WWI Western Front DCM & MM group to CSM Rubery 1/6th Royal Warwickshire Regiment

The WWI Distinguished Conduct Medal and Military Medal group to Company Sergeant Major John Henry Rubery, 1/6th Royal Warwickshire Regiment, was offered in Warwick & Warwick’s auction on Wednesday 14th October 2009. It was estimated at £2,500 and realised £3,335.

John Henry Rubery enlisted on 1st March 1912 in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment. The 1/6th Warwicks disembarked in Le Havre, France on 23rd April 1915. It is likely that Pte/LCpl Rubery arrived with the battalion. The battalion spent late 1915 and first half of 1916 in the Hebuterne and Foncquevillers area of operations.

On 1st July 1916, the 1/6th and 1/8th Warwicks were in the lead attack of the 11th Infantry Brigade, 4th Division on the quadrilateral close by Munich Trench. Both battalions succeeded in reaching the quadrilateral and the cutting beyond, but suffering very heavy casualties they were unable to hold on and in the evening they were ordered to withdraw. The battalion remained on the Somme for the rest of the year.

On the 3rd February 1917 the battalion was in the line south of Biaches when they were subject to a very heavy bombardment and trench raid by the 1st Prussian Guards, who succeeded in getting into the British trenches where severe fighting took place. The battalion history records “No comment is needed except that eleven decorations awarded to the Battalion for that single action.” Division Routine Orders dated 27th April 1917 announced the award of the Military Medal to Sergeant Rubery, this was then confirmed in the London Gazette dated 26th May 1917. It is highly likely therefore that the MM was awarded for this action.

By the end of July 1917 the battalion had moved to the Ypres front in preparation for the Third Battle of Ypres. It suffered heavy casualties in August and after a rest returned for the Battle of Langemarck attack on 4th October. The battalion captured their initial objectives and by the end of the day had captured over 300 prisoners, 10 machine guns and 2 anti-tank guns, but this success came at a price with the battalion suffering 33 killed and 158 wounded. The battalion was later withdrawn to the Vimy Ridge area and then in November headed off to Italy.

The London Gazette dated 6th February 1918 announced the award of the Distinguished Conduct Medal to Acting Company Sergeant Major Rubery “For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. When his officers became casualties during and advance he took command of all the men in the neighbourhood and led them forward to the company’s objective, which he consolidated, capturing a large number of prisoners and several machine guns. His leadership and example were of the greatest value.” The DCM is highly likely to be for the Battle of Langemarck.

Company Sergeant Major John Henry Rubery was discharged on 29th March 1919.

The group is being sold on behalf of the family and has never before been on the market.

The full medal details are WWI Distinguished Conduct Medal, Military Medal and 1914-15 star trio to 243115 W.O. Cl 2 J.H. Rubery R. War R. (1547 LCpl on star, Sjt 1/6 - T.F. on MM, A.C.S.Mjr 1/6 - T.F. on DCM) very fine and better. With copies of London Gazette, certificate of demobilization dated 29th March 1919, photo in uniform with wife, 2 photos later in life, 24 WWI greetings postcards mostly silks including Royal Warwickshire Regiment silk card, part of Birmingham Daily Mail dated 9th February 1918 announcing DCM etc.

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