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Pte P.A. Stopforth and the Somme Medal/Association

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No 12226 Pte Peter Anthony Stopforth; 3 SAI

I purchased this group of medals on auction in the U.K. a few months ago.

At the age of 24, Pte Stopforth attested in the First South African Infantry Brigade. He claimed previous service in both the Transvaal Cycle and Motor Corps and the Transvaal Scottish. He was employed as a stoker on the Railways in the former Rhodesia.

Stopforth arrived in France in July 1917 and was deployed with his regiment. In December 1917 he displayed symptoms of TRENCH FEET which became a serious health issue and problem for him. The Regiment was based in Gouzeacourt in France at the time. Although there is no official supporting documentation, he was also slighly gassed at Veinport in November 1917.

Trench feet/foot has been described a medical condition characterised by a tingling or itching sensation of the foot accompanied by swelling, pain and numbness. The symptoms develope after the feet become wet and stay wet for an extended period of time. Cold water aggravated the problem and trench feet became a specifically recognised problem in the trenches of World War 1. Trench feet also made the feet more prone to infection. If left untreated, it could turn into gangrene and lead to amputations.

As a result of his medical condition, Stopforth was discharged as being medically unfit on 6 April 1919 after spending very long periods in hospital. He was awarded a Silver War Badge and King's Certificate for his services. His conduct was described as "VERY GOOD".

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King's Certificate awarded to Pte Stopforth.

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STOPFORTH MEDAL GROUP :

1. BRITISH WAR MEDAL 1914-20

2. VICTORY MEDAL (South African Pattern)

3. UNOFFICIAL SOMME VETERANS MEDAL

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SOMME COMMEMORATIVE MEDAL APPLICATION FORM

As far as I have been able to ascertain, the Ceux de la Somme Association was based in Peronne in France and was established to commemorate and celebrate the participation of veterans in the battles for both World Wars. Applications were requested and advertised in 1965 for the commemorative medal?

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SOMME COMMEMORATIVE MEDAL IN CASE OF ISSUE

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PTE STOPFORTH'S SOMME COMMEMORATIVE MEDAL

Obviously, Pte Stopforth was very proud of his medal and had his initials privately engraved.

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ASSOCIATION LETTER THAT ACCOMPANIED PTE STOPFORTH'S MEDAL

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SOMME COMMEMORATIVE ASSOCIATION MEDAL CERTIFICATE AWARDED TO PTE STOPFORTH

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http://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_06_2009/post-3034-1245475127.jpghttp://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_06_2009/post-3034-1245474986.jpg

CEUX de la SOMME ASSOCIATION MEDALLION IN CASE OF ISSUE

I have not been able to find any reference to this item and I purchased it seperately a few years ago.

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CEUX de la Somme Association Commerorative Medal and Medallion in cases of issue. Medallion is much larger as can be seen in the photograph.

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Hi "SaBrigade"

I also recently purchased a WWI Trio group which included the Somme Combattants Medal - L/Cpl Leith - 4 SAI (Scottish) Regiment. Wounded in action at the Battle of ARRAS on 12 April 1917. May I ask if it would be possible to have a full colour scanned copy of the "Association: CEUX DE LA SOMME" certificate forwarded to me please - for the historical record I have created for "my" group... It is just to depict what the actual certificate looked like? Kind regards. Paul

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A very nice group indeed.

As for the SWB, I've only ever seen them in cardboard issue boxes (same material and colour the Great War campaign medals came in) with the issue number on a piece of paper glued across the top.

Saying that, the ones I've seen were all British issue, other Commonwealth/Empire countries may have had their own issue cases.

Tony

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Hi Tony,

I think it depends on the specific company that manufactured the badge.

A friend of mine has a SWB in a totally different case.

The badge itself has its own varients, I am the proud custodian of SA no 3 which looks completely different on the reverse to the other variants.

A fascinating subject, still many "unknowns" out there!

Regards,

Will

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Hi Paul,

I will be back in South Africa soon and would be happy to send you copy of the certificate.

Regards,

Will

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No 12226 Pte Peter Anthony Stopforth; 3 SAI

I purchased this group of medals on auction in the U.K. a few months ago.

At the age of 24, Pte Stopforth attested in the First South African Infantry Brigade. He claimed previous service in both the Transvaal Cycle and Motor Corps and the Transvaal Scottish. He was employed as a stoker on the Railways in the former Rhodesia.

Stopforth arrived in France in July 1917 and was deployed with his regiment. In December 1917 he displayed symptoms of TRENCH FEET which became a serious health issue and problem for him. The Regiment was based in Gouzeacourt in France at the time. Although there is no official supporting documentation, he was also slighly gassed at Veinport in November 1917.

Trench feet/foot has been described a medical condition characterised by a tingling or itching sensation of the foot accompanied by swelling, pain and numbness. The symptoms develope after the feet become wet and stay wet for an extended period of time. Cold water aggravated the problem and trench feet became a specifically recognised problem in the trenches of World War 1. Trench feet also made the feet more prone to infection. If left untreated, it could turn into gangrene and lead to amputations.

As a result of his medical condition, Stopforth was discharged as being medically unfit on 6 April 1919 after spending very long periods in hospital. He was awarded a Silver War Badge and King's Certificate for his services. His conduct was described as "VERY GOOD".

I am trying to gather myself! This is my late grandfather, he was like my Father (after my own dad died when I was 11months old) I idolised him, he was my hero. Very sadly due to financial circumstances, I sold all the medals etc of my late father & my grandad including the Somme medal of which he was so proud. I have the newspaper photo & article of when he received this medal. I will let you have a copy if you wish. I am just so proud to find my Pop's memory lives on. Enjoy the medal he will be happy to know it is safe. Kind Regards, Lynn

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attachicon.gifSomme_14.jpg

PTE STOPFORTH'S SOMME COMMEMORATIVE MEDAL

Obviously, Pte Stopforth was very proud of his medal and had his initials privately engraved.

He was very proud of it yes.

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Lynn - this must have been a big shock for you to find this old post. You are very welcome on GMIC - what actually

made you look here ? SABrigade - Will - is currently overseas (to my knowledge) - I am sure you will hear from him

in the near future. Mervyn

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Lynn - this must have been a big shock for you to find this old post. You are very welcome on GMIC - what actually

made you look here ? SABrigade - Will - is currently overseas (to my knowledge) - I am sure you will hear from him

in the near future. Mervyn

Hello Mervyn, it was indeed. I had been watching a movie on the Vietnam war that evening. I have no idea why I googled my Pop's name thereafter. When his name came up I froze, suddenly there he was. I grew up in a small family where the men all went to war & I had heard so many stories so I was proudly soldier orientated from a young age. I guess my Pop wanted me to know his medals were safe. Thank you for acknowledging & welcoming me. There are some details I would also like to rectify in his "profile" Regards, Lynn

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Hi Lynn,

My apologies for the belated response, I am currently in Bangui in the Central African Republic where I do not have regular access to the internet and will be travelling again soon and I should then be online more often.

Can you provide a copy of the newspaper article please?

The information I have is what I managed to find out about him in the Defence Archives do any additional information would be very welcome.

Regards,

Will

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