Collecting WW2 Gallantry and Campaign Medals Hints and Tips

Discussion in 'WW2 Militaria' started by Drew5233, Aug 26, 2014.

  1. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    http://image2.findagrave.com/photos/2013/261/68881147_137957421099.jpg


    Kyle




    Quite a few errors in that write up.
    Have you looked at his recommendation?
    http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/D7357100





    Name

    Cross, John Alexander

    Rank:

    Signalman

    Regiment:

    11 Light Car Section attached 1 Head Quarter Signals
     
  2. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Screen Shot 2015-10-08 at 10.30.27.png
     
    Owen likes this.
  3. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    BEF MM RCS, whats not to like? ....If they were around 2k less I'd be very tempted :(
     
  4. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    I had the same thoughts as ramacal.
     
  5. danescott

    danescott Member

    Thank you for the reply ramacal. Its a 5 diget number that i cannot recall it at the moment. In a red case not blue like post 49. The medal & ribbon look the same & the inside of the case has the royal mint ensignia.
    If the inscribed number is a service number what is the best way to find out who it belonged to ? becuase i would really like to find out.
     
  6. Mr Jinks

    Mr Jinks Bit of a Cad

    Its not a service number its an issue number those produced by the Royal Mint were numbered. :)

    Kyle
     
  7. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

  8. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

  9. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    No, not for you Andy. BEF is just about the only area not covered. :(
     
  10. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Nothing new there then :lol:
     
  11. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    If something appears, I'll let you know. ;)
     
    Drew5233 likes this.
  12. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

  13. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

  14. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    I thought it only fair to point you in the right direction. Lovely group though.
     
    Drew5233 likes this.
  15. Mr Jinks

    Mr Jinks Bit of a Cad

    Here`s a strange one for you which one do you think is right?

    http://www.london-medals.co.uk/the-superb-second-world-war-north-west-europe-normandy-breakout-plessis-de-grimault-9th-august-1944-military-medal-group-awarded-to-acting-corporal-m-l-morgan-cameronians-the-scottish-rifles-attached-6th-battalion-durham-light-infantry-who-was-recommended

    or


    http://www.the-saleroom.com/en-us/auction-catalogues/bosleys-military-auctioneers/catalogue-id-srbos10004/lot-5bae459a-da94-4cbb-a86e-a43a0148024f


    Both to the same soldier offered in 2013 and 2015 yet totally different groups (entitlement) I read the description with interest to...regarding his service??? Cameronians attached to 6th DLI with `official` correction to the MM in respect of the unit?
    I put this to former members Verrieres (Jim) who is of the opinion that `BOTH` groups are wrong in different ways why would a MM be `officially` corrected to Camerons when the regiment (according to both descriptions) was the Cameronians ? Even more puzzling is Morgan joined the GSC spent a little time with the RA but joined the 6th DLI won the MM with the 6th DLI (not attached as stated) On the break up of 151 brigade Morgan `THEN` joined the Cameronians (and Verrieres provided a list of personnel transferred from 6th DLI to Cameronians including Morgan) ????
    Strange let the buyer beware they often say ......


    Kyle
     
    Drew5233 likes this.
  16. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Hi Kyle,

    Very keen spot there, how strange. I noticed the 'official' correction on the earlier auction sale. Both very well known and respected dealers. I wonder if the Africa and Italy Stars and Defence Medal are embellishments from the first group and have been removed before the group resurfaced.

    As you say 'buyer beware'.
     
  17. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    That's another beauty of the BEF! Soldiers who died or were captured only got two medals :D
     
  18. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Hi Andy,

    It is a continual shame that medal groups/entitlements are being embelished, or sadly even faked (see my post number 52 on this thread) in order to achieve top sale prices. I find it disgusting especially when it involves medals to casualties. I have experienced such a deception with a potential Chindit 1 group a few years back. The seller had even attached a photograph of another Burma campaign veteran, supposedly as the casualty in question. Apart from the paperwork provided which was false, the photo showed the soldier complete with Chindit and 14th Army insignia, neither of which would have been available to a Longcloth casualty. To say I was upset would be an understatement.

    Cheers
     
  19. Mr Jinks

    Mr Jinks Bit of a Cad

    [​IMG]

    5435681 Cpl Bertie Bell 4th Royal West Kents
    The exceptional Second World War Fall of France Foret de Nieppe 28th May 1940 Massacre survivor and escapers Military Medal group awarded to Corporal B. Bell, 4th Battalion, Royal West Kent Regiment, who played dead as soon as the first shot was fired by German SS troops who had marched his men into the forest shortly after capturing them, and later made his way home via Vichy France and Spain, being interred in both countries along the way.
    Group of 6: Military Medal, GVI 1st type bust; (5435681 CPL. B. BELL. R.W.KENT R.); 1939-1945 Star; France and Germany Star; Defence Medal; War Medal; Imperial Service Medal, EIIR Dei.Grat. bust; (BERTIE BELL)
    Condition: Good Very Fine.
    Bertie Bell enlisted into the British Army on 26th June 1931, joining as a Private (No.5435681) the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry, and then spent between five and six years in India before being transferred to the Army Reserve, and then went to work as a machine operator with the Royal Ordnance Factory at Enfield.
    With the outbreak of the Second World War, Bell was recalled on 3rd September 1939, and was posted to the DCLI Regimental Depot at Bodmin, and after two months at the Depot, he then transferred to the Royal West Kent Regiment, and was posted to the 4th Battalion, being then sent over to join the British Expeditionary Force in France in March 1940, being promoted to Corporal.
    With the German invasion of France and low countries in May 1940, Bell who was appointed to assume the duties of a Platoon Sergeant during mid May, then fell back with his battalion, and it was during this period that he was captured together with six other men of his battalion on 28th May 1940, being captured shortly after having held a position along the east of the Hazebrouck Canal and being taken in the Forest de Nieppe between Hazebrouck and Balleul.
    Bell had been a member of ‘B’ Company, which after the fighting on the canal, then fell back through the forest, and formed a new position along a forest path. Bell with his small group of men and a Corporal, was on the left or southern end of this new position, and as Bell reported ‘almost immediately we saw Germans outside the forest to the south outflanking us. We fired on them and I sent a runner belonging to the section on our right with a message to Battalion Headquarters. The runner did not return and our small action was broken off. Later as it appeared that the rest of our line had withdrawn, I then endeavoured to withdraw my party ot the rear through the eastern end of the forest but we came under fire on reaching a road a short distance outside the forest. Two of the section were wounded. It was evening by now and we found a barn belonging to a deserted farmhouse just outside the eastern edge of the forest. We were quite isolated. The names of my section were Corporal Theroux, and Privates Shilling, Mills, Daniels, Carter, and Lancaster, of whom Privates Daniels and Carter were wounded.’
    Bell went on to state: ‘Early on the following morning, which to the best of my recollection was May the 28th, 1940, we were surprised while still in the barn by a German party of about 15 men of a larger party outside. We were compelled to surrender and to submit to being disarmed. We were then paraded in single file I being near the middle. After waiting for about five minutes an officer arrived, after which we were marched further back into the forest. I had heard tales of prisoners being shot in Norway and feared the worst, especially as almost immediately we came upon a section of about six German soldiers lying down parallel to our line of march and facing in our direction with rifles laid out in front of them as though in readiness for action. One of this party jumped up and began to belabour the two men in front of me, Privates Daniels and Shilling, across the shoulders with the butt of his rifle and spat on them. When he was about to attack me I anticipated him by stiking him with my fist in the face. It looked as though the man would shoot me but the officer issued an order to him and he did nothing. When we had proceeded a few steps further the officer who was marching on the left of the parade with drawn revolver gave an order, whereupon the rear gunner opened fire without warning and shot down my comrades. I was on the alert and threw myself down unwounded immediately I heard the first shot. I lay perfectly still and held my breath. A few seconds later there were three revolver shots. I then heard the Germans walk away. Remaining in my position for some five more minutes, I got up and looked at my comrades. I saw that one revolver shot had been fired a Private Shilling and blown half his head off. The other two shots appeared to have been aimed at Private Daniels who was shot in both eyes. He was lying on his back with his face to the sky. They were all beyond human aid. I had to move away quickly on account of approaching Germans.’
    Bell went on to state: ‘During that day I hid in the forest and I heard Germans speaking as they made an intensive search. Fortunately I had stumbled on a hole which was covered with a bushy topped tree and afforded good cover. Next day some time in the morning I returned to the spot to see if I could get the identification discs of the party, but the bodies were not there. I searched the wood in the neighbourhood as well as I could in view of the risk of running into the Germans but I could find no trace of them. There was a ditch at the east end of the wood where I think the bodies may have been thrown but I could not verify this. On the evening of the fifth day exhausted by hunger and thirst I had to leave the forest and seek food and shelter. I decided to go first to where Battalion had been at a place called Vieux Berguin to the east of th forest. But there was no sign of anyone and I met a women who advised me not to go in the direction I was going which she said was full of Germans. I decided to return and try and find a farm where we had been billeted on the north side of the forest. I came out near another farm nad decided to go there but either the fact that I was carrying a grenade which I had picked up in the forest, or the fact that I was a British soldier in a British uniform startled the farmer who refused all aid. I then went to a farm six or seven hundred yards further away to the east which was the farm where I had previously been billeted. They gave me food and drink but would not take me in. I then went round to the back where I knew of a hay barn in the loft of which I could hide myself and rest. Next morning I heard men moving below and later found they were a British officer Second Lieutenant R.P.H. Parkinson of the Royal Sussex Regiment and is batman and another man, Private Marsh, both of the same regiment. I told them my story and Lieutenant Parkinson told me how his party had been cut off. We decided to take advantage of the cover afforded by the forest and to make our way in a westerly direction with a view to reaching the coast. On going through the forest we struck the forest path which we had held in our retreat. Nearby we noticed a German side hat complete with badge. The badge was a skull which I am informed and verily believe is the badge of the Death’s Head Hussars (actually the SS). We made for unoccupied France. We were materially assisted by having a Carte d’Identite issued by the Prefecture du Nord procured by friendly French in occupied France.’
    The recommendation for his Military Medal reads as follows and continues the story: ‘Corporal Bell was captured on the 28th May 1940, in the Forest de Nieppe between Hazebrouck and Balleul. He was marched into the woods together with six others, who were then shot by the Germans. When the first shot was fired Corporal Bell feigned death. After the Germans had left he found the others were dead, and on hearing the Germans returning, made for the centre of the wood. He remained in the wood for five days, and kept alive on leaves and a bottle of rum he had found. On leaving the wood, he met a British officer and two other ranks in a barn and together they set out for the coast. Failing to find a boat at Wissant, south of Calais, they turned inland and southwards. From Frevent, where they stayed for five months, a young Frenchman took them to Lille, and two weeks later they went to Vierzon bt passenger train, and crossed the line of demarcation on a goods train with the help of railway officials. From Chateaurous they went by train to Marseilles, where they arrived on 29th November 1940. Corporal Bell was interned in St Hippolyte for about a month, and then after hiding a fortnight in Marseilles crossed into Spain with a party of twelve. They reached the British Consulate in Barcelona on the 25th February 1941, Corporal Bell was arrested and imprisoned for two months, but was released for repatriation and reached Gibraltar on the 21st April 1941.’
    For his successful escape and evasion from capture, Bell was subsequently awarded the Military Medal in the London Gazette for 29th September 1942.
    Bell’s original account of his survival of the massacre was made in sworn affidavit in front of a solicitor on 13th September 1943, and the massacre subsequently became an case for The Judge Advocate General in October 1946, when the massacre that Bell survived, was listed along with two others, the infamous Le Paradis massacre of 90 to 100 British soldiers of the Royal Norfolk Regiment, and then 70 to 80 British soldiers at Wormhoudt, all of whom were massacred at the hands of the SS during May 1940.
    Of the six other men massacred in the Foret de Nieppe, their bodies were subsequently discovered by locals from the village of Vieux-Berquin, who took their pay books and personal papers from the bodies and gave them to the Mairie of Vieux-Berquin, who later passed them to the British authorities. The bodies were subsequently interred in Dudenarde British Cemetery and Nieppe-Bois British Cemetery, Vieux-Berquin, and the War Graves Commission later investigated the crime thoroughly, with the 1st Battalion, SS Regiment ‘Der Fuhrer’ being especially suspect, as were the SS Verfuegungs Divisions and the SS Regiment ‘Germania’, all of which were located in the Foret de Nieppe area in late May 1940. Bell subsequently went on to see service in North West Europe, and post war went back to work as a machine worker with the Royal Ordnance Factory at Enfield, being awarded the Imperial Service Medal for his services to the Ministry of Defence as an Examiner 3rd Grade in the London Gazette for 3rd April 1973.

    http://www.london-medals.co.uk/the-exceptional-second-world-war-fall-of-france-foret-de-nieppe-28th-may-1940-massacre-survivor-and-escapers-military-medal-group-awarded-to-corporal-b-bell-4th-battalion-royal-west-kent-regiment-who-played-dead-as-soon-as-the-first-shot-was-fired-by-germ?filter_tag=France&limit=75


    Kyle
     
  20. Mr Jinks

    Mr Jinks Bit of a Cad

    [​IMG]

    This is one for both Drew and Bamboo :)

    5945343 CSM / later Lieutenant W Harrison Beds & Herts and Chindits connections

    Description:
    The very fine Second World War Fall of France Retreat to Dunkirk Avelghem and La Panne Distinguished Conduct Medal group awarded to Warrant Officer 2nd Class and Company Sergeant Major W. Harrison, 2nd Battalion, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regiment, the CSM of B Company, who rescued a Platoon Sergeant Major, then his mortally wounded Company Commander amongst others, as well as reconnoitring with a motorcycle a safer route for his company.
    Group of 5: Distinguished Conduct Medal, GVI 1st type bust; (5945343 W.O.CL.2 W. HARRISON. BEDFS. & HERTS.); General Service Medal 1918-1962, GVI 1st type bust, 1 Clasp: Palestine; (5945343 SJT. W. HARRISON. BEDFS. & HERTS.); 1939-1945 Star; Defence Medal; War Medal.
    Condition: Good Very Fine.
    Together with an old photograph printed as a photo card, this showing personnel at ‘Chindit H.Q (Headquarters) Gwalior Palace, India’ and signed on the back by two of the men present - one by the surname of Clements, and the other being Harrison, who is marked by an ‘x’ as being at the very back.
    Wilfred Harrison originally served in Palestine during the Arab Rebellion and in the early stages of the Second World War as a Warrant Officer 2nd Class (No.5945343) with the 2nd Battalion, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regiment, and was serving out in France in 1940 as the Company Sergeant Major of ‘B’ Company when the Germans advanced into France and the low countries.
    It was for a number of incidents of gallantry during the period leading up to the withdrawal from the Dunkirk beaches, that Harrison went on to be awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal.
    The original recommendation reads as follows: ‘The enemy were shelling ‘B’ Company’s forward position at Avelghem when P.S.M. Warren was reported as seriously injured and unable to move in front. C.S.M. Harrison immediately called for a volunteer and with Private Peakes went out, still under shell and rifle fire, and with no regard to his own safety brought back the wounded Warrant Officer. During the withdrawal through La Panne his Company Commander was seriously wounded. He arranged for him to be assisted to the beach and then took charge of the Company. He obtained a motor cycle and under heavy shelling found an alternative route to the beaches in order to minimise losses to the Company. He thereby managed to bring about 75 percent of the Company to the beaches where he had them under complete control. Throughout the Flanders withdrawal, C.S.M. Harrison by displaying consistent courage and leadership was a fine example to those around him.’
    Of events at the time the recipient’s Company Commander was mortally wounded on the beach at La Panne, regimental sources state: ‘It was here that we learnt, with deep regret, of the death of Captain G. H. Onslow. Onslow had reached La Panne, bringing up the rear of his Company, when he was badly wounded in the face and head by a shell. He was assisted on the beach by C.S.M. Harrison and others, but it was obvious that he was badly wounded. Soon afterwards a machine-gun attack by an enemy aircraft killed him. So we lost a great comrade who had so successfully commanded Carriers, battle patrols (with which he did so well on the Saar front) and ‘B’ Company. He would have been plased to know that his Company’s work was well appreciated and that the three D.C.Ms were awarded had all gone to Warrant Officers of ‘B’ Company.’
    Following his gallant deeds in Flanders, Wilfred Harrison was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Pioneer Corps in December 1942, and having been posted out to India found himself attached to the headquarters of the Chindits at Gwalior Palace, but was then dismissed from the Service by sentence of a Field General Court Martial on 8 June 1944 (London Gazette 9 June 1944 refers).

    http://www.london-medals.co.uk/the-very-fine-second-world-war-fall-of-france-retreat-to-dunkirk-avelghem-and-la-panne-distinguished-conduct-medal-group-awarded-to-warrant-officer-2nd-class-and-company-sergeant-major-w-harrison-2nd-battalion-bedfordshire-and-hertfordshire-regiment-the-c?filter_tag=France&limit=75


    Kyle
     

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