinion.

  7. #7

    Default Re: South Wales Borderers KIA group

    I agree Jerry. Try and restore the frames as they are certainly unusual and probably unique. A sad group. But at least with someone who appreciates it.

  8. #8

    Default Re: South Wales Borderers KIA group

    Showing the reverse of the frames.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

Name:	kia plaque reverse frame detail.jpg 
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    Regards,

    Jerry

    Whatever its just an opinion.

  9. #9

    Default

    I visited his home town and sadly he is not listed on the Great war memorial plaque (the one in Welsh) on the memorial hall.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

Name:	New Quay memorial hall.jpg 
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ID:	549232   Click image for larger version. 

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    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	New Quay memorial hall WWII plaque.jpg 
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    Regards,

    Jerry

    Whatever its just an opinion.

  10. #10

    Default

    It is a shame these medals are ever separated from soldiers families. It is also fantastic when they are discovered by someone such as yourself who appreciates them and the man who earnt them. Jerry, I think it's terrific that they have found their way to you, they will now be preserved and looked after in a respectful way. Well done mate.

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