World War One Battle Honours

Contributed by Mark Toynbee

World War One Battle Honours

These are the three basic WW1 service medals given to my grandfather, Sgt.F.W.Toynbee of the 172nd Tunnelling Company Royal Engineers. They were mounted in this frame by his brother Stan in January 1922. If you follow the names of the battles on a map you see that my grandfather went up and down the Western front, setting mines for the start of every major offensive from 1915 to 1918. He came home in 1919. My dad told us he just sat in a chair, silent and ill, having been gassed and suffering from inhaling explosive chemicals and dust in the tunnels. He died, aged 36, not long after this memorial was made in 1922. Too late for his death to earn a war pension, leaving his wife and son (my dad) in penury. To quote Wilfred Owen - "The old lie - dulce et decorum est pro patria mori"

Comments are closed for this object


  • 1 comment
  • 1. At 19:01 on 6 July 2010, injected wrote:

    Heartbreaking story. Do you think you could list the place names on the certificate? Can't read them in the photo. Thanks

    Complain about this comment

Most of the content on A History of the World is created by the contributors, who are the museums and members of the public. The views expressed are theirs and unless specifically stated are not those of the BBC or the British Museum. The BBC is not responsible for the content of any external sites referenced. In the event that you consider anything on this page to be in breach of the site’s House Rules please Flag This Object.

About this object

Click a button to explore other objects in the timeline




View more objects from people in Beds Herts Bucks.

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.