WW1 Petworth hero’s medal at auction in Fernhurst

The medal of Pte George Summersell, up for auction at John Nicholson's in Fernhurst SUS-150324-102852001
The medal of Pte George Summersell, up for auction at John Nicholson's in Fernhurst SUS-150324-102852001

A MEDAL awarded to a young soldier from Petworth, who died at the age of only 21 in the first world war, is set to be sold at an auction.

The 1914-1918 war medal, with ribbon, was awarded to Private George Frank Summersell, who was born in Petworth and lived in Upperton.

It is among a collection of 100 medals to be auctioned by John Nicholson’s of Fernhurst on Saturday (March 28).

Extensive research from Mr Trevor Purnell has shed light on George Summersell’s life.

Pte Summersell was born in early 1897 and christened in St Mary’s Church, Petworth, on April 3 the same year.

His parents John and Elizabeth were married in the small Saxon church of St Olave in Chichester.

Pte George F Summersell

Pte George F Summersell

John had been in the 107th Regiment of Foot for ten years.

This later became the Royal Sussex Regiment in 1881.

John became a school attendance officer in Petworth and moved with his family to Upperton.

At the age of 14, in 1911, George was a baker’s assistant but he wished to follow in his father’s footsteps.

He enlisted in D company (Petworth area recruits), 4th Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment in 1914, aged just 17 years old. Becoming Private G F Summersell 4/2985. He died of his wounds on August 3, 1918, following an attack days earlier on Bois de Beugneux in France

He enlisted in D company (Petworth area recruits), 4th Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment in 1914, aged just 17 years old.

Becoming Private G F Summersell 4/2985.

He died of his wounds on August 3, 1918, following an attack days earlier on Bois de Beugneux in France.

He lies with his comrades in the French National Cemetery in Senlis, northern France.

Pte George F Summersell SUS-150324-103157001

Pte George F Summersell SUS-150324-103157001

He is remembered along with 29 other soldiers who gave their lives on two brass plaques on either side of the chancel at Tillington Church.

Several other medals will also be sold at this weekend’s auction.

Prices for the medals range from a few pounds to £1,000-plus for the Waterloo Medal.

The medals are available to view online and at the saleroom.

Viewings at John Nicholson’s Auctioneers are being held today (March 27) from 9am-8pm and on the morning of the auction.

The medals are lots 1031 to 1140 and will be up for auction at approximately 3.30pm.

Medals up for auction in Fernhurst SUS-150324-103137001

Medals up for auction in Fernhurst SUS-150324-103137001

For further information about the auction and lots for sale see the website John Nicholson’s

With thanks to Mr Purnell for his research and pictures.

Medals up for auction in Fernhurst SUS-150324-103147001

Medals up for auction in Fernhurst SUS-150324-103147001

Medals up for auction in Fernhurst SUS-150324-103127001

Medals up for auction in Fernhurst SUS-150324-103127001