THE GREAT WAR 1914-1918
The first VC awarded during the first World War to a Welshman.
William Charles Fuller VC (13 March 1884 – 29 December 1974) was the son of William and Mary Fuller of Laugharne, Carmarthen. He was born in Laugharne, West Wales, and died at the age of 90 in December 1974. Educated in Swansea, he joined the Army in 1902 during the Second Boer War. He was recalled as a reservist in 1914.
On 14 September 1914 near Chivy-sur-Aisne, France, Lance-Corporal Fuller advanced under very heavy enemy rifle and machine-gun fire to extract an officer who was mortally wounded, and carried him back to cover. Fuller won his VC for saving Captain Mark Haggard, nephew of Rider Haggard, who had fallen wounded. He carried him a distance estimated at 100 yards to a ridge where he managed to dress the officer’s wounds. Capt Haggard asked L/Cpl Fuller to fetch his rifle from where he’d fell. He did not want the enemy to get it. Fuller managed to do this.
With the help of two others, Private Snooks and Lieutenant Melvin, Officer i/c the machine-gun section of the Welsh Regiment, they managed to get Haggard to the safety of a barn that was being used as a First-Aid dressing station.
L/Cpl Fuller remained with Captain Haggard trying to help him until the officer died later on that evening. His last words to Fuller were “Stick it, Welsh.” After he’d died L/Cpl Fuller attended to two other officers who had also been brought to the barn wounded. (Lt. The Hon Fitzroy Somerset and Lt. Richards.) The barn came under heavy fire and the wounded men and officers were evacuated. Later it was razed to the ground with German shell-fire.
On the 29th of October he was wounded while dressing the wounds of Private Tagge a fellow soldier, shrapnel entered his right side, twelve inches in up to his shoulder blade and came to rest on his right lung. After he was sent to Swansea Hospital where they operated, removing the shrapnel. He was given a home posting after his recovery, as a successful recruiting sergeant in his native Wales.
This set has been a special project between jjDesigns and The Tin Shed Museum in Laugharne. It has been produced to honour a local hero, and support the museum. Laugharne is a small coastal town in West Wales, 20 minutes drive from Carmarthen. It is most notably known as the home of Dylan Thomas, and the inspiration for his work “Under Milk Wood”
The Tin Shed Museum was set up in 2011, by Andrew Isaacs and Seimon Pugh-Jones. Andrew was an armourer and Seimon a photographer. Seimon’s camera work has taken him into the realms of staff photographer for an American War Magazine (Armchair General) and has seen him work on many historical features such as “Band Of Brothers”.
For further information, email Seimon at firstname.lastname@example.org
John Jenkins was born and brought up in Carmarthen, and had worked for many years as a Designer in Welsh language TV and Theatre. Seimon and he had never worked together, but both were aware of each other’s abilities. It was John’s eldest sister Sarah, who finally introduced the two Carmarthen boys, and suggested that they work together to design and produce a figure of W.C Fuller, to commemorate the local VC winner from Laugharne.
The set #100 of this Limited Edition set, will be presented to Seimon and Andrew, at the London Toy Soldier Show, 7th June 2014.
The Medium Mark A Whippet was a British tank of World War I. It was intended to complement the slower British heavy tanks by using its relative mobility and speed in exploiting any break in the enemy lines. Possibly the most successful British tank of World War I, the Whippet was responsible for more German casualties than any other British tank of the war. Whippets later took part in several of the British Army’s postwar actions, notably in Ireland and North Russia.
At Bapaume, on the 28 August 1918 the Whippet “Caeser II” was under the command of Lt C.H.Sewel , who was to be awarded the V.C. He dismounted from his tank to rescue the crew of another Whippet that had overturned and caught fire, he succeeded ,but was killed in the process and awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross for his bravery.
There are five surviving Whippets today. A 259, Caesar II survives at Bovington Tank Museum, Dorset, Britain, UK
- GWB-002 — Medium Mark A, Whippet Tank, “Caesar II” A259 Bapaume, 28th August 1918. – ** Please note that three crew figures will be produced to accompany this model**
Lieutenant Cecil Harold SEWELL, 3rd Battalion Tank Corps FREMINGCOURT, August 29th 1918.
This officer displayed the greatest gallantry and initiative in getting out of his own tank and crossing open ground, under heavy shell and machine gun fire, to rescue the crew of another Whippet of his section, which had side slipped into a large shell hole, overturned and taken fire. The door of the tank having become jammed against the side of the shell hole, Lieutenant SEWELL, by his own unaided efforts, dug away the entrance to the door and released the crew. In doing so he undoubtedly saved the lives of the officers and men inside the tank, as they could not have got out without his assistance. After having extricated the crew, seeing one of his own crew lying wounded behind his tank, he again dashed across the open ground to his assistance. He was hit while doing so, but succeeded in reaching the tank, when a few minutes later he was again hit fatally, in the act of dressing his wounded driver.
During the whole of this period he had been in full view of and at short range of enemy machine guns and rifle pits, and throughout, by his prompt and heroic actions, showed and utter disregard for his own safety.
Great War 1918
Great War – Australian Imperial Force
General Sir John Monash GCMG, KCB, VD (27 June 1865 – 8 October 1931) was a civil engineer who became the Australian military commander in the First World War. He commanded the 13th Infantry Brigade before the war and then, shortly after the outbreak of the war, became commander of the 4th Brigade in Egypt, with whom he took part in the Gallipoli campaign. In July 1916, he took charge of the new Australian 3rd Division in northwestern France and in May 1918 he was made commander of the Australian Corps, at the time the largest corps on the Western Front.
On 8 August 1918 the successful Allied attack at the Battle of Amiens, which led to the expedited end to the war, was planned by Monash and spearheaded by British forces including the Australian and Canadian Corps under Monash and Arthur Currie. Monash is considered to be one of the best Allied generals of the First World War.
The First Australian Imperial Force (1st AIF) was the main expeditionary force of the Australian Army during World War I. It was formed from 15 August 1914, following Britain’s declaration of war on Germany. Generally known at the time as the AIF, it is today referred to as the 1st AIF to distinguish from the 2nd AIF which was raised during World War II. The 1st AIF included the Australian Flying Corps, which was later renamed the Royal Australian Air Force.
The 1st AIF was a purely volunteer force for the duration of the war. In Australia, two plebiscites on conscription were defeated, thereby preserving the volunteer status but stretching the AIF’s reserves towards the end of the war. A total of 331,814 Australians were sent overseas to serve as part of the AIF, which represented 13% of the white male population. Of these, 18% (61,859) were killed. The casualty rate (killed or wounded) was 64%. About 2,100 women served with the 1st AIF, mainly as nurses. Close to 20% of those who served in the 1st AIF had been born in the United Kingdom but all enlistments had to occur in Australia (there were a few exceptions). As a volunteer force, all units were demobilized at the end of the war.
Great War 1918
Great War 1918 – French Army
The French army was manned by conscription , and every 20 year old male was liable for three years’ service. Most men would go into the infantry, and these were men primarily from an agricultural background, with those who had worked on railways, public works, shipyards and telecommunications going into the artillery.
Infantry Regiments were created on a local basis, similar to the British Pals battalions.
The peacetime army had a strength of 817,000 men, augmented on mobilization to 2,944,000.
During the war 7,800,000 men served with the “colours”, about 80% of the population of men eligible to fight.
Water was scarce in the front line, and the growing of facial hair led to the nickname “Poilu” (hairy one). The traditional nickname of the infantry was “Les Biffins” (the rag and bone men), initially to each other they were “Les bonhommes” (the lads), or as the war drew out, “Les pauvres cons du front” PCDF, (the poor bastards at the front).
- GWF-022 — French Infantry 1917-1918, 123e Regiment of Infantry, PCDF Sergeant Walking. – Please note that the French Infantry sergeants wore a single yellow band on their lower sleeves to denote their rank.
On the left upper sleeve were worn Stripes representing wounded in action
The stripes on the upper right hand sleeve denotes years of service.
Other lower ranks the stripes and rank bands were issued in a blue colour.
Great War 1918
Knights Of The Skies
Allied planes were normally pulled/pushed backwards into the hangers, with the aid of a Tail/Skid Dolly. This was a small cart designed to be placed under the tail skid of the aeroplane. This avoided the Tail skid digging into the ground, and made pushing the aeroplane backwards much easier.
Knights Of The Skies – WWI
Raid on Saint Francis, 1759
- RR-031A — Stockbridge Indians, Woodland Indians Skirmishing #1A. – This is the first of several Woodland Indian skirmishing sets, with red cloth tied to the ends of their muskets to indicate that they were allied with the British.
**PLEASE NOTE RR-031 comes in 2 colour schemes **
- RR-031B — Stockbridge Indians, Woodland Indians Skirmishing #1B.
- RSF-023A — Mounted Woodland Indian, Tracking – **PLEASE NOTE RSF-23 comes in 2 colour schemes **
- RSF-023B — Mounted Woodland Indian, Tracking
Raid on Saint Francis, 1759
Battle of the Plains of Abraham
During the reign of Queen Anne of Great Britain the English Army had become very disorganized and undisciplined. The Hanoverians (George I) who succeeded Queen Anne in 1714 reorganized the English Army, requiring the troops to march in step to proper military music. Thus fife & drum music was adopted by the British military (except for the Scottish regiments).
A company of about 100 men would have one or two fifers, and one or two drummers. When 8 or 10 companies were gathered together to form a regiment, their fifers and drummers were “banded” to form a regimental band.
The musicians provided music for the army on the march. As Napoleon would prove, music would be very effective in motivating an army to march long distances. The musicians were also used to broadcast various signals. Military camp life required a succession of daily signals: time to get up, breakfast call, sick call, assembly, lunch, duty calls, dinner, evening retreat, lights-out (curfew).
The “Tattoo” comes from the Dutch die den tap toe which was a signal for the beer sellers to “turn off the taps” so that the soldiers could finish their beers and report back to camp. This signal consisted of the fifes and drums marching up and down the streets of the garrison town or camp, playing as they marched – at the end, they would stop marching, and conclude with a hymn.
While the army was encamped (or billeted in a city) the “officer of the day” (supervising at that moment) would always have a drummer with him to give impromptu and emergency signals: to sound “alarm” at an imminent attack or to call for a conference of the officers.
Contrary to common opinion, signals generally were NOT given during battles, excepting “cease fire” and related signals. The battlefield was too noisy and confusing, and, as the French discovered when they experimented with the idea in the 1750’s, the enemy can hear your signals.
Battle of the Plains of Abraham
Jacobite Rebellion 1745
Barrell’s Regiment , the 4th Regiment of Foot, were to bear the brunt of the Jacobite attack on Cumberland’s left flank at Culloden. Since it was a Royal regiment, the drummer was issued with a red coat faced with blue. Drummers of non royal regiments wore coats of the facing colour , and were faced red. There were normally two drummers per company in a regiment.
Jacobite Rebellion 1745