A rare and sought after Royal Irish Rifles (Central Antrim Volunteers) grouping comprising the 1914/15 Star, British War Medal and Interallied Victory Medal, all of which appear to have original ribbon, faded on the Vic. Box for the BWM and Vic included. Grouping is complete with John Grant's death plaque. Slight discolouration on the reverse of the Star as has previously been fixed down, the BWM and Vic still are fixed to the backing.
Medals are correctly named as follows;
Star - 12-19005 PTE J. GRANT. R. IR: RIF:
BWM and Vic - 19005 PTE. J. GRANT. R. IR. RIF.
Medals are framed and I will try and pack the frame as best I can, but assume you are buying just the medals. No returns if the glass is smashed in transit therefore.
John Grant was born in Galgorm, Northern Ireland and was entitled to a 1915 trio having arrived in France on 6 October 1915 with the full service number of 12/19005, denoting 12th Battalion.
He is noted as having been killed in action on the 1st July 1916 - the first day of the Battle of the Somme. This was the units baptism of fire. The Royal Irish Rifles were attacking the area around Ankre River and clearing the way to Beaucourt railway station, along with the unit on their right.
The first wave did reasonably well and made progress across the 400 yard wide No-Mans Land. Some of the first wave made it to the German trenches and a group were noted to have made it as far as the Station. However, the majority of troops came up against thick barbed wire, that had not been destroyed by the bomboardment. The paths that had been cut through the wire became deadly killing zones, with machine gun and infantry trained upon them.
One by one the men retreated back through No Mans Land as the attack totally stalled and became a defensive action, covering the retreat back towards their starting point.
John has no known grave and is commemmorated on the Thiepval Memorial, so presumably one of those who were killed in No Mans Land, as many of these bodies were lost, with there being heavy artillery on the ground for the next few months and no chance to clear the dead for either side.