Dee Atkinson & Harrison have been asked to auction an interesting piece of local history, an Edwardian silver salver presented by the Officers of the 2nd Volunteer Battalion of the East Yorkshire Regiment to, then Captain Mortimer of Driffield.
These salvers are normally not that interesting but the recipient is a James Mortimer, a local Driffield man whose father, grain and seed merchant and noted archaeologist, John Robert Mortimer established Mortimer’s at Riverhead Warehouse at the end of the Driffield Navigation in 1869. The firm has only moved to the Kellythorpe Industrial Estate in 2014 remained in family hands for several generations. John was born in 1870 in Driffield and enlisted as a private in 1888, rising through the ranks to be Captain, he led a company of Driffield men in1900 during the Boer War. He married Dora Woodcock, a local lady, in 1904.
At the outbreak of the Great War he was a Major under Co Sir Mark Sykes in Scarborough and when Skyes had to remain at home he led the 5th Battalion Yorkshire Regiment to France in 1915. They were pitched straight into the 2nd battle of Ypres, followed by St. Julin and was gassed at Hooge. In February 1916 they were back at Ypres and then in the August, after being promoted to Lt. Colonel he led his men to the Somme. On the 15th September 1916, just before an attack he was killed by a shell and later that day his brother in law Captain Frank Woodcock also fell.
A plaque was raised by their wives to commemorate them on the Sledmere Cross, which Sir Tatton Sykes had converted as a lasting memorial of the men who fell in the 5th Yorkshire's during the Great War.
The September battle of the Somme is remembered as the first instance of a tank being used in action. There were an estimated 1 million causalities, on both sides, during the July - November 1916 Battle of the Somme.
The Fine Art and Antiques auction will take place on the 11th May in their Exchange Street saleroom, further information can be obtained from Andrew Spicer on 01377 253151.