THE FIRST WORLD WAR CAMPAIGN MEDALS AWARDED TO PRIVATE ERNEST SYKES, 27TH BN, NORTHUMBERLAND FUSILIERS, HAVE BEEN SOLD AT AUCTION BY DIX NOONAN WEBB.
12 May 2015


( select to enlarge )
Medal entitlement of Private Ernest Sykes,
27th ( S ) Bn, Northumberland Fusiliers ( Tyneside Irish )

  • ( Victoria Cross )
  • 1914-15 Star ( 13425 Pte. E. Sykes. W. Rid. R. )
  • British War Medal ( 1914-1920 ) ( 13425 Pte. E. Sykes. W. Rid. R. )
  • Victory Medal + MiD ( 1914-1919 ) ( 13425 Pte. E. Sykes. W. Rid. R. )
  • King George VI Coronation Medal ( 1937 ) ( unnamed as issued )


The First World War campaign trio of medals awarded to Private Ernest Sykes, 27th Bn, Northumberland Fusiliers have been sold at auction by the London auctioneers Dix Noonan Web on the 12th May 2015. The group realised a sale hammer price of £6,000. The medals had previously been sold at auction on the 1st July 1981.

Ernest Sykes' Victoria Cross is held by the regimental museum of the Royal Northumberland Fusiliers housed in the Abbot's Tower, Alnwick Castle, Northumberland.


Ernest Sykes firstly enlisted into the 7th Bn, Duke of Wellington's ( West Riding ) Regiment, and saw action in the Gallipoli campaign where he was seriously wounded and expatriated back to England to recover. Sykes was later passed fit for service and joined the 27th Bn, Northumberland Fusiliers, with whom he earned his Victoria Cross.


For the award of the Victoria Cross

[ London Gazette, 8 June 1917 ], Near Arras, France, 9 April 1917, Private Ernest Sykes, 27th ( S ) Bn, Northumberland Fusiliers.

For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty ( near Arras, France ) when his battalion in attack was held up about 350 yards in advance of our lines by intense fire from front and flank, and suffered heavy casualties. Private Sykes, despite this heavy fire, went forward and brought back four wounded he made a fifth journey and remained out under conditions which appeared to be certain death, until he had bandaged all those who were too badly wounded to be moved.

These gallant actions, performed under incessant machine gun and rifle fire, showed an utter contempt of danger.

Ernest Sykes was invested with his Victoria Cross by King George V at Buckingham Palace on the 21st July 1917.


Ernest Sykes was demobilised from the army in May 1918 early, owing to sickness. He returned to work for the railways and was deeply honoured when one of the locomotives, a L.N.W.R. 'Claughton' Class was named after him. The nameplate was later transferred to a L.M.S. Patriot Class locomotive which was withdrawn from service in 1962. In 1967 the nameplate was presented to the Royal Northumberland Fusiliers Museum at Alnwick Castle in the presence of his son Harold and grandson Stephen.

Ernest Sykes died on the 3rd August 1949 at his home in Mossley and was buried in Lockwood Cemetery, Meltham, West Yorkshire.

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Iain Stewart, 3 August 2015