A Superb Somme (1916) MILITARY CROSS, “Hand to Hand”, Revolver Trench Kill Citation, Pte-W/Com, F.H.L.VARCOE. Fought Hill 60, 9th London (Q.V.R’s),10th Midd’x, Lt 2/5th Glouc’ (M.C.) RFC, Obs (10sqd), RAF WW2 (MID 1945) & Air Efficiency.

Royal Flying Corps MedalsDOODLEBUG-BUZZ BOMB POSTER 1944Royal Air Force Medals (1918-1939)RFC & RAF ORIGINAL AIRCREW BADGES RFC & RAF GALLANTRY MEDALS. WW1 & WW2AIRCREW CASUALTIES & P.O.W. 1939-1945RESISTANCE MEDALS (WW1 & WW2 EUROPE)R.A.F. & ARMY AIR CORPS (Other)RFC & RAF (SPECIAL GALLERY)R.A.F. MEDALS (SOLD ARCHIVE)

An Outstanding & Fascinating
Somme (1916) MILITARY CROSS
With “Hand to Hand”, Revolver Trench Kill Citation.

A Superb Somme (1916) MILITARY CROSS, “Hand to Hand”, Revolver Trench Kill Citation, Pte-W/Com, F.H.L.VARCOE. Fought Hill 60, 9th London (Q.V.R’s),10th Midd’x, Lt 2/5th Glouc’ (M.C.) RFC, Obs (10sqd), RAF WW2 (MID 1945) & Air Efficiency. A Superb Somme (1916) MILITARY CROSS, “Hand to Hand”, Revolver Trench Kill Citation, Pte-W/Com, F.H.L.VARCOE. Fought Hill 60, 9th London (Q.V.R’s),10th Midd’x, Lt 2/5th Glouc’ (M.C.) RFC, Obs (10sqd), RAF WW2 (MID 1945) & Air Efficiency. A Superb Somme (1916) MILITARY CROSS, “Hand to Hand”, Revolver Trench Kill Citation, Pte-W/Com, F.H.L.VARCOE. Fought Hill 60, 9th London (Q.V.R’s),10th Midd’x, Lt 2/5th Glouc’ (M.C.) RFC, Obs (10sqd), RAF WW2 (MID 1945) & Air Efficiency. A Superb Somme (1916) MILITARY CROSS, “Hand to Hand”, Revolver Trench Kill Citation, Pte-W/Com, F.H.L.VARCOE. Fought Hill 60, 9th London (Q.V.R’s),10th Midd’x, Lt 2/5th Glouc’ (M.C.) RFC, Obs (10sqd), RAF WW2 (MID 1945) & Air Efficiency. A Superb Somme (1916) MILITARY CROSS, “Hand to Hand”, Revolver Trench Kill Citation, Pte-W/Com, F.H.L.VARCOE. Fought Hill 60, 9th London (Q.V.R’s),10th Midd’x, Lt 2/5th Glouc’ (M.C.) RFC, Obs (10sqd), RAF WW2 (MID 1945) & Air Efficiency.











Army Private
to
R.A.F. Wing Commander
Frank H.L. VARCOE.

Fought Hill 60
9th London’s
(Queen Victoria’s Rifles)
Lt 10th Middlesex Regiment.
Lt 2/5th Gloucester Regiment. (Military Cross)

A Superb Somme (1916) MILITARY CROSS, “Hand to Hand”, Revolver Trench Kill Citation, Pte-W/Com, F.H.L.VARCOE. Fought Hill 60, 9th London (Q.V.R’s),10th Midd’x, Lt 2/5th Glouc’ (M.C.) RFC, Obs (10sqd), RAF WW2 (MID 1945) & Air Efficiency. Royal Flying Corps, “Observer / Gunner”
(10 Squadron)
Royal Air Force WW2 (MID 1945)
& Air Efficiency Award.

A Superb Somme (1916) MILITARY CROSS, “Hand to Hand”, Revolver Trench Kill Citation, Pte-W/Com, F.H.L.VARCOE. Fought Hill 60, 9th London (Q.V.R’s),10th Midd’x, Lt 2/5th Glouc’ (M.C.) RFC, Obs (10sqd), RAF WW2 (MID 1945) & Air Efficiency. [BIOGRAPHY]
Private - Wing Commander
FRANK HENRY LUBBOCK VARCOE, M.C. (1892-1959) (66)

Frank Varcoe was an Army Private who rose through the ranks to become an RAF Wing Commander in WW2.
He fought at Hill 60 in 1915 with 9th London Regt, (Queen Victoria’s Rifles), was commissioned and attached to 10th Middlesex Regt, with later service as Lieut 2/5th Gloucestershire Regt, the unit with which he won his Military Cross in 1916.
Transferred to No.10 Squadron Royal Flying Corps as “Observer / Gunner” on BE2c’s. Served in RAF during WW2 (M.I.D. 1945) & Air Efficiency Award as Squadron Leader. Retired as Wing Commander.

An astonishing career with amazing achievements.

A Superb Somme (1916) MILITARY CROSS, “Hand to Hand”, Revolver Trench Kill Citation, Pte-W/Com, F.H.L.VARCOE. Fought Hill 60, 9th London (Q.V.R’s),10th Midd’x, Lt 2/5th Glouc’ (M.C.) RFC, Obs (10sqd), RAF WW2 (MID 1945) & Air Efficiency. [THE MEDALS]
A magnificent group of nine with M.I.D.




A Superb Somme (1916) MILITARY CROSS, “Hand to Hand”, Revolver Trench Kill Citation, Pte-W/Com, F.H.L.VARCOE. Fought Hill 60, 9th London (Q.V.R’s),10th Midd’x, Lt 2/5th Glouc’ (M.C.) RFC, Obs (10sqd), RAF WW2 (MID 1945) & Air Efficiency. Military Cross, G.V.R.
Contemporary private engraving
'F. H. L. Varcoe.
July 27th. 1916.'


[CITATION]
(For the Action at Duck’s Bill Crater, Aubers Ridge)
M.C. LONDON GAZETTE 22 SEPTEMBER 1916:
(WHILE WITH 2/5TH GLOUCESTER REGT)

FOR CONSPICUOUS GALLANTRY DURING OPERATIONS. HE RENDERED INVALUABLE ASSISTANCE TO HIS COMPANY COMMANDER DURING THE ATTACK AND LATER SHOWED GREAT SKILL IN ORGANISING HIS DEFENCES. HE SHOT WITH HIS REVOLVER AN ENEMY SIGNALLER WHO HAD ENTERED THE TRENCH WITH HIS TELEPHONE INSTRUMENT.'

A Superb Somme (1916) MILITARY CROSS, “Hand to Hand”, Revolver Trench Kill Citation, Pte-W/Com, F.H.L.VARCOE. Fought Hill 60, 9th London (Q.V.R’s),10th Midd’x, Lt 2/5th Glouc’ (M.C.) RFC, Obs (10sqd), RAF WW2 (MID 1945) & Air Efficiency. 1914-15 Star
(3107. Ptr. F. Varcoe. 9-Lond. R.)



A Superb Somme (1916) MILITARY CROSS, “Hand to Hand”, Revolver Trench Kill Citation, Pte-W/Com, F.H.L.VARCOE. Fought Hill 60, 9th London (Q.V.R’s),10th Midd’x, Lt 2/5th Glouc’ (M.C.) RFC, Obs (10sqd), RAF WW2 (MID 1945) & Air Efficiency. British War and Victory Medals
(Lieut. F. H. L. Varcoe.)
1939-45 Star.
France and Germany Star.
Defence and War Medals 1939-45, with M.I.D. oak leaf.


A Superb Somme (1916) MILITARY CROSS, “Hand to Hand”, Revolver Trench Kill Citation, Pte-W/Com, F.H.L.VARCOE. Fought Hill 60, 9th London (Q.V.R’s),10th Midd’x, Lt 2/5th Glouc’ (M.C.) RFC, Obs (10sqd), RAF WW2 (MID 1945) & Air Efficiency. Air Efficiency Award, G.VI.R
(Act. Sqn. Ldr. F. H. L. Varcoe. R.A.F.V.R.)
“Officially Engraved”

[BIOGRAPHY]
Private -Wing Commander
FRANK HENRY LUBBOCK VARCOE
M.C. (1892-1959) (66)

Frank Varcoe was born at Ealing, Middlesex, on 27 November 1892. He enlisted into the army just before the outbreak of war in September-October 1914 aged 22 and first served in France with the 9th Battalion, London Regt (Queen Victoria's Rifles), from 22 January 1915. As with so many of these early entrants they had only the very briefest of firearms training before they were thrust into action. Some of these early QVR men only got to fire a weapon when they got into France !

[THE FAMOUS ATTACK ON HILL 60]

A VICTORIA CROSS ACTION FOR THE 9th LONDON’s


As a Private soldier Frank Varcoe certainly had a baptism by fire when he participated in the famous attack on Hill 60 on 17th April 1915. He was also present when the enemy counterattacked a few days later while using stick grenades to bombard the British defenders at close range.

On 17 April 1915, the 13th Brigade mounted their attack on Hill 60. The Hill was a small promontory on the edge of the Ypres Salient that had good views for the Germans across the British lines and into Ypres.

It was therefore of great tactical use to both sides who "fought with great gallantry” to control it.

Before the attack, the hill had been undermined for days by British Tunnellers who had made five galleries under the German positions. The plan was to detonate five huge mines under the hill in an attempt to destroy the enemy and their positions, which the 13th Brigade would then occupy. The Hill was captured on 17th April, and on 20th April two and a half companies of the QVRs were ordered up to the front line as the enemy made a counter-attack.

At dawn on 21 April the Germans began bombarding the QVRs with stick grenades.

Casualties were very heavy, including two officers, Major Lees and Lt Summerhays who were both killed. It was then that Lt Geoffrey Harold Woolley left a position of safety to take command of the soldiers on the Hill. The situation quickly deteriorated, with many men and all the other officers on the hill being killed. Woolley refused verbal and written orders to withdraw, saying he and his company would remain until properly relieved. They repelled numerous attacks through the night. When they were relieved the next morning, only 14 men remaining from the original 150-strong company.

[For his gallantry Lieutenant Geoffrey Woolley was awarded the VICTORIA CROSS, the first to be won by the Territorial Force.]

[COMMISSIONED INTO 10th Middlesex Regt]

Frank Varcoe was then commissioned as Temporary Second Lieutenant in10th Battalion, Middlesex Regt, on 5 August.

[TO 2/5th GLOUCESTER REGT]
A Superb Somme (1916) MILITARY CROSS, “Hand to Hand”, Revolver Trench Kill Citation, Pte-W/Com, F.H.L.VARCOE. Fought Hill 60, 9th London (Q.V.R’s),10th Midd’x, Lt 2/5th Glouc’ (M.C.) RFC, Obs (10sqd), RAF WW2 (MID 1945) & Air Efficiency. Awarded The Military Cross for the action at Duck’s Bill Crater.

He was then briefly attached to the 2/5th Battalion, Gloucester Regt and was decorated with the Military Cross while serving with them for his conspicuous gallantry in the defence of the Duck's Bill Crater, Laventie, Aubers Ridge.

On the night of 27/28 July 1916 the Germans attacked Duck's Bill Crater, situated in No Man’s Land and usually guarded by a small sentry group. As soon as the German barrage came down, “A” Company promptly moved down the sap into the crater, thereby avoiding the shelling and being in position to repel the attack; a bombing party took the German attackers in the flank, and a second enemy attack was also beaten off.

For this action the company received two MCs, (including this to Frank Varcoe) two DCMs and six MMs.

A Superb Somme (1916) MILITARY CROSS, “Hand to Hand”, Revolver Trench Kill Citation, Pte-W/Com, F.H.L.VARCOE. Fought Hill 60, 9th London (Q.V.R’s),10th Midd’x, Lt 2/5th Glouc’ (M.C.) RFC, Obs (10sqd), RAF WW2 (MID 1945) & Air Efficiency. [TO THE ROYAL FLYING CORPS]
He then transferred to the Royal Flying Corps, and served with No,10 Squadron (BE2,c) as an Observer being appointed Flying Officer on 26 December 1916, with a promotion to Lieutenant on 1st July 1917. He then served as Assistant Instructor in Gunnery from 30 June 1917, and continued with the Royal Air Force from 1st April 1918 until relinquishing his commission in October 1921.

He was reappointed to a commission with the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve in 1938, and did active service in Europe with the RAF Administration and Special Duties Branch, being promoted to Acting Squadron Leader in January 1944 while being Mentioned in Despatches on 14 June 1945. Later served with the runway construction department, and further awarded the Air Efficiency Award with promotion to Wing Commander on retirement in July 1948.

Frank Varcoe died age 66 of heart related issues on 3rd January 1959 at a nursing home in Stockport, Manchester.

A seriously unusual gallantry group to a man with a very long & varied service history who served and was decorated in the army and later served with the airforces of both world wars.

A Superb Somme (1916) MILITARY CROSS, “Hand to Hand”, Revolver Trench Kill Citation, Pte-W/Com, F.H.L.VARCOE. Fought Hill 60, 9th London (Q.V.R’s),10th Midd’x, Lt 2/5th Glouc’ (M.C.) RFC, Obs (10sqd), RAF WW2 (MID 1945) & Air Efficiency. While writing up this group it’s been a privilege to describe just how exceptional and resilient this man was. We’ve attempted to fully encompass his story and totally extraordinary military career.

Frank Varcoe was an exceptional soldier who served in two world wars and by his bravery & fighting spirit rose from the basic rank of Private in the army, was commissioned, won a gallantry award, and via his service as an Observer in the Royal Flying Corps, later gained an Air Efficiency Award & rose to the rank of Wing Commander in the R.A.F.


A Superb Somme (1916) MILITARY CROSS, “Hand to Hand”, Revolver Trench Kill Citation, Pte-W/Com, F.H.L.VARCOE. Fought Hill 60, 9th London (Q.V.R’s),10th Midd’x, Lt 2/5th Glouc’ (M.C.) RFC, Obs (10sqd), RAF WW2 (MID 1945) & Air Efficiency. A Superb Somme (1916) MILITARY CROSS, “Hand to Hand”, Revolver Trench Kill Citation, Pte-W/Com, F.H.L.VARCOE. Fought Hill 60, 9th London (Q.V.R’s),10th Midd’x, Lt 2/5th Glouc’ (M.C.) RFC, Obs (10sqd), RAF WW2 (MID 1945) & Air Efficiency. A Superb Somme (1916) MILITARY CROSS, “Hand to Hand”, Revolver Trench Kill Citation, Pte-W/Com, F.H.L.VARCOE. Fought Hill 60, 9th London (Q.V.R’s),10th Midd’x, Lt 2/5th Glouc’ (M.C.) RFC, Obs (10sqd), RAF WW2 (MID 1945) & Air Efficiency. A Superb Somme (1916) MILITARY CROSS, “Hand to Hand”, Revolver Trench Kill Citation, Pte-W/Com, F.H.L.VARCOE. Fought Hill 60, 9th London (Q.V.R’s),10th Midd’x, Lt 2/5th Glouc’ (M.C.) RFC, Obs (10sqd), RAF WW2 (MID 1945) & Air Efficiency. A Superb Somme (1916) MILITARY CROSS, “Hand to Hand”, Revolver Trench Kill Citation, Pte-W/Com, F.H.L.VARCOE. Fought Hill 60, 9th London (Q.V.R’s),10th Midd’x, Lt 2/5th Glouc’ (M.C.) RFC, Obs (10sqd), RAF WW2 (MID 1945) & Air Efficiency.









Medals are all AEF, court mounted on original ribbons, uncleaned with the two silver medals displaying an attractive and undisturbed natural ebony black patina which has developed over many many years.

The group comes with a large file of very interesting research and private birth, baptism, marriage & death certificate documents.


£2750

A Superb Somme (1916) MILITARY CROSS, “Hand to Hand”, Revolver Trench Kill Citation, Pte-W/Com, F.H.L.VARCOE. Fought Hill 60, 9th London (Q.V.R’s),10th Midd’x, Lt 2/5th Glouc’ (M.C.) RFC, Obs (10sqd), RAF WW2 (MID 1945) & Air Efficiency.

A Superb Somme (1916) MILITARY CROSS, “Hand to Hand”, Revolver Trench Kill Citation, Pte-W/Com, F.H.L.VARCOE. Fought Hill 60, 9th London (Q.V.R’s),10th Midd’x, Lt 2/5th Glouc’ (M.C.) RFC, Obs (10sqd), RAF WW2 (MID 1945) & Air Efficiency.
£2750

A Superb Somme (1916) MILITARY CROSS, With “Hand to Hand”, Revolver Trench Kill Citation, Pte-W/Com, F.H.L. VARCOE. Fought Hill 60, 9th London’s (Q.V.R’s),10th Midd’x, Lt 2/5th Gloucester (M.C.) RFC, Obs (10sqd), RAF WW2 (MID 1945) & Air Efficiency.