Lot Archive


№ 609


12 February 1997

Hammer Price:

Four: Distinguished Service Medal, G.V.R. (552S. J. E. Thompson, Motor Driver R.M.A. Service in France); 1914-15 Star Trio (R.M.A.-S-552. M. Dr. J. E. Thompson) good very fine (4)

This lot was sold as part of a special collection, The Douglas-Morris Collection of Naval Medals.

View The Douglas-Morris Collection of Naval Medals


D.S.M. London Gazette 24February 1916 ‘The following awards have been approved.’

The following recommendation was submitted by Lieutenant Colonel C. A. F. Osmaston, R.M.A.
‘Has since 3 May 1915 been employed continuously with his section in the Ypres salient and has shown a fine example on all occasions to Drivers. On 28 November 1915 ‘A’ Battery was heavily shelled, the crew having to take temporary cover after a direct hit by a shell on one of the guns. Driver Thompson displayed great gallantry by going out during the fire and drove the lorry to a safe position saving the gun from further damage.’

John Ernest Thompson was born on 6 January 1889 in Lambeth, London. Prior to the war he worked as a motor bus driver for the London General Omnibus Company and volunteered his services as a Motor Driver being enlisted into the Royal Marine Artillery on 12 February 1915. Following Basic Training he was posted to France as a Motor Driver with the Royal Marine Artillery Anti-Aircraft Brigade on 22 April 1915. He served with ‘C’ Battery during the Ypres salient May to August 1915 and later with ‘D’ Battery at Dickebusch in February 1916, and continued to serve with the Anti-Aircraft Brigade after Command passed to the Army.

He returned to the Royal Marine Headquarters at Eastney on 20 June 1917 and was next posted to the R.M.A. Howitzer Brigade in France on 27 July 1917 as a replacement Motor Driver for service with No 12 Gun. The Crew of this gun had suffered heavily in the preceeding weeks, losing 1 man killed and 8 men wounded and 3 officers and 33 men gassed. He served with the Howitzer Brigade until April 1919 and was wounded in March and May 1917. During this period No 12 Gun took part in the battles of Polckem Wood, Langemarck, Menin Road, Brooksiende, Poelcaple, 1st and 2nd battles of Passchendaele, Scherpenberg, and Ypres. He returned to England early in 1919 and was dispersed at Crystal Palace on 3 April 1919 and demobilised from the R.M.A. on 1 May 1919.