Case Open But Not Yet Closed?
Corporal James Case Cheshire Regiment
The Man James was born on 1st October 1909 his religion being given as Roman Catholic. He enlisted into the Regular Army joining the Cheshire Regiment during1928 with service number 4121736 and completed basic training in October the same year. On 24th February 1935 he transferred from the 2nd Battalion to the 1st subsequently joining A Company on 9th March 1936. He was promoted to paid Lance Corporal on 18th August 1936 and on 29th March 1937 married Lily Corrigan at St. Helen’s Church. He transferred to the Regimental Depot (Chester Castle) on 6th July 1937, serving between then and 1939 in Palestine following which he was awarded the General Service Medal with clasp ‘Palestine’. He was due for discharge from the Army on 16th May 1940 having served a total of 12 years but his service was extended for War Service during which he fought in Africa as part of the 8th Army, France & Germany following the D Day invasion and was awarded the 1939-45 Star, Africa Star with 8th Army clasp, France & Germany Star, Defence Medal and 1939-45 British War Medal. During 1946 he was awarded the Army Long Service & Good Conduct Medal for 18 years service and in 1948 was listed as a member of the Cheshire Regimental Headquarters Company Staff in ‘A’ Company as a Clerk and member of the Company Boxing Team. In 1950 he was at the Regimental Depot Headquarters listed as Duty Corporal.
The Story The medals awarded to Private 4121736 J Case hold a special place in my collection as they were the first group of medals I actually acquired, during 1977, when aged only 16, still at school and earning the princely sum of £1.50 a week from a paper round. Case’s medals were first seen on a dealer’s table at Granby Halls in Leicester during a flea market. The dealer, David Eggleton was a regular attendee and I had built up a rapport with him as he would often sell me single cheaper medals. Case’s medal group were well out of the price range as David was asking somewhere in the region of £20.00 and despite trying to negotiate, the medals could not be afforded. The group was made up of the General Service Medal 1918 with Palestine clasp, a number of Second World War awards and the Army Long and Good Conduct Medal Geo VI, Br Omn legend type. Both named medals had the details 4121736 Pte J Case Cheshire around the rim. They remained on sale for some time and eventually David contacted me to say that as he had not managed to sell them he intended splitting the group to move them on. Although a cardinal sin to do this and effectively destroying a man's tangible service history, it made the possibility of owning at least the named medals distinctly more likely, as he said he would be asking £6.00 for the General Service Medal and £7.00 for the Long Service Medal, still a total of £13.00 but certainly more within reach. At the next flea market in Leicester during August 1977, on the dealer’s table, there as promised, were the two separate medals on sale. The LS&GC was acquired followed by some frantic saving for the GSM medal which thankfully had not been sold by the time of the next flea market on 1st October 1977 when it too was acquired. What a relief it was that the two medals named to the same man had been effectively re-united. A subsequent call to David Eggleton to establish which Second War medals had been in the group proved negative as he had made no record and could not remember! Case’s two medals lay in a collection for the next 15 years until 1992, occasionally being gloated over and whilst I left school, began work, moved through five different companies and progressed from a Sergeant in the Air Training Corps to Flight Lieutenant and Commanding Officer of a unit! Interest was aroused again in February 1992 when following the purchase of a computer, but before the advent of general internet use a letter was written to the Cheshire Regiment Association at Chester Castle. Following some correspondence the curator, Major Tony Astle confirmed from his records that the missing medals were a 1939-45 Star, Africa Star with 8th Army clasp, France & Germany Star, Defence and War Medal. Thus it became possible to re-mount the full group using separately purchased 2nd War medals. He also gave details of a local researcher, Geoff Crump who after a few months managed to find basic information on Case including a photograph of him from a 1948 edition of The Oak Tree, a Regimental Journal. Although limited detail and a poor quality picture it did give the basics for research to be started. James Case’s medals again lay in the collection until the production of this website began in 2011 (34 years after their initial purchase) when the research acquired in 1992 was pooled and further lines of enquiry identified. At the time of writing, November 2011, little further information has been forthcoming except the finding of James first name from the National Archives in London, Births, Marriages & Death certificates.
- General Service Medal: 24121736 PTE.J.CASE. CHES.R.
- 1939-45 Star: Unnamed as awarded.
- Africa Star: Unnamed as awarded.
- France & Germany Star: Unnamed as awarded.
- Defence Medal: Unnamed as awarded.
- War Medal 1939-45: Unnamed as awarded.
- Army Long Service & Good Conduct Medal: 4121736 PTE.J.CASE. CHESHIRE.
This page last updated 9 Mar 15