Archive for the Rare Medals Category

A Birchall Valour Group from the Hundred Days Offensive

Posted in 1914-1918 Service Medals, 1939-1945 Service Medals, Family Groups & Singles, Groups, Rare Medals, Valour Medals with tags , , , , , on December 9, 2015 by The Dude

Flag_of_the_United_KingdomHere’s a great group coming from my never-ending search for medals impressed to my surname. In this case its a WW1 Military Medal group combined with a WW2 service medal group, named to J.E.Birchall 91004, The Kings (Liverpool) Regt.

It came with a little certificate from his commanding General commending his “…skilful use of his Lewis Gun section during operations against Evillers and Mory Copse on the 23rd and 24th of August 1918”.

The village of Evillers was completely destroyed during this offensive. John Eric Birchall later served in WW2, as evidenced by his Defence Medal and War Medal. This service was as a Lieutenant in the Home Guard. Given his age, it was probably his MM that got him that rank.

King’s Medal for Service in the Cause of Freedom

Posted in 1939-1945 Service Medals, Rare Medals with tags , , on September 19, 2015 by The Dude

Flag_of_the_United_KingdomThis is a pretty rare medal, although for some reason I have two of them. This one came without a case or a ribbon. I have another one here. There were only about 2800 of these awarded and they were given to civilians who aided the war effort by organising ambulance services and similar.


GVR Military Cross & Documents

Posted in 1914-1918 Service Medals, Rare Medals, Valour Medals with tags , , on October 19, 2014 by The Dude

Flag_of_the_United_KingdomThis WW1 Military Cross was awarded to Lieutenant George William Sutliff, 13660. George initially enlisted into the 10/Essex Regt. as a Corporal and upon his field commission on 29th May 1917 as a 2nd Lieutenant, was transferred to 9th Yorkshire Regiment. He was later promoted to Lieutenant and end the war as an acting Captain. On the 8th of November 1921 he was confirmed at his substantive rank of Lieutenant in the London Gazette. He entered France on the 25th of July 1915 and so is also entitled to the 1914-15 Star. What is interesting here is the signed letter from Field Marshal Henry Rawlinson, commander of 5th Army confirming his MC award on 6th March 1919.

The code EF9 means he applied for his medals on the 27th of September 1921 and they were returned on the 3rd of November 1923 having been sent to an incorrect address.

Medal Case for Kings Medal for Courage in the Cause of Freedom

Posted in 1939-1945 Service Medals, Rare Medals with tags , on February 13, 2014 by The Dude

Flag_of_the_United_KingdomThe woman’s issue of the King’s Medal has a bow ribbon set up and the case is square as in this example here. I have a similar case for the Medal for Service here. I am always on the look out for these medals and they routinely come without a case so when I see an empty one I nab it.

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An MBE Group to a Sudan Defence Force Officer

Posted in Groups, Rare Medals with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 5, 2013 by The Dude

Flag_of_the_United_KingdomThis group belonged to an officer in the British Army working in the Sudan and Eritrean theatre against the Italians. Interestingly enough his rank on the MBE recommendation is given as “Bimbashi” (from Turkish: Binbaşı, “chief of a thousand”) which is a major in the Turkish army, the term originated in the Ottoman army. The title was also used for a major in the Khedivial Egyptian army as Bimbashi (1805–1953). It was also used by the Serbian revolutionaries as Bimbaša (Serbian Cyrillic: Бимбаша) in 1804-1817. So I am guessing the equivalent was Major Andrew Cameron Robertson of the Sudan Defence Force.

The recommendation reads “This officer has rendered meritorious service during the last six months having been in entire charge of the M.T. Stores (American type) of all the Imperial forces in the field (Sudan command). With no other officer to assist him and with only a mixed Sudanese and Indian Staff he has earned for his work in this sphere the personal thanks of both Divisional commanders and his services have been of a high order and great value. He was responsible for the uncasing and preparation and equipping and testing and issue of all new and repaired American type vehicles, and the supply of tyres, parts and accessories for their maintenance by units and advanced repair workshops in the field – British and Indian armies, S.D.F. K.A.R. W.A.F. S.African, Free French and Belgian, Ethiopian Patriot forces included.”. It is signed by William Platt, Lieutenant General commanding troops in the Sudan and Eritrea, 14th August 1941.

The group consists of the Military MBE, the 1939-1945 Star, the North Africa Star, the Defence Medal and the 1939-1945 War medal with the device for Mentioned in Dispatches. The MBE was gazetted on the 30th of December 1941.

Robertson was granted as an emergency commission to 2/Lieut on 12th June 1940, having already been commissioned in the Khedive’s Army. This was gazetted on 5th January 1943. His service number was 254419.


The Kings Medal for Courage in the Cause of Freedom

Posted in Rare Medals, Valour Medals with tags , , on August 1, 2013 by The Dude

Flag_of_the_United_KingdomThe Kings Medal for Courage in the Cause of Freedom. This medal was issued to foreigners who put themselves in harms way assisting the Allied cause. Examples would be helping run one of the escape and evasion networks getting Allied airmen out of Occupied Europe. Approximately 3200 of these medals were awarded from 1947. I have two of them, the other one here has its case.

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The Kings Medal for Service in the Cause of Freedom

Posted in 1939-1945 Service Medals, Rare Medals with tags , on August 1, 2013 by The Dude

Flag_of_the_United_KingdomThis, along with the companion for courage, is one of my favourite WW2 medals.

From Wikipedia, “The King’s Medal for Service in the Cause of Freedom is a British medal instituted by the The Sovereign, on 23 August 1945. Its was to recognize civilian foreign nationals, mainly of allied countries, who had given meritorious service to further the interests of the British Commonwealth or the Allied cause during World War II. The medal was awarded 2,539 times. Those who helped British military personnel to escape the enemy and escape from occupied areas or for other dangerous work for the British or Allied cause during the war were eligible for the King’s Medal for Courage in the Cause of Freedom.”

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