Lot Archive


№ 190


20 October 1993

Hammer Price:

A first day of the Somme M.C. group of five awarded to Major E.F. Lepper, Royal Irish Rifles

MILITARY CROSS, G.V.R.; 1914-15 STAR (Lieut., R. Ir. Rif.); BRITISH WAR AND VICTORY MEDALS, M.I.D. (Major); DEFENCE MEDAL, mounted for display, good very fine

M.I.D., London Gazette, 22 September, 1916,

M.C., London Gazette, 22 September, 1916 - Temp. Lt. Edward Francis Lepper, Royal Irish Rifles: 'For conspicuous gallantry in action. When consolidating his position in the enemy's line he repeatedly repulsed bombing attacks, and organised counter-attacks from any stray men he could collect. He held his trench for over 12 hours until the garrison was reduced to one sergeant and himself.'

The following entry is taken from the War Diary of the 15th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles: 'Thiepval 1 July 1916 - At 8.30pm Lieut. Lepper returned and informed me he had only 8 N.C.Os and several of which were wounded and a bare half dozen men of mixed units left and that both flanks being unprotected he had had to retire.' On 1 July 1916, the 15th Royal Irish Rifles began their attack at 7.30am and remained in unceasing action for the next forty-eight and a half hours. During this time the battalion suffered total casualties of 318, of which 15 were officers. Lepper was promoted Captain on 2 July 1916, and Major on 21 August 1917.