S-9365 Pte Lawrence Irvine, 2nd Battalion, Gordon Highlanders
UK - 1914/15 Star Trio and Plaque - 1st July 1916 - Gordon Highlanders
Exceptionally desirable 1914-15 Star trio and Memorial Plaque to S-9365 Pte Lawrence Irvine, D Company, 2nd Battalion, Gordon Highlanders, who was killed in action during the attack at Mametz Wood on 1st July 1916.
Lawrence Irvine, originally from Shetland, was married with two children when he enlisted for service in February 1915. He joined 2nd Battalion, Gordon Highlanders in France in June 1915. He was later appointed lance-corporal, but his medals are all named to him as private. He was serving with D Company, 2nd Battalion on the morning of 1st July 1916. Going over the top at 7:30am, D Company, the battalion War Diary described the attack thus:
The battalion attacked at 7.30 a.m. in 4 lines at 100 yards between lines. B and D Companies 1st and 2nd lines (2 platoons in each line), A and C Companies 3rd and 4th lines. The advance was carried out under a very heavy barrage of machine gun and rifle fire. D and C Companies were held up by the barbed wire and suffered very heavy losses whilst A and C Companies pushed on steadily. Three lines of trenches had to be crossed before nearing the village of Mametz which was the final objective......9.0 a.m. A second message was received from OC A Company: “Am in touch with party of 50 1st South Staffords on right. They are in Shrine Alley. Cannot get any touch on left which is at present in the air. Mametz being heavily shelled. Reinforcements badly needed.”On receipt of this message two runners were sent forward to find C and D Companies. They returned stating that C and D Companies were held up in front of the German wire and unable to advance owing to the heavy machine gun fire and snipers.
It is most likely Lawrence Irvine fell victim to the intense German fire whilst held up in the un-cut wire in front of Mametz. This most poignant of visual images is often used to under-pin the scale of loss suffered by the British Army on this, the First Day of the Battle of the Somme. Lawrence Irvine's body was subsequently recovered and he lies buried in the Gordon Cemetery at Mametz.
The medals are all correctly impressed as per the photographs, and are in original, uncleaned, condition with original ribbon. The memorial plaque has some scratching on the reverse, but is otherwise excellent. Happily Irvine's service file survives and is included, as is a digital copy of a photograph of Lawrence Irvine from WW1Cemeteries.com.
The other two photographs show the Gordon's attack on the morning of 1st July 1916, and a cross erected soon after the battle, to the memory of the men of the 2nd Battalion who fell that day. Irvine's name can be discerened on the left-hand list, just under the third black bar (see links).