Tragic tale of World War One brothers retold through medal sale

Dorset Echo: TRAGIC STORY: The Dorsets and Queen’s Own Dorset Yeomenry join troops at Suvla on the Turkish coast, en route for Gallipoli, in the summer of 1915 TRAGIC STORY: The Dorsets and Queen’s Own Dorset Yeomenry join troops at Suvla on the Turkish coast, en route for Gallipoli, in the summer of 1915

THE poignant story of how three brothers all died in the First World War has emerged after their medals were put up for sale.

The Legge brothers from Chilfrome, near Maiden Newton, joined the Dorsetshire Regiment in 1914 and fought alongside one another.

They served at Gallipoli where two of them, Private Bertram Legge, 30, and the youngest brother Private Cyril Legge, 21, died on the same day during an assault on the Turkish trenches at Suvla on August 21, 1915.

Middle brother George went on to win the prestigious Military Medal for gallantry on the battlefield. He was killed in October 1918 in France.

The loss of their three sons had a devastating impact on their parents, Charles and Mary Legge who had two other sons, Frederick and Thomas, and daughter Kate.

The tragic tale has come to light after a descendant decided to put the service medals of all three brothers up for auction.

They all consist of the 1914-15 Star, the Victory medal and the British War medal. George Legge’s group includes his Military Medal.

Being sold with them are their three memorial plaques that were issued to the next-of-kin of all British service personnel who were killed in the war.

The medals are being sold by Special Auction Services of Newbury, Berkshire today.

Auctioneer Neil Shuttleworth said: “One can’t imagine what it would have been like for their parents to receive the news that both sons had been killed at the same time.

“The middle brother George survived the Gallipoli campaign and he must have been inspired by his brothers’ deaths because he went on to win the Military Medal.

“He nearly made it through to the end of the war but was killed just four weeks before the Armistice.

“It is a very sad story.”

  • A SET of First World War medals awarded to a military nurse are going on sale in Dorchester today.

    The medals were discovered at a local house by a relative who was clearing it after the owner died.

She thought they may be of interest after seeing the recent BBC television series Crimson Fields, centred around the lives of serving nurses in France.

Amy Brenan, a valuer at Duke’s Auctioneers in Dorchester, said: “Though these are the standard medals, very few come to the market that are engraved to the edges with a woman’s name.”
The lot includes a Victory medal and 1914-15 star.

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