WW1 Possible 'First Day of the Somme' Military Medal and 'Dunkirk' Mentioned in Despatches Medal Group of Twelve - Brevet Lt-Col. Harold Lindsay, King's Own (Royal Lancaster) Regiment
- Product Code: MM-4766
- Regiment: King's Own (Royal Lancaster) Regiment
- Era: WW1 and WW2 Availability:1
A fantastic first world war MM (possibly for the first day of the Somme) and Dunkirk MID medal group of twelve to Brevet Lt-Col. Harold Lindsay, the King's Own (Royal Lancaster) Regt, who was awarded the M.M., M.S.M., and twice mentioned for World War I, awarded the M.B.E. and mentioned for World War II.
Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) (Military Division) unnamed as issued
George V Military Medal named to 8527 Sjt. H. Lindsay 1/R. Lanc. R.
1914 Mons Star (with original 5th Aug. - 22nd Nov. 1914 clasp) named to 8523 Pte. H. Lindsay. R. Lanc. R.
British War Medal named to 8527 W.O.Cl.1. H. Lindsay. R. Lanc. R.
WW1 Victory Medal (with M.I.D. oak leaf emblem) named to 8527 W.O.Cl.1. H. Lindsay. R. Lanc. R.
1939-45 Star unnamed as issued
WW2 Defence Medal unnamed as issued
War Medal 1939-45 (with M.I.D. oak leaf emblem) unnamed as issued
1935 George V Silver Jubilee Medal unnamed as issued
1937 George VI Coronation Medal unnamed as issued
George V Meritorious Service Medal named to 33701384 W.O.Cl.1. H. Lindsay. Kings Own R:
George V Long Service & Good Conduct Medal named to 8527 S.Mjr. H. Lindsay. M.M. 1/R. Lanc. R.
The medals are in good condition and are mounted for display on a board with a King's Own Regiment cap badge, pair of shoulder titles and pair of collar badges.
- M.B.E. (military) London Gazette 1 January 1944 – New Year’s Honours List
- M.M. London Gazette 11 November 1916 – “for bravery in the field”
- M.S.M. London Gazette 18 January 1919 – “in recognition of valuable service rendered with the Armies in France and Flanders”
- M.I.D. London Gazette 1 January 1916 – “for gallant and distinguished service in the field”
- M.I.D. London Gazette 22 May 1917 – “distinguished and gallant services and devotion to duty”
- M.I.D. London Gazette 20 December 1940 – “in recognition of distinguished services in connection with operations in the field March-June, 1940”
Richard Harold Taylor Lindsay was born 17 on June 1890 in Withington, Lancashire, the oldest son of Andrew (general shipping merchant’s clerk) and Anne Lindsay. As a 14 year-old, he attested into the 2nd Battalion, The King's Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment) on 17 February 1905 as a Boy, using the first-name “Harold”. Lindsay transferred over to the 1st Battalion on 28 December 1905. Lindsay would remain with the 1st for the next 32 years.
Appointed a bandsman on 1 June 1907, Lindsay had a few disciplinary issues in his early years, forfeiting a good conduct badge on 22 January 1908 and reverting to Boy for misconduct on 20 April 1908. The 16 year-old Lindsay was advanced to unpaid Lance Corporal on 14 November 1911, followed by paid Lance Corporal on 26 April 1913. Yet he again was disciplined for misconduct, reverting to Private on 6 October 1913.
Despite nine years with the colours, the 24 year-old Lindsay started World War I as a private. Within three years, he became the 1st The King's Own’s Regimental Sergeant Major, a phenomenally rapid rate of promotion for a Regular Army battalion.
The 1/King’s Own arrived at Boulogne, France, on 22 August 1914 and were among the first British units to heavily engage the Germans. They were decimated at Battle of Le Cateau on 26 August, with 442 killed, wounded, or missing, many during a single two minute burst of machine gun fire at the start of the battle which caught the battalion marching in column. This represented a tremendous loss to a formation that landed with a strength of 26 officers and 974 other ranks. It would turn out to be the single worst day for the battalion during the entire war.
Despite the horrendous losses, Lindsay was not promoted to Corporal until 26 April 1915. Promotions followed rapidly thereafter: Acting Sergeant 25 May 1915, Sergeant 3 July 1915, Acting Company Sergeant Major 23 October 1916, Company Sergeant Major (warrant officer class 2) 2 January 1917, Acting Regimental Sergeant Major 28 August 1917, and Regimental Sergeant Major (warrant officer class 1) 20 December 1917. In 32 months, Lindsey had advanced from private to RSM.
The infamous First Day on the Somme (1 July 1916) was particularly hard on the 1/King’s Own.
Ordered ‘over the top’ at 8:41 AM, the 1/King’s Own incurred heavy casualties immediately,
with only a small number reaching the German front line. Out of the 507 other ranks that went
into action, 120 were killed and 267 were wounded, leaving only 120 still with the battalion by
the end of the day. An additional 10 officers were killed and 12 wounded. The battalion spent
another week in the trenches before returning to billets on the 8th.
The war diary entry on the 9th states:
'The Corps Commander Lt. General Sir Aylmer Hunter Weston visited the
Battalion and spoke to the Coys. congratulating them on the operations of 1st
July. Baths in the afternoon.
The G.O.C. 4th Div. spoke to the men by Coys. congratulating them on the
operations of 1st July.'
The point to highlight is that the battalion was visited by the division and corps commanders, with both commending the 1/King’s Own specifically for the 1st of July. At no other point during the rest of 1916 were they visited by a general officer. Lindsay was awarded the Military Medal for his service during the Battle of the Somme and, based on the war diary entries, it seems distinctly possible that Lindsay received his for the First Day of the Somme.
The 1/King’s Own spent all four years of World War I on the Western Front, frequently serving in the trenches. A total of 67 officers and 1,332 other ranks were killed during the war. Despite these heavy casualties, Lindsay was wounded only once, on 19 December 1916, remaining at duty. Indeed, Lindsay remained continuously with the regiment in France and Flanders for almost 4 years, not leaving until 8 August 1918 when he departed on two weeks’ furlough to marry Frances May Hodgson on 12 August 1918.
Lindsay repeatedly distinguished himself during his time in the trenches, being mentioned in despatches on 1 January 1916 “for gallant and distinguished service in the field” and on 22 May 1917 for “distinguished and gallant services”. He was awarded the Military Medal “for bravery in the field” on 11 November 1916 (most likely for the Battle of the Somme) and the Meritorious Service Medal on 18 January 1919 “in recognition of valuable service rendered with the Armies in France and Flanders”. In was an impressive record, made even more so considering Lindsey had been demoted twice before the war for disciplinary issues.
In 1921, The King's Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment) were retitled The King's Own Royal Regiment (Lancaster). Between the wars, Lindsay served with the battalion in Germany, India, and the United Kingdom.
After 10 years as RSM, Lindsay was promoted to be the 1/King’s Own Quartermaster on 30 September 1927. While serving with the battalion in India, Lindsay received the 1935 Jubilee and 1937 Coronation Medals. He was promoted Captain on 30 September 1935 followed by Major on 30 September 1939. After more than 32 years with the 1st Battalion, the 47-year-old Lindsay was posted to the regiment’s Depot on 25 February 1938.
After the start of World War II, Lindsay was posted to the 6th (Pioneer) King’s Own upon their formation on 13 February 1940. The battalion was composed of older reservists who had been recalled for the war. The 6/King’s Own landed in France on 26 April 1940 as part of the British Expeditionary Force. As a pioneer unit, they were expecting to be employed on construction and engineering projects. Instead, the German Blitzkrieg would force them to fight.
The Battle of France began on 10 May 1940, with the 6th incurring their first war casualty on the
20th. As they retreated, The 6th repeatedly skirmished with the Germans. The battalion’s heaviest
losses occurring on the 26th and 27th when 20 were killed in action at Merville.
As written in the official History of the Second World War (Major L.F. Ellis):
'Meanwhile enemy tanks and infantry passed between Robecq and St Venant to attack Merville. They made repeated attempts to capture the southern bridge leading into the town, but the 6th King's Own (a pioneer battalion) with the help of a single field gun defeated all their efforts, captured twenty prisoners, and destroyed two armoured cars and three tanks.'
The 6th were evaluated from Dunkirk aboard the SS Prague on 29 May 1940. Lindsay remained a few extra days, helping with the evaluation before rejoining his battalion in England on 1 June 1940. For his service during the Battle of France, Lindsay was mentioned in despatches (London Gazette 20 December 1940).
Lindsay stayed with the 6/King’s Own for the rest of the war. They saw no further action, remaining in England on Home Defence. For his World War II service, Lindsay received the M.B.E., 1939-45 Star, Defence Medal, War Medal, and was mentioned in despatches. He also was breveted Lieutenant Colonel on 1 July 1944.
Lindsay’s first wife Frances May died in 1950. They had two children together. He later
remarried and died in Newcastle-upon-Tyne on 19 March 1963.
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Tags: WW1 Medals, WWI, World War One, First World War, Military Medals, British Medals, Campaign Medals, Gallantry Medals, Kings Own Royal Lancaster Regt, MM, MBE, MSM, Somme, Dunkirk, WW2 Medals, WWII, World War Two