An Historically Most Important and Highly Emotive
1914 Star & Bar Trio
& personal item assembly.
A Classic & Original
"23 August 1914 Combatant"
DURING THE FIRST FEW HOURS OF THE WAR,
A MONS RETREAT SURVIVOR.
928. Sgt.Thomas Palmer,
This man was an "Old Contemptible" Pre-War Soldier who took part in and was Severly Wounded (twice) during the first few hours of the war during
The Mons Retreat.
He was captured and made a P.O.W. by the Germans.
THIS IS AN AMAZING STORY OF SURVIVAL.
Superbly complete with Wounded Badge (No. 239734)
Dog Tag 928. T PALMER C.E. RB (on original wearing cord, Hat Badge etc.) Also lots of original personal papers and items from Palmers pre-war Met Police service. Velum Transfer Document. Original "Large" Honourable Discharge Charter.
Also, a very interesting,complete,historically important and very moving newspaper article all about Palmer's wounding in the Mons Retreat and his subsequent capture by the Germans and his eventual repatriation.
Having arrived in Le Havre on 22nd August, Sgt Palmer joined the War on DAY 1 !...British and German forces had only just made first contact and the R.F.C. (Via the sortie of 2/Lt V.H.N. Wadham and Captain L.E.O. Charlton) had just that day confirmed to General John French that Von Kluck was attempting an outflanking movement. Sgt Palmer thus joined the desperate rear guard action and the retreating fray from Mons.
While trying to maintain his firing line and hold off the fast advancing German Army, he was wounded very severely in the left leg with his left shin being totally blown away. He managed to get about 200 yds down the road but then fell over. It was with the assistance of a comrade that he managed another 200-300 yds before a hail of bullets then also shot away his left heel and killed the assisting comrade outright. Another man tried to help him and received a severe wound to the thigh. They both lay there bleeding for several hours until one of his own Officers arrived and took away his rifle!
Dead German and English bodies were piled up in mountains all around the field and large numbers of the enemy were running past at great speed "like bees"..A German Doctor saw Palmer laying in the field but ignored his cries for help and just walked on past ! The second comrade who had come to assist him finally died of blood loss from his wounds some hours later.
Sgt Palmer then just lay there bleeding in the field, in the pouring rain, for four days until he was finally seen by a French Milkman who, lifting a pale to his lips, gave him some milk to drink. Two hours after the milkman left him, he was picked up by the Germans and taken to a local village where he was made a POW at a casualty station. Nobody could assist him there either as there were many men who were so much worse wounded than he. Soon afterwards he was taken to a Cambrai hospital where he was tended by French and English doctors. On 17th September a main artery in his leg burst and three operative attempts were made to save his leg, but "mortification" (gangrene) had set in and on 18th September his leg was amputated. He spent some time as POW in France when on 7th February 1915 he was informed he was to be repatriated back to England.
Sgt Palmer, in uniform (With his MONS STAR) and walking cane after the war (*We have electronically repaired the head and shoulders portrait as the original is showing slight flake surface delamination around the top of the hair).
After the war Sgt Palmer joined the St Martin Christian organisation.This organisation had a very apt message or motto which clearly was not lost on Sgt Palmer after his miraculous escape. "WOE TO HIM THAT IS ALONE WHEN HE FALLETH, FOR HE HATH NOT ANOTHER TO HELP HIM"
THIS IS ONE OF THE BEST DOCUMENTED EXAMPLES OF A SURVIVOR FROM THE FAMOUS MONS RETREAT WE HAVE EVER COME ACROSS AND MUST STAND AS A MAGNIFICENT INVESTMENT FOR THE FUTURE.
(Excessively Rare & Totally Complete)