Military Medal GV, 1914 Star, British War and Victory Medals to Lance Corporal John William Ledger, 2nd Battalion York and Lancaster regiment a former Foundry Labourer born in Carbrook, Sheffield in 1890. Enlisting at Sheffield 1st February 1910 he served with the 2nd Battalion in France from 8th September 1914 taking part in the battle of the Aisne and in action at Hooge, Ypres sector in July 1915. One of the first recipients of the new Military Medal decoration which appeared in the London Gazette dated 3rd June 1916, his award was for gallantry in the Ypres Salient in April 1916, in a series of attacks against German positions, notably on 19th to 22nd April 1916. Arriving on the Somme in August 1916, the Battalion was to see much action. Wounded in the right leg by a bomb (grenade) an accident in October 1916 he was evacuated to the UK for hospital treatment 5th October 1916. Discharged unfit in October 1917, he died in 1955.
Military Medal GV
9679 Pte J W Ledger 2/Y & L R
9679 Pte J W Ledger 2/York & Lanc R
British War and Victory Medals
9679 Pte J W Ledger Y & L R
With details extracted from his on line service record, copy Medal Index Card and London Gazette entries for MM.
John William Ledger was born in Carbrook, Sheffield in 1890, an Iron Foundry Labourer he attested for the York & Lancaster Regiment at Sheffield 1st February 1910 and joined the Depot. Posted to the 2nd Battalion 25th April 1910, 3rd Battalion 9th June 1914 and back to the 2nd Battalion 8th August 1914. Serving in France from 8th September 1914, the Battalion took part in the battle of the Aisne in September 1914 and the actions at Hooge, Ypres sector in July 1915. Awarded the Military Medal London Gazette 3rd June 1916 page 5593 for gallantry during April 1916 in the Ypres Salient the Battalion War Diary records –
From: Brigadier C L Nicholson Commanding 16th Infantry Brigade dated 29th April 1916 –
“The work of 2nd Battalion York and Lancaster Regiment since they were sent up in support of 8th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment on the night of 19th/20th (April) has been admirable. The only successful attack on the night of 19th/20th (April) was executed by one company of this Battalion which recaptured D.21. During the 20th and 21st and the night of 21st/22nd they worked hard on the second line and suffered considerable losses. Whilst it is almost certainly due to their hard work and gallant patrolling that S.19 and the Mortaldje Estaminent have been occupied”.
John’s Granddaughter does recall him telling her he was awarded the MM for rescuing a wounded officer, there may be some truth to this as his service record records he was an officer’s servant (purchased from the family).
Arriving on the Somme 3rd August 1916, appointed Lance Corporal 18th August 1916, they took part in the attack on Leuze Wood and the Quadrilateral 15th September. Soon checked by heavy machine gun fire, all three attacking Battalions were pinned down in their start position. A renewed attempt in the early evening also failed. Taking part in the attack on Morval 25th September all objectives were taken within 15 minutes of Zero hour, casualties for the month of September recorded as 360 killed and wounded and 129 admitted to hospital sick. Wounded in the right leg by a bomb (grenade) this is noted as an accidental wound but attributable to his active service for which he received a disability pension, could have been a training accident or hit by one of our grenades during the attack on Morval.
Evacuated to the UK for hospital treatment 5th October 1916 and admitted to Haxby Road Military Hospital, York. Posted to Command at Ripon 29th July 1917 and to the 3rd (Reserve) Battalion 25th August 1917. Discharged no longer fit for military service 11th October 1917, home address recorded as 163 Greystock Street, Sheffield, he died in 1955.
Polishing contact wear particularly to MM, Star gilded.
VF £675 Available
British Empire Medal E2 for Gallantry, Campaign Service Medal E2 clasps South Arabia, Northern Ireland to Lance Corporal Malcolm Charles Sindall, Royal Engineers born in Ilford, Essex in 1944. Awarded the BEM for Gallantry in rescuing three men from two Army helicopters that crashed on the playing field of Chattenden Barracks, near Rochester, Kent on the morning of Wednesday 14th May 1969. One helicopter carrying Brigadier David Allott to a Royal Engineers demonstration at the Barracks burst into flames. Sindall who was sat in the Junior Ranks Club adjacent to the field, immediately rushed to the scene and assisted by two others extracted all three men from both helicopters. He was in danger of receiving severe burns whilst doing so and the fuel tanks of the burning helicopter were in danger of exploding at any second. He showed complete disregard of his personal safety in full knowledge of the dangers. Despite all efforts to save life it was soon established all three extracted from the two crashed helicopters were dead.
British Empire Medal E2 with For Gallantry Emblem
23733801 L/Cpl Malcolm C Sindall RE
Campaign Service Medal E2 clasps South Arabia, Northern Ireland
23733801 L/Cpl M C Sindall RE
With copy London Gazette entry and headers, copy original recommendation, copy Newspaper article.
Clasps riveted together on CSM.
Malcolm Charles Sindall was born in Ilford, Essex in 1944, he was awarded the BEM For Gallantry whilst serving with 12 Royal School of Military Engineering Regiment, Royal Engineers at Chattenden Barracks, near Rochdale, Kent when two Army helicopters collided and crashed.
BEM For Gallantry London Gazette 7th October 1969 page 10212
“On Wednesday 14th May 1969 at about 0926 hours, a helicopter taking off from the sports field of Chattenden Barracks collided in mid air with another helicopter coming in to land. Both crashed to the ground, one in a mass of flames. Lance Corporal Sindall was sitting in the Junior Ranks Club near the sports field. He heard a terrific bang, looked up to see a helicopter falling in flames, immediately dashed out of the Club and ran to the burning helicopter.
Assisted by another soldier, Sapper Pedley, and a civilian Mr Percival, he began to extract the occupants from the burning wreckage. During this time and before fire fighting appliances were brought to bear, there was considerable danger of the rescuers getting very badly burnt as well as a real risk of the helicopter fuel tanks exploding. All three acted in complete disregard for their personal safety in removing the two occupants from the wreckage and in extinguishing their burning clothing.
By the time the three men had dealt with the occupants of the burning helicopter, others arrived on the scene to help them extract the occupant from the wreckage of the other helicopter, which had not caught fire. It was soon established that all three occupants were dead, but there is no doubt that Lance Corporal Sindall, in company with Sapper Pedley and Mr Percival did everything humanly possible to save life. Lance Corporal Sindall acted with the utmost speed and resolution and with complete disregard for his personal safety in the face of obvious danger, in accordance with the highest traditions of the service”.
From: an Unidentified Local Newspaper –
Three die as helicopters collide
“A Brigadier and two pilots were killed today when two helicopters collided in mid air over Chattenden Barracks, near Rochester, Kent. The crash happened when a Sioux helicopter carrying Brigadier David Allott, 17/21 Lancers aged 44, to a Royal Engineers demonstration at the barracks was coming into land. It was in collision with a Scout helicopter taking off from the sports field at the barracks. Brigadier Alott, Commandant of the Royal Armoured Corps Centre at Bovington was one of 200 senior officers attending the demonstration together with Mr Boyden, Parliamentary Secretary for Defence for the Army. Brigadier Allott was married with a son and two daughters. One of the pilots was Warrant Officer Class 2 H A J Jones, aged 38, of the Army Air Corps. He was married with two daughters and lived in South Wanston, Hampshire. The other pilot was Sergeant David Rogers, aged 25, of the Third Royal Tank Regiment Air Troop. He was married with a son. The demonstration went on as planned while arrangements were made for an immediate enquiry into the cause of the crash”.
GVF £1,950 Available
The sons of John and Kate Ambrose of Cheadle, Cheshire.
Distinguished Conduct Medal GV, British War and Victory Medals with Bronze Memorial Plaque to Lance Corporal Arthur Ambrose, 1/6th Battalion Seaforth Highlanders, born in Gorton, Manchester in 1896. Enlisting in Manchester, he served in France after January 1916, awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for his gallantry north of Locon, France 9th to 11th April 1918 in which he took command of his section (12 men) and a party of stragglers after his section leader had become a casualty. By fine powers of leadership, he inflicted severe losses on the enemy. Killed in action between 20th and 26th July 1918 aged 22 years during the attack on Bois de L’Aulnay and surrounding German positions. In December 1918 his father placed a notice in The Manchester Evening News seeking information on his son who was reported missing whilst serving with “C” Company 9th Platoon between 20th and 26th July 1918. Commemorated on the Soissons Memorial, Aisne, France.
Distinguished Conduct Medal GV
267507 Pte A Ambrose 1/6/Sea Hdrs
British War and Victory Medals
267507 Pte A Ambrose Seaforth
Bronze Memorial Plaque
1914/15 Star, British War and Victory Medals with Bronze Memorial Plaque to Gunner John Ambrose, Royal Field Artillery born in Gorton, Manchester in 1894 in 1911 he was employed in the family Grocery and Corn Merchant business. Enlisting at Stockport he served in France from 23rd December 1915. Mortally wounded 21st August 1918 during the offensive to capture Albert serving with 122 Brigade, he died in a Casualty Clearing Station the same day following amputation of a leg. Aged 24 years he now rests in the Bagneux British Cemetery, Gezaincourt, France.
W-1903 Gnr J Ambrose RFA
British War and Victory Medals
W-1903 Gnr J Ambrose RA
Bronze Memorial Plaque
With copy Medal Index Cards, London Gazette entry & headers for DCM, copies from 1/6th Battalion Seaforth Highlanders War Diary and other research listed here.
Alfred Ambrose was born in Gorton, Manchester in 1896, the 1911 census records he is a 15 year old school boy residing with his father John a Grocer and Corn Merchant, mother Kate also employed in the family business and siblings at 122 Wimslow Road,Cheadle, Cheshire. Enlisting in Manchester, he served in France after January 1916and was awarded the DCM London Gazette 3rd September 1918 –
“For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty (North of Locon 9th April 1918) during an enemy attack. His section leader becoming a casualty, he assumed command of the section and a party of stragglers and by fine powers of leadership, he controlled his party splendidly and inflicted severe losses on the enemy”.
“At 0700 the Battalion received orders to positions at the canal bank between Busnes and Robecq arriving at 1000. Reconnoitring patrols were sent out, before these patrols returned the Battalion was ordered to occupy the La Couture defences. Moving out at 1250, the Battalion encountered the enemy at the Canal De La Lawe. “A” Company were able to cross the canal at the footbridge less one platoon, the machine gun and rifle fire fairly heavy, but the Germans had been surprised by our men and the advance continued. The Battalion was ordered to hold the line of the canal and “A” Company withdrew to the western side of the canal.
At about this time a company of 6th Battalion Gordon Highlanders moved up on our left and dug in in front of Vielle Chapelle coming under our command….The enemy did not make any further effort to advance further during the day and at night our line was strengthened by 2 platoons of “D” Company. The footbridge was ordered to be destroyed by a section of Royal Engineers but they ran away after blowing up two boards. This conduct is worthy of the greatest censure as it was over this footbridge that the enemy eventually managed to obtain a footing in our line. CO Lt Colonel Macdonald, DSO wounded and evacuated.
In the morning of 10th April the enemy managed to cross the footbridge under cover of heavy machine gun and rifle fire and entered a farm. A supporting platoon counter attacked but was unsuccessful, receiving heavy casualties. At 1600 Three Platoons of 6th Gordons attacked and captured the farm but suffered heavy casualties, only 16 men remained at the end of the engagement.
The enemy continued to show activity on our front and there were several patrol encounters, with casualties inflicted on the enemy. The two companies on the left remained intact although subject to machine gun and rifle fire. At 0200 a report was received that the enemy had broken through at Lestrum Post and was moving south towards Zelobes. About this time heavy machine gun fire was heard and stragglers coming in reported the enemy had broken through between Vielle Chapelle and Zelobes and obtained a footing there. Machine gun fire on the left became more intense and at dawn on 11th April the enemy were seen coming from the left flank from between Zelobes and Vielle Chapelle. At the same time heavy casualties were inflicted on the enemy at the footbridge by rifle and machine gun fire, but the position at the farm and all ground in front of Les Lobes became untenable owing to machine gun fire from the left rear and at 0730 the Battalion withdrew. Two platoons of 6th Seaforths are missing, they must have been surrounded by the enemy but did a large amount of damage to them, Lieutenants Oliver and Stacey, who are missing rendered magnificent service in keeping the men together and inflicting losses on the enemy”.
Killed in action 20th July 1918, the Soldier’s Effects Register records Lance Corporal Alfred Ambrose was killed in action between 20th and 26th July 1918 aged 22 years, death being presumed after that date. This is further supported by a newspaper appeal by his father –
From : The Manchester Evening News 10th December 1918 page 4
AMBROSE – Missing after the battle of Champagne July 20th to 26th, “C” Company, 9 Platoon, L/Cpl any information J Ambrose, 122 Wimslow Road, Cheadle, Cheshire”.
The Battalion War Diary has a good account of the operations between 20th to 31st July 1918. Commemorated on the Soissons Memorial, France.
The Battalion War Diary records –
“On 20th July the 1/6th Seaforths were north east of Paradis, Paradis being held by the Germans. “C” company on the left. On 21st July they were subject to intense enemy shell fire suffering 60 killed and wounded. At 1400 the Battalion moved forward in support of 5th Seaforths and 6th Gordons. On 22nd July enemy shell fire remained heavy and at 1600 gas shells were fired. On 23rd July the Brigade attacked, “C” company 1/6th Seaforths suffered very severely from our own barrage and hostile machine gun fire from the left flank before reaching the Bois de L’Aulnay, all officers becoming casualties. Elements of “C” company succeeded in reaching the objective but the main line taken up was in the sunken road 300 yards south of the Bois de L’Aulnay.
On 24th, 25th and 26th the 1/6th Seaforths continued to hold the line after being re-organised into one composite company. Total casualties for the operations are recorded as 5 officers killed and 14 wounded, 46 other ranks killed, 312 wounded and 32 missing.”
John Ambrose was born in Gorton, Manchester in 1894 the 1911 census records he is employed at the family business and residing at 122 Wilslow Road, Cheadle, Cheshire. Enlisting at Stockport in March 1915, he served in France from 23rd December 1915. Mortally wounded whilst serving with 122nd Brigade Royal Field Artillery 21st August 1918 during the allied offensive and capture of Albert. Evacuated to a casualty Clearing Station he died the same day following amputation of a leg. Aged 24 years he now rests in the Bagneux Cemetery, Gezaincourt, France.
A fine DCM to a Private soldier who took command of those around him at a critical moment inflicting severe losses on the enemy.
EF £2,250 Available
Military Medal GV to Private William Riley, 2/4th (Hallamshire) Battalion York and Lancaster Regiment born in 1887 and a Coal Miner Wath Main Colliery. Enlisting at Rotherham 18th May 1915, he served in France from 13th March 1916 with the 1/5th Battalion. The 1/5th were in reserve on 1st July 1916 Somme offensive and moved forward to Thiepval Wood. On 3rd July they took part in the attack on St Pierre Divion suffering 350 casualties. Wounded in action 7th July 1916, bullet wound to neck whilst at North Bluff Authuille. Treated in hospital in France, he was discharged to the Depot at Etaples 13th July 1916. An habitual offender he was tried several times for various offences. Promoted to Corporal in April 1917, he was posted as an Instructor to No 1 Training Camp, Etaples, where he was wounded in the face by grenade splinters during a practice throw. Evacuated to the UK, he was treated in hospital in Staffordshire, posted to the 2/4th Battalion he returned to France in October 1918 and was awarded the MM for his gallantry in the attack and capture of Frasnoy 4th November 1918. Discharged 6th February 1919.
Military Medal GV
241394 Pte W Riley 4/York & Lanc R
With details extracted from his on line service record.
William Riley was born in 1887, a Coal Miner at the Wath Main Colliery he was a 27 year 3 month old married man with four children residing at 72 Concrete Cottages, Wombwell, Barnsley when he attested for the 3/5th Battalion York and Lancaster Regiment at Rotherham 18th May 1915. Posted to the 1/5th Battalion, he served in France from 13th March 1916. The 1/5th were in reserve on 1st July 1916, the first day of the Somme offensive and moved up to Thiepval Wood during the day. Taking part in the attack on St Peirre Divion 3rd July, they suffered 350 casualties. Riley was wounded on 7th July when his Battalion were in the front line at North Bluff Authuille, bullet wound to neck. Admitted to 1/3 West Riding Field Ambulance and 44 Casualty Clearing Station the same day, he was transferred to No 1 Canadian Hospital 8th July 1916 and discharged to 34 Infantry Base Depot, Etaples 13th July 1916. Re-joining the 1/5th Battalion he was appointed Lance Corporal 24th September 1916 and promoted Corporal 1st April 1917. Posted to No 1 Training Camp, Etaples as an Instructor 3rd September 1917, he was wounded in the face and arm in a bomb throwing practice accident 9th September 1917.
Admitted 44 Casualty Clearing Station following his wounding he was admitted to 55 General Hospital 14th October 1917 and evacuated to England 18th October 1917 for hospital treatment. Returning to France 4th October 1918 he was posted to the 2/4th Battalion 9th October 1918, this Battalion taking part in the battle of the Sambre in Picardy. An attempt to break the Hindenburg line, the 2/4th Battalion would attack and capture the village of Frasnoy on 4th November in spite of stiff opposition mainly from Machine Gun positions. A large number of the enemy were killed and captured along with much material. Consolidating their newly captured positions, the 2/4th were ordered to attack and capture the village of Sous Le Bois on 9th November. The village was captured virtually unopposed, the Germans in retreat or surrendered without fighting. Riley awarded the MM for his gallantry during the capture of Frasnoy, recorded in the Battalion War Diary on 29th November 1918, MM London Gazette 23rd July 1919 page 9383.
An habitual offender he had been tried and punished for various offences throughout his service, reduced to Private from Corporal by order of Field General Court Martial for drunkenness on one occasion. Returning to England 8th January 1919 he was demobilized 6th February 1919.
GVF £350 Available
Distinguished Flying Cross GVI reverse officially dated 1944, 1939/45 Star, Air Crew Europe Star clasp France and Germany, Italy Star, War Medal, Air Efficiency Award GVI 1st type to Squadron Leader Harold Valentine Ellis, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve born in Chepstow, Monmouthshire in 1915, he entered the Royal Air Force as a Sergeant (qualified) pilot in August 1939. A Beaufighter and later Mosquito Night Fighter pilot, he commencing operational flying with 600 Squadron in December 1940. He destroyed an He111 NW off the Scillies on the night of 8th / 9th September 1941, damaged a JU88 over Colerne 1st June 1941 and damaged a Do17 off Falmouth on the night of 18th / 19th December 1941. Joining 219 Squadron in April 1943 he became a Flight Commander in October the same year and destroyed a JU88 on 28th March 1944 which crashed at Ilminster, destroyed a JU88 on 30th July 1944 over the north bank of the Seine, SE of Le Havre, and probably destroyed a JU88 on 16th July 1944, 25 miles west of Le Havre. By August 1944 he had completed 157 operational patrols in 370 hours operational flying, his last patrol was on 12th September 1944. Total score three destroyed, one probably destroyed, two damaged.
Distinguished Flying Cross GVI
Unnamed as awarded the reverse officially dated 1944
1939/45 Star, Air Crew Europe Star clasp France and Germany, Italy Star, War Medal
Unnamed as issued
Air Efficiency Award GVI 1st type
Act Sqn Ldr H V Ellis RAFVR
With copy London Gazette entry & headers for DFC, copy original recommendation, copy surviving combat reports and other research from on line sources.
The Group previously auctioned by Spink Lot 73, sale date 19th November 2015 with a Battle of Britain clasp (not stated if genuine) to which he is not entitled, having commenced operational flying in December 1940.
Harold Valentine ELLIS was born 25th October 1915 at Chepstow, Monmouthshire, educated at The King’s School, Gloucester, he enlisted as a Sergeant pilot (754961) in August 1939 and completed his initial training at 1 EFTS and 10 SFTS. Commissioned Pilot Officer 7th September 1940 (London Gazette 8th October 1940 page 5906), War Substantive Flying Officer 7th September 1941 (London Gazette 28th October 1941 page 6256), War Substantive Flight Lieutenant 7th February 1942 (London Gazette 7th February 1942 page 5512) and acting Squadron Leader in October 1943.
From The Gloucester Citizen Newspaper 13th November 1944 page 1
Air Efficiency Award awarded 9th May 1946
DFC London Gazette 3rd November 1944 page 5034
Acting Squadron Leader Harold Valentine ELLIS (84968) RAFVR
“Squadron Leader ELLIS has completed many sorties by night and by day, often in most adverse weather. His determination and keenness throughout have been most commendable and have set an excellent example. He has destroyed three enemy aircraft and damaged several others”.
The official recommendation states –
Number of operational patrols 157, number of operational flying hours 370.
“This officer has been flying operationally, in a night fighter squadron since December 1940. During his first tour in No 600 Squadron he destroyed one enemy aircraft and damaged two others (Destroyed an He111 NW off the Scillies on the night of 8th / 9th September 1941, damaged a JU88 over Colerne 1st June 1941 and damaged a Do17 off Falmouth on the night of 18th / 19th December 1941). He joined this unit (219 Squadron) in April 1943 and became a Flight Commander in October 1943 whilst the unit was overseas. He has so far destroyed two enemy aircraft (JU88 north bank of the Seine SE of Le Havre 20th / 31st July 1944) and probably destroyed a third on his second tour.
Squadron Leader Ellis has, at all times, shown himself to be extremely proficient as a pilot in any type of weather both by day and night. During a period of two years when he never had the opportunity of chasing an enemy aircraft, he carried out many sorties by day and night in the worst possible weather. His determination and keenness to destroy the enemy together with his high standard of pilotage have, during the three and a half years I have known this officer, been of the highest order. I recommend him strongly for the award of the DFC”.
His Air Officer Commanding 11 Group added –
“This officer has completed two operational tours comprising 370 operational hours, during which he has destroyed three enemy aircraft and probably destroyed a fourth. I consider his devotion to duty and achievements over a very long period of active operational flying well merits the award of the DFC”.
600 Squadron RAF
No.600 was allocated to night defence in December 1939. In September 1940 the first Beaufighter was received, conversion being completed early in 1941. In October 1940 the squadron moved to Yorkshire and in March 1941 to south-west England, where it remained until September 1942.
Combat report 600 Squadron 8th September 1941
Beaufighter 600 Squadron patrol near Lizard Head
“At 2115 was in persuit of raid 137 when at 11,000 feet flying NW over Scillies on steady course 6 miles ahead. Raid faded on GCI plots before any contact was established. Controller gave location of target. A good blip was obtained at 2127 hours at 10,000 feet showing enemy aircraft about 40 degrees to port at 10,000 feet and loosing height. A silhouette was obtained at 7,000 feet at 500 yards ahead. Closed to within 50 yards, 100 feet below the enemy aircraft identified as an He111. Enemy aircraft took no evasive action, no return fire experienced, fired a two second burst seeing flashes from port engine and fuselage. The aim was direct. Enemy aircraft immediately went down in a vertical dive to port and a large blue flash was seen several thousand feet below. Haze over the sea prevented the pilot seeing enemy aircraft strike the sea. No further blip obtained. This enemy aircraft claimed as destroyed”.
In March 1943 219 Squadron was equipped with the latest night fighter version of the Beaufighter and was ready to depart for overseas service by May. Eighteen aircraft headed for an airfield in Cornwall before leaving at 5 minute intervals for the long flight across the Bay of Biscay for Gibraltar. Operating from Bone in Algeria, the squadron was operational by the end of June 1943. Moving to Tunisia after the surrender of the Axis forces, 219 provided escorts for convoys supporting the invasion of Sicily. The squadron later covered the landings at Salerno and was in constant readiness to meet German intruders attacking rear areas.
219 returned to England in January 1944 and re-equipped with Mosquitos. Moved to Essex to cover the D-Day landings they remained in England in a night fighter role.
Combat report 219 Squadron 30th / 31st July 1944
Mosquito 5 miles in land North bank of River Seine, SE of Le Havre.
“Squadron Leader ELLIS and Flight Lieutenant CRAIG of 219 Squadron took off from Bradwell Bay at 2320 hours and proceeded to Pool 1 under Legion control and landed at Ford at 0230 hours due to bad weather. Patrolling 30 miles SW of Le Havre under Legion Control at about 0035 hours I was told there was a bogey flying SW at 10,000 feet. A few minuites later the N/R obtained a contact on an aircraft at 4 miles range to port and slightly above. I began to close range, I obtained a visual on an aircraft at range 2,000 feet and slightly above, this was held as we tried to identify the aircraft using ROSS night glasses, at this range we could not identify so I closed to 50 yards keeping well below in the slight ground haze. I identified the target as a JU88 by typical silhouette and external bomb racks.
We dropped back to 80 yards and height 11,000 feet and opened fire giving a 3 second burst, there were many strikes on the fuselage and main plane, which was followed immediately by an explosion in the centre of the fuselage, the enemy aircraft then broke into flames and after flying on straight and level for several seconds dived straight down still burning and struck the ground on the north bank of the Seine, 5 miles SE of Le Havre where it burned for 15 minutes or more. Claim JU88 destroyed”.
Combat report 27th / 28th March 1944
Mosquito Yeovil – Ilminster area
“Scrambled from Colerne base at 2323 hours, landing Honiley 0045 hours, to intercept hostiles coming in from the south. Under sector control was ordered to 12,000 feet and increased height to 14,000 feet after 15 minutes controller advised bandit 15 miles to port. Eventually secured contact at 3 miles range, height 16,000 feet, chased this contact to the west and closed to 1,500 feet, visual obtained on a twin engine enemy aircraft believed to be a JU88, speed approximately 220 mph. Pilot (Ellis) closed in from astern and below to within 150 yards and opened fire with 4 cannons, giving a burst of 5 seconds. Many strikes were seen on the port wing and engine causing a tremendous flash and fire broke out on port wing and engine. Return fire was experienced from upper gun position, mostly passing below and starboard, upon later inspection it was found one round had pierced the persex nose and an electric cable causing the AI to become unserviceable. The enemy aircraft was last seen to roll over to starboard and go down in a vertical dive with flames pouring from it for some 6 to 7,000 feet and disappear in cloud.
The sector controller took a fix at the time of combat which was in the Yeovil area, it was later established the JU88 crashed near Ilminster. The JU88 loaded with 2 AB 1000’s took-off at 21.30 hrs and was shot down en-route for Bristol by S/Ldr H V Ellis and F/Lt J M Craig in Mosquito XVII, HK260, of 219 Squadron.(Colerne). Crashed at 23.57 hrs at Hestercombe Manor House, Upper Cheddon, near Taunton 27/28.03.44: Target Bristol: I/KG 54. Ju 88A-4, Wnr.144551, B3+BL of 3/KG 54 crew were Ofw. Hans Brautigam (F) POW Ogefr. Kurt Chalon (B) POW Ogefr. Alfred Maleztki (Bm) POW Uffz. Robert Belz (Bf) killed. Claim JU88 destroyed
Combat report 15th / 16th July 1944
Mosquito 25 miles west of Le Havre
“Squadron Leader H V Ellis and Flight Lieutenant J M Craig took off from Bradwell Bay at 205 hours and proceeded to Poole 1 under Radox Control and landed base at 0140 hours. Whilst patrolling Radox 1 and at approximately 0015 hours was vectored to a position one and a half miles north east of Le Havre height 4,000 feet and told activity expected from the east. At 1,500 feet distance and height 7,000 feet I closed on an aircraft identified as a JU88. At 200 yards range I commenced to fire, strikes seen on the starboard wing, engine and fuselage, a large explosion in the cockpit and a portion of the wing flew off. The enemy aircraft rolled over to port and went down steeply, I followed it down , it was obviously out of control and at 3,000 feet the enemy aircraft began to climb at a steeper and steeper angle and at 5,000 feet was positively almost vertically upwards, at this poit it was seen to stall and dive away to port. I would imagine that the pilot was wounded and had lost control of the aircraft. In an attempt to follow the enemy aircraft I stalled my own aircraft and began an incipient spin to starboard, I over corrected and flicked to port, in pulling up I lost sight of the enemy aircraft which was somewhere below me, my height was then 1,500 feet. Up to then the enemy aircraft was behaving in such a manner that I think the pilot had lost control of his aircraft and was probably badly wounded. No return fire. Claim JU88 probably destroyed”.
GVF & better £3,295 SOLD
Air Force Cross GVI reverse officially dated 1946, 1939/45 Star, Atlantic Star, Defence and War Medals with RAF Pilot’s Flying Log Book to Flight Lieutenant Maurice John Peskett, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve born in Horsham, Sussex in 1921. Enlisting in September 1939 at RAF Uxbridge, he commenced Pilot training in November 1940 at No 11 Elementary Flying School, qualifying as a Pilot 6th May 1941. Commissioned Pilot Officer from Warrant Officer 13th January 1944, Flying Officer 13th July 1944, Flight Lieutenant 8th February 1946. Commenced operations with 278 (Search and Rescue) Squadron 23rd April 1943, flying Walrus Amphibious Biplanes and Sea Otters, remaining with this Squadron until 3rd December 1945. Awarded the Air Force Cross for his services with 278 Squadron 1st January 1946. He married Doris Bell in Carlisle in 1945 and died in Kesgrave, Ipswich, Suffolk 8th August 1983 aged 62 years.
Air Force Cross GVI the reverse officially dated 1946
Unnamed as awarded
1939/45 Star, Atlantic Star, Defence and War Medals
Unnamed as issued
With original Pilot’s Flying Log Book covering the period 15th November 1940 to 28th February 1946, a quantity of original photographs of the recipient or including the recipient, his cloth embroidered pilot’s wings, Pilot’s Notes General Book issued by the Air Council dated 1943, RAF Pocket Book and appendix dated 1937. The group mounted as originally worn.
Maurice John Peskett was born in Horsham, Sussex 18th September 1921, he enlisted for the RAFVR at RAF Uxbridge in September 1939 and as a Leading Aircraftsman commenced Pilot training in November 1940. Commissioned Pilot Officer from Warrant Officer 13th January 1944 (London Gazette 18th April 1944 page 1765), Flying Officer 13th July 1944 (London Gazette 11th August 1944 page 3709), Flight Lieutenant 8th February 1946 (London Gazette 8th February 1946 page 859). Awarded the Air Force Cross for his services with 278 Search and Rescue Squadron London Gazette 1st January 1946 page 87. He married Doris Bell in Carlisle in 1945 and died in Ipswich, Suffolk 8th August 1983.
Supermarine Walrus Amphibious Biplane
Extracts from Peskett’s Log Book
Peskett took his first flight on 15th November 1940 in a DH82 at No 11 Elementary Flying School, Perth, Scotland. Posted to 33 SFTS at Carberry, Manitoba, Canada where he took his first flight in a Harvard as second pilot on 8th February 1941 and qualified for his pilot’s wings 16th May 1941.
Posted to 59 Operational Training Unit at Crosby-on-Eden he completed his first flight on 3rd August 1941 in a Master and from 5th August flew Hurricane fighter aircraft. Posted to 263 Squadron flying Hurricane and Whirlwind aircraft from 1st September 1941, posted to 137 Squadron flying Whirlwind aircraft from 12th October 1941 and posted 288 Squadron flying Lysander, Defiant and Hurricane aircraft from 4th December 1941. On 28th October 1941 whilst formation flying his Whirlwind fighter south of Bath, and during practice attacks, Paskett’s propeller hit the tail section of Squadron Leader Sample’s aircraft causing it to crash. Sample bailed out but his parachute did not fully deploy and he was killed when he hit the roof of a farm building at Manor Farm near Englishcombe. Sample was a fighter ace having been operational before the fall of France and had commanded 504 Squadron from May 1940 during the Battle of Britain (awarded DFC).
Posted to 278 Squadron at Coltishall flying Anson aircraft from 23rd April 1943 on air sea rescue duties. On 13th May 1943 his aircraft searched for a downed aircraft but nothing seen, the following day he searched for the crew of a Flying Fortress but only found a large oil patch and empty dinghy. There were two further searches on the 23rd May but nothing found. On 10th June a search for a dinghy, nothing found but on 22nd June he found a dinghy with seven men from a Halifax of 35 Squadron, crew were picked up by a Walrus aircraft. On 26th June a further search made but nothing found.
On 4th July a search was made 6 to 15 miles east of Lowestoft and on 6th July searched for a Wing Commander pilot of a downed Typhoon, further searches made for downed aircrew on 14th July with nothing found, but on 18th July a dinghy was found with four men. Searches were made on 30th July (2), 1st August with nothing found, 13th August searching for a downed Mosquito aircraft with only an oil patch found, 25th August with nothing found and 31st August when nothing was found, the latter search on the report of parachutes entering the sea. On 17th September 1943 Peskett commenced flying Walrus aircraft, search patrols on 2nd, 8th, 14th, 18th and 20th October found nothing. In November and December 12 searches were carried out with nothing found.
On 5th November a search for a Flying Fortress found nothing, five further searches and patrols during the month resulted in nothing found. On 1st December two searches were conducted from Yarmouth to Southend with nothing found, four further searches during the month found nothing including one on 22nd for a Thunderbolt pilot.
January 1944 started quietly, first patrol and search made on 21st, with subsequent searches on 22nd and 28th, the latter in response to an SOS signal and Lights, nothing found. On 30th escort for Typhoons, all ok and on 30th found a downed Flying Fortress with bodies. February there were six searches and patrols, one on 3rd February in response to a “Mayday” 20 miles of Hague. March saw ten searches and patrols, on 2nd for a damaged Liberator, all ok, 6th found the wreckage of a Liberator but no bodies, 18th search for a Thunderbolt pilot, nothing found and on 23rd found a Launch on fire – shot up by a Yank Mustang. April saw ten searches and patrols, an oil patch being found on 15th April, May saw ten searches and patrols, nothing of note, June five searches and patrols On 5th June spotted a body in a Mae West, landed Walrus aircraft on the sea but by this time the body had disappeared presumed sunk.
July 1944 six searches and patrols, nothing of note, August saw four searches and patrols, on 29th August landed Walrus aircraft to rescue a live Mosquito Observer in a dinghy, also provided escort to 4 Mustangs and 6 Mosquito’s. September saw three searches on 13th landed Walrus aircraft to rescue Mustang pilot in Mae West, unable to take off so towed into Felixstowe. On 17th September directed to a Glider in the sea, part of the Arnhem operations, landed and eight men rescued. October saw seven searches and patrols, on 28th seven men from a Lancaster all in a dinghy were picked up. November five searches and patrols, nothing of note, December eight searches and patrols, nothing of note, January 1945 four searches and patrols nothing of note, February four searches and patrols, on 6th a dead body was found in the water. March saw eight searches and patrols, on 3rd the search for a pilot, nothing found, on 6th an upturned dinghy found, 22nd search for a parachute 2 miles south of Bognor without result and on 23rd a search for a Typhoon off Weymouth, oil patch found. April saw five searches and patrols including 15th April off Selsey Bill for a Flying Fortress, on 24th the search for a Dakota off Cape de la Hague and 25th a search off Christchurch. The 8th May marked VE Day and on 9th and 12th patrols undertaken over the Channel Islands. On 4th June a patrol to Guernsey and Jersey the following day with a patrol on 7th escorting HM The King and Queen, patrols landing at Guernsey and Jersey the same day.
Remaining with 278 Squadron flying Walrus or Sea Otter aircraft his last flight recorded in a Proctor on 28th February 1946. Peskett was assessed as an exceptional Walrus and Sea Otter pilot and by 25th November 1945 had flown over 1,200 hours
NEF £2,500 SOLD
British Empire Medal GVI (Civil) to Mr Augustin Joseph Stapleton, Able Seaman, Merchant Navy born in Placentre Bay, Newfoundland, Canada in 1903. Serving aboard the Swedish Passenger and Cargo Liner SS Suecia when she was torpedoed and sunk in the North Atlantic 16th August 1942 by the German Submarine U-596. Awarded the BEM for his “Outstanding courage and skill” during seven days in an open lifeboat. During a 48 hour gale Stapleton steered the lifeboat until he collapsed, in these severe conditions without the actions of Stapleton, it is doubtful whether they would have reached safety. The Swedish Chief Officer was also awarded a King’s Commendation. Returning to sea in November 1942 aboard the SS Benedict, he continued to serve at sea in various Merchant ships, his last ship being the SS Queen Elizabeth 1948 to 1949.
British Empire Medal GVI (Civil)
Augustin Joseph Stapleton
With copy London Gazette entry and header for BEM, details of service from his Merchant Navy record BT382 from 1941 to 1948, copies from the Honours and Awards file.
Augustin Joseph Stapleton was born in Placentre Bay, Newfoundland 10th May 1903 and in 1941 was serving at the Merchant Navy Reserve Pool, Liverpool. Joining the Swedish Passenger and Cargo ship SS Suecia in August 1941 as Able Seaman, he was aboard this ship when she was torpedoed and sunk in the North Atlantic 16th August 1942 by the German Submarine U-596, the Suecia was part of convoy SC-95 from Sydney, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada to England. Awarded the British Empire Medal for his outstanding courage and skill when adrift in a lifeboat for seven days –
BEM London Gazette 16th February 1943 page 824 Augustin Joseph Stapleton, Able Seaman For services when the ship was torpedoed and sunk and for his conduct during seven days in an open boat. “The ship, when sailing alone, was torpedoed and sunk. One of the boats made a voyage of seven days in heavy weather before being picked up. Able Seaman Stapleton displayed outstanding courage and skill. He steered the boat during the whole of a 48 hour gale until he collapsed. In the severe conditions, without his great endurance and his experience in sailing, it is very doubtful whether the boat would have reached safety”. The Swedish Chief Officer Mr John Henry Rey was awarded a King’s Commendation.
Stapleton arrived at the Merchant Navy Reserve Pool, Liverpool 3rd November 1942 and joined the SS Benedict the same day, he continued to serve afloat in various Merchant ships until 30th May 1946 when he was admitted to hospital, sick. Discharged from hospital fit 28th June 1946 he returned to sea aboard the SS Blue Peter 1st July 1947 and subsequently joined SS Queen Elizabeth 13th April 1948 from which he appears to have been discharged 18th September 1949.
Scarce gallantry award to a Newfoundlander.
GVF & better £650 Available
Companion of The Most Honourable Order of the Bath (CB) in silver gilt and enamels, Egypt and Sudan Medal 1882-89 undated reverse clasp The Nile 1884-85, Queen’s South Africa Medal clasps Cape Colony, Orange Free State, Transvaal, South Africa 1901, South Africa 1902 to Lieutenant Colonel The Honourable Richard Thompson Lawley, 7th Hussars. Born in August 1856, the second son of the Second Baron Wenlock of Escrick Park, Lord Lieutenant of Yorkshire and Colonel Yorkshire Hussars. Educated at Eton 1870 – 74 and the Royal Military College, commissioned in February 1875, he joined the 7th Hussars the following year. Serving in the Nile Expedition 1884-5 as part of the Light Camel Regiment. Promoted Captain in 1885, Major in 1893 and Lieutenant Colonel commanding 7th Hussars in 1899. Serving in South Africa 1901 to 1902, he first commanded the 7th Hussars and from January 1902 commanded a mobile column. Mentioned in Despatches in June 1902 and appointed a Companion of the Bath in June 1902 in recognition of his services in South Africa. Brevet Colonel in June 1903 and placed on Half Pay in November 1904, he succeeded his brother as 4th Baron Wenlock in 1912 and died in July 1918.
Companion of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath (CB) in silver gilt and enamels
Unnamed as awarded
Egypt and Sudan Medal 1882 – 1889 undated reverse clasp The Nile 1884-85
Lieut Hon R T Lawley 7/ Husrs
Queen’s South Africa Medal clasps Cape Colony, Orange Free State, Transvaal, South Africa 1901, South Africa 1902
Lt Col Hon R T Lawley CB 7/Hrs
Khedives Star 1884-6
Unnamed as issued
With a folder of research, copied photos.
Richard Thompson Lawley was born 21st August 1856 the son of Beilby Richard Lawley 2nd Baron Wenlock of Escrick Park, the Lord Lieutenant of the East Riding of Yorkshire and Colonel, Yorkshire Hussars and his wife Lady Elizabeth Grosvenor, daughter of Richard, 2nd Marquess of Westminster. Brother of Sir Beilby Lawley, 3rd Baron Wenlock, Governor of Madras (1891 to 1896), Lt Colonel Yorkshire Imperial Yeomanry and Lord of the Bedchamber of HRH The Prince of Wales (1901), whom he succeeded in 1912 as 4th Baron Wenlock.
Captian Hon R T Lawley (left) Captain D Haig (seated) later Field Marshal Earl Haig C in C BEF, India 1888
Educated at Eton (1870 – 74) he married in 1909 Rhonda Edith 2nd daughter of the Reverend Canon Knox-Little of Worcester. Commissioned Sub Lieutenant unattached list from the Royal Military College he was appointed to the 7th Hussars as Lieutenant 11th February 1876. Promoted Captain 21st July 1885, Major 5th May 1893, Lieutenant Colonel 26th June 1899 and Brevet Colonel 26th June 1903. Served throughout the Nile Expedition 1884-5 with the Light Camel Regiment including operations with the desert column including the engagement at Abu Klea Wells 16th to 17th February 1885. Three officers and forty four other ranks of the 7th Hussars served with the Light Camel Regiment.
Appointed to command the 7th Hussars 20th December 1901 to 22nd January 1902, he was then appointed to command a mobile column comprising The Queen’s Bays, 7th Hussars, two guns and a pom pom from 39th Battery Royal Field Artillery. Present during operations in the Transvaal from March to 31st May 1902, Orange River Colony from January to March and May 1902, Cape Colony from January to March and May 1902, Cape Colony from December 1901 to January 1902. Mentioned in Despatches London Gazette 26th June 1902, appointed a Companion of the Order of the Bath London Gazette 26th June 1902 page 4192 “In recognition of services during operations in South Africa” . Retiring 2nd November 1904, he inherited the title as 4th Baron Wenlock from his brother in 1912, he died at Hestercombe near Taunton whilst on a visit 25th July 1918 aged 61 years without issue, his brother inherited the title. Lord Wenlock is buried at St Peter’s Church, Monk Hopton, Shropshire, his home at the time of his death was Monk Hopton House.
Light pitting to Egypt and Sudan Medal otherwise
GVF & better £3,500 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