WW1 Pair , Defence Medal And SWB To Sheffield Pals Bn Y&L Regt, Wounded Somme
WW1 pair 12-75 PTE W G COLEMAN YORK & LANC R , Defence Medal
Together with silver wound badge numbered 118358 , forwarding slip for Defence Medal and letter with Defence Medal ribbon and cap badge
William Godfrey Coleman a 21 year old Tailors Cutter from Manchester enlisted into the 12th ( Sheffield Pals ) Bn of the Yorks and Lancs Regiment at Sheffield on the 10th of September 1914, making him one of the first men to enlist into the battalion.
Prior to enlisting Coleman had been employed for 4 years as a tailors cutter by his brother at Colemans Tailors 3 Central Chambers High St Sheffield and due to his skills he was the battalion regimental tailor
Coleman was very severely wounded ( gunshot wound to the hand and face )most probably on the 1st day of the Battle of the Somme , 1st July 1916, a telegram was sent on the 4th of July 1916 from 13 Stationary Hospital Bolougne stating that he was improving .He was discharged as unfit for military service on the 23rd of December 1916 after having his right arm amputated and was awarded a pension of £2 and ten shillings a week , he also received the SWB as numbered above
12th Yorks and Lancs , 1st Day Battle of the Somme
At 7.20am the first wave of the battalion moved 100yds into No Man's Land and lay flat on the ground as the brigade mortar battery and divisional artillery placed a final hurricane bombardment over the German front line. A few minutes later - with the British front line coming under an intense counter-barrage - the second wave took up position 30yds behind the first.
At 7.30am the bombardment lifted from the German front line. All four waves rose, took a moment to align themselves, then advanced steadily towards the German lines into a devastating hail of machine gun bullets and shellfire. An ineffective smoke screen exposed the battalion to machine gun fire from the left as well as from ahead. The third and fourth waves, caught on the opposite side of the valley, were reduced to half strength before even reaching No Man's Land. On the left of the battalion front, long stretches of barbed wire had been left uncut. Men brought to a halt in front of the impenetrable entanglements were reduced to firing vainly through the wire to the German lines beyond. Only on the right of the attack were a few men somehow able to force their way into the German trenches. Some found themselves alone and managed to return to the British lines. Others were never heard of again.
Within minutes it was as if the battalion had been wiped off the face of the earth. Cpl. Signaller Outram recalled that as far as the eye could see, the last two men left standing on the battlefield were himself and another signaller, A. Brammer. They signalled to each other. Outram turned his head for a moment, and when he looked back Brammer had gone.
The remnants of the battalion were taken out of the line in the evening of 3rd July, having lost 513 officers and men killed, wounded or missing; a further 75 were slightly wounded.
Throughout the long months of the Battle of the Somme, Serre remained uncaptured, falling into British hands only after the German withdrawal to the Hindenburg Line in February 1917.
Although the battalion was gradually returned to strength, the "Pals" character was unrecoverable.
After the war, Sheffield placed a memorial in the village of Serre to the men of the City Battalion who had fallen in the attack of 1st July 1916. In 1936, the Sheffield Memorial Park was opened on the site of the British lines below Serre. Sheffield had served the memory of its boys well.
North Wales Weekly News 28th July 1966
Me William Godfrey Coleman 1 Llwyn Estyn Deganwy has died aged 73 . A native of Manchester, he came to Deganwy 4 years ago . During WW1 he was severely wounded in the Battle of the Somme and was discharged, he leaves a wife and son
The obituary goes on further to list attendees at the funeral etc
Pair mounted as originally worn and in VF condition , Defence Medal loose