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A rare early Northern Ireland Operational British Empire Medal (Military) to Sergeant Michael John Stretton, Royal Corps of Signals who served in Northern Ireland from the start of the emergency in 1969 until 1972.
The period 1970-1971 saw the height of sectarian violence & introduction of Internment, where Sgt. Stretton the personal Radio Operator of the Deputy Brigade Commander, who in this role spent long periods in the streets of Belfast, found himself caught in the middle of riots in Belfast with his Land Rover 'Stoned' on several occasions. In 1971 his detachment were responsible for the controversial Internment Operation secure radio net 'Operation Demetrius'.
SOLD/3050. EIIR British Empire Medal (Military) 24018315 SGT. MICHAEL J. STRETTON, R. SIGS.
B.E.M. London Gazette 3.6.1972 British Empire medal (Military Division).
Citation reads:- “Sergeant Stretton has served as a Corporal Radio Operator in 39 Infantry Brigade Headquarters & Signal Squadron for three years. During that time he has proved himself to be an outstanding NCO & has given service far beyond that which could reasonably be expected from a soldier of this rank.
Throughout 1969 he commanded a radio rebroadcast detachment, as such he operated from hilltop sites to link together radio stations on lower ground. His detachment was frequently deployed for periods of several weeks, providing an indispensable link in the operational radio chain. The conditions under which he and his men worked were harsh. He was always sited on a high crest where the worst weather conditions are to be found, such as the Slieve Croob feature which dominates most of County Down, & is fifteen hundred feet above sea level. Rain & cloud often cover these heights & in winter there are many days when the temperature does not rise above freezing point. Gale force winds are not uncommon. In these difficult conditions Sergeant Stretton was notably successful.
His technical ability is high, & his detachment invariably established sound & reliable radio links. As a leader of men he excelled, & his initiative & determination carried his small detachment through all difficulties & kept spirits high in the most depressing conditions.
From March 1970 until February 1971 he was personal Radio Operator of the Deputy Brigade Commander. In this role he spent long periods in the streets of Belfast, including the most dangerous areas, & was on duty for prolonged periods of time. Several times his land rover was battered by stonings, & on occasions found himself alone with his driver amongst hostile mobs. From March until November 1971 he again commanded a rebroadcast detachment. Because of his experience & complete reliability he was always deployed to one of the most important points in any communications system, for instance, when his Squadron was responsible for the internment operation secure radio net (Operation Demetrius) his detachment provided the crucial rebroadcast station on Binevenagh Mountain which served Londonderry & Magilligan Point.
Sergeant Stretton's most impressive achievement has been to lead his men in a most demanding task, & always to maintain their keenness & good humour. In dismal & uncomfortable circumstances, doing an unglamorous job far from the public eye, he inspired his men to continuing effort. The cheerfulness & efficiency with which his men overcame all problems reflected his own high standards & determination to succeed. His leadership & example were outstanding. Sergeant Stretton stands out among a small group of men who have provided over the last three years, the communications without which the Army could not have met the demands of the emergency in Northern Ireland. His strength of character, his firm leadership, his sense of humour, & his utter reliability inspired the men of his Squadron. He is an outstanding NCO who has given generously to his Service”. In original Royal Mint box of issue, on wearing pin. Copy London Gazette & N.A. Kew copies of his citation. E.F. £1150-£795 SOLD

SOLD/2966. Military Medal, Geo. V. with Second Award Bar (original) 82476 PTE. F.G. HUGHES, 11/R. FUS. British War & Victory Medals GS/82476 PTE. F.G. HUGHES, R. FUS.
M.M. London Gazette 13.3.1919 Pte. 11th Bn. Royal Fusiliers (Manchester) BAR to M.M. London Gazette 23.7.1919 Pte. 11th Bn. R. Fus. (Manchester)
From ‘The 54th Infantry Brigade 1914-1918’ “The Passage of the Ancre-Combles”
The operation was one of some difficulty, as it involved the carrying up of bridging material to get both infantry & horse transport across the Ancre which is here 14 feet wide & 6 feet deep. The enemy had destroyed all bridges & moreover the low ground on either bank was swampy & much cut up by shell fire & the enemy held the farther bank, along the Albert-Meaulte Road in strength.
The task of getting the bridges across the river was undertaken during the night of August 21-22nd by the Royal Fusiliers (11th Btn.) & the Northampton Regt. (6th Btn.) The light trestle bridges were made by the R.E. & brought up the railway embankment, whence they were carried to the river & dropped across by the infantry. The fact it was a bright moonlight night was a great drawback & there was much cheerful chatter, promoted by the novelty & interest of the task, which drew a good deal of hostile attention. Every now & then you would meet a party returning from the river & they would hail you with “we’ve dropped our bridge in the river, got to go back for another, isn’t it a lark ?” But with all the fun that the British soldier finds in such odd places, the job was carried through with splendid spirit.
There was for instance the case of Pte. F.G. HUGHES, of the Fusiliers who was one of the bridging party “They came under heavy machine-gun fire at short range from the other side of the stream, & it was found impossible to get their bridge across. PTE. HUGHES at once jumped into the stream, seized the end of the bridge, swam & waded across & got in into position under the fire of at least three machine guns”.   -   A superb citation worthy of a V.C. recommendation.
This would appear to be the action for his first M.M.
This action of Hughes is also written up in the ‘18th Division in the Great War’.
Frank Hughes bar to his M.M. is not mentioned in any of the War Diaries covering the last weeks of the war in France, nor in the published history, however based on other awards that are mentioned it is likely to have been awarded for late Oct. 1918, probably for the action around Epinette Farm on 23-24th October. The battalion was seriously under strength at the start of this action on the 23rd, parapet strength being 15 Officers & 330 O/R’s, by the end of the 24th they had lost 8 officers & 140 O/R’s either K.I.A. or wounded.
Copy M.I.C., Medal Roll T/Sgt. Frank Gerrard Hughes GS/82476 PTE. F.G. HUGHES, 11/R. FUS. Division Histories (22 pages), War Diary (8 pages).
Mounted on a bar as worn fixing pin missing. No edge knocks but polished so N.V.F. £1595-£1250 SOLD

SOLD/2965. Military Medal, Geo. V. with Second Award Bar (original) GS/63894 PTE. G.H. MALLETT, R.FUS. British War & Victory Medals. 241920 CPL. G.H. MALLETT, E. KENT R.
M.M. London Gazette 24.1.1919 Pte. 11th Bn. Royal Fusiliers (West Norwood)  BAR to M.M. London Gazette 17.6.1919 Cpl. 11th Bn. R. Fus. (West Norwood)
From ‘The 54th Infantry Brigade 1914-1918’ – ‘The Bray Corbie Road’ – page 168 “Continual artillery, trench mortar & machine-gun fire was kept on our support trenches, the head of Cloud Support becoming untenable & movement in the shallow trenches very difficult. A direct hit from a trench mortar knocked out a Lewis gun which had been doing good work near the Bray Corbie Road & another strong attack gave the enemy a footing in another portion of Cloncurry Trench, along which he began to bomb his way.
‘D’ Company of the Fusiliers stopped these attacks till all their bombs were used up & then fell back fighting on to Croydon Trench, where bombing blocks were established. This Company now mustered one Officer (Capt. Baker, wounded & 3 men) Page 170 A number of awards were also made to N.C.O. & men of the Fusiliers, including the following :-
M.M. - Lance-Corporal G.H. MALLETT, “Finding the enemy bombing up a trench on his flank, hurriedly organised a party & gathered all the bombs he could find. Through the men were badly shaken & disorganized through the loss of nearly all their Company Officers & N.C.O.’s he succeeded in driving the enemy off, inflicting heavy casualties & saving his flank from being driven in”.   -   A superb citation worthy of a D.C.M.
Copy M.I.C., (pair) M.M. – M.I.C., Medal Roll 11th Roy. Fus. Census Hambleton, Norfolk. Lon. Gaz’s., War Diary (27 pages including 2/Bedford Regt. who were also involved.) N.E.F. £1565-1250 SOLD

RESERVED /3200. Geo. V. Military Medal 325979 PTE. E. GALLEY, 9/DURH: L.I. British War & Victory Medals 9-7770 PTE. E. GALLEY DURH. L.I. (Durham Light Infantry) Ernest Galley, born Houghton Le Spring, Durham, lived Hardwick Terrace, Horden Nr. Sunderland. With copy of ORIGINAL CITATION. M.M. for The MARNE 20-30.7.1918. “As a runner he showed great tenacity in delivering all his messages under heavy artillery & machine gun fire & was of the greatest help to his Company Commander. His conduct during the eight days was an example to all”. Signed W.D.B. Thompson, Captain. (This copied from the Regimental Archives) M.I.C. (pair), M.M.-M.I.C., Medal Roll, Lon. Gaz. 11.12.1918 (Horden), Service papers, War Diary 1.7.1918-1.8.1918 which shows 2 M.M. bars & 33 M.M.’s awarded. (11 pages). Lots of newspaper quotes for Ernest & his wife as Actors post W.W.1. Original full length ribbons. Light contact marks N.V.F. £695-£520 RESERVED

Important British Diplomat Group of 4 to High Commissioner Sir Charles Roy Price K.C.M.G. (1950) C.M.G. (1942) late Royal Garrison Artillery. High Commissioner for the U.K. in SOUTH AFRICA, AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND.
SOLD/2943. Group of 4. British War & Victory Medals LIEUT. C.R. PRICE. 1937 Coronation, 1953 Coronation.
Not included but awarded C.M.G. Lon. Gaz. 11.6.1942 Charles Roy Price, Esq., Assistant Secretary Dominions Office, Deputy High Commissioner for the U.K. in SOUTH AFRICA. K.C.M.G. 2.6.1950 High Commissioner in NEW ZEALAND for His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom. 1937 Coronation Roll - 'Principal' U.K. 1953 Coronation Roll - High Commissioner to New Zealand. Who's Who 1973 Born 1.5.1893, son of late W. Sydney Price, Wellington, Somerset. Educated Wellington School, Somerset. University College, London. Unattached List T.F. 1915, R.G.A. 1915-18, served in France 1916-18 entered Colonial Office 1921, transferred Dominions Office 1925, Assistant Secretary, Imperial Wireless & Cable Conference 1928, on Staff of U.K. Delegation to London U.K. Naval Conference 1930 to Disarmament Conference 1932-34, & to League of Nations Assembly 1928, 1932-34 & 1939; Joint Secretary Oversea's Settlement Board 1937-39 Assistant Secretary Dominions Office 1939; Deputy High Commissioner for U.K. in UNION of SOUTH AFRICA  1940-42; Deputy High Commissioner for U.K. in AUSTRALIA 1948-49; High Commissioner for U.K. in NEW ZEALAND 1949-53. Fellow of University College, London. Lon. Gaz. 15.2.1915 Unattached List for the Territorial Force (late Colour-Sergeant, Wellington School, (Somerset) Contingent, Junior Division, Officers Training Corps, to be 2nd Lieut. with that Contingent. Lon. Gaz. 13.9.1915 from Unattached List T.F. to Royal Garrison Artillery. Died 1976. Must be plenty of pictures in S.A., Aus., or N.Z. papers.
Copy, M.I.C. (pair) address Dominions Office, Downing St., S.W.1. Medal Roll, Lon. Gaz's; 1911 Census - Fernleigh, Wellington, Somerset, Coronation Rolls. 1st three mounted as worn, 1953 Coronation on original mounting clip. V.F.  SOLD

Scarce North Russia M.S.M. & Russian Medal of Zeal group of 5 to Corporal C.A. Kay, R.A.F. late R.N.A.S.
SOLD/3153. British War Medal F.42438 C.A. KAY, B.M., R.N.A.S. Victory Medal 242438 A-Cpl. C.A. KAY, R.A.F. Geo.V. (coinage head) Royal Air Force Meritorious Service Medal 242438 A.C.2. (A/Corporal) C.A. KAY, R.A.F. Special Constabulary L.S.G.C. Medal G.VI.R. CYRIL A KAY. Imperial Russia Medal of Zeal, Nicholas II issue, on ribbon of St. Anne.
M.S.M. London Gazette 22.12.1919. 242438 A/C.2. (A/Corporal) Cyril Allen Kay, R.A.F. (North Russia). Cyril Allen Kay was born 9.3.1900 Stewart Road, Eccleshall, Sheffield, Yorkshire. To young to join up till 19 November 1917 in the R.N.A.S. as a Labourer & then as a Boy Mechanic (F.42438) on the formation of the R.A.F. 1.4.1918 ranked as Private 2. (242438) Served in Salonika 20.9. 1918 & then to North Russia with the ‘intervention’ where he received two awards, both for service in North Russia, his M.S.M. & Russia Medal of Zeal, Nicholas II issue, on ribbon of St. Anne (242438 Corporal) on 15.3.1920, this confirmed at T.N.A. for ‘Syren Force’, the list stating ‘Note awards of Russian Decorations are not allowed to be Gazetted’. Cpl. Kay flew in N9236 with Lieut. Issacs as his Pilot on 9.7.1919, N9234 with Capt. Livock as Pilot 22.8.1919, N9193 & N???? 22.9.1919 both times with Lieut. Issacs as Pilot. These were Short Admiralty 184’s Seaplanes & Fairey IIIB Seaplanes based on H.M.S. Nairana (North Russia). Spec. L.S.G.C. officially re-impressed. Pictured in Bernard Austerburys book. G.V.F. £1495-£1250 SOLD

A UNIQUE to Regiment foreign award group to Lieutenant Charles Burness, Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders/Royal Highlanders, one of 180 French Ordre du Merite Agricole 3rd Class awarded to the British Army.
SOLD/2785. British War & Victory Medals Lieut. C. BURNESS. France, Ordre du Merite Agricole 3rd Class, Chevalier's breast badge, silver, gold & enamel (enamel damaged in places) London Gazette 7.10.1919, France, Ordre du Merite Agricole, Lieutenant Charles Burness, A & SH att. 8/Royal Highlanders. 180 awarded to the British Army the first for W.W.1.Gazetted 7.6.1919 this being the only 3rd Class to either Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders or Royal Highlanders. (one 2nd Class Gazetted to Royal Highlanders).
Charles Burness born Edinburgh on 18 9.1877. Educated at the Edinburgh Academy. Copy M.I.C. (pair) France 13.7.1916 (Lieut. A & S. Highrs.), Service Papers, born Edinburgh 15.9.1877, educated Edinburgh Academy, address The Ridge House, Nr. Staites, Yorkshire & Lennox St., Edinburgh. 9954 Pte. 14th Btn. appointed 2nd Lieut. 14th Btn. A & S. Highrs 20.1.1916. Entered France on 13 7.1916. Court mounted W.W.1. medals V.F. last fine. SOLD

SOLD/3152 Group of 4. British War and Victory Medals DM2-195675 SJT. C.H. CORDWELL, A.S.C. Geo. V. Meritorious Service Medal (M.S.M.) DM2195675 PTE-A.SJT., M.T., A.S.C. W.W.2. Defence Medal (unnamed) Copy M.I.C. (pair) Lon. Gaz. 29.8.1918 EAST AFRICA A.S.C. (M.T.) attd. NIG'N FD. AMB. (Catfield). Of the 471 M.S.M.'s issued for East Africa, 51 were to the A.S.C. Attempted erasure of Pte on M.S.M. still very readable - see pictures otherwise E.F. £295-£225 SOLD