Sergeant Spall's Memorial Cross
The modern cap badge design for the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry.
Sergeant Robert Spall, VC.
The First World War cap badge of the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry.
Recently, the Memorial Cross awarded to the mother of a Canadian Victoria Cross recipient, 475212 Sgt Robert Spall of the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, appeared on ebay.ca. With a sudden burst of interest, links to the auction quickly appeared in related collecting and history forums, and interest in the Cross was evident by a number of early bids pushing the selling price over $3000 within hours of the sale listing.
While notice of the sale travelled through the internet, and to Sgt Spall's regiment, it was not attended by the sometimes seen round of ill-informed news articles decrying the fact that it was for sale at all, or individuals offering to broker the purchase for interested buyers. But an initiative did grow out of the regimental interest in this Cross.
The auction for Sgt Spall's Memorial Cross ended just before midnight on 9 Oct 2013, the final bid was $8000 Cdn.
Well done to all those who contributed and congratilations to those who engineered this successful plan to place Sgt Spall's Memorial Cross beside his medals.
475212 Sgt Robert Spall, VC
Sgt. Spall was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions on 13 Aug.1918, near Parvilliers, France.
His Citation reads:
"For most conspicuous bravery and self-sacrifice when, during an enemy counter-attack, his platoon was isolated. Thereupon Sgt. Spall took a Lewis gun and, standing on the parapet, fired upon the advancing enemy, inflicting very severe casualties. He then came down the trench directing the men into a sap seventy-five yards from the enemy. Picking up another Lewis gun, this gallant N.C.O. again climbed the parapet, and by his fire held up the enemy. It was while holding up the enemy at this point that he was killed. Sgt. Spall deliberately gave his life in order to extricate his platoon from a most difficult situation, and it was owing to his bravery that the platoon was saved." — The London Gazette, 26 October 1918
Spall's Attestation Paper and service record, found on the Library and Archives Canada database for Soldiers of the Canadian Expeditionary Force:
The Canadian Virtual War Memorial: Sgt Robert Spall, VC, who died on August 13, 1918