We are one of Britain's foremost public auctioneers of Medals and
Militaria. Our six sales each year contain medal groups and individual
awards from early and Victorian campaigns, the Boer War and the
2 World Wars, as well as foreign medals and orders of merit.
Public auctions of medals and militaria, coins and banknotes are
held six times a year. The dates of our upcoming sales are as follows:
- August 20th 2014
- October 15th 2014
- December 10th 2014
Our next general public auction of Medals will be held at the
Lord Leycester Hotel, Jury Street, Warwick CV34 4EJ, on Wednesday
August 20th, starting at 12 noon. The online catalogue
will be available approximately 3 weeks before the sale. To view
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Public viewing for this sale is available at our offices on the
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Your Collection page.
WW2 Halifax bomber Flight Engineer's DFM
The WW2 Distinguished Flying Medal group to Sergeant Jack Thomas
Brimley Billingham R.A.F. realised £2124 in our auction held on
Wednesday 18th June 2014.
Jack Thomas Brimley Billingham enlisted in the R.A.F. on 6th May
1943 having served for 3 years in the Rushden A.R.P. Rescue Squad
prior to enlistment. His log book reveals he joined 1658 Conversion
Unit on 21st May 1944, posted to No 158 Squadron on 21st June 1944.
His first Op was a concentrated attack on Villers Bocage on 30th
June 1944, 17th Op to Caen battle front on 7th August 1944 with
his 34th and last Op to Essen 25/10/44.
The WW2 Distinguished Flying Medal was announced in the London
Gazette dated 27th March 1945:
"Sergeant Billingham, has now completed 33 operational sorties
as Flight Engineer with his squadron and has visited such targets
as Kiel, Sterkrade, Homburg, Bochum, Duisburg, Stuttgart and precision
objectives in occupied territory. At all times he has proved himself
to be a most capable engineer. He was always shown the greatest
desire to fly against the enemy and he overcame considerable physical
limitations in order to carry on with his crew. His courage in this
respect was matched by his coolness and bravery in the face of enemy
fire. Nothing could distract him and his expert engine handling
was a vital factor in the successes achieved by his crew. Much older
than his colleagues (he is 38 years of age), Sergeant Billingham
was an excellent influence in an excellent crew and his work throughout
a hazardous tour was worthy of the highest praise. It is recommended
that this NCO's capable work, physical courage and devotion to duty
throughout a hazardous tour be recognised by the award of the Distinguished
The Station Commander added - Sergeant Billingham showed the highest
standards of devotion to duty throughout his operational tour. His
sorties include most of the heavily defended targets in Germany,
yet in spite of his age, he was always ready for duty. I recommend
Sergeant Billingham's outstanding record be recognised by the award
of the Distinguished Flying Medal.
The full medal details are WWII Distinguished Flying Medal, 1939-1945,
France and Germany Stars and BWM to 1869500 Sgt J.T.B. Billingham
R.A.F. Sold with Flight Engineers Log Book, photo of crew by rear
of Halifax (named on reverse), DFM Buckingham Palace transmission
letter, WWII medals transmission slip, newspaper cutting on award
of DFM, printed Flight Engineer's Notes for Halifax 111 & VII,
photocopied pages of 158 Sqn records July to Oct 1944.
An Outstanding Range of Awards to Niven
Moore and his sons Lieutenant General Sir Henry Moore and Noel Temple
The gold CB, NGSM Syria clasp group to Her Britannic Majesty's
Consul Niven Moore was offered in the Warwick and Warwick auction
in February 2014 estimated £6,000. The hammer fell at £12,000, making
the realisation £13,800, including the buyer's premium.
Niven Moore was born on 5th May 1799 and educated at Lancaster
Grammar school until 1814. A few years later he went to Constantinople
to work for the Levant Company which had long standing trading connections
with Lancashire. The Levant Company was wound up and Niven was appointed
Cancellier at the Constantinople Embassy on 17th November 1822.
In 1827 he married Mary Wood, the daughter of an interpreter at
the Embassy. After the Battle of Navarino in October 1827 the Embassy
staff were evacuated to Malta for their safety.
He was appointed Consul at Beyrout 13th January 1835 where life
became difficult during the military operations of 1840/41. A letter
from Charles Napier, the commander of British naval forces, to Niven
reads, "Sir, I beg you will communicate to the Consuls of the
different Powers and the British merchants in Beyrout that Great
Britain, Austria, Russia and Prussia have decided that Syria is
to be restored to the Porte. I have demanded that Turkish troops
be put under my protection and that the arms be restored to the
inhabitants of Lebanon. I trust that the Governor will not provoke
hostilities, if he does the responsibility of uselessly shedding
blood must be upon his head."
A second letter, from Sir David Wilkie records "Mrs Moore
and family lived on board Commodore Napier's ship during the bombardment
of Beyrout. Many of the houses have been battered to pieces by shell
and shot, and bricklayers and carpenters are now busy with reparations
and rebuildings." An 1841 letter from Niven to Lord Aberdeen
was the start of a long haul for compensation, "My Lord; I
have the honor to acquaint your Lordship that on my precipitated
embarkation from Beyrout on 7th September last year, to seek asylum
on board one of Her Majesty's Ships of War, on account of the political
state of affairs in Syria, I necessarily left behind property consisting
of household furniture and other effects, which it was impossible
to transport with me. On my return to Beyrout on the 7th October
1840 after the bombardment, I found my house a ruin and a part of
my household and other property destroyed or pilfered. Collecting
together the remaining wreck, I estimate my direct pecuniary loss
at £120 but I beg to acquaint your Lordship that independent
of this, I was under the necessity of sending my family for safety
to Cyprus, where they remained until I could prepare a place for
their reception at Beyrout, which on my return I found suffering
from the joint calamities of siege and pillage."
In 1849 Niven wrote to the Foreign stating the dangers he had faced
during the Allied operations against the Egyptian Army in 1840/41.
He explained that when hostilities broke out, he accompanied Sir
Charles Napier aboard H.M.S. Powerful during some of the fighting,
had been present at the surrender of Beyrout, where he immediately
resumed his duties on behalf of British interests. He respectfully
submitted that this service qualified him for The Turkish Order
of Glory and the NGSM for Syria. His application was supported by
Colonel Rose, the Consul General and who had commanded the British
land forces during 1840-41. The Foreign Office relented and both
awards were approved.
Niven was appointed Consul at Aleppo in Syria 15/5/41 but this
was short lived, as no sooner had he taken up residence in Aleppo,
then he was re-appointed as consul in Beyrout 27th November 1841.
For nearly 2 years he deputised for Rose the Consul General of Beyrout.
When Rose left Beyrout, he wrote to Niven, "I think it my duty
to record, once more, the very high sense which I entertain for
the manner in which you have discharged your duties, and of the
essential and constant assistance which you have afforded me in
trying and difficult circumstances. Nor ought I have to omit that
. And other influential inhabitants have often
expressed to me their great confidence in you, and their gratitude
for the services which you have rendered the country."
In January 1854 he was promoted to Consul General of Beyrout, but
with no increase in salary. By 1860 a virtual state of civil war
existed in the Lebanon and the various Consul Generals were trying
to bring about the restoration of law and order. His work during
these troubles resulted in the award of the CB in 1860, for his
"long and faithful service and especially your conduct during
the late troubles in Syria." After 40 years service in the
Middle East, he retired to England on 30th November 1862. He died
in South Kensington 15th February 1889 and was buried in the family
vault in Skerton, Lancaster.
The full medal details are The Most Honourable Order of the Bath
Companion's breast badge (Civil) (CB), 18ct gold, hallmarked London
1860, 1793-1840 NGSM Syria clasp, 1840 St Jean D'Acre Medal in gold,
Turkey Order of Glory (Nichan Iftikhar) neck badge and Order of
the Medjidieh 3rd Class silver, gold and enamel 60mm neck badge
to Consul General in Syria Niven Moore. With 19 typed pages of family
Outstanding unique unit combination group
to Lieutenant General Sir Henry Moore KCB, CIE
The KCB, CIE group to Lieutenant General Sir Henry Moore, son of
Niven Moore, was also offered in the February 2014 auction. The
estimate was £7,500 and the realisation was £9,775.
Henry Moore was born circa 1829 in Malta, the son of Niven Moore
of the British Consular Service. He was appointed Ensign in the
Indian Army 15th June 1850, joined the 6th Bombay Native Infantry
on 27th October 1851 who he served with to April 1854, then 2 months
with Hyderabad Police, 4 months with 1st Belooch Regt, 7 months
Sub-Assistant Comm-General Hyderabad, 5 months QM and Interpreter
of Marine Bn.
By the end of 1855 he was serving with the Aden Police (Aden being
annexed to the Bombay Presidency in 1839), promoted Lieut 23/11/56,
1857-60 Commandant of the Aden Police Troop. He joined the Persian
Expeditionary Force in 1857. Returning to India during the Mutiny
in 1858, he proceeded to the Shoolapoor Border to watch the country
between the rivers Bheema and Chrshna, joined the Field Force under
Col Malcolm, was present at the capture of Beder Shoolapoor, joined
Sir John Michel's force in pursuit of rebels through the Put Chummy
Hills, joined Brig Parke's force, pursued rebels across Nerbudda,
present at action of Chota Oodeypoor.
An extract from a letter published in 1859 records "Lt Moore
was engaged under Brigadier Parke in the pursuit of Tantia Topee.
Brigadier Parke's march in pursuit is considered to be unparalleled
in military annals. The last 40 miles of his route lay through thick
jungle through which Lt Moore led the vanguard of the Aden Forces.
With admirable judgement, he drove in the enemy position by surprising
his outlying cavalry pickets on 1st December. The battle which ensued
was outside the town of Chota Oodepoor. The enemy we are told, outflanked
our small force. Tantia endeavoured to turn Park's right but they
were met by the South Mahratta and Aden Hose charging with utmost
success, the enemy's cavalry being driven from the field with at
least 60 killed and several wounded and pursued for miles through
In an 1861 letter to his uncle he wrote "I have been on the
Staff the greater part of my service but have had rough work at
times - I commanded a small corps of Irregular Horse for 5 years
and during that time was never out of a tent in camp, which in India
is no joke and my constitution has suffered accordingly."
He served on the Staff of Commander-in-Chief India 1860-65 and
then to the Staff of Sir Donald Stewart, Bombay Intelligence Dept.
He was promoted Captain on 15th June 1862. During the 1867/68 Abyssinian
Campaign he was the Persian and Arabic interpreter to General Sir
Robert Napier and was present at the capture of Magdela and granted
Brevet Major 15/8/68.
He served in the 1871-72 Looshai campaign and was mentioned in
despatches and promoted Brevet Lt Col 11/9/72. During the campaign
he was in command of a Coolie Corps and Lord Roberts' recorded "To
add to our troubles, cholera broke out amongst some Nepalese coolies
on their way to join us; out of 840,251 died in a few days and a
number deserted panic stricken, while the rest were so weakened
and shaken that, notwithstanding the care bestowed upon them by
their able and energetic commander, Major Henry Moore, only 387
joined the column."
For 17 weeks in 1875/76 he accompanied the Prince of Wales (later
EDVII) as interpreter during his visit to India. Promoted Colonel
on 1st October 1877, awarded the CIE 1st January 1878. In 1878/79
he served as Assistant Quartermaster General with the Quetta Field
Force and was involved in the occupation of Pishin and the advance
to and occupation of Kandahar, the skirmish at Takt-i-pul, the occupation
of Ghirish and the affair at Saif-u-Deen and he was created a Companion
of the Bath (CB) for his services in Afghanistan.
In 1882 he was head of the Intelligence Department with the Indian
Contingent in the Egyptian War, was present at the Battle of Tel-El-Kebir
and the occupation of Cairo and received the Turkish Order of Osmanieh
3rd Class. In 1883 he was in attendance during the Duke of Connaught's
visit to India. The Duke's equerry wrote to Queen Victoria "Colonel
Moore, a gentleman of high personal character and great experience
of India, and filling at present the position of interpreter on
the staff of C-in-C India, has been sent by Sir Donald Stewart to
render any services in his power to the Duke; and he has been already
of great service in organising the establishment at Meerut, I could
not have done it satisfactorily without the assistance of someone
knowing the language."
He was promoted Major General on 2nd September 1887 and Lieutenant
General on 1st July 1892. He retired in 1894 and was appointed KCB
25th June 1897. His residence on retirement was at Birksey Brow
in the Lake District. He died on 17th October 1915 and was buried
next to his mother in Crook churchyard.
The full medal details are The Most Honourable Order of the Bath
Knight Commander (Military) (KCB) silver gilt neck badge hallmarked
1897, enamelled Breast Star, The Most Eminent Order of the Indian
Empire Companion Breast Badge 1st Type with INDIA on the petals
(CIE) with top suspension bar, 1854 India GSM 2 clasps Persia, Looshai
to Lt H. Moore Irreg Cavy, 1857 Indian Mutiny no clasp to Lt H.
Moore Det Aden Troop, 1869 Abyssinian War Medal to Major H. Moore
Intce Depmt Bombay Staff, 1881 Afghanistan Medal no clasp to Lt
Col H. Moore Asst Qr. M. Genl, 1882 Egypt Medal Tel-El-Kebir clasp
to Col H. Moore C.B. C.I.E. Bom S. Corps, a second 1854 India GSM
no clasp to Major H. Moore Commdt Transpt Corps (this would have
been issued with the Looshai clasp now fitted to first IGSM), Turkish
Order of Osmanieh 3rd Class neck badge and 1882 Khedive's Star.
With 1877 Empress of India silver Medal un-named as issued. Sold
with portrait photo wearing medals and a photograph of a ¾
length portrait oil painting in uniform with medals. With 22 pages
of typed family research and press extracts.
1883 CMG to Noel Temple Moore Consul General
The CMG to Noel Temple Moore, son of Niven Moore, was also offered
in the February 2014 auction. The estimate was £700 and the realisation
Noel was born 25th December 1833 while his father Niven was serving
in Constantinople. From May 1851 he was Cancellier to Colonel Rose
at the Beirut Embassy, being appointed Vice Consul in October 1855.
He accompanied Lord Napier as secretary/interpreter on special service
to Jerusalem April 1855.
He married Emma Churchill in December 1859, was attached as interpreter
to Lord Dufferin the Commissioner to Syria 10th September 1860,
was one of the Secretaries to the Anglo-American Syrian Relief Committee
in 1860. Attended as Lord Dufferin's delegate at the sitting of
the Extraordinary Commission constituted by Faud Pasha to try the
Turkish and Druse prisoners in connection with the Syrian outbreaks.
In April and May 1862 he was in attendance upon the Prince of
Wales (later KEVII) during his travels in Syria and Palestine, was
promoted to Consul for Palestine in Jerusalem on 31st October 1862.
He was in attendance on Prince Arthur of Connaught during his tour
of Palestine March-April 1865. He was employed on special service
at Damascus in 1872, at Safed and Acre in 1875 and again at Acre
in 1877. He was in attendance on Princes Albert and George during
their visit to Syria 1882. Again employed on special service to
Egypt Nov 1882-Jan 1883 where he was Lord Duifferin's secretary
who later wrote: "I desire to express to you my very best thanks
for the valuable assistance you have rendered me during the time
you were attached to my mission at Cairo. Your knowledge of Arabic
and thorough acquaintance with the East and the habits and thoughts
of its inhabitants, enable you to place at my disposal an amount
of information in regard to the wishes and aspirations of the people
of this country, which otherwise it might have been difficult to
The award of the CMG was announced in the London Gazette dated
2nd March 1883 while serving as Consul at Jerusalem.
He was promoted Consul General in Tripoli on 10th September 1890
and retired on 11th April 1894. He died in Clarens in Switzerland
on 30th April 1903 and was buried there.
The full medal details are The Most Distinguished Order of St Michael
and St George Companion's silver gilt and enamel breast badge (CMG)
with buckle clasp attributed to Noel Temple. With a photo of him
wearing CMG with 6 members of staff. With 14 pages of typed family
Rare WW2 DSO group to Captain Neville Fearn
Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry
The WW2 North West Europe Distinguished Service Order and MID group,
attributed to Capt Neville Fearn, Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry, realised
£5,750 when offered in our auction on 11th December 2013.
Neville Fearn was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Armoured
Corps on 24th December 1942.
The Sherwood Rangers were some of the first ashore during D-Day
landing on Gold Beach, where they were equipped with swimming DD
Sherman Tanks, the infamous Duplex Drive tanks fitted with canvas
flotation screens and propeller driven. A number of these tanks
were launched too early from their landing craft and were sunk by
heavy seas. Neville Fearn was in command of an A Squadron DD Sherman
at the tip of the Allied invasion force.
The Regimental History by T.M. Lindsay records: "On the 24th
January 1945 a dawn attack was put in on Heinsberg. "A"
Squadron supported the 4th KOSB. Half a mile of dead flat country
had to be covered, all of it pinpointed by enemy self-propelled
guns. The infantry made no progress in the dark, and it was quite
light by the time the tanks had to go across. In spite of the advance
being covered by a smoke screen "A" Squadron lost 3 tanks."
The award of the Distinguished Service Order was announced in the
London Gazette dated 22nd January 1946:
"Capt Fearn landed with the leading wave of assault tanks
on D Day 6 Jun 45 (sic 44), commanding a troop in A Sqn. On 11 Jun,
after the Regt had captured the high ground at Pt 103 North of ST
PIERRE, the enemy counter attacked with tanks and a Coy if Infantry,
Capt Fearn, without Infantry support, by clever use of ground and
changing his positions so that he could attack the enemy from the
flank he engaged the enemy with such speed and determination that
the counter attack was broken up and heavy casualties were inflicted
on the enemy tanks and Infantry. On the same night Capt Fearn and
his troop, fighting throughout the night were instrumental in breaking
up another counter attack against ST PIERRE. During all this difficult
and sometimes critical fighting Capt Fearn showed the greatest coolness
and skill in handling his troop and complete disregard for his own
personal safety. On 26 Dec 44 Capt Fearn commanded the Squadron
during the absence of his Squadron Leader. During the heavy and
continuous fighting between 15th and 27th Jan 45 when the Regiment
was supporting 52(L) Div Capt Fearn led A Squadron with the greatest
coolness, dash and determination and it was entirely due to his
leadership that A Squadron was successful in capturing BREBEREN,
LAFFELDE, BOCHET and SELSTEN against strong enemy opposition.
This operation finally terminated in the capture of HEINSBERG which
would never have been held by our infantry who went into the town
by night, if, on the following day, Capt Fearn had not managed to
reach the town with his Squadron, having to cross flat and open
country which was covered by enemy SP and Anti tank gun fire. The
tactical handling of his Squadron, use of smoke and his own personal
leadership on this occasion was of the highest order and resulted
in the appearance of A Squadron tanks in HEINSBERG in spite of heavy
casualties at a critical moment which turned the tide of battle
in our favour. Capt Fearn continued to serve with A Squadron until
he was wounded in the head on 28 March 45 at ISSLEBERG. His refusal
to leave the battle until he fell unconscious through loss of blood
was a typical example of his endurance and courage which he has
shown throughout the numerous battles in which A Squadron has been
involved since they landed on the beaches of Normandy on June 6th."
On 28th March 1945, Captain Neville Fearn's tank, south of the
Autobahn, hit a mine and Capt Fearn was wounded and SSM Hutchinson
MM, who had been standing behind the tank was killed.
He was also Mentioned in Despatches announced in the London Gazette
dated 8th November 1945.
The full medal details are WW2 Distinguished Service Order (suspender
dated 1946), 1939-1945, Africa (8th Army bar), France and Germany
Stars, Defence Medal and BWM with MID oakleaf attributed to Capt
Neville Fearn Sherwood Rangers. Sold with DSO with DS&S case
of issue, campaign medals box of issue and transmittal slip addressed
to Capt N Fearn, 24 Westlands Grove, York, DSO bestowal document
dated 24/1/46, MID certificate for London Gazette dated 8th November
1945 in envelope of transmission, envelope and letter of transmission
for MID oakleaf to same address. One of only four DSOs awarded to
the regiment for WW2.
Rare Falklands War casualty pair to Cfn
Alexander Shaw REME
The rare Falklands War casualty pair to Craftsman Alexander Shaw,
Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, was offered on behalf
of his family, in our auction on 11th December 2013. Estimated £4,000,
it made £6,325.
Alexander Shaw was born in Blythwood, Glasgow on 16th May 1957.
He initially served in the Royal Marines and was awarded the GSM
with Northern Ireland clasp. He was discharged from the Royal Marines
and after a spell in civvy street, re-enlisted in the REME. Having
completed P Company he was posted to 3 PARA as an armourer.
Alexander Shaw was killed in action with 3 PARA on Mount Longdon
on 13th June 1982, just a day before the Argentine forces surrendered.
He was of only 3 REME soldiers to die in the war, the other 2 being
killed with the Welsh Guards when the Sir Galahad was bombed.
Michael Hall, a fellow armourer with 3 PARA recorded the following
about the period leading up to Alexander Shaw's death in an Argentine
"My name is Michael Hall. I was attached to 3rd Bn Parachute
Regiment during the Falklands conflict of 1982. My rank was Craftsman
and I was a REME armourer. I spent most of the conflict with 3 Para's
quartermasters department and was usually to the rear of the rifle
companies, humping rations around etc. Towards the end of the conflict
me and my friend, fellow armourer, Alec Shaw were flown by helicopter
from Teal Inlet to Estancia house. As we arrived there the main
body of 3 Para moved out, I cannot remember if it was that night
or the next but 3 Para attacked Mount Longdon which I guess was
ten or twenty miles away. It was a night attack with no artillery
support. From Estancia house we could see the sky lit up all that
distance away as the battle raged. A continuous stream of helicopters
arrived and we loaded them up with ammunition and primed grenades
which they ferried back to the battle. In the HQ, which was a big
shed, you could here the clerk, who was in radio contact with our
troops on Longdon, repeating the names of soldiers who were being
killed or wounded as the battle went on. By morning it was over.
I had missed my chance of fulfilling my childish desire to be in
a battle and perhaps be a hero. Around lunchtime the QM Tech asked
me if I had mortar spares. I told him that I did and he informed
me that a mortar bipod had broken on Longdon and that a helicopter
would be picking me up in thirty minutes to take me there and fix
it. I was elated! Me going up to 'the front'! I asked Alex if he
wanted to come with me and he said yes. Alex had received his first
ever fathers day card that morning from his son. We jumped on the
helicopter with some signals people and took of. Our flight to Longdon
was low to the ground and fast. We stopped about a mile or so short
of Longdon at 3 Para's Rebro station which was in a small rocky
outcrop. I think a couple of spotting rounds landed close to the
helicopter and the loadmaster was extremely nervous and wanted to
get away as quickly as possible. Me Alec and a Colour Sergeant,
who I think may have been from the anti-tank platoon, dragged our
stores off which included Sigs, batteries, cigarettes for the boys,
and weapon spares, and took cover in the rocks, I was loving it!
Alec was older then me and in hindsight I think that he had a clearer
understanding of the danger that we were in. A couple of BV's picked
us up and took us to Mount Longdon. Suddenly there was hassle, apparently
Argentine Chinooks had been seen taking off from Stanley, a counter
attack on Longdon was suspected. We were hurriedly given 66mm anti
tank weapons and lined up facing the flat ground. We were briefed
to wait until the Chinooks were about fifty feet off the ground
and then let rip. They never came and we were stood down about half
an hour later. Ross invited Alec and I up the mount a bit to a crevice
in the rocks where the REME lads were making a brew. I went into
the crevice with Ross, L/Cpl Geoff Hamilton and L/Cpl Simon Melton
was there as well. Alec went into another crevice beside ours about
twenty feet away to have a cup of tea with Cfn Steve Lint. I was
standing up whilst Geoff made the tea, he looked up at me and advised
me to get down as there was a lot of shells coming in, I loved it!!
Then about three shells came in at once (I watched one land about
fifty feet away, but wasn't hit), I shit myself. I forced myself
into this tiny crack in the rocks and froze. Then people started
screaming, I recall somebody shouting out time and time again "I've
been hit, I've been hit". My illusions about war were instantly
dashed, it was no adventure, I was terrified. Geoff Hamilton verbally
dragged us out of our cracks saying something like "come on,
somebody's been hit". We went into the next crevice and there
was Alec just sitting there unconscious, he had blood spattered
on his face and Steve Lint was applying a shell dressing to his
leg. I saw the wound which was in his thigh, and thought it did
not look that bad. We called for a stretcher and then ran down the
hill with Alex on the stretcher. I was totally shitting myself with
fear. I was just waiting for the next salvo to come in. We carried
Alec down (fast) and left him with the medics. I was told that I
was now with the stretcher-bearers. That night, very close by, 2
Para attacked Wireless Ridge, it was very, very loud. Nobody was
injured that night from 3 Para even though it sounded like a lot
of shells were coming in, but on reflection, they were probably
getting lobbed at 2 Para. I spent the night extremely frightened
and praying to God (who I never pray to) asking him to not let me
die. Morning came and I was starting to get used to shells, the
longer the whine, the further away they were going to land. I met
a cook who said that it was a shame about Alec. I thought his wound
hadn't looked that serious so assumed that he had been choppered
out to the hospital ship Uganda. Therefore, I said that at least
Alec was lucky because he would be on a hospital ship out of harms
way. Then he told me that Alec had died the previous night. We packed
our kit and started walking towards Stanley, a cease-fire was declared
on the way and everybody put their maroon berets on."
The full medal details are 1962 GSM Northern Ireland clasp to PO32264W
A. Shaw Mne RM and 1982 South Atlantic Medal with rosette to 24599828
Cfn A Shaw REME surname on South Atlantic has been officially re-named.
Sold with a colour photo in uniform and photocopy of death certificate
issued by the Fleet/REME MRO.
Rare Liverpool Shipwreck and Humane Society
The Warwick and Warwick October 16 2013 auction included a rare
Liverpool Shipwreck and Humane Society Marine Medal in gold, with
second award gold bar, 10th July 1899, to Capt Hy Hayes S.S. "Cotopaxi",
For The Rescue of Crew & Passengers of Said Vessel Lost in "Magellan
Straits" 1889, good very fine with gold mounting buckle. The
estimate was £4,500 and the realisation was £4,715.
It was offered with a quantity of copied research including Mercantile
Marine Service Reporter cutting, ...our hearty appreciation of your
skilful and seamanlike conduct during the recent disasters through
which you passed when in command of the Royal Mail Steamship "Cotopaxi".
On her last voyage at 11.15 pm, on 9th April 1889, whilst in the
Straits of Magellan, the "Cotopaxi" was so seriously damaged
by another steamer that she was only saved from foundering by your
prompt action in beaching her, and that on a spot which proved the
only safe place within a considerable distance. After many hours
of unremitting toil, in which you were ably assisted by your Officers
and Engineers, the "Cotopaxi's" damage was temporarily
repaired, and she was refloated, a performance that reflected the
greatest credit. Instead of exposing the damaged hull to the bad
weather outside, you prudently chose the smooth water passage through
Smyth's Channel, and there, on the 15th April, the "Cotopaxi"
struck upon a submerged and unknown rock and in less than 10 minutes
she disappeared. At the moment of danger the splendid discipline,
seamanship and courage shown in the transfer of 202 souls to the
boats in 5 to 8 minutes, are engraved on their hearts.
The bar was issued while Capt. Hayes was serving on SS "Oropesa",
for gallantly rescuing a lady who was in imminent danger of drowning
whilst bathing at Seascale, Cumberland, on 10th July 1899. Only
67 gold medals awarded and only 7 with bars.
The outstanding collection of a gentleman
of predominantly Guards medals
A gentleman's collection of medals from the Peninsula War to modern
day Afghanistan was offered as 410 lots in Warwick & Warwick's
auction on Wednesday 21st August 2013, with total estimates of over
£160,000. Bidding was competitive throughout and realisations
are given in brackets.
The collection started with a NGSM Java clasp and 17 MGSMs from
Royal Horse Guards to the 83rd Foot and included 8 wounded men.
Lots 21-23 were Waterloo Medals of which 2 were casualties. (£2,242,
£5,290, £1,552) Lots 24-26 were Army of India Medals
which included a Midshipman (£2,645) and a Lieutenant (£3,795).
Lots 27-36 cover the Scinde, Sutlej, Punjab, South Africa and
Pegu campaigns. Lots 37-67 formed a strong Crimean War section,
and included 12 casualties, 11 of which were Guards.
The 1877-79 South Africa campaign was well represented by lots
82-90, as was the 1882-85 Egypt and Suakin campaigns with lots 97-118.
The 1898 Sudan Campaign and Boer War formed a strong section:
- Lot 141 was a Boer War DCM, QSA 5 clasps, KSA both clasp and
1911 Coronation Medal to Lt & Qr Mr J. Rolinson, Gren Gds.
The DCM was announced in London Gazette dated 27th September 1901
(possibly for the bayonet charge at Belmont) and he was Mentioned
in Despatches in London Gazette dated 6th June 1901. Only 17 DCMs
were awarded to Grenadier Guards for Boer War actions. (£2,760).
- World War I was represented by 125 lots with real strength in
gallantry. Lot 205 (£1,092) was a Partaing Mill VC action MC group
to Capt Dalrymple, Scots Guards, for 27th November 1917. Lot 206
(£2,300) was a DCM, MM Boer War, WW1 group to WO2 Spalding, RE.
Lot 208 (£2,875) was another VC action award with the Battle of
Loos DCM and trio to Pte E Anderson, 3rd Coldstream Guards, "For
great bravery and resource on the 8th October 1915, near Loos.
The enemy, having made an attack with great determination along
the trenches occupied by his battalion, were successful in taking
the trench on the left of that occupied by Private Anderson and
five other men, and came pouring into it. The situation was most
critical. Realising what had happened, he, accompanied by the
other men, sprang forward and faced the enemy, driving them with
bombs foot by foot down the trench, and recapturing the whole
of it. This they did with the greatest gallantry in face of a
determined opposition, clearing out of the trench at least ten
times their number, and thus saving a critical situation."
- The sale contained a further 3 DCMs, to 3rd Grenadier Guards,
4th Grenadier Guards and 1st Indian Mule Cart Corps. There were
23 WW1 Military Medals mostly in groups with 6 to Grenadier Guards,
8 to Coldstream Guards, 7 to Scots Guards and 1 to Irish Guards.
- Lot 343 (£4,370) was a 1940 Dunkirk Operations Distinguished
Conduct Medal group to 2655736 L.Cpl P. Meredith, C. Gds. Percy
Meredith's DCM was in London Gazette dated 11th July 1940.
- Lots 344-350 were WW2 Military Medal groups to RA, Dorsets,
Ulster Rifles, East Yorks, Seaforths and lot 347 (£3,450) a WW2
Arakan campaign Military Medal group to 4536214 L/Cpl A. O'Thick,
Y.&.L.R. Arthur O'Thick's MM was in London Gazette dated 17th
January 1946, whilst he was serving with 9th Bn. The copied citation
read "Throughout the campaign in ARAKAN, culminating in the
action at RU-YWA in Febraury 1945, L/Cpl O'Thick was an outstanding
and aggressive soldier. He excelled in patrol work, and on three
separate occasions he "got his man" in clashes with the enemy.
On one occasion his quick and cool skill and disregard for his
own safety saved the life of his patrol commander, when he shot
a Japanese at close range. Throughout the campaign this junior
NCO's service was outstanding, and he was largely responsible
for the fact that his section's morale and aggressive spirit were
maintained at a high level to the end."
- The last 50 lots were post WW2 and included lot 360 (£891),
a rare NGSM double issue 1915 NGSM (KGVI) Bomb & Mine Clearance
1945-53 and 1915 NGSM (QEII) Cyprus clasp, to 930146 B.S. Shaw,
A.B., R.N. Only 145 Bomb & Mine Clearance clasps were awarded.
Rare WW2 SOE MBE and MC group to Major MacDonald
This rare medal group, estimated at £7,000, in the Warwick and
Warwick August 21 2013 auction, realised an impressive £14,375.
The WW2 Special Operations Executive POW escapee's Most Excellent
Order of the British Empire Member (MBE), Op Cherokee Military Cross
Medal group to Major Alistair MacDonald, Intelligence Corps is pictured
Alastair MacDonald was born in London 27th August 1907, educated
at Marlborough and Caius College, Cambridge where he read History
and Modern Languages.
He started the war as a civil servant, working for the Director
of Statistics in the Ministry of Food. He was commissioned on 12th
July 1940 into the Intelligence Corps. After a spell interrogating
for SIS, his clandestine activities quickened when he was posted
to Gibraltar in 1942 as part of a team standing by to carry out
sabotage in Spain, should Franco join the war on Hitler's side.
As this became less likely he was withdrawn and spent 2 years with
the Political Warfare Executive (PWE), which specialised in black
propaganda. The work included printing false ration cards that were
dropped over occupied Europe, broadcasting information designed
to disrupt German morale. Then in July 1944 he was seconded to the
SOE for the France operation .
The MBE was an SOE award announced in the London Gazette dated
21st June 1945. The typed copy of the citation reads:
"Volunteer for a mission behind enemy lines, Major MacDonald
parachuted into France on the 21st July (1944) to co-ordinate the
activities of missions in the Massif Central. He acted as British
adviser to General de Gaulle's Military Delegate in the Southern
zone. His tact and understanding were valuable in reconciling divergent
opinions, and preventing the spread of political quarrels which
threatened the effective operation of patriot groups. Major MacDonald
travelled throughout the Massif Central in uniform and in civilian
clothes, covering both the large towns and the forces in the maquis.
His position as a British Officer standing outside local politics,
enabled him to render considerable assistance to the French Military
Delegate, who placed great confidence in his judgement. Major MacDonald
kept Headquarters fully informed on the local situation and on enemy
troop dispositions. The wide range of his activities made his reports
on enemy and patriot morale of immediate value. His despatches constituted
one of the principal sources of the bulletins of Radio Nations Unies
aimed at undermining German morale. When the area was cleared of
the enemy, he was of considerable assistance in the maintenance
of order and the re-establishment of local administration. The work
of Major MacDonald and the officers under him, facilitated the liberation
of a large area of France, and contributed to the present French
feeling of admiration and warm affection for the British people.
I recommend that this Officer be appointed a Member of the British
The MC was announced in the London Gazette dated 4th October 1945.
The medal group was offered together with a detailed Imperial War
Museum eyewitness article by MacDonald about his SOE mission with
Number 1 Special Force, dropped near Biella in northern Italy, to
work with local partisans.
"There was (sic) 4 of us dropped for the SOE Cherokee mission
- Pat Amoore, Jim Bell, our young radio operator Tony Birch and
myself. Our first job after being dropped was to reconnoiter the
area. There were 2 groups of partisans operating in the area with
a total of 3000 men. Their arms were, for the most part, limited
to what they had captured. The next job was to arrange an arms drop
and find a suitable drop zone." They cleared a large number
of trees to accommodate what was the biggest supply drop in Italy.
His team successfully undertook the job of blowing up the railway
bridge at Ivera which carried steel supplies back to Germany.
In January while visiting Magnano, the largest village in Serra
he recalls, "There I found a radio operator called Armando, who
wasn't working for me, but I knew him quite well, and a courier.
I stopped to have a chat with them and while I was there, an Italian
crashed the door and shouted 'Tedeschi, Tedeschi!' So all 3 of us
ran out into the street, and we could hear firing already, as there
were some partisans in the village. There was no doubt we had to
get out - so we ran across the snow. We hadn't got very far when
the courier ran like hell and got away very nimbly. They started
firing on us and hit Armando in the back. I could see he'd had it,
really. Then they were all around us. One of them, quite a young
kid, was just about to put a bullet through Armando's head and finish
him off completely, so I tried to stop him. An officer came along
and said to leave him. They took us back into the village and lined
us up against a wall with some of the partisans, we thought they
might shoot us. Then they took me to the Waffen SS HQ and then Sicherheitsdienst
HQ where an Oberleutnant got on the phone and I could hear him saying
that he had a British Major with him, then he asked if he should
execute me. Eventually he put the phone down and told me I would
be treated as a prisoner of war. Thank God for that. Then they took
me to Verona. Then the real interrogation began. Naturally I denied
any knowledge of German. I was in a rather awkward position because
I had rather a lot of paper on me when captured. I had a great piece
of luck, because, while I was still with the Waffen SS, they put
me in a room with a guard outside - and with a stove. I managed
to put together the most vital documents and opened the stove and
dropped them in. I had been wearing mittens when captured and I
managed to stuff some of the papers into the mittens. When I was
searched they didn't find the papers in the mittens but took the
rest away. My first job in the interrogations was to stall for some
days at least, until I knew that these would have been translated
and they would have the information anyway. From there I went to
a POW transit camp in Mantua. The camp was well guarded but I noticed
that there was a section of the wire adjoining the latrine where
it might be possible to climb over unobserved, if the 2 sentries
stationed there could be diverted. With other prisoners creating
a diversion, I put on a civilian overcoat and started climbing the
wire, everything was taken care of except the machine guns. I just
had to hope they weren't pointing my way."
He had a number of narrow escapes but made his way the 100 odd
miles to Switzerland.
After the war, he was seconded to the Allied Military Government
and made Military Governor of Biella and Aosta and awarded the town's
highest honour in 1981. He relinquished his commission 9/2/46. From
1946 to 1950 he was in Vienna working for UNRRA and the International
Refugee Organisation and he then returned to Germany for a further
spell with Intelligence. He worked for the BBC from 1955-60. He
appeared in the BBC TV series on SOE in 1984. He died in 1994. In
1980 the Italian President awarded the Gold Medal for Military Valour
(Medaglia d'oro al Valor Militaire) to the town of Biella.
The full lot description was as follows: Most Excellent Order of
the British Empire Member (Military) (MBE), Military Cross (1945),
1939-1945 Africa, Italy, France and Germany Stars, Defence Medal
and BWM, attributed to Major Alistair MacDonald, Intelligence Corps.
Offered with large framed medal award document no. 6519 to the town,
dated 1980, a large collection of original and copied material,
including original Citta Di Biella cased 99mm bronze town plaque
by Lorioli, reverse engraved "A Alastair MacDonald 24 Aprile 1983",
wartime passport with multiple visas and stamps including Portugal,
1949 Allied Force Permit, 1950 Austrian Zulassungsschein, MC and
MBE cases of issue, folder of envelopes mostly addressed to him
(75+, some with letters) from 1930-50, including letters of congratulation
of award of MC, many with FPO and censor marks, copied MBE Buckingham
Palace letter of transmission, obituary, MBE citation, also a large
folder of Italian original and copied documents and photos, a number
referring to Op. Cherokee.
WW1 Distinguished Conduct medal and Military
Medal group to WO2 W S Dalby
The WW1 Distinguished Conduct Medal and Military Medal group to
Warrant Officer Class 2 William S Dalby, Leicestershire Regiment,
realised £2,760, when offered in our June 19 2013 auction.
The 7th Battalion Leicestershire Regiment was formed in September
1914 and with the 6th, 8th and 9th Battalions formed the 110th (Leicestershire)
Brigade, 37th Division in April 1915. William Dalby sailed with
the Brigade and landed in France on 29th July 1915.
The award of the DCM was announced in the London Gazette dated
22nd January 1916 while he was attached to 93rd Trench Mortar Battery:
"For conspicuous gallantry near Bienvillers on 27th November
1915. When a trench mortar was being fired, one of the bombs, owing
to a defective charge, fell near the gun position. Shouting to the
men near to run clear, regardless of all danger he reloaded the
50lb bomb, in which the fuse was still burning, and fired it clear
of our trenches."
The award of the MM was announced in the London Gazette dated 11th
February 1919. He was discharged on 27th February 1919. He was awarded
The Cadet Forces Medal for his long service with the Uppingham Public
School CCF in Rutland.
The full medal details are WW1 Distinguished Conduct Medal, Military
Medal, 1914-15 Star trio, WW2 Defence Medal and KGVI Cadet Forces
Medal with 2 bars to C.S.M. W.S. Dalby 7/Leic R. Sold with 37th
Division GOC's distinguished conduct card dated 29/11/15.
WW2 Pathfinder's DFC group to Flying Officer
J.E. Foley R.A.F.
The WW2 Distinguished Flying Cross group to Flying Officer James
Eli Foley R.A.F. was offered in our 17th April 2013 auction. It
was estimated at £2,400 and realised £3,680.
James Eli Foley attested on 25th March 1941 No 1237424 in the Royal
Air Force. At the time he was a wages clerk living in Conisborough
near Doncaster. His log book starts 25th April 1942 flying in PBY5s
in Pensacola, USA. He returned to the UK and was posted to 31 A.F.U.
at RAF Bobbington and continued his training flying in Ansons. He
completed the Advanced Navigation Course on 29th September 1942.
He continued his training with 30 OTU and 1662 Conversion Unit before
being posted to 460 Sqn at RAF Breighton. He flew on his Op with
460 Sqn flying Lancasters to Stettin on 19th April 1943 where the
plane was damaged by flak and completed 4 Ops with 460 Sqn.
Foley was then posted to 156 Sqn on Lancasters at RAF Warboys.
His first Op was to Munster on 11th June 1943, also missions to
Peenemunde 17th August 1943, Berlin 23rd August 1943 many fighters
noted. His 22nd and last Op with 156 Sqn was to Hannover on 28th
In 1944 he spent time with 23 OTU, 21 OTU and 69 Sqn before joining
1655 MTU in August 1944. His first Pathfinder Op with 139 Pathfinder
Sqn flying the twin engined Mosquito with Flt Lt Henderson as his
pilot was to Mannheim on 27th August 1944. After 5 Ops with 139
Sqn, he and Henderson were posted to 608 Pathfinder Sqn. 23/9/44
and flew 50 Ops, 22 of which were to Berlin. During a raid to Duisburg
on 8th December 1944 his Mosquito was hit by flak and lost 1 engine
and was forced to land in Brussels.
The DFC was awarded as a Warrant Officer Navigator flying Mosquitos
with 608 Pathfinder Sqn and announced in the London Gazette dated
19th January 1945. He was commissioned on 22nd December 1944.
The full medal details are Distinguished Flying Cross (1945), 1939-1945,
Air Crew Europe (France and Germany bar) Stars and BWM. Sold with
Flying Log Book, Sight Log Book, Airman's Pay Book, Officer's Release
Book, DFC box of issue, photocopied photo in uniform and 3 copied
A remarkable record of a navigator who flew 57 Pathfinder Ops and
25 non-Pathfinder Ops.
1942 King’s Lynn Air Raid George Medal
The 1942 King's Lynn Air Raid George Medal group to Sergeant Francis
Faulkner, Royal Artillery, was offered in Warwick & Warwick's auction
on Wednesday 12th December 2012. Estimated £3,000, it made £4,255.
On the night of 12th June 1942 a lone German bomber crept in from
the North Sea and dropped its bomb load on the town of King’s
Lynn. A 17 year old on duty reported “I heard the drone of
an aircraft which I knew wasn’t British. Suddenly through
the break in the clouds there it was. I saw the Dornier’s
bomb doors open and out came the bombs. I grabbed a passing lady
cyclist off her bike and we landed up in the shelter of the railway
footbridge. The next thing was the sound of bombs exploding; it
was in a direct line – Wood Street, St John’s Terrace,
the Cattle Market and the Eagle Hotel. I will never forget the sight
of bodies in sacks being brought from the cellar to the waiting
ambulances for transportation to the temporary mortuary set up in
Another witness, former soldier Bert Dopson reported, “As
I ran to Norfolk Street from the Cattle Market, I could see clouds
of black dust and night sky at the other end of Paradise Lane where
I should have been able to see the hotel sign. Instead there was
a huge crater, headless and limbless bodies were scattered around
among the debris, moans and groans were coming from the chip shop
that had been flattened, they were sights no one should be allowed
One of the bombs that hit the Eagle Hotel which was packed with
customers caused most of the casualties. Sergeant Francis Faulkner
was awarded the George Medal which was announced in the London Gazette
dated 3rd December 1942.
The award was for “Sgt Faulkner displayed outstanding meritorious
service and conspicuous devotion to duty during rescue work at King’s
Lynn during and after an air raid in June 1942. He worked his way
among dangerous debris and through his initiative and disregard
for personal safety, a number of persons were rescued after one
and a half hours. Subsequently, indifferent to the danger to which
he exposed himself and working in a confined space in air heavily
polluted by escaping gas, he displayed great courage and tenacity
in his efforts to effect further rescues from a cellar.”
In total 26 civilians, 14 RAF and 2 Army personnel were killed
in the raid, the worst death toll in King’s Lynn history.
The full medal details are WW2 King’s Lynn Air Raid George
Medal, 1939-1945, Africa (1st Army bar), Italy Stars, Defence Medal,
BWM and 1923 GSM Palestine 1945-48 clasp to 3443379 Sjt F. Faulkner
R.A. (3443379 Sgt Francis Faulkner R.A. on George Medal. With a
copy of the Palestine roll in which he was serving with 2 Field
Regt RA. 2 Field Regt were equipped with 25 pounders and served
with 1st Infantry Division throughout WW2 going to France 24/9/39,
evacuated from Dunkirk in May 1940, to North Africa March 1943,
Anzio January 1944 and Palestine February 1945.