A SUPERB & UNIQUE COMBINATION 1st DAY of THE SOMME "Gommecourt' 1/2nd LONDON REGt, MILITARY MEDAL, & Pair with MERCANTILE MARINE MEDAL1939-45 Star, Atlantic Star, Defence & War Medals, & WW1 Croix de Guerre (France)To:
4989 L.Cpl A.R.BOYNE. 2/LOND:R.- T.F. (LONDON GAZETTE 1st September 1916.The "Classic" Gommecourt & 1st Day Gazette ) [2nd (City of London) Battalion, London Regiment]The 2nd Londons were a unit of the Territorial Force with their HQ at 9 Tufton Street, Westminster, serving as part of 1st London Brigade, 1st London Division when war broke out in August 1914. The battalion was mobilised and allocated the task of guarding the Amesbury-Southampton docks railway. On the 4th of September 1914 they sailed with the Brigade from Southampton to Malta, arriving at Valetta on the 14th of September. They remained in Malta until the 2nd of January 1915 and arrived at Marseilles on the 6th of January heading for the Western Front by train. They joined the 17th Brigade, 6th Division on the 21st of February 1915 and on the 14th of October they transferred with the Brigade to 24th Division and on the 9th of February 1916 they were assigned to the 169th Brigade in 56th (London) Division, which was being reformed in France.The 56th Division concentrated in the Hallencourt area. In 1916 they were in action on The Somme taking part in the diversionary attack at Gommecourt on the 1st July 1916. First Day of The Battle of The Somme.[BIOGRAPHY]Arthur Robert BOYNE was born on 4th January 1889 in Kildare Ireland. He was a resident of 64 Booth St, Hulme, Manchester when he originally mustered with the 4/2 Bn London's on 28th September 1915. Promoted to Lance Corporal (unpaid) on 8th December 1915 with an immediate transfer to 1/2nd London Regt on 1st February 1916 at which date he sailed from Southampton to Rouen in S.S. KING EDWARD.He joined the 1/2 Bn in the field on 13th Feb 1916. On 2nd April he is seen being admitted to 2/3 London Field Ambulance with fever (P.U.O.) with a return to his unit on 5th April.
GOMMECOURT (THE FIRST DAY, BATTLE OF THE SOMME) 1st July 1916.The major action at Gommecourt on 1st July was to be the first time in action for the lads of the 1/2nd London's. It was a pre-planned diversionary attack in a partially failed attempt to draw major numbers of German troops & artillery to the North and away from the proposed central battlefields around La Boiselle and the main Albert road. During the week prior to the 1st July the 1/2nd London's had been practicing the attack in fields marked out with tape at Halloy. On Thursday 28th June the 1/2nd London's relieved the 1/7th Middlesex Regt in the front line at Gommecourt and by evening were fully in position awaiting orders to attack. The men of the 1/2nd London's including Arthur Boyne went over the top at 07:30am on 1st July.
In the event, Gommecourt turned into a bloodbath with over 7000 men lost in the first early morning attack. Over 4000 of these casualties were from the London units of the 56th division. It was in the middle of this carnage on The First Day of The Battle of The Somme (( which was his FIRST & ONLY time in action,)) that Arthur Boyne won his military medal for bravery. Then, and with great irony, having survived the vicious fighting of the 1st Day of The Somme he was seriously hurt on the evening of 2nd July when he was set upon and beaten up by a group of fellow soldiers from the 1/8 Middlesex regiment who broke his right knee during a fight outside their barracks. They had also been fighting at Gommecourt and accused him and his fellows from the 2nd Londons of being, "the bastards who got the brigade cut up" ( during the previous days battle ). His papers for 2nd July 1916 clearly record that he was treated in 2/1 London Field Ambulance for "Frac Tibia" ( Fractured Tibia ) and transferred to 43 C.C.S on 8th July. He was quickly taken from the field to No.1 General Hospital at Rouen on 12th July and shipped back to England with an arrival on 13th July 1916.When Arthur returned to France it was to serve with the Royal Engineers in the capacity of Fireman & Driver with the 345th Road Construction Company (Railway Operating Division) but before he did he ended up in trouble three times. Once for gambling in a hut ..then for causing a disturbance in a barracks....and then for being caught out of bounds out of hours. He was clearly unhappy. His luck then got even worse when he was injured while trying to dislodge a trapped round in the breach of SMLE .303 rifle. The round exploded and damaged his little finger & face. He was found guilty of causing self inflicted wounds.FURTHER SERVICE IN THE MERCHANT NAVY !!! Next, Arthur is seen joining the Merchant Navy .........and quite unusually we see that in his official Board of Trade photograph he is wearing a quite obvious army tunic complete with epaulettes and brass buttons ! We are trying to establish just when he enlisted into the Merchant Marine Service, and we have a sneaking suspicion that he may even have signed up while he was on sick leave and while still serving with the army ! .....but the fact is clear that he certainly did sign up as
when he attested he gave the same place and date of birth as he did to the army in 1915. A large circular wound is also visible on the lower right side of his face. The result of his episode with the exploding bullet !! A rare if not unique situation for a 1st Day of The Somme surviving combatant.He was then subsequently awarded the Mercantile Marine Medal.To: ARTHUR R. BOYNE. When WW2 started, Arthur was still a seaman aged just 50 and served on the Atlantic convoys out of Liverpool. His NA records give entitlement to the 1939-45 Star & Defence & War medals but he's clearly also entitled to the Atlantic Star. A TRULY EXCEPTIONAL GROUP OF GREAT HISTORICAL IMPORTANCE TO A MAN WITH HIGHLY UNUSUAL DUEL SERVICE IN TWO WORLD WARS.IF YOU ARE A SERIOUS COLLECTOR / INVESTOR YOU WILL NEVER SEE ANOTHER GROUP LIKE THIS. MEDALS FIT FOR THE FINEST COLLECTION. THEY ALSO COME WITH FULL & RARE SERVICE PAPERS WHICH GO INTO MINUTE DETAIL OF CAREER. £3250 ( SOLD ) ENQUIRIES AND PART EXCHANGES WELCOME.