A Great War 1918 ‘Somme’ M.M. group of four awarded to Private F. Whitehead, 29th Australian Infantry Battalion, Australian Imperial Force, a veteran of Gallipoli, he went on to distinguish himself at Morlancourt - going out in the night to rescue a wounded N.C.O. from no man’s land, despite seeing three men attempt the same thing and all become casualties
Four: Military Medal, G.V.R. (454 Pte. F. Whitehead. 29/Aust: Inf:); 1914-15 Star (454 Dvr. F. Whithead 1/A.S.C. A.I.F.); British War and Victory Medals (454 Dvr. F. Whithead. A.S.C. A.I.F.)
M.M. London Gazette 11 December 1918. The original recommendation states:
‘Morlancourt, on the night of 28th/29th July 1918. This soldier was a Coy. stretcher bearer. A Sergeant was lying wounded in ‘no man’s land’ and after three men had become casualties in the attempt to get the wounded N.C.O. in, Pte. Whitehead immediately volunteered and was successful in bringing the wounded N.C.O. in under heavy shell and M.G. fire. All through the attack and afterwards he worked on in ‘no man’s land’, brining in wounded under heavy enemy shell fire.’
Fred Whitehead was born in Mirboo North, Victoria, Australia in 1894. He enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force, 27 August 1914, and was posted to the Australian Army Service Corps. Whitehead served with the Corps in Gallipoli prior to serving in the French theatre of war from 1916. He transferred to the 29th Australian Infantry Battalion in February 1918, and distinguished himself whilst serving with the Battalion on the Somme in July 1918. The incident is recorded in Black and Gold - History of the 29th Battalion, 1915-1918, by R. J. Slaugh.
Whitehead returned to Australia in November 1918, and was discharged in March of the following year. He died in December 1961.
Mounted for display, very fine $4250
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