An Old Contemptibles Medal Group; KIA at Delangre Farm
An Old Contemptibles Medal Group; KIA at Delangre Farm - Arthur Samuel Dyson: 1914 Star (1721 PTE A.S. DYSON. 1/13 LOND: R.); British War Medal (1721 PTE. A.S. DYSON. 13-LOND. R.); Victory Medal (1721 PTE. A.S. DYSON. 13-LOND. R.); and Belgium: War Cross (unnamed). Naming is officially impressed. Un-mounted, very dark patina on the BWM, extremely fine. Accompanied by three cloth supported Ribbon Bars with ribbons of the latter three medals, along with copies of the Roll of Individuals Entitled to Medals and the Confidential War Diary of the 13th Kensington Battalion, The London Regiment, Volume 6, dated May 1 to 31, 1915. Footnote: Footnote: Arthur Samuel Dyson enlisted as a Private with the 13th Kensington Battalion, London Regiment, on November 4, 1914. Private Dyson began the month of May 1915 in the trenches at Picantin and by the 4th, were encountering German shrapnel. They eventually moved on to Bac St. Maur the next day, a very hot and stuffy transit. By May 7th, the Battalion prepared to go into action and by 6:50 in the evening, the operation was postponed for twenty-four hours. On the 8th, final touches were being put to their preparations for battle, with C Company going to the trenches accompanied by a wire cutting party, in the early evening, to complete preparations there. The Battalion paraded and marched off to the trenches, with the men in excellent spirits an hour before midnight, plus a check at 2:00 am confirming that the wire had been cut and the Battalion was ready for action. The inevitable bombardment of Delangre Farm, their chief objective, began at 5:00 am on the 9th, with the Kensington Battalion assaulting the enemy's trenches. They found the German position heavily fortified, hardly touched by British guns. By 7:00 am, with heavy casualties, the Regiment found themselves under heavy machine gun and rifle fire, with no ground support, a machine gun disabled and their supply of bombs depleted. They sent a desperate plea to headquarters: "Have exhausted every available reinforcement". A half hour later, at 9:00 am, they had their answer, that the "2nd Scottish Rifles (are) moving to support you. You have done splendidly." Their support and ammunition, however, did not come, with the enemy breaking through the blocked trench just before noon and bombed them out of their next traverse, experiencing heavy casualties. An hour later, the Germans poured into the trenches and pushed the line back, forcing them to retire. A message was sent to Brigade Headquarters at 3:55 pm: "Under the orders of Brigadier General Pinney, the remnants of the battalion estimated at about 50 strong are in process of rendezvous in the redoubts near Cellar Farm. A few more are in the crater and may be able to get out." After being behind Cellar Farm nine hours, and being shelled the whole time, the Battalion was ordered to billet at Croix Blanche, then moved to Bac St. Maur, where they assessed their losses the next day: Officers (Killed, 9; Wounded, 4) and Men (Killed, 86; Wounded, 105; Wounded and Missing, 84; Missing 138), a staggering total of 426. Among the dead was Private Dyson, Killed in Action on May 9, 1915, who is remembered with honour at the Ploegsteert Memorial in Comines-Warneton, Hainaut, Belgium, Panel 10.