A rare to unit Indian Volunteer & Sapper Officer's' Killed-in-Action' medal group of 3: Lieutenant Richard William Formby, 96th Field Company, Royal Engineers, late Madras Motor Cycle Corps, & Madras Volunteer Rifles
- 1914-15 Star (No. 5 Crpl. R. W. Formby, Mad. Vol. Rfls. attd. D.S.C.)
- British War Medal. Silver issue (Lieut. R. F. Formby.)
- Delhi Durbar Medal 1911. Silver issue
Killed-in-Action: Lieutenant Richard William Formby, Royal Engineers, is confirmed being 'Killed-in-Action', Le Trasnloy, France, on, 16 February 1917
Medal verification: The recipients medals all verified as entitled per below sources:
- 1914-15 Star: Ref Medal Index Card WO 372/7, AS Madras Motor Cycle Corps (a sub-unit of the Madras Volunteer Rifles)
- British War Medal. Silver issue: Ref WO 329/2173 (also entitled Interallied Victory Medal)
- Delhi Durbar Medal 1911. Silver issue (the obituary in De Ruvigny's Roll of Honour refers. Civilian allocation)
Important: Only a handful of 1914-15 Stars were ever issued named to the generic 'Madras Volunteer Rifles' - with Formby being the holder of the single digit '5' on the muster roll
Richard William Formby was a native of Ynyslas, Glamorganshire, Wales, where he was born on 21 March 1876. He was educated at Newton College, Newton Abbot, Devon. He obtained an appointment in the Public Works Department, Madras Presidency, in 1897, and went to India the same year. He was present at the Delhi Durbar in 1911 (medal), and by the time of the Great War was an Executive Engineer of Bellary
Shooting Death of Wife: Formby married Miss Mildred Amy Strickland at Newton Abbot on 24 August 1905; tragically she pre-deceased her husband for, when they were out shooting in the jungle near Renigunta railway station in India on 28 December 1914, Formby accidentally shot his wife through the breast, killing her instantaneously.
Following the outbreak of the Great War Formby volunteered for Imperial Service, and served with the Madras Motor Cycle Corps on the Western Front from March 1915. He was commissioned lieutenant in the Royal Engineers on 18 April 1915, and was killed in action near Le Transloy on 16 February 1917, while taking out a communication trench. He is buried in the Officers’ Cemetery at Guillemont, France.
The life, service and supreme sacrifice made by Lieutenant Richard W. Formby, R.E., are perpetuated for posterity by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, at the Guillemont Road Cemetery, Guillemont, Somme, France, where his grave and memorial flagstone are maintained
Sold with some hard copy research
The 1914-15 Star to a confirmed member of the Madras Motor Cycle Corps a sub-unit of the generic Madras Volunteer Rifles is very rare