Gallantry and Distinguished Service


British Empire Medal E2 (Military Division), General Service Medal E2 clasp Arabian Peninsula, Campaign Service Medal E2 clasp South Arabia with Mentioned in Despatches Oakleaf, Long Service and Good Conduct Medal Regular Army E2 to Staff Sergeant (Acting Warrant Officer Class 2) Edmund Sproule, Royal Engineers born in 1930, he enlisted in 1948. Awarded the Commander in Chief’s Commendation for Aden and a Mention in Despatches for distinguished services in South Arabia, he was awarded the British Empire Medal mainly for his work in Anguilla during construction work on the Island’s infrastructure with 523 Specialist Team (Construction) in 1969 during the Island’s second revolution in 1969.  Often called upon to promote good relations with the local people, he became a respected “diplomat” and was personally thanked by Ronald Webster, leader of the Islands second revolution in 1969 and later Chief Minister, who held a leaving party for him and personally thanked him at the airport for his services prior to returning to the UK. Discharged in November 1970.

British Empire Medal E2 (Military Division)

22246849 A/WOII Edmund Sproule RE

General Service Medal E2 clasp Arabian Peninsula

22246849 WO CL 2 E Sproule RE

Campaign Service Medal E2 clasp South Arabia with MID Oakleaf

22246849 WO CL 2 E Sproule RE

Long Service and Good Conduct Medal Regular Army E2

22246849 S Sgt E Sproule BEM RE

With copy London Gazette entries and headers, copy original BEM recommendation.

Edmund Sprule was born 1st September 1930, the 1939 Register records he is a School Boy residing at 16 Sun Hill, Mere and Tisbury, Wiltshire, there are no other persons with this surname at this address.

Mentioned in Despatches London Gazette 23rd January 1968 page 678 “For distinguished services in South Arabia”.

British Empire Medal London Gazette 1st January 1971 page 23, the recommendation states –

22246849 Staff Sergeant (Acting Warrant Officer Class 2) Edmund Sproule, 523 Specialist Team, Royal Engineers (Construction)

Period covered by the award December 1969 to July 1970 Anguilla (British Caribbean Overseas Territory) and United Kingdom

“Acting Warrant Officer Class 2 Sproule is leaving the Army in November after completing 22 years service. He joined 523 Specialist Team Royal Engineers (Construction) in January 1966 since which date he has seen active service in Aden and South Arabia and was both Mentioned in Despatches and awarded the Commander in Chief’s Commendation during his tour there. He returned to the UK in December 1967 and it was mainly due to his tireless efforts that the unit quickly re-established itself in the UK and assumed its operational role with the minimum of delay.

In April 1969 he was sent on detachment to Anguilla to take up the appointment of Resources Warrant Officer. It did not take him long to get on top of his job and he soon began to seek additional employment with the result that he was appointed Warrant Officer in charge of road construction. This was work for which he had not previously trained but such was his application to the task that he quickly mastered the techniques and soon became highly competent. His duties brought him into contact with many Anguillans and he quickly became dedicated to his work and his friendly unbiased approach to the Anguillans won him the affection and respect of many persons of different views. Acting Warrant Officer 2 Sproule did as much, if not more, than anyone else, to promote good relations with the very suspicious and difficult Anguillans. At his own request WO 2 Sproule extended his tour in Anguilla to ensure a complete and smooth handover between Pahse 1 and Phase 2 of the operation and when he finally left the Island Mr Ronald Webster (Council Chairman before being appointed Chief Minister) himself arranged a great “send off” by the local population and personally went to the airport to say goodbye.

From April to July this year he was attached to Headquarters Training Brigade, Royal Engineers to work again as resource Warrant Officer, this time to prepare for Exercise New Envoy IX. During this period he worked under great pressure with a completely untrained and continually changing staff. His task was to arrange the collection, accounting, distribution and return of over 2,500 tons of a wide variety of stores. This necessitated a twelve hour day, seven days a week and the successful completion of the Engineer support for New Envoy IX was largely due to the personal effort of Acting WO2 Sproule. Throughout his service his work has always been marked by his selfless efforts to produce the best possible results, his diligence and devotion to duty over prolonged periods has been an inspiration to both his subordinates and superiors alike and his standards both on and off duty have been well beyond those normally expected of a Warrant Officer of his rank and service”.

Anguilla

During the early colonial period, Anguilla was administered by the British through Antigua; in 1825, it was placed under the administrative control of nearby Saint Kitts.In 1967, Britain granted Saint Kitts and Nevis full internal autonomy. Anguilla was also incorporated into the new unified dependency, named Saint Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla, against the wishes of many Anguillians. This led to two Anguillian Revolutions in 1967 and 1969 headed by Atlin Harrigan, and Ronald Webster. The island briefly operated as the independent Republic of Anguilla. The goal of the revolution was not independence per se, but rather independence from Saint Kitts and Nevis and a return to being a British colony. British authority was fully restored in July 1971; in 1980, Anguilla was finally allowed to secede from Saint Kitts and Nevis and become a separate British Crown Colony, now a British Overseas Territory.

First time on the market.

GVF to NEF £1,250 SOLD


British Empire Medal GVI (Civil Division) to John Cheesman, a civilian Lorry Driver from Lincoln. On 3rd July 1945, Mosquito XXV KB416 of 627 Squadron, piloted by 133387 Flight Lieutenant Douglas Norman Johnson, RAFVR and Navigator 198190 Pilot Officer Joseph Duthae Finlayson, RAFVR, crashed in a field when on an overshoot, after attempting to land at RAF Station Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire, on one engine. John Cheesman, who was working near by, assisted with the rescue of the Pilot and Navigator from the burning aircraft. The NCO in charge of the Fire Party Corporal Coggar was awarded the George Medal for the same incident.

British Empire Medal GVI (Civil Division)

John Cheesman

With copy London Gazette entries and headers, newspaper article.

The BEM on its original investiture pin.

On 3rd July 1945, Mosquito XXV KB416 of 627 Squadron, piloted by 133387 Flight Lieutenant Douglas Norman Johnson, RAFVR and Navigator 198190 Pilot Officer Joseph Duthae Finlayson, RAFVR, crashed in a field when on an overshoot after attempting to land at RAF Station Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire, on one engine. John Cheesman had been working nearby and went to assist the Fire Party.

British Empire Medal London Gazette 5th February 1946 page 806

 ‘An aircraft crashed in a field adjoining the runway on which it was endeavouring to land. A Fire Party from the aerodrome went immediately to the scene. Cheesman, who was working nearby, went to the assistance of the Fire Party to help to release the navigator from the burning wreckage. Cheesman tried with a hacksaw to cut through the cables by which the airman was held, whilst a fire extinguisher was played on the navigator. The fire had by this time gained a good hold and it was necessary for the rescuers to withdraw. A fire tender was then able to subdue the flames sufficiently in the area where the Navigator was lying, to enable the rescuers to make a further attempt, and Cheesman was successful in cutting the cables and freeing the man. Cheesman showed courage without thought for his own safety.’

1585300 Corporal Stephen James Coggar, RAFVR was in charge of the Fire Party and was awarded the George Medal for his gallantry in the rescue of the pilot and navigator London Gazette 26th February 1946 page 1134.

1585300 Corporal Stephen James Cogger, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, Royal Air Force Station, Woodhall Spa.

‘On the afternoon of 3rd July, 1945, a Mosquito aircraft crashed in a field (adjoining the runway) when attempting to land. Corporal Cogger, who was in charge of the fire party, observed the aircraft to be in difficulty. He ordered the fire tender to stand by and himself started up the section’s Jeep. By this time the aircraft had crashed, so Corporal Cogger immediately proceeded to the scene. On arrival he found the aircraft on fire, the flames rapidly spreading along the leading edge of the wings and the fuselage. The nose of the aircraft had completely broken away from the remainder of the fuselage. The navigator was lying in the wreckage by the leading edge of the wing. Corporal Cogger immediately entered the flames and tried to pull the navigator clear but found him to be held fast by some cables around his legs. Corporal Cogger then went to the Jeep to get a hacksaw and hand fire extinguisher. By this time the Duty Orderly and Ambulance Driver and also a civilian had arrived. All four entered the burning area, the civilian using the hacksaw to cut the cables holding the navigators legs, whilst Corporal Cogger played the extinguisher on him. By this time the fire had gained a good hold and the four men were forced to retire. The fire tender had now arrived and was able to subdue the flames enough to permit the four rescuers to cut the navigator free. Corporal Cogger, in spite of burns sustained earlier, again entered the burning area, accompanied by the Ambulance Driver, to look for the pilot but he could not be seen. Corporal Cogger was ultimately taken to hospital suffering from major burns of the forehead, cheeks, arms and hands. He had displayed great gallantry in circumstances when, at any moment, the aircraft might have exploded. He has attended some 14 crashes as NCO in charge of the fire party and in 10 of these he has shown resource and determination in dealing with fires.’

EF £550 Available


British Empire Medal E2 (Military Division) to Sergeant Malcolm New, 1st Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers from Llandudno. Awarded the BEM in 1990 for his outstanding intelligence work in searching for terrorist hides and weapons caches, described by his superiors as possessing “outstanding leadership and “really gets to grips with the terrorists”. By the time of his fifth tour he was beginning to show the strain and was returned home after two months with what was later diagnosed as post traumatic stress. A fine operational BEM to a truly exceptional soldier.

British Empire Medal E2 (Military Division)

24400077 Sgt Malcolm New RWF

With copy London Gazette entry and headers, copy of BBC News Channel article regarding his High Court action against the Ministry of Defence for compensation (2005).

BEM London Gazette 15th May 1990 page 9154 “In recognition of meritorious service in Northern Ireland”.

“Malcolm New (45) from Llandudno, was sent on a fifth tour of Northern Ireland in 1993 despite telling Doctors of stress related headaches. He is seeking damages from the Ministry of Defence following its failure to refer him for medical treatment. Mr New rose to the rank of Staff Sergeant in the Royal Welch Fusiliers during his 18 year Army career. He excelled in intelligence work in Northern Ireland searching for terrorist “hides” and weapons caches, the court heard. On receiving the British Empire Medal in 1990, he was praised for “outstanding leadership” and his Commanding Officer said “he really gets to grips with the terrorists”. But on his fourth tour in 1989, a colleague described him as “being pushed very hard” and showing “significant strain” despite performing to a high standard. In 1993 Mr New applied for redundancy short before a fifth tour but was refused. Mr New told his superiors he did not want to return to Northern Ireland but he was despatched and, within two months, was complaining to a friend of severe headaches. Soon after he was transferred back to England after fellow soldiers speculated he was “loosing it”.It was not until 1997 that he saw a Psychiatrist and was diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder.”

NEF £795 Available


British Empire Medal GV (Civil Division) to Miss Freda Noble, a Norfolk Artist and book and newspaper illustrator born in Walthamstow, East London in 1899. A self employed Artist, mainly illustrating children’s books, she was the illustrator for Enid Blyton’s nature books and other magazines and newspapers. Awarded the BEM in 1943 for her work with the Women’s Voluntary Service Civil Defence at Wayland, Norfolk following the Army’s total take over of the Norfolk Battle Area for training in 1942, about 1,000 civilians had to be evacuated to the north of Thetford. She was a member of Saham Parish Council, a former member of the Village Hall Committee and a member of the Committee for the Wild Bird Sanctuary in Cley Lane, Saham Toney. A former Sunday School teacher, Miss Noble served as Organist in a number of churches at the time of her death in 1980 she was Organist at Griston.

British Empire Medal GVI (Civil Division)

Miss Freda Noble

With copy London Gazette entry and headers, copy of obituary from local newspaper (unidentified) and other research.

Freda Isabel Noble was born in Walthamstow, east London 7th November 1899, the father of Dr William George Noble a London Surgeon and his wife Catherine. One of five daughters, the 1911 census records the family residing at “Forestlawn”, Woodford Road, South Woodford, Essex. The 1939 Register records Freda Noble is residing at The Vicarage, Wayland and describes herself as Farm Secretary, Book and Press Artist, WVS Civil Defence concerned with area (Troop) billeting with two of her sisters Kathleen and Phyllis both Literary Typists. She died in Wayland, Norfolk in 1980.

Mounted as originally presented in Royal Mint fitted presentation case.

British Empire Medal London Gazette 4th January 1943 page 75

Miss Freda Noble, Area Officer, Women’s Voluntary Services for Civil Defence, Wayland Rural District, Norfolk

“Funeral of a Leading Norfolk Artist”

One of Norfolk’s foremost artists Miss Freda Isobel Noble, was buried at Saham Toney yesterday after a funeral service at St George’s Church. Miss Noble of the White House, Saham Toney died last Saturday. Her life was spent writing, illustrating books and teaching art. The daughter of a London Doctor, Miss Noble began her career doing freelance work. She wrote and illustrated stories, and worked on the staff of the magazine School Mistress, which she illustrated mainly with nature drawings. Miss Noble was one of five artistic sisters who moved to Tottington in the Battle Area in 1931. When the Army took over in 1942, they moved to Saham Toney and lived in a flat at Sallam Hall.

During the war Miss Freda Noble taught art at Dareham, Attleborough, Watton and Broom Hall, Saham Toney. Three of the sisters moved into the White House in 1957. The sister’s brushwork became very familiar to people in the Watton area over the years. Miss Noble was behind the formation of the Wayland Guild of Artists 20 years ago and was secretary until she died. Her work was very prominent in the recent annual exhibition of members work. She illustrated Enid Blyton’s nature books, she also provided illustrations for Nature Notebook in the Norwich Murcury series of newspapers. She was a member of Saham Parish Council, a former member of the Village Hall Committee and a member of the Committee for the Wild Bird Sanctuary in Cley Lane, Saham Toney. A former Sunday School teacher, Miss Noble served as Organist in a number of churches at the time of her death she was Organist at Griston. During the war she received the British Empire Medal from the King for her work in the Women’s Voluntary Service.”

Dark toned.

First time on the market.

NEF £450 SOLD


Distinguished Conduct Medal GVI, 1939/45 Star, Africa Star clasp 8th Army, Italy Star, France and Germany Star, Defence and War Medals to Private James Hudson, Durham Light Infantry from Bradford. Recommended for the Military Medal for his gallantry in leading an attack on an enemy Machine Gun post on the night of 21st / 22nd March 1943 located in the Mareth Line (Southern Tunisia) of defences whilst serving in the 6th Battalion. His Company Commander seriously wounded beside him, he fixed bayonets and captured the position accounting for many of the enemy himself. The award upgraded to a Distinguished Conduct Medal. Landing with the 8th Battalion on “D” Day 6th June 1944 in Normandy, he went missing during an offensive patrol on 17th June 1944 with two other soldiers of his Battalion, they later re-joined their Battalion having encountered strong enemy positions in the Parc de la Mere and Chateau du Coridillon areas.

Distinguished Conduct Medal GVI

3660867 Pte J Hudson Durh LI

1939/45 Star, Africa Star clasp 8th Army, Italy Star, France and Germany Star, Defence and War Medals

Unnamed as issued

With copy London Gazette entry and headers, copy DCM recommendation, copies from the Regimental History and a copy photo of Private (Lance Corporal) Hudson.

Mounted as originally worn.

3660867 Pte James Hudson 6th Battalion Durham Light Infantry from Bradford.

Distinguished Conduct Medal London Gazette 17th June 1943 page 2761 “For gallant and distinguished services in North Africa”.

“On the night of 21st / 22nd March 1943 during the 151st Brigade’s attack on the Mareth defences Private Hudson was with “C” Company 6th Battalion Durham Light Infantry. On seeing an enemy Machine Gun Post, he immediately led a group of men forward with fixed bayonets and charged the position. His rifle bolt was damaged and his rifle could not be fired, but he still led on his party relying solely on the use of his bayonet. He succeeded in capturing the Post, killing many of the enemy personally. This action of Private Hudson’s enabled the rest of his company to move forward onto the position. Before leading the charge, his Company Commander had been seriously wounded beside him. He showed outstanding courage and complete disregard for his own safety”.

The Regimental History records –

“The attack was timed to take place at full moon during the night of 21st / 22nd March. After careful reconnaissances made under the very noses of the enemy during the night of 18th, the Durham assault Battalions advanced from the Chet Meskine at 2300 hours on 20th. Against a heavy but not very accurate fire of all arms “C” and “D” Companies of the 9th Battalion succeeded in crossing the anti tank ditch, and wading across the Wadi and scrambling up the far bank by forming a human ladder, fought their way with the bayonet into the thick of the position. “B” Company finally overcoming Ksiba Ouest. The 8th Battalion had a similar experience in overrunning Ouerzi, where the Italians fought stubbornly. Lt Colonel Jackson was killed, but by morning both Battalions had reached their objectives with very severe fighting but without undue loss. On the other hand the 6th Battalion was unable to launch its attack until dark fell again, and the supply of reinforcements remained precarious throughout the 21st. When it did advance, however, the 6th secured its objectives, Ouerzi Ouest and Zarat Sudest, with comparative ease.”

Private James Hudson landed with the 8th Battalion Durham Light Infantry on “D” Day at La Riviere. On 17th June 1944 he was reported missing in the War Office Casualty List TNA WO417/78. On this day active patrolling south and south east took place in an endeavour to come into contact with enemy units. Enemy positions in some strength were located in the Parc de la Mere and Chateau du Coridillon areas. Hudson went missing with Pte J F Robinson and Private E Swann of his Battalion, likely they were cut off or had to go to ground for a period of a few days in order to rejoin allied lines when safe to do so. War Office Casualty List TNA WO417/79 records he is no longer missing.

GVF £4,500 Available


British Empire Medal For Gallantry E2 Civil Division, 1939/45 Star, France and Germany Star, Defence and War Medals to Mr Edward Alfred Quigley, Driver and Attendant, London Ambulance Service born in Camberwell, London in 1921. Awarded the BEM For Gallantry in 1969 when, responding to an emergency call, he lowered himself into a sewer filled with poisonous fumes to rescue two men. Giving one man oxygen he tied a rope around him and he was hauled to safety. The second unconscious man was also hauled to safety but was dead on arrival at hospital. Mr Quigley also started to loose consciousness and had to be pulled out by a rope he attached around himself. He retired to Bournemouth and died there in 1995. He is believed to have served in the Royal Army Medical Corps in the Second World War.

British Empire Medal For Gallantry E2 (Civil Division)

Edward Alfred Quigley

1939/45 Star, France and Germany Star, Defence and War Medal

Unnamed as issued

With copy London Gazette entry and headers, corresponding miniatures, letter from The Central Chancery dated 25th October 1993, addressed to “Mr Edward E Quigley, 121 Church Road, Ferndown, Dorset, BH22 9ET”, thanking him for his donation to the Order of the British Empire 75th Anniversary Appeal Fund.

Edward Alfred Quigley was born in Camberwell, London 13th July 1921, he died in Bournemouth, Dorset in 1995.

BEM For Gallantry (Civil Division) London Gazette 8th August 1969 page 8213

Edward Alfred Quigley, Ambulance Driver / Attendant, London Ambulance Service

Joint citation with Thomas Edward Peter Smith, Descaling Engineer, London SE5

“Mr Smith and two other men were engaged in clearing out the interceptor in a drain. It was decided to clear the blockage by using a chemical and about 4 gallons of the acid were poured into the drain. The three men then went to the manhole over the council sewer and one man went down to clear the blockage in the interceptor from behind. He started to push rods back up the sewer, came up to the surface for more rods and then collapsed down into the manhole apparently the result of fumes. Smith’s colleague immediately jumped into the manhole and managed to lift the man up so that Smith was able to get hold of his hands and lift him out of the manhole and lay him on the road.

The man in the manhole now collapsed. Smith, after calling for help took off his jacket and jumped into the manhole. A rope was passed down to Smith and he was told to tie it around the other man. Smith by now was seriously affected by the fumes and although he tied the rope it kept slipping. Smith was too affected to retie the rope but refused to leave his colleague and he eventually became unconscious himself. By this time Mr Quigley arrived following an emergency call to his (ambulance) depot. On being told two men were in the sewer, he looked down the manhole where he saw one man apparently unconscious and the other fighting for breath. Realising there was no time to wait for assistance, he took an oxygen mask and went into the manhole, where he could small what appeared to be acid fumes.

As Smith was the least affected of the two men, he placed the oxygen mask on him and then pulled the head of the other man clear of the sewer. He tied the rope which had been passed down to him around Smith, who was then pulled out of the manhole. The rope was again passed down and Quigley tied it around the other man who was again pulled out. He was found to be dead on arrival at hospital. By this time Quigley was almost unconscious and he too had to be pulled out”.

A rare gallantry award for saving life to the London Ambulance Service.

GVF £995 Available


Member of the British Empire (MBE) Civil Division 2nd type 1939/45 Star, Atlantic Star, Africa Star clasp North Africa 1942-43, Italy Star, War Medal with a quantity of original documentation to Chief Engineer Francis William James Benham, Merchant Navy born in Southampton in 1912. Joining the SS Windsor Castle 18th May 1941, he was awarded the MBE for his gallantry in trying to save the Troopship SS Windsor Castle when she was hit by an aerial torpedo off Algiers whilst sailing in convoy on 23rd March 1943. Despite the crews best efforts the ship sank, one Junior Officer lost his life, all other crew and passengers including 300 troops were rescued. Post War Mr Benham continued to serve in the Merchant Navy and retired in October 1970 as Chief Engineer, he died in Southampton in 1989.

Member of the British Empire (OBE) 1st Type Military reverse HM London 1919

Unnamed as awarded

1939/45 Star, Atlantic Star, Africa Star clasp North Africa 1942-43, Italy Star, War Medal

Unnamed as issued

Mounted as originally worn.

With original award certificate (Warrant) for MBE to “Francis William James Benham, Esquire” dated 21st December 1943, original Buckingham Palace award letter “Francis W J Benham, ESQ, MBE, 10th April 1946”, origianl award letter for Africa Star and clasp North Africa, Atlantic Star, Italy Star dated 6th November 1944, original letter of congratulations from The Ministry of War Transport dated 20th December 1943 and signed in ink by Cyril Harcomb, Director General, original letter dated 18th December 1945 stating he will be unable to attend an investiture, original letter inviting him to an investiture at Edinburgh on 27th September 1945 dated 12th September 1945, original letter forwarding the Warrant for his MBE from The Central Chancery dated 10th April 1946.

Copy Merchant Navy records covering his service from 1941 to 1972, copy Merchant Navy 2WW Medal roll entry confirming all 2WW Stars and Medal and clasp to Africa Star.

Francis William James Benham was born in Southampton 18th May 1912 and joined SS Windsor Castle (Union castle Mail Steamship Company Limited) as Third Engineer 18th May 1941. Landed at Gibraltar following the sinking of SS Windsor Castle 23rd March 1943, he was back to sea on 29th September 1943. Serving almost continually at Sea post war, his last trip as Chief Engineer was aboard the SS Clan McClay which he left on 30th October 1970. He died in Southampton 30th November 1989.

SS Windsor Castle

Image result for SS Windsor Castle pics

Commissioned as a Troop Ship in the Second World war Windsor Castle was sunk on 23rd March 1943 by a torpedo launched from a German aircraft while in the Mediterranean sea, at the time she was part of  convoy KMF-11. Hit by the torpedo at 0200 she did not sink until 1725, stern first, 110 miles (180 km) WNW of Algiers, Algeria. One crewman, Junior Engineer Officer William Ogilvie Mann, died. 2,699 troops and 289 crew were removed by the Destroyers HMS Whaddon, Eggesford and Douglas.

MBE London Gazette 21st December 1943 page 5523 “For gallantry and initiative in hazardous circumstances”.

The official recommendation TNA Reference T335/78 states –

“The ship, sailing in convoy, was attacked by enemy aircraft (on 23rd March 1943). Severe damage was caused, including the flooding of the engine room. As the ship was helpless and sinking, the disembarkation of the passengers and non essential members of the crew was begun. This operation was carried out smoothly and efficiently and the survivors were put on board other vessels. The Master, with a number of officers and men remained on board to save the ship but before she could be taken in tow the flooding increased rapidly and the nucleus crew were taken on board another vessel standing by.

First Officer Dickinson (awarded MBE), Intermediate Third Engineering Officer Benham (awarded MBE) and Carpenter’s Mate McNeil (awarded BEM) showed courage and devotion to duty. When the ship was hit they went below to investigate the damage and remained there carrying out repairs and continually checking the condition of the damaged bulkheads and machinery. They carried out this dangerous work in the full knowledge that the bulkhead might give way and the ship suddenly sink without any chance of their escape”.

GVF £425 Available


Distinguished Sercice Medal GV, 1914/15 Star, British war and Victory Medals to Petty Officer Telegrapher Albert Thomas Sibthorpe, Royal Navy a former Railway Porter born in Bethnal Green, London in 1893. Entering the Royal Navy as Boy 2nd Class aboard HMS Impregnable, he was Rated Ordinary Telegrapher aboard HMS Neptune 3rd April 1911 and Telegrapher aboard the same ship 24th March 1912. Joining the Submarine Base Dolphin 29th September 1913 and his first Submarine E6 11th December 1913 which completed the first war patrol by a British Submarine commencing 5th August 1914. Sibthorpe was ashore at Maidstone as spare crew when E6 was sunk by a mine off Harwich 26th December 1915. Later joining HM Submarine G10, he was discharged 10th February 1923 on reduction of the Royal Navy, the rating electing for discharge under the terms of Admiralty Fleet Order 1359 of 1922. Post Naval service, he was employed as a Porter with the General Post Office and resided at 31 Cumming Street, Finsbury with his wife, he died of Pulmonary Tuberculosis at the London Fever Hospital, Liverpool Road, Islington, South East London on 30th August 1928 aged 35 years.

Distinguished Service Medal GV

J.7280 A T Sibthorpe LG TEL Oversea Submarines 1914-6

1914/15 Star

J.7280 A T Sibthorpe L Tel RN

British War and Victory Medals

J.7280 A T Sibthorpe PO Tel RN

With copy London Gazette entry and header for DSM, service record, death certificate and photo.

Albert Thomas Sibthorpe was born in Bethnal Green, London 8th August 1893 a Railway Porter he entered the Royal Navy as Boy 2nd Class aboard HMS Impregnable 12th February 1910. Rated Ordinary Telegrapher aboard HMS Neptune 3rd April 1911 and Telegrapher aboard the same ship 24th March 1912. Joining the Submarine Base Dolphin 29th September 1913 and the Submarine Depot Ship HMS Maidstone 11th December 1913, he joined HM Submarine E6 the same day and was advanced to Leading Telegrapher aboard this Boat 21st November 1914.

Image result for Submarine E6

On the outbreak of War HM Submarine E6 was commanded by Lt Commander Cecil P Talbot, Royal Navy and completed the first war patrol by a British Submarine commencing 5th August 1914. Present at the battle of Heligoland Bight 24th August 1914, she was nearly rammed by a British Warship. On 25th September 1914 E6 encountered a new minefield 10 miles west of Heligoland, a mine caught in her forward hydrophone she surfaced and eventually the mine was freed by Lieutenant Williams-Freeman (awarded DSO) and Leading Seaman Cremer (awarded Conspicuous Gallantry Medal). On 29th September 1914 E6 attacked a German Destroyer at 500 yards but her torpedo missed, on 30th May 1915 E6 sighted the German High Seas Fleet, fired a torpedo at the leading Battle Squadron but missed. Awarded Distinguished Service Medal London Gazette 1st January 1917 page 9 “In recognition of services rendered by Petty Officers and men in Submarines in enemy waters during the period from the commencement of hostilities to 3rd August 1916”.

Albert Thomas Sibthorpe aboard HM Submarine G10 (3rd from left) an enlargement from a copy photo
of the crew of G10, all identified by name

E6 was mined on 26th December 1915 with the loss of all hands in the North Sea off Harwich. A trawler had been sunk by a mine in the same position shortly before, and a British Torpedo Boat signalled E6 to avoid the minefield, but E6 ignored the warning and was lost, at the time Sibthorpe was ashore at Maidstone, presumably as spare crew.

Sibthorpe subsequently joined Dolphin 1st July 1916, the Submarine depot Ship HMS Lucia 15th November 1916, advanced to Petty Officer Telegraphist 28th June 1917, the Submarine Depot Ship HMS Lucia 15th November 1916 and HM Submarine G10 10th August 1918. Post war he joined Victory I 29th November 1919, HMS Colombo 27th January 1922, HMS Vindictive 27th December 1922 and finally Victory I 29th January 1923 from where he was discharged shore 10th February 1923 on reduction of the Royal Navy and the rating electing for discharge under the terms of Admiralty Fleet Order 1359 of 1922. Sibthorpe married Maud Elizabeth Webb at St James’s Church, Pentonville in the Parish of Clerkenwell 14th September 1915, after leaving the Royal Navy, he was employed as a Porter with the General Post Office and resided at 31 Cumming Street, Finsbury with his wife, he died of Pulmonary Tuberculosis at the London Fever Hospital, Liverpool Road, Islington, South East London on 30th August 1928 aged 35 years.

A fine early DSM group to a Submariner participating in the first submarine war patrol of the First World War.

GVF & better £2,200 Available


Military Medal GV, 1914/15 Star, British War and Victory Medals, 1939/45 Defence Medal, Meritorious Service Medal GV (Immediate) to Private Albert Edward Deverell, Army Cyclist Corps a former Chemist’s Errand Boy born in Penge, London in 1896. Serving in France from 26th July 1915 with 18th Division Cyclist Company and later XIII Corps Cyclist Battalion. Awarded the Military Medal in August 1919 and the Meritorious Service Medal in January 1919. Discharged to Class Z Army Reserve 11th March 1919 he returned to Penge where he was employed as a Railway Parcel Foreman, he died in Penge in 1953 aged 57 years.

Military Medal GV

2178 Pte A E Deverell ACC

1914/15 Star, British War and Victory Medals

2178 Pte A E Deverell A Cyc Corps

1939/45 Defence Medal

Unnamed as issued

Meritorious Service Medal GV (immediate)

2178 Pte A E Deverall 13/C Bn ACC

With copy research, including Medal Index Card, London Gazette entries for both awards, census entries, 1939 Register entry, Medal roll entries. Original letters forwarding his 1914/15 Star Trio, MM and MSM, original addressed Registered envelope for 1WW Medals, box of issue for Defence Medal addressed “Mr A E Deverell 66 Mosslea Road, Pinge, SE20”, awarded slip for Defence Medal.

Albert Edward Deverell was born in Penge, London 25th May 1895, the 1911 census records he is a 15 year old Chemist’s Errand Boy residing with his father Frederick a Cab Driver, mother Hannah a Charwoman, three sisters and two brothers in a four room house at 90 Station Road, Penge, SE20. Attesting for the Army Cyclist Corps he first served in France from 26th July 1915 with 18th Division Cyclist Company and later XIII Corps Cyclist Battalion. Awarded the Military Medal London Gazette 20th August 1919 page 10578, he had previously been awarded the Meritorious Service Medal (immediate) London Gazette 18th January 1919 page 997 “In recognition of valuable services rendered with the Armies in France and Flanders”. Discharged to Class “Z” Army Reserve 11th March 1919 he returned to Penge. In 1939 he is recorded as residing in Penge and employed as a Railway Parcel Foreman, he died in Penge on 24th February 1953.

Scarce combination to the Army Cyclist Corps.

NEF £950 Available


 

Distinguished Conduct Medal GV, 1914/15 Star, British War and Victory Medals with Mentioned in Despatches Oakleaf to Temporary Corporal Walter George Burt, Dorset Regiment a former Gamekeeper born in Cerne Abbas, Dorchester, Dorset in 1889. Attesting for the Dorset Regiment at Dorchester 29th April 1907, he joined the 2nd Battalion for service in India in 1909 and landed with his Battalion in Mesopotamia 6th November 1914. For gallantry and coolness at Barjisiyah (Turkey in Asia) on 14th April 1915, he was also Mentioned in Despatches by General Sir John Nixon for distinguished service during the period April to September 1915. Wounded in action 28th September 1915 Kut al Amara, gunshot wound left leg and again on 22nd November September 1915 at Ctesiphon, the latter wound to his left knee and a bullet wound left calf, the bullet having to be removed surgically. Following treatment in Mesopotamia he was evacuated to  India aboard the Hospital Ship Takada 9th December 1915 arriving in hospital at Poona  7th January 1916. Recovering from his wounds he was deemed unfit to return to his Regiment now under siege at Kut al Amara and transferred to the Royal Engineers, discharged in October 1919 in April 1920 he was awarded a 20% disability pension.

Distinguished Conduct Medal GV

8328 Pte W G Burt 2/Dorset Regt

1914/15 Star

8328 Pte W G Burt Dorset R

British War and Victory Medals with MID Oakleaf

8328 T Cpl W G Burt Dorset R

With copy Medal Index Card, service record, London Gazette entries for DCM and MID, copy photo and other research listed here.

Walter George Burt was born in Cerne Abbas, Dorchester, Dorset in 1889, an 18 year 6 month old Gamekeeper he attested for the Dorset Regiment at Dorchester 29th April 1907 joining the Depot the same day. Posted to the 1st Battalion 4th October 1907 and to the 2nd Battalion 1st February 1909 for service in India, he landed with his Battalion in Mesopotamia 6th November 1914. Awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal London Gazette 5th August 1915 page 7678-

“For gallantry and coolness at Barjisiyah (Turkey in Asia) on 14th April 1915, when he carried an urgent message along the firing line within 400 yards of the enemy’s position under very heavy fire and returned to report having delivered it”

Mentioned in Despatches by General Sir John Nixon, KCB, ADC General Commanding Indian Expeditionary Force for distinguished services during the period from the middle of April 1915 to the end of September 1915 London Gazette 5th April 1916 page 3669.

Picture from: Western Gazette Almanac 1917 page 209

Wounded in action 28th September 1915 Kut al Amara, gunshot wound left leg and again on 22nd November September 1915 at Ctesiphon, the latter wound to his left knee and a bullet wound left calf, the bullet having to be removed surgically. Following treatment in Mesopotamia he was evacuated to  India aboard the Hospital Ship Takada 9th December 1915 arriving in hospital at Poona  7th January 1916 and discharged 11th February 1916. Re-admitted with Malaria 2nd April 1916 and discharged 20th April 1916. Unfit for Infantry service he was transferred to the Royal Engineers (No 303511) and promoted to Corporal. Discharged 21st October 1919 he was awarded a 20% disability pension 30th April 1920, the Surgeon commenting “He has an inability to completely extend his left knee joint otherwise general health good”.

Although the Battalion’s landings in the Shatt-al-Arab on 6th November 1914 met little opposition, the Turks, backed by Arab levies, were quick to respond.  The Dorsets faced stiff fighting expelling the Turks from Saihan on 15th November and Saihil two days later.  In eleven days these actions and the diseases prevalent in the marshy conditions of the region cost the Battalion 25% of its fighting strength.  They reached Basra on the 23rd. After minor engagements, mostly against Arab insurgents, the 2nd Dorsets advanced to Shaiba (ancient Sheba).  In February 1915 they were forced to wade knee-deep through the annual flooding of the two rivers.  At Shaiba they endured very difficult conditions, including sand storms.  Mounting frequent offensive patrols, they fought major actions on 3rd March and 14th April in which the depleted Battalion showed great resilience, earning Shaiba (Barjisiyah) as a new Battle Honour.

From : History of the Dorsetshire Regiment 1914 – 1919 published by the Regimental History Committee, 1932.

As far as could be ascertained the Turks had fallen back to a position just east of Marjisiya Wood. General Melliss commenced his advance on Turkish positions at 0930 on 14th April 1915, the Dorsets on the left and the 24th Punjabis on the right leading 16th Brigade. South Mound Ridge was lightly defended and quickly taken, the two Battalions halted 500 yards beyond the Ridge while the enemy positions were reconnoitered.

Just before noon the Dorsets advanced on the left of the Brigade, the 117th Mahrattas now in support. The advance met strong opposition from machine gun and rifle fire as soon as it started, this partly enfiladed the Dorsets which swung half right to face it. Pushing onto about 900 yards in front of the Turkish trenches the advance was held up by a hail of bullets. Ammunition began to run short, but thanks to the gallantry of the Indian Mule Drivers bringing supplies right up to the front stocks were replenished in the nick of time. Casualties were mounting up fast, there were several acts of gallantry including Private Burt who again showed great coolness and determination in carrying a message under heavy fire.

At about 1430 Colonel Rosher the 2nd Battalion Commanding Officer was hit and killed and the Adjutant who went to his assistance was badly wounded. Orders for a retirement were actually issued when the day was saved by 16th Brigade getting up and charging. Lt Colonel Clarkson now in command of the 2nd Battalion jumped up at this point and shouted the order for the Dorsets to advance, he was soon hit but the Dorsets advanced the now 200 yards to the Turkish trenches, by 1615 the Turkish front line had been captured and those Turks who had not been bayoneted or surrendered fell back 150 yards to a new position. The Dorsets continued to advance capturing the second defensive line, Turkish resistance collapsed and they were now in full retreat.

The Dorsets had played a prominent part in the days fighting, losing a quarter of its strength, casualties amongst officers were high with one Commanding Officer killed and the second wounded, three companies were now commanded by 2/Lieutenants.

Scarce DCM to the Regiment, the Dorset Regiment received 101 DCM’s for the entire First World War.

NEF £2,250 Available


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