Lot Archive


№ 431


27 September 1994

Hammer Price:

1914 STAR (13033 Pte. F. Cheeseman, 4/R. Fus.) extremely fine and a very early casualty

Private Cheeseman was taken prisoner of war at Mons on 23 August 1914. In this, the first major engagement of the Great War, the 4/Royal Fusiliers won two Victoria Crosses, Lieutenant Dease and Private Godley.

The following extract is taken from the regimental War Diary: 'Mons 23rd Aug. about 11 am - Still holding outpost position. A certain amount of desultory firing took place in the early morning. We wounded and captured 2 Uhlan officers. The Germans started to attack us seriously with apparently at least four battalions of infantry, also cavalry and artillery. We suffered severely on the bridge over the canal by rifle and artillery fire. The Machine Guns had a particularly trying time. Practically all the detachment including Lieut. Dease the Machine Gun Officer were killed or wounded. Lieut. Dease and Pte. Godley both displayed the most conspicuous gallantry in working the guns after they had been wounded. About 3.30 pm - successful retirement through Mons accomplished ...’

The total casualties sustained by the battalion at Mons were about 112 killed and wounded including 7 officers. Most of these casualties had unfortunately to be left behind.

The Medal Index Card for Private Cheeseman shows only the issue of the 1914 Star with clasp and roses.