A Superb 5th West Riding Rgt MILITARY MEDAL & Pair for, “The TANDY Victoria Cross” Action at “Marcoing”(Canal Du Nord) 28th September 1918. 266957 Pte C.S. FLETCHER. 5/West Riding Regt.

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A Superb 5th West Riding Rgt MILITARY MEDAL & Pair for, 
“The TANDY Victoria Cross” Action at “Marcoing”(Canal Du Nord) 
 28th September 1918. 266957 Pte C.S. FLETCHER. 5/West Riding Regt. A Superb 5th West Riding Rgt MILITARY MEDAL & Pair for, 
“The TANDY Victoria Cross” Action at “Marcoing”(Canal Du Nord) 
 28th September 1918. 266957 Pte C.S. FLETCHER. 5/West Riding Regt. A Superb 5th West Riding Rgt MILITARY MEDAL & Pair for, 
“The TANDY Victoria Cross” Action at “Marcoing”(Canal Du Nord) 
 28th September 1918. 266957 Pte C.S. FLETCHER. 5/West Riding Regt. A Superb 5th West Riding Rgt MILITARY MEDAL & Pair for, 
“The TANDY Victoria Cross” Action at “Marcoing”(Canal Du Nord) 
 28th September 1918. 266957 Pte C.S. FLETCHER. 5/West Riding Regt. A Superb 5th West Riding Rgt MILITARY MEDAL & Pair for, 
“The TANDY Victoria Cross” Action at “Marcoing”(Canal Du Nord) 
 28th September 1918. 266957 Pte C.S. FLETCHER. 5/West Riding Regt.





















A Superb 5th West Riding Rgt MILITARY MEDAL & Pair

For:
The TANDY Victoria Cross” Action at “Marcoing”
(Canal Du Nord) 28th September 1918.

To.
266957 Pte C.S. FLETCHER. 5th West Riding Regt.

(Private Fletcher fought with the famous Pte Henry Tandy VC, DCM, MM, who after joining the 5th West Riding Regt on 26th July 1918 became the British Army’s Most Decorated Soldier by winning all three of his awards in just one month.)

A Superb 5th West Riding Rgt MILITARY MEDAL & Pair for, 
“The TANDY Victoria Cross” Action at “Marcoing”(Canal Du Nord) 
 28th September 1918. 266957 Pte C.S. FLETCHER. 5/West Riding Regt. [BIOGRAPHY] 1890-
Charles Smith Fletcher was born in Skipton, Yorkshire, on 13th May 1890 and he joined the army at Skipton on 20th November 1915 aged 25. The 1/5th Bn first arrived in France on 14th April 1915 at Boulogne and Charles joined the unit via Le Havre on 6th February 1917.

He clearly went straight into action as he’s seen being wounded just two weeks later on 28th February when he received a bullet wound in his left thigh. He was hospitalised at Etaples and shipped back to England on 9th March 1917 after a bare four weeks in the field. He was then out of action and receiving treatment in England for exactly 11 months until he rejoined his unit in France on 9th February 1918 via Folkstone, Boulogne & Etaples.

He was wounded again on 26th August 1918 by a Gas Shell and treated by 6th Field Ambulance with a return to duty ten days later on 6th September 1918.

A Superb 5th West Riding Rgt MILITARY MEDAL & Pair for, 
“The TANDY Victoria Cross” Action at “Marcoing”(Canal Du Nord) 
 28th September 1918. 266957 Pte C.S. FLETCHER. 5/West Riding Regt. THE “TANDY” VICTORIA CROSS ACTION (Marcoing, 28th September 1918)
It was during the 5th West Ridings’ famous action at Marcoing (Canal Du Nord) where Pte Henry Tandy VC, DCM, MM, won his Victoria Cross.
It was at the Canal du Nord that 186th Bde was tasked with passing through the first wave of attackers to seize the canal crossings at Marcoing to form a bridgehead on 28 September. The canal here was 50 feet wide, and as the water had run out of the damaged locks it had exposed a layer of thick mud. However, 5th Bn crossed the canal on a damaged plank bridge (*this bridge was hand repaired under withering enemy fire by Pte Tandy) The men crossed in single file and by 11.00 the unit was aligned along the railway embankment beyond. From here any further advance was stopped by heavy enemy fire. A fresh supporting barrage at 6:00pm allowed the battalion to renew its advance to the final objective which was the support trench of the German Marcoing Line.

At this point the centre and left companies were heavily counter-attacked, and were additionally fired at from the rear where insufficiently guarded German prisoners had managed to pick up weapons and has returned to the fight.
The two centre companies succeeded in retiring to the railway embankment but the left company was almost surrounded and had to fight its way out. The right company, however, maintained its position in the Marcoing Line.

For this action the following awards, including Pte Fletcher’s MM were made.

Victoria Cross x 1
Distinguished Service Order 1
Military Crosses x 4
Distinguished Conduct Medals x 3
Bars to the Military Medal x 3
Military Medals x 30

(*One of which was to Pte Fletcher)

Pte Fletcher was wounded for the Third time on 4th November 1918 (Gun Shot Wound / Shrapnel to Left Knee & Thigh) This was a wound which he clearly received during the German shelling while the battalion were getting ready to cross the River Sambre.

He was then again shipped back to England for the final time on 6th November and treated at 4 G.H. at Brighton.....The War Ended 5 Days Later on 11th November 1918.

A Superb 5th West Riding Rgt MILITARY MEDAL & Pair for, 
“The TANDY Victoria Cross” Action at “Marcoing”(Canal Du Nord) 
 28th September 1918. 266957 Pte C.S. FLETCHER. 5/West Riding Regt. MILITARY MEDAL
5th Bn WAR DIARY, NOVEMBER 1918 & LONDON GAZETTE, 17th July 1919.

Pte Fletcher’s MM is first recorded in the monthly summary section of the 5th Battalion War Diary for November 1918, along with a total of 41 awards to officers & men who were also decorated.
These men are recorded as being awarded their various medals for acts & deeds of gallantry performed during the last few weeks of the war during the Hundred Days Offensive & “The Advance to Victory” where the 5th battalion fought it’s famous VC action at Marcoing on 28th September.

The 5th finally crossed the River Selle (20th October) & River Sambre (9th November).

( Note: By late 1918, the period between “the deed & official publication” of gallantry awards had become about 9 months, and hence Private Fletcher’s award of November 1918 was not officially published until July 1919)

A Superb 5th West Riding Rgt MILITARY MEDAL & Pair for, 
“The TANDY Victoria Cross” Action at “Marcoing”(Canal Du Nord) 
 28th September 1918. 266957 Pte C.S. FLETCHER. 5/West Riding Regt. [5th (Duke of Wellington’s) West Riding Regiment]
[BATTLE OF THE SELLE ] 20th OCTOBER 1918.
On 20 October 1918 during the Battle of the Selle, a company of 5th Duke's waded across the River Selle unopposed at St Python even before Zero hour and the rest of the battalion crossed by bridges erected by the sappers in the dark. After some hard fighting they pushed onto their objective, forming a defensive flank to cover the capture of Solesmes by the rest of the brigade.

[BATTLE OF THE SAMBRE] 4th NOVEMBER 1918.
At the opening of the Battle of the Sambre on 4 November, 186th Bde led off, but the start was hampered by a German counter-bombardment and a thick mist. Enemy resistance was slight at first, but stiffened as our advance continued. However, as our troops pushed on again in the afternoon, the brigade took hundreds of German prisoners. The captured German infantrymen, who were by this point unknowingly only 7 days away from the surrender on 11th November were in a filthy and dishevelled condition and combined with very low morale they were in no condition to fight on.

Afterwards, the division remained in the front line and fought its way toward Maubeuge, passing through the southern outskirts and crossing the River Sambre on 9 November. When the Armistice came into force on 11 November there was no sign of the rapidly retreating enemy in front of the division's outposts. The division was selected to move into Germany and occupy bridgeheads on the Rhine, taking up its positions on 25 December.
It was the only TF division to cross the frontier into Germany. From 21 February 1919 the infantry battalions were progressively relieved by other units and returned to England for demobilisation. The battalion was formally disembodied on 26 May 1919.


[PRIVATE HENRY TANDY. VC, DCM, MM...5th West Riding Regt]
Private Henry Tandey, was a pre-war Regular soldier, and had joined the 5th battalion West Riding Regt from 12th Bn Green Howards on 26 July 1918. In a single month he won a Distinguished Conduct Medal at Vaulx Vraucourt on 28 August, a Military Medal at Havrincourt on 12 September and finally a Victoria Cross at Marcoing on 28 September (when he was wounded), making him the most highly decorated private soldier of the British Army in the Great War.

Private Fletcher’s Military Medal is a truly excellent and classic example of an “Advance to Victory” award made for his brave actions in the field during the Hundred Days Offensive. This took place in the final weeks of the war when we finally overcame German resistance. This became what was perhaps the fastest moving period of the entire Great War.

A Superb 5th West Riding Rgt MILITARY MEDAL & Pair for, 
“The TANDY Victoria Cross” Action at “Marcoing”(Canal Du Nord) 
 28th September 1918. 266957 Pte C.S. FLETCHER. 5/West Riding Regt. A Superb 5th West Riding Rgt MILITARY MEDAL & Pair for, 
“The TANDY Victoria Cross” Action at “Marcoing”(Canal Du Nord) 
 28th September 1918. 266957 Pte C.S. FLETCHER. 5/West Riding Regt. All three medals are EF & are totally original and uncleaned. They retain their original WW1 ribbons which in the case of the MM is the “as issued” and now rarely seen 9” inch length.

The group comes complete with Pte Fletcher’s copy attestation document, casualty records, MIC & various other papers.

This is a “Must Have” group for the serious collector of gallantry medals to Yorkshire recipients or to those men involved with Victoria Cross Actions.

£1250

A Superb 5th West Riding Rgt MILITARY MEDAL & Pair for, 
“The TANDY Victoria Cross” Action at “Marcoing”(Canal Du Nord) 
 28th September 1918. 266957 Pte C.S. FLETCHER. 5/West Riding Regt.

A Superb 5th West Riding Rgt MILITARY MEDAL & Pair for, “The TANDY Victoria Cross” Action at “Marcoing”(Canal Du Nord) 28th September 1918. 266957 Pte C.S. FLETCHER. 5/West Riding Regt.
£1250

A Superb 5th West Riding Rgt MILITARY MEDAL & Pair for, “The TANDY Victoria Cross” Action at “Marcoing”(Canal Du Nord) 28th September 1918. 266957 Pte C.S. FLETCHER. 5/West Riding Regt.