Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) Neck Badge, Queen’s South Africa Medal clasps Belmont, Modder River, Driefontein, Johannesburg, Diamond Hill, Belfast, King’s South Africa Medal clasps South Africa 1901, South Africa 1902, British War Medal, Coronation King George V 1911 Medal to Colonel Robert Francis Peel, East Surrey Regiment late Coldstream Guards. Born in 1874 he was the son of Captain Francis Peel who distinguished himself in the Crimea War and Indian Mutiny and Great Grandson of Sir Robert Peel, former Home Secretary and twice Prime Minister. Educated at Harrow and the Agricultural College, Downton, Salisbury he was commissioned into the Coldstream Guards in 1898 and served with the 1st Battalion in South Africa. Retiring from the Army in 1909, he became Member of Parliament (Unionist) for Woodbridge Suffolk in 1910 and stepped down in 1920. He accepted a commission as Major in the Special Reserve and commanded the 4th (Special Reserve) Battalion East Surrey Regiment 1914 to 1919. Brought to the notice of the Secretary of State for War for valuable services rendered in connection with the War notified in War Office Communique dated 24th February 1917. Appointed Governor and Commander in Chief of the Island of St Helena in 1920 he was created a Companion of St Michael and St George for his services in 1922. He died on St Helena in August 1924.
Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG)
Unnamed as awarded
Queen’s South Africa Medal clasps Belmont, Modder River, Driefontein, Johannesburg, Diamond Hill, Belfast
Lieut R F Peel Cldstm Gds
King’s South Africa Medal clasps South Africa 1901, South Africa 1902
Lieut R F Peel Cld Gds
British War Medal
Lt Col R F Peel
King George V Coronation 1911 Medal
Unnamed as issued
With a quantity of original newspaper cuttings, mainly obituaries, letters, appointment as Governor of St Helena, award certificate for CMG. Copy Medal Index Card confirming the award of the British War Medal only etc.
The Medals mounted as originally worn ‘Guards Officer style’ on a rigid frame, in a Spink presentation case (one hinge damaged) the CMG in Garrard & Co Ltd fitted presentation case.
Robert Francis Peel, the great grandson of Sir Robert Peel, the famous Statesman and former Prime Minister, the son of Captain Francis Peel, who won distinction in both the Crimea War and Indian Mutiny. Born on 30th April 1874, he was educated at Harrow, and before entering the Army studied at the Agricultural College at Downton, Salisbury where he gained a Diploma and Certificate of Agricultural Proficiency. Eentering the Coldstream Guards as 2nd Lieutenant 2nd February 1898, Lieutenant 1st April 1899, became Captain in 1906 and served in the South African War, taking part in the advance on Kimberley including the actions at Belmont, Enslin, Modder River and Magersfontein. Operations in the Orange Free State February to May 1900, including the actions at Poplar Grove, Dreifontein, Vet River (5th and 6th May), and Zand River. Operations in the Transvaal in May and June 1900, including actions near Johannesburg, Pretoria and Diamond Hill (11th and 12th June). Operations in the Transvaal East of Pretoria July tom 29th November 1900, including the actions at Belfast (26th and 27th August), operations in the Orange River Colony November 1900. Operations in Cape Colony 30th November 1900 to 31st May 1902, Queen’s Medal 6 clasps, King’s Medal 2 clasps.
Retiring from the Army in 1909, taking a commission as Major in the Special Reserve, in the following year he was elected Member of Parliament (Unionist) for Woodbridge, Suffolk, which he continued to represent until 1920. In 1913 he was promoted Lieutenant Colonel and served in the European War from 1914 to 1919 commanding the 4th (Special Reserve) Battalion East Surrey Regiment, he saw no active service, in 1919 he was promoted Brevet Colonel and was brought to the notice of the Secretary of State for War for valuable services rendered in connection with the War notified in War Office Communique dated 24th February 1917 page 23. Created a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) for his Governorship of St Helena London Gazette 3rd June 1922 page 4323. He married in 1903 at St Pauls Church, Knightsbridge, Alice second daughter of Sir Thomas Charlton-Meyrick first Baronet. Appointed Governor and Commander in Chief of the Island of St Helena in 1920, he died there on 10th August 1924 aged 50 years.
EF £2,250 Available
Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) Military 2nd type (1940), British War & Victory Medals, 1939-45 Star, Africa Star, War Medal to Paymaster Captain Norman Leslie Briggs Parker, Royal Navy. Born in Portsmouth in 1898 and the son of a Royal Navy Warrant Officer, he entered the Royal Navy as Assistant Clerk in January 1916. He served on the staff of the British Caspian Flotilla 1918-19 and in China in the 1930s; his Second World War appointments included to the cruiser HMS Berwick damaged in action against the German Battleship Admiral Hipper in 1940. Awarded the OBE in July 1940, he was appointed to the Admiralty in November 1941 and died in London in 1943 aged 45 years whilst still serving.
Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) Military 2nd type
Unnamed as awarded
British War & Victory Medals
Payr S Lt N L B Parker RN
1939-45 Star, Africa Star, War Medal
Unnamed as issued
Norman Leslie Briggs Parker was born at Portsmouth in 1898, the son of a Naval Warrant Officer. He entered the Royal Navy as Assistant Clerk (Paymaster Branch equivalent to a Naval Cadet) in January 1916, was advanced to Clerk (Midshipman equivalent) after a year. Promoted Acting Assistant Paymaster in July 1918. His Great War service was on the East Indies Station, aboard HMS Euryalus from January 1916 (when she acted as Flagship to Rear Admiral Rosslyn Wemyss), and RIMS Northbrook from October 1917 (to which Rear Admiral Ernest Gaunt transferred his flag after succeeding Wemyss). In March 1918 he was appointed to the staff of Commodore David Norris, then Senior Naval Officer of the Persian Gulf Division. In September 1918 Norris travelled with a column of lorries transporting naval guns from Baghdad to Enzeli on the Caspian Sea, and with his small party of officers and men established the British Caspian Flotilla. This was achieved by collecting and arming merchant vessels for use against Bolshevik forces in the Russian Civil War, reinforced in January 1919 by 12 Coastal Motor Boats sent by train from the Black Sea. Appointed to the Naval Depot at Bombay, in March 1919, had his appointment to Norris’s staff lasted a little longer he may well have found himself an additional recipient of the rare NW Persia 1919-20 clasp to the Naval General Service Medal, of which Commodore Norris and Paymaster-Lieutenant Pertwee (Parker’s immediate boss) were two of the four recipients.
After a series of seagoing appointments at Home and in the Mediterranean during the 1920s, Parker served in the Naval Intelligence Division from 1930 to 1933. He then underwent a six month course at the School of Oriental Studies to prepare him for his next appointment, as Assistant to the Resident Naval Officer, Shanghai. He stayed on the China Station as Paymaster-Commander of the cruiser HMS Cornwall from 1935 to 1936. Serving at Victory until March 1940, joining the Royal Naval Patrol Service base Europa, he was there until October 1940. Awarded the OBE London Gazette 11th July 1940 “In recognition of distinguished services during the War.”
In October 1940 Parker went to the cruiser HMS Berwick as Paymaster-Commander, and in the following months saw action in the Mediterranean, including convoy operations to Malta, carrying troops to Greece, and the Battle of Cape Spartivento (in which Berwick sustained damage and casualties from two 8-inch shell hits). No sooner had this damage been made good than Berwick was despatched from Gibraltar to join the escort for ocean convoy WS5A, carrying 40,000 troops from the UK to the Middle East via Freetown and the Cape. On Christmas Day 1940 she fought a most creditable action in defence of the convoy against the German heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper. The two warships exchanged salvoes at short range and Berwick once again sustained damage and casualties, serious enough to put her in dock for several months, but Hipper was driven off and the convoy escaped with only slight loss. Appointed to the Plans Division of the Admiralty in November 1941, and from June 1942 for duty with the Fourth Sea Lord (Vice-Admiral Sir John Cunningham, followed by Vice-Admiral F.H. Pegram), bringing promotion to the rank of Paymaster-Captain. He died in London in November 1943, aged 45, and was buried at Haslar Royal Naval Cemetery, Gosport.
VF to EF £300 Reserved
Officer of the Order of the British Empire 2nd type (Civil), 1914/15 Star, British War and Victory Medals, Defence and War Medals to Commander Eustace Leonard Hill, Royal Navy, born in Birmingham in 1895, the son of a Professor of Medicine, educated at King Edward’s School, in 1913 he was one of the first class of cadets to enter the Royal Navy direct from public schools under the Special Entry Scheme. After service in Destroyers during the War he was a watchkeeping officer in HMS Marlborough when she evacuated the surviving members of the Russian Royal Family from the Crimea. He served in training establishments during the Second World War, and from 1946 to 1961 was Head of Civil Affairs at Sea Cadet Headquarters, for which he received the OBE in 1959. He died in Surrey in 1984.
Officer of the Order of the British Empire, Military, 2nd type (Civil)
Unnamed as awarded
MID E L Hill RN
British War & Victory Medals
Lieut E L Hill RN
Defence & War Medals
Unnamed as issued
With a CD containing all research documents, which includes a group photo of Naval Cadets all named including Hill.
Eustace Leonard Hill was born in Dursley, Gloucestershire, but brought up in Birmingham where his father was Professor of Medicine at the University. He was educated at King Edward’s School, Birmingham from 1906 to 1913, when he entered the training cruiser HMS Highflyer in the first class of 40 cadets under the Royal Navy’s new Special Entry scheme for officers. In order to address a shortfall of officers, suitable candidates were permitted to join direct from public schools, rather than following the traditional route where cadets joined training establishments such as Osborne and Dartmouth at a much earlier age.
The outbreak of war abbreviated the cadets’ training; Hill was immediately appointed Midshipman and joined the cruiser HMS Endymion in September 1914, transferring to the battleship HMS Ajax at the end of the year. He spent April 1916 to April 1917 gaining experience in the Destroyers Moy, Patrician, Hydra and Liberty before returning to ‘big ship’ service in the Battleship HMS Bellerophon. He ended the War with appointments to the Destroyers Moon and Laurel. By January 1919 Hill had been promoted to Lieutenant and was appointed to the battleship HMS Marlborough, then stationed in the Mediterranean. She was diverted to the Black Sea during the Allied intervention in the Russian Civil War, and In April was ordered to Yalta, to evacuate Dowager Empress Marie Feodorovna, mother of the Tsar (and sister of Queen Alexandra), and 19 other surviving members of the Russian Imperial Family, including Grand Duchess Xenia (the Tsar’s sister), Prince Felix Youssoupov (murderer of Rasputin), and Grand Duke Nicholas, former Commader-in-Chief of the Russian Armies. The party also included 25 ladies and gentlemen of their suites, plus 36 servants and retainers, placing a considerable strain on the ship’s resources. All the officers gave up their cabins to their distinguished guests. The picturesque episode is recounted in some detail in two books, “Close of a Dynasty” by Vice Adfmiral Sir Francis Pridham (who was First Lieutenant of Marlborough), and more recently “The Russian Court at Sea” by Frances Welch (copies of both included ). With the Geddes Axe looming, in 1922 Hill was placed on the Retired List at his own request; having the necessary sea time he was granted promotion to Commander on it in the following years. He spent at least part of the period between the wars in India.
Recalled at the outbreak of the Second World War, he served throughout at training establishements in the UK, including Royal Arthur, Glendower, Duke and Standard. Released from service in November 1945 the following year he took up employment as Head of Civil Affairs at Sea Cadet Headquarters. His work was rewarded with the OBE in the 1959 Birthday Honours List London Gazette 13th June 1959 page 3710. He died in Surrey in 1984 aged 89 years.
NEF £325 SOLD
Military Medal GV, 1914/15 Star, British War & Victory Medals to Private William Dyson, 46 Field Ambulance Royal Army Medical Corps (15th Scottish Division) a former Motor Cycle Engineer from Long Melford, Sudbury, Suffolk born in 1895. Enlisting on 29th August 1914, he served in France from 10th July 1915, his Field Ambulance supporting the Battle of Loos in 1915. In spring 1916, they were involved in the German gas attacks near Hulluch and the defence of the Kink position. They were in action during the Battles of the Somme, including the Battle of Pozieres, The Battle of Flers-Courcelette and the capture of Martinpuich, the Battle of Le Transloy and the attacks on the Butte de Warlencourt. In 1917 they were in action in The First and Second Battle of the Scarpe, including the capture of Guemappe during the Arras Offensive. Awarded the Military Medal in July 1917 for his gallantry at Arras, he died of a brain haemorrhage in Number 12 Stationary Hospital, St Pol, France aged 21 years, possibly the result of concussion sustained from exploding shells.
Military Medal GV
30729 Pte W Dyson 46/FA RAMC
1914/15 Star, British War & Victory Medals
30729 Pte W Dyson RAMC
With copy Medal Index Card, London Gazette entry and headers for MM, 1911 census entry and details extracted from his on line service record and a family history site.
William Dyson before enlistment
William Dyson was born in Long Melford, Suffolk in 1895, the 1911 census records he is a 15 year old Apprentice Motor Cycle Engineer residing with his father William a Co-operative Society Stores Manager, mother Elizabeth Ann, two sisters and one brother at Stores, High Street, Linton, Cambridgeshire. Attesting for the Royal Army Medical Corps 29th August 1914, he gave his occupation as Mechanic having completed a 6 year Apprenticeship with Suckling’s Engineering Works and age as 19 years. Serving in France with 46 Field Ambulance RAMC from 30th May 1915, the unit was part of 15th (Scottish) Division.
The 15th (Scottish) Division was formed in September 1914, as part of Kitchener’s Second New Army. They proceeded to France in the second week of July 1915 and were in action in the The Battle of Loos in 1915. In spring 1916, they were involved in the German gas attacks near Hulluch and the defence of the Kink position. They were in action duringthe Battles of the Somme, including The Battle of Pozieres, The Battle of Flers-Courcelette and the capture of Martinpuich, The Battle of Le Transloy and the attacks on the Butte de Warlencourt. In 1917 they were in action in The First and Second Battle of the Scarpe, including the capture of Guemappe during the Arras Offensive. Dyson was admitted to 46 Field Ambulance 8th September 1915 and subsequently treated at 18 Casualty Clearing Station but returned to duty 12th September 1915 in time for the Loos offensive.
Awarded the Military Medal London Gazette 9th July 1917 page 6829 for his gallantry at Arras, he died in No 12 Stationary Hospital St Pol, France the result of a brain haemorrhage possibly the result of concussion from exploding shells. Aged 21 years he now rests in an identified grave in the St Pol Communal Cemetery Extension, France, also commemorated on the Linton War Memorial, Cambridgeshire.
EF £595 SOLD
British Empire Medal E2 (Civil), Order of St John of Jerusalem Serving Sister, 1939/45 Defence Medal, St John’s Ambulance Brigade Long Service Medal with FOUR Long Service Clasps to Miss Isabel Lloyd Lendrum, Leeds St John’s Ambulance Brigade. Born in Rathdown, Co Dublin, Ireland in 1904 she received the Defence Medal for services with St Johns Ambulance during the Second World War in Leeds, there were nine bombing raids on Leeds the heaviest being on the night of 14th / 15th March 1941. Awarded the Order of St John Serving Sister in January 1964 and the BEM in January 1980, the latter for services to The Leeds Women’s Hospital. She died in Leeds in 1992 aged 88 years.
British Empire Medal (Civil) E2
Miss Isabel Lloyd Lendrum
Order of St John of Jerusalem Serving Sister
Unnamed as awarded
1939/45 Defence Medal
Unnamed as issued
St John’s Ambulance Brigade Long Service Medal with FOUR Long Service Clasps
40896 Cpl I L Lendrum Yorks SJAB 1949
The group mounted as originally worn, with copy London Gazette entries for both awards and other research listed here and copy photo.
Miss Isabel Lloyd Lendrum (left) with her uncle and aunt.
Isabel Lloyd Lendrum was born in Rathdown, Co Dublin, Ireland 13th August 1904, the daughter of Christopher Lendrum a Railway Agent and his wife Octavia. In 1911 the family were residing at 48 Military Road, Limerick, Ireland. By 1939 Miss Lendrum was residing in Leeds, Yorkshire and was a long serving member of the St John’s Ambulance Brigade. Leeds was subject to nine bombing raids during the Second World War the heaviest being on the night of 14th / 15th March 1941, Miss Lendrum receiving her Defence Medal for services with the St Johns Ambulance Brigade during this period. Awarded the Order of St John of Jerusalem Serving Sister London Gazette 14th January 1964 page 390 and the British Empire Medal London Gazette 8th January 1980 page 301 ‘For services to Leeds Hospital for Women’.
Miss Lendrum never married and died at The Victoria Home, 224 Kirkstall Lane, Leeds on 28th August 1992 aged 88 years. Worthy of local research.
First time on the market.
GVF & better £375 Available
British Empire Medal GVI (Civil Division) to Mr Timothy Higgins, a 47 year old Retort Stoker & Fireman, Gas Light and Coke Company, Kensal Works, London. Awarded the BEM for his gallantry during a German Air Raid on the morning of 27th September 1940 over London, he extinguished as gas fire described as ‘A column of flame roaring upwards’ the result of incendiary bombs, 25 landing on the Gas Works. Higgins closed the gas escape hole with clay and his own body weight, by jumping on it, failure to close the hole would have resulted in his instant death.
British Empire Medal GVI (Civil Division)
With copy London Gazette entry & header, copies from the awards file and various publications containing a photo of Mr Higgins, one leaving Buckingham Palace after his investiture.
Timothy Higgins was born in Kensington, London in 1893, he resided at 7 Heathstan Road, Wormwood Scrubs, London W12 and at the time of his gallant deed he had been employed at the Kensal Works for 19 years, he died in Hammersmith, London in September 1973.
Report on gallant actions at the Gas Light & Coke Company’s Works at Kensal Green –
‘Early in the morning of 27th September 1940, twenty five incendiary bombs fell on the Kensall Green Gas Light & Coke Company Works. Many of the bombs burnt out without causing damage, others, but for prompt action, would have had very serious results. One bomb fell on a large oil tank holding 60,000 gallons of oil and standing within a few yards of an important and valuable Benzole Plant. The bomb had nearly burnt its way through the top of the tank when Mr Walter Still removed the bomb with a shovel. The second gallant action was performed by Mr Timothy Higgins a 35 (sic) year old Retort Stoker. A bomb had fallen on No 5 Gas Holder and had burnt a hole through the casing. The gas caught fire and a column of flame was roaring upwards, Higgins threw a large piece of clay over the hole and jumped on it, this sealed the hole and extinguished the fire, if this had not succeeded Higgins would have been instantly burnt to death. Three other men, who received commendations, also did gallant work during the same raid in trying to overcome a fire caused by bombs on the roof of the Oil Gas Engine Room. They were forced to abandon the attempt owing to the oil around the bomb firing and causing the flames to spread. The fire was subsequently dealt with by the Fire Brigade, but the three men concerned did splendid work until the Fire Brigade arrived’.
BEM London Gazette 21st January 1941 page 484
Timothy Higgins, Retort Stoker
Walter Alfred Still, Scrub Yard Attendant
‘During an enemy air raid an (incendiary) bomb fell on a large oil tank standing within a few yards of an important and valuable plant. The bomb had nearly burnt its way through the top of the tank when William Still, a Scrub Yard Attendant, realised the situation, and, hurrying up to the tank, seized a shovel and mounted the top. He raced across the top, although it was 75 feet wide, slippery and domed, picked up the bomb on his shovel, re crossed the top and climbed down to the ground, where he extinguished the bomb. All this was done during the height of the raid with gun flashes and burning bombs as the only illumination. But for Still’s prompt action the damage would have been more extensive and the Plant would have been wrecked. Still acted in complete disregard for his own safety. Had the bomb fallen through the top into the oil there would have been no escape for him.
An incendiary bomb had fallen onto a Gas Holder and burnt through, causing a hole approximately 2 inches by 5 inches. The gas had caught fire and a column of flame was roaring upwards. Higgins, with another man, tried to close the hole with clay, but found that the heat of the flames dried the clay before sealing could be effected. Without a thought for his own safety, Higgins threw a large piece of clay over the hole and jumped on it. The sudden application of his hole weight extinguished the flame and the sealing was complete. Higgins is a Retort Stoker who has nothing to do with Gas Holders. When he saw the trouble, he left his own job, seized some clay and did the work. Had the flames not been extinguished when he jumped on top of the hole he would have been instantly burnt to death. He acted without a thought for his own safety’.
VF & Better £850 Available
Shipwrecked Fishermen and Mariners Royal Benevolent Society Silver Medal to Captain Horatio Joseph James Wise, Merchant Navy. Born in St Marylebone, London in October 1850 he qualified as Second Mate in September 1869, First Mate in October 1873 and Master Mariner Foreign Going Vessels in June 1876. Master of the SS Ontario, which rescued 27 crew in a storm on 8th March 1897 from the stricken Androsa. On passage with a general cargo from San Francisco to Liverpool, Androsa had been struck by a hurricane on 2nd March sustaining severe damage she began to flood. A passing vessel failed to see her distress signal on 6th March, two days later the Ontario came to her assistance, Androsa’s crew being landed at Boston on 24th March. Captain Wise died in Croydon, Surrey in 1911 aged 60 years.
Shipwrecked Fishermen and Mariners Royal Benevolent Society Silver Medal
Capt H J J Wise SS “Ontario” 8 March 1897
With copy Appendix to the Society’s Annual Report which give details of the award.
The Medal in fitted presentation case hinges and catch all fine.
Horatio Joseph James Wise was born in St Marylebone, London 19th October 1850 the son of Joseph Wise an Interpreter and his wife Emily, at the time of his Baptism on 19th October 1850 the family were residing at 79 Great Titchfield Street, St Marylebone. Horatio qualified as Second Mate 29th September 1869, First Mate 17th October 1873 and Master Mariner Foreign going ships 22nd June 1876. As Master of the SS Ontario he was awarded his Life Saving Medal for the rescue of 27 crew from the stricken cargo vessel Androsa on 8th March 1897, Androsa being in a sinking condition having been hit by a hurricane six days previously.
The Society Annual report of 1897 records –
‘The examination under oath of Captain D Morgan of the ship Androsa of Liverpool, which sailed on 28th October 1896, with a general cargo from San Francisco for Liverpool shows that on the morning of 2nd March 1897 when in Lat 46’40 N and Long 23’05 W the vessel was struck by a hurricane, and sustained severe damage, the maintopmast having subsequently to be cut away, and part of the cargo jettisoned to avoid capsizing. Both the Chief and Second Officer were injured. The weather continued very bad, and the pumps were kept going constantly for six days. On 6th March a Steamer was sighted, but, apparently did not observe the Androsa’s signals of distress. Captain Morgan proceeds to state –
“On Monday 8th March at about 0800, a steamer hove in sight bound west. We hoisted the ensign up union down. The Steamer came within hailing distance, and we asked to be taken off as our ship was sinking fast, and the seas were making complete breaches over her, and we had no boats, and nothing was left even to rig a raft. We sounded the pumps before leaving, and found from 12 to 15 feet of water in the hold. The Steamer proved to be the Ontario of Hull. Immediately they sent a Lifeboat in charge of the Chief Officer, with six of the crew, and managed with great difficulty to get along side our ship and took seventeen Hands on board the boat, then returned to the Steamer, and, after transferring them, came back to the ship for the remaining ten, including myself and officers. In coming along side the boat was smashed, and it was with great difficulty that we were rescued”
The rescued officers and men were kept on board the Ontario from 8th to 24th March when they were landed at Boston, being thence sent home by the British Consul. It may be added that the Board of Trade have presented the Captain of the Ontario with a binocular glass, the Chief Officer with a binocular glass and a silver medal, and the six men of the boats crew with a bronze medal and £2 each, in recognition of their gallantry on this occasion.’
The 1911 census records Horatio Joseph James Wise residing at 64 Park Road, Woodside, Merton Surrey with his wife Caroline Jennie, his occupation is recorded as ‘private means’ he died the same year aged 60 years.
NEF £475 SOLD
British Empire Medal GVI (Civil Division) to Able Seaman Jeremiah Holman, Merchant Navy from Belloram, Newfoundland. Awarded the BEM for his bravery and endurance when his ship SS Earlston was torpedoed and sunk by the German U-334 whilst part of Russian Convoy PQ17, she had previously come under JU 88 air attack which damaged a Steam Launch she was transporting. Holman spent seven days adrift in a crowded Lifeboat under command of the Second Officer who became ‘Prostrate with illness’. Aided by Able Seaman Hooper and Folwell, the trio took over the handling of the craft until they landed on the Rabachi Peninsula, Russia, it was largely due to their efforts that 33 survivors were saved. Convoy PQ17 known as ‘The Convoy to hell’ lost 24 of its 35 Merchant ships.
British Empire Medal (Civil Division) GVI
With copy London Gazette entry & headers, copies from awards file and other research listed here.
Jeremaih Holman was born in Belloram, Newfoundland, the awards file recording this as his home, employed by the Carlton Steamship Company, Maritime Buildings, Newcastle upon Tyne as an Able Seaman he was aboard the SS Earlston in 1942, part of Convoy PQ17. Earlston carried a cargo of 2,005 tons of military stores including 195 vehicles, a steam launch and 33 aircraft. On the morning of 5th July 1942 she came under air attack by JU88 dive bombers of 111/KG30 based at Banak, Norway, the steam launch on her upper deck being badly damaged by a bomb. At 1747 the same day she was hit by two torpedoes from the German U-334 in the North Atlantic, SW of Iceland and the order to abandon was given. The Master and three DEMS Gunners were taken prisoner, 23 crew and 3 passengers were lost and the survivors entered two lifeboats one commanded by the Chief Officer who landed in Norwegian occupied territory and the other by the Second Officer who became prostrate with illness. After seven days adrift his life boat landed on the Rabachi Peninsula.
BEM London Gazette 6th October 1942 page 4349
‘When his ship was sunk the Second Officer rook charge of the navigation of a crowded boat and brought her people to land after seven days. When he himself was prostrate with illness, the handling of the craft was carried on by Able Seaman Folwell, Holman and Hooper. It was largely due to their untiring efforts and example that the lives of the 33 survivors were saved’.
Convoy PQ 17 was the code name for an allied convoy in the Arctic Ocean in 1942. In July 1942, the Arctic convoys suffered severe losses when Convoy PQ 17 lost 24 of its 35 merchant ships during a series of heavy enemy daylight attacks which lasted a week. The German success was possible through German Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) and cryptological analysis. On 27th June, the ships sailed eastbound from Hvalfjord, Iceland for the port of Arkhangelsk, Soviet Union . The convoy was located by German Forces on 1st July, after which it was shadowed continuously and attacked. The convoy’s progress was being observed by the British Admiralty. The First Sea Lord Admiral Dudley Pound, acting on information that German surface units , including the German Battleship Tirpitz, were moving to intercept, ordered the covering force away from the convoy and told the convoy to scatter. However, due to vacillation by the German High Command, the Tirpitz raid never materialised. The convoy was the first joint Anglo-American Naval operation under British command in the war.
As the close escort and the covering cruiser forces withdrew westward to intercept the presumed German raiders, the individual merchant ships were left without their escorting destroyers. In their ensuing attempts to reach the appointed Russian ports, the merchant ships were repeatedly attacked by the Luftwaffe and U-Boats . Of the initial 35 ships, only 11 reached their destination, delivering 70,000 short tons (64,000 t) of cargo. The disastrous outcome of the convoy demonstrated the difficulty of passing adequate supplies through the Arctic, especially during the summer period of perpetual daylight.
GVF £850 Available
Member of the British Empire (MBE) Military Division 1st type, Queen’s South Africa Medal clasps Cape Colony, Orange Free State, Transvaal, South Africa 1901, South Africa 1902, 1914 Star with old copy clasp, British War & Victory Medals with Mentioned in Despatches Oakleaf, Long Service & Good Conduct Medal Army GV, Meritorious Service Medal GV to Quartermaster and Lieutenant James George Annand Forbes, Royal Army Medical Corps a former Joiner from Old Meldrum, Aberdeen, Scotland. Attesting at Edinburgh in January 1901, he served in South Africa from October 1901 to February 1907 and Sierra Leone from February 1910 to March 1911. Arriving in France 27th August 1914 with No 4 Stationary Hospital, he was Mentioned in Despatches by Sir John French in June 1915. Awarded the MSM in January 1918 as acting RSM of 4th London Field Ambulance RAMC, he was commissioned in October 1918. Post War he served in North Russia and was awarded the MBE in February 1920 for valuable services in connection with Military operations in Murmansk. In 1922 whilst stores controller of the Ministry of Pensions Hospital in Orpington and still a serving officer, he was convicted of five counts of stealing goods, furniture and equipment from the Hospital and sentenced to 12 months imprisonment and dismissed the service in what appears to be misguided acts of generosity. His MBE and MSM were also forfeited to be worn.
Member of the British Empire (Military Division) 1st type hallmark reverse for London 1919
Unnamed as awarded
Queen’s South Africa Medal clasps Cape Colony, Orange Free State, Transvaal, South Africa 1901, South Africa 1902
14924 Pte J G A Forbes RAMC
1914 Star and old copy sew on type clasp 5th Aug – 22nd Nov 1914
14924 SJT J G A Forbes RAMC
British War & Victory Medals with MID Oakleaf
QM & Lieut J G A Forbes
Long Service & Good Conduct Medal Army GV 1st type
14924 S SJT J G A Forbes RAMC
Meritorious Service Medal GV Immediate
14924 A SJT MJR J G A Forbes RAMC
With copy other ranks service record, London Gazette entries and headers for his awards and forfeitures, Medal Index Card, MSM and MID cards and newspaper article. Mounted on display board with name plate.
James George Annard Forbes was born in Old Meldrum, Aberdeen an 18 year 8 month old Joiner and serving member of the Midlothian Volunteer Artillery, he attested for the Royal Army Medical Corps at Edinburgh 25th January 1901. Serving in South Africa from 7th October 1901 to 23rd February 1907 and Sierra Leone from 27th February 1910 to 22nd March 1911. Appointed Lance Corporal 2nd April 1907, promoted Corporal 1st October 1908, Sergeant 31st May 1911, Staff Sergeant 12th October 1914 and appointed acting Regimental Sergeant Major 19th April 1917. Serving in France from 27th August 1914 initially with No 4 Stationary Hospital, he was Mentioned in Despatches by FM Sir John French London Gazette 22nd June 1915 page 6007. Awarded the MSM London Gazette 1st January 1918 page 69 for his services as Acting RSM of 4th (London) Field Ambulance RAMC. Commissioned Quartermaster and Lieutenant 25th October 1918 (London Gazette 2nd December 1918 page 14300) he served in North Russia post War and was awarded the MBE London Gazette 3rd February 1920 page 1376 ‘In recognition of valuable services rendered in connection with Military operations in Murmansk, North Russia’.
In 1922 Quartermaster & Captain Forbes was Stores Controller of the Pensions Ministry Hospital at Orpington, Kent and was committed for trial on five counts of stealing goods, furniture and equipment from the Hospital and bailed. Lt Colonel A F Heaton, Superintendent of the Hospital was suspended. As far as I can tell from the newspaper articles Forbes was allowing the Clergy to use hospital furniture and victuals for functions contrary to Standing Orders. He had drawn rations without paying for them and increased his salary to make good the payments and balance the books, a misguided act of generosity. As a result he was dismissed the service and forfeited the right to wear the MBE and MSM, all announced in the London Gazette. He received a 12 month custodial sentence.
Almost certainly a unique combination to the Corps, with a rare MBE for North Russia, the Bar to the 1914 Star not confirmed.
GVF £1,175 Available
British Empire Medal (Military Division) GVI, Naval General Service Medal GVI clasp Palestine 1936-39, 1939/45 Star, Italy Star, France & Germany Star, Defence & War Medals, Long Service & Good Conduct Medal GVI Royal Navy with Bar for SECOND AWARD to Stores Chief Petty Officer Norman John Drummond Finley, Royal Navy a former Milling Engineer from Gillingham, Kent. Entering the Royal Navy in February 1925, he was aboard HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed and sunk by the German U-47 at Scapa Flow 14th October 1939, there were 370 survivors and 834 officers and ratings lost. Continuing to serve mainly with Light Coastal Forces in Italy and France during the Second World War, he was awarded the BEM in 1957 for services at the Coastal Forces Base in Gosport Hampshire. Awarded the LSGC Medal in May 1940 and the Bar for Second Award in February 1955. Purchasing his discharge in 1957, he took employment as a Shipbuilder’s Storekeeper in Portsmouth and died at his home in North End, Portsmouth in July 1975.
British Empire Medal GVI (Military Division)
SCPO(V) Norman J D Finley P/M.38965
Naval General Service Medal GVI clasp Palestine 1936-39
PM.38965 N J D Finley SY PO RN
1939/45 Star, Italy Star, France & Germany Star, Defence & War Medals
Unnamed as issued
Long Service & Good Conduct Medal GVI Royal Navy 1st type & BAR for SECOND AWARD
M.38965 N J D Finley SCPO HMS Victory
With copy service records covering his entire service from 1925 to 1957, copy Second World War Medal award card confirming this very unusual combination of Stars and Medal to the Royal Navy, copy LSGC and Bar Medal roll entry, two books regarding the loss of HMS Royal Oak, one containing a photo of the recipient at a reunion a year before his death and copy death certificate. The group mounted on a display board with name plates etc.
Norman John Drummond Finley was born in Gillingham, Kent 23rd August 1906, a Milling Engineer he entered the Royal Navy as a Stores Accountant at Pembroke II 16th February 1925. Advanced to Leading Stores Accountant aboard HMS Effingham 8th April 1928, Supply Petty Officer at Vernon 16th December 1934, and Supply Chief Petty Officer at Victory II 25th October 1939. Joining HMS Royal Oak 1st June 1939 he survived the sinking of this ship by the German U-47 on 14th October 1939.
The German submarine U-47, under the command of Prien, approached Scapa Flow through the narrow approaches at Kirk Sound with surprising ease. It was high tide and a little after midnight on 14 October 1939. U-47 first sailed towards Lyness but, finding no ships in the area and encountering no resistance, then turned to the north where HMS Royal Oak, HMS Pegasus and possibly HMS Iron Duke were spotted (Wood, 2008, p.92). A total of 51 ships were in Scapa Flow at the time, 18 of which can be described as fighting ships (Weaver, 1980, p.39).
When the first torpedo struck HMS Royal Oak at 0058, the dull thud confused the sailors – they thought the muffled explosions were an on-board problem, perhaps an explosion in the paint store. They certainly did not think it was a U-boat attack. A second salvo failed to deliver a hit but the confusion surrounding the first hit gave Commander Prien an additional 20 minutes to return to his firing position, reload, and fire a third salvo. This third discharge landed direct hits amidships.
Such was the ferocity of the explosions, the ship heeled over alarmingly and all the lights went out. It had been fine weather so all of the ship’s hatches were open. Undoubtedly Royal Oak would have taken longer to sink and more lives would have been saved if the watertight hatches had been closed; but it is not normal procedure to have all hatches closed when in a supposedly safe harbour with no alerts. When the ship rolled its gun barrels shifted, pulling the ship faster beneath the surface. Water crashed through the open hatches and men asleep in their bunks were unable to get out in time. It took just minutes for the battleship to sink. Hundreds fought for their lives in the water, trying to swim for shore through thick fuel oil and in freezing temperatures. A total of 834 men lost their lives. Many of the men are buried in the Lyness Royal Naval Cemetery on Hoy (Wood, 2008, p.92).
During the Second World War he served mostly with Coastal Forces bases including Lanka in Ceylon for duty at the RNAS China Bay from 1st April 1940, Orlando, the RN Base at Greenock from 15th October 1942, Attack from 26th March 1944 the Coastal Forces base at Portland, Naval Party 1658 from 6th May 1944, Fabius from 9th August 1944 the RN Naval Base at Taranto, and RN Base Trieste from 15th May 1945. Continuing to serve post War ashore and afloat he purchased his discharge 26th October 1957. Awarded the British Empire Medal London Gazette 13th June 1957 page 3396 for his services at the Gosport Coastal Forces Base Hornet. Long Service & Good Conduct Medal awarded 30th May 1940 and Second Award Bar 25th February 1955.
GVF £1,250 SOLD
Military Medal GV, British War & Victory Medals to acting Corporal James Henry Davies, West Yorkshire Regiment a former Coal Miner (Hewer) from Newbridge, Monmouthshire born in 1896. Serving in France with the 9th (Yorkshire Hussars) Battalion he was awarded the MM in July 1919 for his gallantry in the closing actions of the War including the Pursuit to the Selle 9th to 12th October 1918, Battle of the Sambre 4th November 1918 and passage of the Grande Honelle 5th to 7th November 1918. Discharged to Class ‘Z’ Army Reserve 13th January 1919.
Military Medal GV
20003 Pte – A.Cpl J H Davies 9/W York R
British War & Victory Medals
20003 A.Cpl J H Davies W York R
With copy Medal Index Card confirming the award of the British War & Victory Medals only, copy London Gazette entry and headers for MM, copy MM card, census details listed here.
John Henry Davies was born in Newbridge, Monmouthshire, Wales in 1896, the 1911 census records he is a 16 year old Coal Miner (Hewer) residing with his widowed father David also a Coal Miner (Hewer), four brothers and one sister at 6 Main Street, Newbridge. Serving in France with the 9th (Yorkshire Hussars Yeomanry) Battalion he was awarded the Military Medal London Gazette 23rd July 1919 page 9368.
The 9th (Service) Battalion West Yorkshire Regiment was formed at York in August 1914 and saw service at Gallipoli during the closing days of the campaign, Egypt and arrived in France 1st July 1916. On 13th November 1917 it absorbed 400 other Yorkshire Hussars Yeomanry and was re-named 9th (Yorkshire Hussars Yeomanry) Battalion. Forming part of 32nd Brigade, 11th Division taking part in The pursuit to The Selle 9th to 12th October 1918, Battle of The Sambre 4th November 1918 including the passage of the Sambre-Oise Canal and capture of Le Quesnoy, passage of the Grande Honelle 5th to 7th November 1918.
Discharged to Class ‘Z’ Army Reserve 13th January 1919.
GVF £425 Reserved
Member of the British Empire (MBE) Military 1st type, Queen’s South Africa Medal clasps Defence of Ladysmith, Laing’s Nek, Belfast, Orange Free State, King’s South Africa Medal clasps South Africa 1901, South Africa 1902, British War & Victory Medals with Mentioned in Despatches Oakleaf to Lieutenant Herbert Chester Gray, Royal Field Artillery a former Boot Finisher originally from Daventry, Northamptonshire. Attesting for the Royal Artillery in September 1891, he served in India from September 1896 to September 1899. Promoted to Sergeant in April 1900, he served with 2nd Brigade Divisional Ammunition Column during the defence of Ladysmith and was Mentioned in General Sir George Whit’s despatch for distinguished service. Reduced to Corporal in July 1900 for misconduct he was promoted again to Sergeant in February 1901, he served in South Africa from 17th September 1899 to 8th October 1902, from July 1901 with 42nd Battery RFA and later No 3 Local Ammunition Column. Discharged time expired in September 1903, he took employment as a Foreman, Brewery Delivery Department in Newport, Monmouthshire. Volunteering again on the outbreak of war he was commissioned Lieutenant in May 1915 and served in France from 1916, where he was twice Mentioned in Despatches, wounded and had his horse shot from under him on the Somme. Awarded the MBE fin 1918 for an act of gallantry in France not in the presence of the enemy’. Retiring to Bournemouth on relinquishing his commission, he died there in 1942.
Member of the British Empire (MBE) 1st type Military
Unnamed as awarded with Hallmark for London 1918
Queen’s South Africa Medal clasps Defence of Ladysmith, Laing’s Nek, Belfast, Orange Free State
86201 Cpl H Gray RFA
King’s South Africa Medal clasps South Africa 1901, South Africa 1902
86201 SERJT H Gray RFA
British War & Victory Medals with Mentioned in Despatches Oakleaf
Lieut H C Gray
With copy Medal Index Card, London Gazette entry for MID’s (2) an original tatty newspaper cutting with picture, an original group photograph containing the recipient and details extracted from his on line other ranks service record. The MBE in Garrard & co presentation case.
Herbert Chester Gray was born in Daventry, Northamptonshire an 18 year old Boot Finisher and serving member of the Northampton Rifle Volunteers he attested for the Royal Artillery at Weedon 2nd September 1891 and posted 30th Battalion RA. Promoted acting Bombardier 23rd July 1894, Bombardier 16th June 1896, Corporal 12th January 1899. Posted Indian Division Ammunition Column 27th September 1899 and 2nd Brigade Divisional Ammunition Column which he served with during the defence of Ladysmith. Promoted Sergeant 17th April 1900 and reduced to Corporal for misconduct 3rd July 1900, promoted to Sergeant again 15th February 1901, posted to 42nd Battery Royal Field Artillery 1st July 1901, discharged 1st September 1903 on completion of engagement. Served in India 24th September 1896 to 16th September 1899, South Africa 17th September 1899 to 8th October 1902. Mentioned in Despatches by General Sir George White for distinguished services during the defence of Ladysmith London Gazette 8th February 1901 page 931.
Lieutenant Herbert Chester Gray, RFA far right the reverse of the photo written in ink
“The Boshe hunters at rest”
Herbert Chester Gray married just before he left the Army on 7th April 1903 at Bradford, the 1911 census records he is employed as a Foreman, Brewery Delivery Department residing with his wife Ada, daughter and servant at 1 Clytha Crescent, Newport, Monmouthshire. Volunteering his services again on the outbreak of war he was commissioned Temporary Lieutenant 9th May 1915 (London Gazette 8th May 1915 page 5410) and served in France from 1916. The original Northampton Independent newspaper article dated 21st December 1918 with the group records he was wounded on the Somme and had his horse shot from under him. Awarded the MBE London Gazette 18th November 1918 page 13575 ‘In connection with Military operations in France and Flanders, for an act of gallantry not in the presence of the enemy’. Mentioned in Despatches by Sir Douglas Haig London Gazette 18th May 1917 page 4871 and London Gazette 18th May 1917 page 4874. Relinquishing his commission following the Armistice he retired to Bournemouth and died there in 1942.
The Orange Free State clasp to his Queen’s South Africa in the wrong order, it was issued later on the supplementary roll for 42nd Battery with the comments ‘From No 3 Local Ammunition Column, clasp issued 17th August 1904’.
A rare instance of an MBE being awarded for gallantry not in the face of the enemy in France.
First time on the market.
GVF & better £1,250 SOLD
British Empire Medal GVI (Military), 1939/45 Defence & War Medals to Corporal Mildred Wilson, Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS).
British Empire Medal GVI (Military)
W/38559 Cpl Mildred Wilson ATS
1939/45 Defence & War Medals
Unnamed as issued
With copy London Gazette entry and header for BEM, flattened wartime economy BEM cardboard presentation box, original letter from Buckingham Palace forwarding the BEM.
BEM London Gazette 13th June 1946 page 2808
GVF £295 Available
Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB) in silver gilt and enamels, Egypt Medal reverse dated 1882 no clasp, Queen’s South Africa Medal clasps Cape Colony, Orange Free State, Transvaal, King’s South Africa Medal clasps South Africa 1901, South Africa 1902, Khedives Star dated 1882 to Colonel Edgar Henry Burney, Royal Berkshire Regiment. Born in St Martin, Jersey in 1860 the son of a Captain, Royal Navy who was also to be awarded the Companion of the Order of the Bath. Commissioned 2/Lieutenant 49th Regiment of Foot in January 1879, he took part in the 1882 Egypt Expedition with the 1st Battalion, including the surrender of Kafr Dowar. Appointed Adjutant to the 2nd Battalion 1884 to 1887, attached Army Ordnance Department at Woolwich 1888 to 1893, appointed Adjutant of Militia in 1894 he was promoted Lt Colonel 29th August 1900 and commanded the 2nd Battalion in South Africa from October 1900 to October 1901. Commanding the centre lines of communications and No 4 Mobile Column in the Transvaal he was Mentioned in Despatches and created a Companion of the Order of the Bath in September 1901. Promoted to Colonel on his retirement in August 1904, he died the following year in Paris at the age of only 44 years.
Companion of the Order of the Bath silver gilt and enamels with ribbon brooch suspender
Unnamed as awarded
Egypt Medal reverse dated 1882 no clasp
Lieut E Burney 1/Berks Regt
Queen’s South Africa Medal clasps Cape Colony, Orange Free State, Transvaal
Lt Col E H Burney Rl Berks Rgt
King’s South Africa Medal clasps South Africa 1901, South Africa 1902
Lt Col E H Burney CB R Berks Rgt
With copy London Gazette entries and headers for CB and MID, research details extracted from The Army List and on line records. A series of photographs of Colonel Burney are held by the Regimental Museum (The Wardrobe) their catalogue can be viewed on line.
Edgar Henry Burney was born in St Martin, Jersey 17th August 1860, the son of Captain Charles Burney, CB, Royal NAVY (Superintendent of the Royal Hospital School, Greenwich 1870 to 1887) and his wife Catherine (nee Jones), baptised at St Martin, Jersey 17th August 1860, the 1861 census records he is 8 months old living with his mother and servants (father at sea) in St Martin. Commissioned 2/Lieutenant 49th Foot 22nd January 1879, promoted Lieutenant 8th April 1880, Captain 10th December 1884 and served as Adjutant to the 2nd Battalion 1884 to 1887. Attached to the Army Ordnance Department 1888 to 1893, the 1891 census records he is residing at 28 Hill Street, Woolwich, London married to Marguerita Cecile born in Luxemburg but from a Jersey family. Promoted Major 2nd November 1894 and appointed Adjutant 4th Militia Battalion Manchester Regiment 1893 to 1898, promoted Lt Colonel 29th August 1900 and Colonel 29th August 1904 on his retirement, the father of two children born in Weymouth in 1893 and Germany in 1898.
His overseas service included Gibraltar 8th March 1881 to 17th July 1882, Malta 18th July 1882 to 22nd July 1882, Egypt 23rd July 1882 to 11th April 1883 including the surrender of Kafr Dowar 5th August 1882 (Medal & Khedives Star), Gibraltar 27th September 1883 to 15th June 1884 and again from 28th January 1900 to 8th September 1900. Commanded the 2nd Battalion in South Africa from 27th October 1900 to 11th October 1901, Commanded Lines of Communication Middle Section Transvaal January to 10th May 1901, commanded No 4 Mobile Column Transvaal from May to July 1901. Operations in the Transvaal east of Pretoria October and November 1900, Operations in the Transvaal November 1900 to July 1901, Operations in cape Colony July to October 1901, and May 1902. Mentioned in Despatches London Gazette 10th September 1901, Companion of the Bath London Gazette 27th September 1901 page 6317.
Colonel Burney died in Neuilly, Paris 16th June 1905 aged 44 years.
GVF £2,450 Available
Distinguished Service Medal GVI, British Empire Medal GVI (Military), Naval General Service Medal GVI clasp Palestine 1936-39, 1939/45 Star, Africa Star clasp North Africa 1942-43, Atlantic Star, War Medal, Long Service & Good Conduct Medal Royal Navy GVI 1st type to Commissioned Engineer (Sub Lieutenant) Charles Stanley Carter, Royal Navy born in July 1905 in Penzance, Cornwall. Entering the Royal Navy in January 1921, he rose steadily through the ranks being advanced to Chief Engine Room Artificer in January 1937. Joining HMS Broke in July 1939, the ship taking part in the evacuation of troops from St Nazaire, France in June 1940. Awarded the BEM for his skill when Broke rescued 180 survivors from the Armed Merchant Cruiser Comorin which caught fire on 6th April 1941 and eventually sank in mid Atlantic during severe weather conditions. Awarded the DSM for Operation Torch she landed US troops in Algiers, Broke came under a heavy fire from Vichy French shore batteries but landed troops despite being badly damaged. Disabled by further fire as she withdrew she sank two days later. Promoted to Warrant Engineer in September 1944, he retired in 1949 as a Commissioned Engineer and died in Plymouth in 1970.
Distinguished Service Medal GVI
M.36157 C S Carter CERA
British Empire Medal GVI (Military)
Chief ERA Charles Stanley Carter D/M.36157
Naval General Service Medal GVI clasp Palestine 1936-39
M.36157 C S Carter ERA2 RN
1939/45 Star, Africa Star clasp North Africa 1942-43, Atlantic Star, War Medal
Unnamed as issued
Long Service & Good Conduct Medal Royal Navy GVI 1st type
M.36157 C S Carter CERA 2 HMS Fearless
With copy service records, London Gazette entries and headers for BEM and DSM, copy recommendations for both awards. The group mounted for wear, not particularly well, in the wrong order.
Charles Stanley Carter was born in Penzance, Cornwall 2nd July 1905. A Scholar he entered the Royal Navy 29th January 1921 as an Artificer Apprentice, completing his Apprenticeship at Fisgard 1st July 1925 and rated ERA5, advanced to ERA3 at Vivid 1st July 1929, ERA2 aboard HMS Adventure 1st July 1933, acting CERA2 aboard HMS Fame 20th January 1937, he was confirmed in that rate aboard HMS Fearless 20th January 1938 and awarded the LSGC Medal aboard this ship 7th June 1938. Joining HMS Broke 31st July 1939, the ship taking part in the evacuation of troops from St Nazaire in June 1940. Awarded both the BEM and DSM whist serving aboard this ship.
BEM London Gazette 8th July 1944 page 3915 ‘For courage and seamanship in rescuing survivors from a burning vessel’
‘One of HM Ships the SS Comorin caught fire at sea (on 6th April 1941). The fire spread quickly and it was decided to abandon ship. Heavy weather made the removal of the crew difficult. By fine seamanship a Destroyer was brought along side, and the greater part of the crew taken off. In this operation acting Leading Seaman Cook (awarded BEM) was conspicuous. He took the lead in helping survivors who were hurt as they jumped aboard. He worked untiringly, with no regard for his own safety. Chief Engine Room Artificer Carter did fine work during three and a half hours of delicate handling. 685 orders were transmitted to the Engine Room during this time. The names of these two men are put forward as representative of the skill, devotion and courage displayed throughout the action by the lower deck and Engine Room’.
HMS Broke recued 180 survivors, HMS Lincoln and HMS Glenarty also took survivors, 405 of the 426 on board were rescued. SS Comorin sank in mid Atlantic.
DSM London Gazette 6th April 1943 page 1583 ‘For outstanding gallantry and zeal in the Engine Room of HMS Broke throughout the hazardous operations when the Allied Forces were landed in North Africa in November 1942, Operation Terminal’.
Originally recommended for a Mention in Despatches but this upgraded to the DSM, the recommendation states –
‘This man’s bearing and leadership in action were of the highest order and had a most excellent steadying effect. He was also untiring in his efforts in after action damage control. The high state of effectiveness of the Engine Room Department was largely due to his zeal and energy’.
On 8 November 1942 Broke, together with the Destroyer Malcolm took part in Operation Terminal part of Operation Torch , the Allied invasion of French North Africa. In “Terminal”, the two Destroyers were to attempt to land infantry directly onto the portside in Algiers in the hope of capturing the port facilities and preventing their destruction by the Vichy French. It was hoped that either complete surprise would be achieved or that the defenders would support the invasion to the extent at least of refusing to fire on the attackers. However, the Vichy forces opened fire on the ships, damaging them heavily. Malcolm was forced to withdraw, but Broke had better luck. On her third attempt, she sliced through the boom and succeeded in landing her troops under fire on the Quai de Fécamp, four hours after the operation started. Broke continued to receive heavy fire and was forced to withdraw at 1030, the unseasoned US troops she landed were quickly taken prisoner. roke was again hit by shore batteries when withdrawing which compounded on earlier damage. She was taken in tow by the Destroyer Zetland, but sank two days later on 10th November at position 36.50N 00.40E.
Promoted to Warrant Engineer 18th September 1944, and to Commissioned Engineer with the same seniority he retired in 1949 and died in Plymouth in 1970.
NEF £3,250 Available
Sea Gallantry Medal (SGM) Large Bronze type, Victoria, British War Medal, Royal Victorian Medal (RVM) EVII Silver to William Henry Parker, Merchant Navy who as Third Mate of the Colonist was awarded the SGM for rescuing the crew of the Schooner Hebe of Greenock 24th February 1890 when she was demisted in a hurricane in the North Atlantic. As Captain of a Mr Bibby’s personal Yacht Jason, he was awarded the RVM in 1909 when HM King Edward VII visited the Yacht at Mamore. Commissioned Lieutenant, RNR in 1915 he was forced to resign his commission on account of ill health, he went on to command the SS Iolanda and died in Wokingham, Berkshire in 1979 aged 92 years.
Large Bronze Sea Gallantry Medal Victoria suspension bar engraved ‘Colonist’
W H Parker Wreck of the “Hebe” on 24 February 1890
British War Medal
Lieut W H Parker RNR
Royal Victorian Medal Silver EVII
Unnamed as awarded
With copy RNR service record, an original letter and award certificate for the RVM, original photo of Captain Parker and other research including a photo of the Yacht Jason.
William Henry Parker was born in London in 1881, as Third Mate of the Colonist he was awarded the Sea Gallantry Medal in Bronze by the Board of Trade for saving the lives of the crew of the Schooner Hebe on 24 February 1890 when she was demisted in a hurricane in the North Atlantic. Two Life Boats were launched from the stricken Hebe, one capsized drowning one man and the second Life Boat was lost when trying to lower it onto the deck. The crew were rescued by a boat from Colonist which made two trips in heavy seas with gale force winds at great risk.
Parker became the Captain of a Mr Bibby’s personal Yacht Jason and was awarded the RVM in Silver on 25th September 1909 on the occasion of HM King Edward VII’s visit at Mamore. Commissioned Lieutenant, RNR 18th January 1915, he served aboard the Iolaire and other Armed Trawlers but was found to be unfit for service and discharged in July 1917 due to an old injury, right leg. His last Command was the SS Iolanda and he died in Wokingham, Berkshire in 1979 aged 92 years.
Official correction to ‘N’ of RNR on BWM
NEF £750 Reserved