Collecting WW2 Gallantry and Campaign Medals Hints and Tips

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

  1. Mr Jinks

    Mr Jinks Bit of a Cad

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    The Master Escaper ?? 4386259 GNR. W.R. JEWITT. R.A

    The exceptional Second World War Fall of France St Valery June 1940 Prisoner of War and Escapers Military Medal group awarded to Gunner W.R. Jewitt, Royal Artillery, who served with the 1st Regiment, Royal Horse Artillery in the 51st Highland Division, and in company with Driver G.E Currey, made a daring escape from Bourges Prison on 3rd November 1940, crossed into Vichy France, were taken by Gendarmes as refugees to Marseilles, looked after by Reverend Caskie, and then crossed the Pyrenees into Spain, before being interned in Girona, where they spent three months as part of a chain gang in a stone quarry and at the mercy of Franco’s Regime.
    Group of 5: Military Medal, GVI 1st type bust; (4386259 GNR. W.R. JEWITT. R.A.); 1939-1945 Star; Burma Star; Defence Medal; War Medal.
    Condition: Good Very Fine.
    Together with a photograph of the recipient in uniform as taken during the war, and a newspaper cutting titled ‘Mr William Jewitt - master escaper’.
    William Robson Jewitt was born on 25th January 1909 and having worked as a plumber and gravel washer operator, then attested for service with the Territorial Army at Richmond on 25th November 1928, when he was then living in Richmond, Yorkshire and working as a mechanic. As such Jewitt joined as a Private (No.4386259) the Green Howards - the Alexandra, Princess of Wales's Own Yorkshire Regiment

    Jewitt then opted to enlist into the Regular Army, and as such enlisted as a Gunner into the Royal Artillery on 6th January 1929. Posted to the 2nd Training Brigade, followed by the 69th Field Battery in the 6th Field Brigade on 13th April 1929, he saw home service and was then transferred to the Army Reserve on 6th January 1932.
    With the imminent outbreak of the Second World War he was called up from the Reserve on 15th August 1939, and then mobilised at Bulford on 2nd September 1939, before being posted to the 1st Regiment, Royal Horse Artillery as a Driver on 2nd October 1939, and then proceeded overseas to France, where the 1st Regiment formed part of the 51st Highland Infantry Division. With the German invasion of France and low countries, the regiment was then involved in severe fighting.
    On 22nd April 1940 the 51st Division was detached from the rest of the BEF to come under command of the French Third Army. The division was stationed in front of the Ouvrage Hackenberg fortress of the Maginot Line and had thus escaped being encircled with the rest of the BEF during the Battle of France which evacuated at Dunkirk. It was then pulled back to a new line roughly along the River Somme, where it was attached to the French Tenth Army. For some time, it was forced to hold a line four times longer than that which would normally be expected of a division. The 51st was attacked very heavily over 5th–6th June with the major attack initially falling on the 7th Battalion, Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders before the other battalions of the 154th Brigade were enveloped. The Argylls' losses were heavy, the worst day for casualties in their history. Being overwhelmed, 154th Brigade was forced to retire to the west. During this period, the 154th Brigade was detached to form “Arkforce” and was able to escape the German drive into central France and Normandy. However, the 152nd and 153rd Brigades were trapped, with French troops under General Ihler at Saint Valery-en-Caux, and surrendered on 12th June, along with the Division's commander. Major-General Fortune was one of the most senior British officers taken prisoner in World War II. From the British point of view, the defeat of the 51st (Highland) Division was the end of the Allied resistance during the battle of France.
    More than 10,000 members of the 51st (Highland) Division were taken prisoner at St Valery. They were marched to Germany, via Belgium, following the route over which the Germans had advanced against them. Their destination was Stalat XX-A at Torun, about 120 miles north-west of Warsaw. Some were loaded into canal barges for part of their journey, but all eventually travelled by train in cattle wagons.
    There were some notable escapes, mostly in the early stages of the march. Of the 290 British Army POW escapers who had returned to Britain by the end of June 1941, 134 were members of the 51st (Highland) Division.
    Jewitt was one of this men who were taken prisoner of war at St Valery on 12th June 1940, and he was later to be counted amongst those 134 men of the 51st Division to make the escape home. The interview he gave on his arrival home details his time in captivity.
    ‘I was captured at St Valery-en-Caux, 12th June 1940. We were marched to Rouen and then on towards St Pol. I made four attempts to escape, all with Driver Currey, whose story is identical with my own. Our final and successful escape was from the prison at Bourges on 3rd November 1940. The next day we crossed the Demarcation Line 7 km south of Bourges and made for St Amand. From Riom we were taken by Gendarmes to Marseilles (14th Novemebr 1940). We left Marseilles 17th December 1940, crossed the Pyrenees 19th December, and were arrested in Gerona (20th December) and sent to Miranda, where we spent nearly three months before release and subsequent repatriation.’
    Having been moved on to the hands of the British authorities, the men arrived in Gibraltar on 8th May 1941 and then arrived home by ship at Gourock on 15th May 1941. For a full description of his time up to capture, the subsequent incarceration, escape, crossing of the Pyrenees and then incarceration in a spanish gaol, the 218 page account of Driver G.E Currey’s experiences were later written up, and an old proof copy of this story from Currey’s point of view is included amongst the research, and gives a graphic insight into the hardships they endured and their subsequent harsh treatment by the Spanish Police and gaolers, they being put to work as part of a chain gain of Franco’s political prisoners at a stone quarry one the Ebro for the period of three months that they were incarcerated in Girona.
    Both Jewitt and Currey were awarded the Military Medal in the London Gazette for 22nd August 1941.
    Having returned to duty, Jewitt then found himself posted to the Depot, before being promoted to Bombardier and seeing service as a Motor Transport Instructor. Posted to East Africa from 14th January 1944, and then to Ceylon from 15th September 1944, he qualified for the Burma Star and was then posted back to East Africa from 7th January 1945 and then home again from 7th October 1945 before being discharged to the Army Reserve on 9th January 1946.

    http://www.london-medals.co.uk/the-exceptional-second-world-war-france-st-valery-june-1940-prisoner-of-war-and-escapers-military-medal-group-awarded-to-gunner-w-r-jewitt-1st-regiment-royal-horse-artillery-51st-highland-division-who-in-company-with-one-other-made-a-daring-escape-from-bo?filter_tag=France&limit=75


    Kyle
     
  2. Mr Jinks

    Mr Jinks Bit of a Cad

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    Royal Berks Group for The Dyle 15th May 1940 5334379 PTE. A.G. COX. R.BERKS R

    A fine Fall of France 15th May 1940 withdrawal from the River Dyle to the River Lasne Military Medal group awarded to Private A.G. Cox, 1st Battalion, Royal Berkshire Regiment, who when communications between the H.Q. and forward companies was destroyed and an important order had to be taken to companies, with the knowledge that an officer had been killed so doing, then volunteered to take the message despite his motor cycle being hit by shrapnel and bursting into flames.
    Group of 5: Military Medal, GVI 1st type; (5334379 PTE. A.G. COX. R.BERKS R.); 1939-1945 Star; Burma Star; Defence Medal; War Medal.
    Condition: Good Very Fine.
    Arthur George Cox served during the Second World War as a Private (No.5334379) with the 1st Battalion, Royal Berkshire Regiment, and was present during the fall of France, being decorated for his bravery on 15th May 1940 for the following action: 'On the night of the 15th May all the line communications between the H.Q. and forward companies was destroyed. An important order had to be taken to companies. An officer was detailed for this and on going across an exposed position was killed. On volunteers being called for Private Cox volunteered to go in his motor cycle to take the orders, knowing that the ground was exposed to artillery fire. He delivered the message and in doing so his front wheel was damaged by enemy fire. Shortly after this he again went out and his motor cycle was hit by shrapnel and burst into flames. He had to abandon it and carried out his duties on foot.'
    This action occurred when the Battalion was withdrawing from the River Dyle to one of its tributaries, the River Lasne. Cox was awarded the Military Medal in the London Gazette for 22nd October 1940, and later saw service in Burma against the Japanese.

    http://www.london-medals.co.uk/a-fine-fall-of-france-15th-may-1940-withdrawal-from-the-river-dyle-to-the-river-lasne-military-medal-group-awarded-to-private-a-g-cox-1st-battalion-royal-berkshire-regiment-who-when-communications-between-the-h-q-and-forward-companies-was-destroyed-and-an?filter_tag=France&limit=75


    Kyle
     
  3. Mr Jinks

    Mr Jinks Bit of a Cad

    [​IMG]

    Dunkirk and `Leeds` connections but perhaps not correct judging by the last sentence of the description? 1017735 A/SJT. M. DOOLEY. R.A

    The superb Defence of Dunkirk Lys Canal Holding action 30th May to 1st June 1940 Distinguished Conduct Medal group awarded to Sergeant M. Dooley, Royal Artillery, who was serving with the 13th Anti-Tank Regiment in charge of a detachment of five men and a bren gun charged with holding off the Germans for two days under heavy and continuous small arms and mortar fire and sniping everyone in view until his flanks were threatened.
    Group of 4: Distinguished Conduct Medal, GVI 1st type bust; (1017735 A/SJT. M. DOOLEY. R.A.); 1939-1945 Star; Defence Medal; War Medal.
    Condition: Good Very Fine.
    Martin Dooley was born on 9th December 1900 in Leeds, Yorkshire, and enlisted into the British Army as a Gunner (No.1017735) with the Royal Artillery on 26th March 1919. Promoted to Bombardier on 12th May 1923, Dooley was transferred to the Army Reserve on 9th April 1925, and then went on to find work as a miner, residing in Kirkhamgate, Wakefield, Yorkshire.
    With the imminent outbreak of the Second World War, Dooley was called up for service on 11th August 1939, and was then mobilised on 2nd September 1939. Posted to the 13th Anti-Tank Regiment, he was once again appointed Bombardier and then proceeded with his unit to France on 21st September 1939.
    Appointed to Lance Sergeant in the field on 1st November 1939, he was at home on leave in the UK between 16th and 26th February 1940. With the German invasion of France and the low countries, Dooley found himself retreating towards Dunkirk, and it was here on the afternoon of the 30th May 1940 that Dooley’s unit, which were divisional troops in the 2nd Division, found itself manning a position on the Allied held bank of the Lys Canal, and subjected to heavy and continuous small arms and mortar fire from German positions on the far bank of the canal. The unit held this position for two days until ordered to withdraw. It was for his gallantry and leadership during this pressing period which led to Dooley being awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal in the London Gazette for 20th December 1940.
    The original recommendation reads as follows: 'On the afternoon of 30 May 1940, Sergeant Dooley's anti-tank gun was subject to heavy and continuous small arms and mortar fire from German positions on the far bank of the canal. The position had to be held for another two days in order to cover the withdrawal and embarkation of the rest of the force. Sergeant Dooley held the position with his small detachment of five men and one Bren gun, sniping everyone in view till 1000 hours on the morning 1st June 1940, when penetration round his flanks made the position untenable. By his determined resistance carrying out an infantry role and by his sterling leadership Sergeant Dooley's action considerably influenced the whole course of the battle.'
    Dooley had played his part in a critical delaying action, and then found himself as one of the lucky ones to be evacuated from the beaches at Dunkirk. Back home, Dooley was then appointed to Acting Sergeant on 25th September 1940, and was then posted to the 100th Anti-Tank Battery as a War Substantive Sergeant on 17th August 1941, he having held the rank of Sergeant since March 1941. Based at Holme, Hemingbrough, and Griting, in that order, he was then posted with his Battery to India from 12th June 1942, and having been located at Bombay, then embarked for service in the Middle East from 3rd July 1942, and disembarked at Suez on 22nd July 1942. Having been based in Egypt, he then entrained for Iraq on 3rd October 1942, and saw service with PAIFORCE in Persia and Iraq, but was hospitalised on 26th January 1943, and then rejoined his old unit, the 13th Anti-Tank Battery on 4th April 1943, then serving in Iraq.
    Dooley embarked home to the UK on 29th July 1943, arriving there on 13th September 1943, and was posted to 70th Anti-Tank Battery. Dooley was posted to Europe to joined the British Liberation Army on 13th September 1944, and presumably saw further active service in North West Europe, being then reprimanded for being absent without leave on 25th May 1945, no doubt due to the end of war celebrations. Posted home again on 10th July 1945, he was released to the Class A Army Reserve on 10th July 1945, and then released to the Class Z Army Reserve on 10th October 1945. It would appear that Dooley is in fact additionally entitled to the Africa Star and the France and Germany Star.

    http://www.london-medals.co.uk/the-superb-defence-of-dunkirk-lys-canal-holding-action-30th-may-to-1st-june-1940-distinguished-conduct-medal-group-awarded-to-sergeant-m-dooley-royal-artillery-who-was-serving-with-the-13th-anti-tank-regiment-in-charge-of-a-detachment-of-five-men-and-a-br?filter_tag=France&limit=75


    Kyle



    More related groups here;-

    http://www.london-medals.co.uk/index.php?route=product/search&filter_tag=France&limit=75
     
  4. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Oh Shit - Post 79 is the guy I researched 7 years ago regarding the massacre in Nieppe Forest. Me and Rob (Ramacal) went there a good few years ago and found the spot from his sketch map where they were murdered. I really want these medals !
     
  5. idler

    idler GeneralList Patron

    I wonder where they got all that information from ;)
     
  6. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Put your money down then Andy!!
     
  7. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic Patron

    Caveat Emptor!

    Those (shop) prices seem somewhat 'wishful thinking' to me compared to recent Auction values. Having said that, any item is only worth what someone is prepared to pay.
     
  8. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    I think they have been sold :(

    I emailed them yesterday and told me they wouldn't take an offer as the seller wants £5,000 for them.
     
  9. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

  10. Sussex by the Sea

    Sussex by the Sea Senior Member

    Folks,

    I received a PM last Saturday from some one ( who had joined WW2 talk that day) saying that he had spotted my grandfathers medals for Sale at a medal Company (No names no pack drill at this stage) they had been faked and passed through Bonhams Auction site to a Medal Shop. I bought them, received them only to find that they have been put together from information i have put on the net (Para Data).

    Beware Folks

    Steve
     
  11. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

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  12. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

  13. Mr Jinks

    Mr Jinks Bit of a Cad

  14. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

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    TD
     
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  15. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    Ebay info states the MM for sale is marked with an R to indicate an official replacement. The claw fixing is similar to that now used on E11R medals - would this explain the difference?
    Tim
     
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  16. Mr Jinks

    Mr Jinks Bit of a Cad

    Hi Tim,

    Thanks Yes partially it does , I`m not sure what constitutes an official replacement these days as so many dealers claim to be `official` suppliers ? The MM has not been issued for years now ,since the MC was available to all ranks rather than just officers. I have found a similar medal (claw fixing identical) available on the web for just under £53 plus £12 to have it named .The company also boast they are `MoD approved for the supply of replacement medals` ?
    I know a few years ago if medals were stolen or lost in a house fire the MoD would replace them if the theft/fire could be proved but I dont know if they just contract them out now? I know previously replacements were identical to the originals except for an `R` or `Replacement` stamped after the regiment by the Royal Mint (or Calcutta mint) but if they now source out their manufacture I suppose there will be other differences ?
    I understand that official `replacement` medals were never stamped as `copy` as these were made by private companies. So this medal has an `R` but is in the style of a `copy` medal for actions in WW2 but appears recent manufacture?

    Kyle
     
    timuk likes this.
  17. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    MoD website says replacement medals are issued by the Medal Office but that still doesn't help in identifying whether a medal/decoration is official or is a copy obtained from a commercial dealer. It is all beyond my knowledge but I'm sure there must be an expert who can tell you more. Mind you I read recently, can't remember where but may even have been on this site, of a family claiming that a VC donated to a museum had been substituted for a copy. The museum was disputing this and said it was the original or at least the one that had been donated. It would therefore appear that it is very difficult to tell the difference.
    Tim

    Edit: It is the National Army Museum and concerns the VC awarded to General Sir Harry Prendergast during the Indian Rebellion of 1857.
    The Victoria Cross mystery: museum accused of failing to properly investigate missing medal
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2017
  18. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

  19. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    bamboo43 likes this.
  20. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    £4,850: I'm not sure there will ever be a 'right' time.
     
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