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WW2 Medal Group Plus Cap Badge, Certificate of Service Book and Xmas Cards - Donald Bruce Leitch - Trooper Royal Scots Greys
Trooper Leitch enlisted at Edinburgh on 22nd August 1939 in the "Cavalry of the Line". He served for over six years as a regular and was discharged on completion of his time with the Colours in 1946, and transferred to Class Z reserve until 1951. His service appears to have been with 'B' Squadron Royal Scots Greys.
An original group of WW2 six campaign and war medals, with the 8th Army clasp, unnamed as issued, but with a medal entitlement card which reflects this issue and his Certificate of Service Book (Army Form B108) which confirms his entitlement to these campaign stars and the 8th Army Clasp. His Cap Badge, two Royal Scots Greys Xmas Cards from Don to his Mother, one dated Holland 1944 and the other from Germany (BAOR) Xmas 1945. Also a 2nd Army Thanksgiving service booklet (May 1945) with his name, number and regiment and "Scotland for ever" on the inside front cover in blue ink. He trained as an electrician and also worked in the stores.
The Royal Scots Greys had a fascinating war. They started the war in Palestine and Syria (still on horseback), progressing through the campaigns in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia (Grant and Stuart Tanks), into Italy (re-equipped with Sherman II Tanks). They took part in Normandy landings, with tanks landing on Juno Beach on 7th June 1944, the fighting for Caen, Hill 112, The Falaise Pocket, in Holland and Eindhoven as part of Operation Market Garden and crossed into Germany as part of Operation Plunder, reaching and capturing the town of Wismar on the 1st May 1945, just hours before meeting up with the Red Army. They remained in Germany as part of BAOR until 1952.
WW1 Pair to East African Mechanical Transport Corps, Army Service Corps - Philip J. Coldham
A British War Medal and Victory Medal Pair with original ribbons and both correctly impressed to:
2299 Dvr P.J. Coldham E. Afr. M.T.C.
In GVF condition, a few light contact marks to BWM from the VM and the BWM dark toned. BWM ribbon a bit grubby and cut shorter than the VM ribbon.
His medal index card can be found here:
The corps only came into being from 1916 when the campaign in East Africa was re-invigorated with the sending of South African troops.
During WW1 in the East African campaign, the British used the earliest cars and trucks to good advantage whenever possible. Ford light cars, capable of carrying 300 pounds of cargo, had an immense advantage over porters as they required only a driver and were capable of much greater effort. The cars did require petrol, were subject to breakdown on the very difficult tracks, and the drivers were as vulnerable to disease and fatigue as the porters. Furthermore, in the rainy season the vehicles were incapable of negotiating the flooded swamps or the surrounding mud and in the dry season the collapse of the roads into fine dust caused considerable difficulties. However, the sheer efficiency of mechanical versus human transport soon made the motor vehicle an essential part of the British supply system; it has been estimated that one lorry was the equivalent of 30 porters. The limits on their use were the speed at which usable tracks could be cut, the provision of sufficient vehicles and drivers, and keeping the system working under the baleful influence of the climate and pestilence. In the final analysis, the motor vehicle was a significant factor in keeping the British advance going, particularly when the supply of porters withered in late 1917. By contrast, apart from the two railways, the Germans began the war in East Africa with only three motor vehicles. By September 1916, all of these mechanical means had been lost and they were almost completely reliant on porters.
As with the other areas of administration, there is considerable evidence that the British did not make best use of the available resources. From the onset of the advance in early 1916, out of six MT companies provided to the East African Expeditionary Force, one was allocated to a naval kite balloon section, four were attached to the artillery and only one was actually under the control of the Director of Supply and Transport. The problem of ever-expanding lines of communications also impacted heavily on the EA MTC, as divisional or column, it was not until Hoskins assumed command that a thorough reorganisation of the MT was undertaken. Recognising the inflexibility of the system, all vehicles were gradually placed under central control and allocated according to the size of the column to be supported. By August 1917, there was a single MT unit that supplied all aspects of the East African force and it was to be the mainstay of the organisation for the remainder of the war.
Source for the above: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/5195/1/2001AndersonPhD.pdf accessed 4th March 2020
The following gives a sense of the hardships endured by the members of this corps:
https://gweaa.com/home/medical-project/medical-archive/ includes a report by a Dr Pike (The Pike Report) into conditions in British and German East Africa. The extract below is from his report in relation to the drivers of the East African MTC:
"No body of white troops has suffered more, from the hardships of the campaign, than the Motor Transport drivers. These men have nearly always had to be overworked owing to the pressing needs of the force they served, the sickness amongst themselves, and the shortage of reinforcements. They are often on the road by daybreak, and are fortunate if their labours terminate at sunset. They have to drive over roads which are never good, and are often dangerous. They are exposed to the heat by day, and have often to sleep on the road in their cars, a frequent cause of chills. They may not be able to use their nets, and so get malaria at the same time. In certain areas they are constantly bitten by tsetse flies. They get their food where and when they can, and too often drink any water which may be available although warned not to do so.
These things being so, the absolute necessity of doing everything possible to improve the conditions under which these men have to work, and to preserve their health should have been apparent at an early date.
We saw them and travelled with them in the third year of the campaign, and we can only say that we found an absence of any proper system for dealing with the problem.
No attempts had as a general rule been made to provide tents or bandas for messes in these menís camps, they had no facilities for ablution beyond their individual basins, towels, and soap. Nowhere did we find arrangements whereby they could wash their dirty clothes in a cleanly and agreeable fashion. Their sanitation was as a rule neglected, the latrines uncomfortable, and the receptacles uncovered. When on their return journeys they carried sick, they could usually manage to get hot food or hot drink at the wayside halts. At other times they had to go without, unless they had time to cook or to make tea themselves.
We do not wish to underrate the difficulties of the situation, but we are of opinion that many of these difficulties might have been obviated, and if the matter had been taken in had from the first a great deal would have been done to safeguard this important branch of the service, provided always that there was adequate supervision and that discipline was enforced."
There follows a letter sent by Dr Pike to the Deputy-Adjutant and Quartermaster-General in November 1917, after his inspection, pointing out what was considered essential to lessen the high sick rate of this class. See:
Code: 61104Price: 185.00 GBP
Highland Light Infantry (HLI) Medal Shield Bangalore, India, 1926
An attractive shield medal in what appears to be silver with a silver gilt mount of the 74th Regiment (2nd Bn HLI) and Elephant to centre. Maker marked to a Bangalore maker to bottom front of shield. Reverse engraved "to LSD, The Stiffs, The Highland Light Infantry Bangalore 1926". An attractive item in very good condition and worthy of further research. Circa 6.6cm tall excluding the top loop.
Code: 60756Price: 65.00 GBP
WW1 1914-15 Trio + to a Sapper RND Divisional Engineers / Royal Naval Division / Royal Marine Engineers
A scarce WW1 Trio to a Royal Naval Division /Royal Marine Engineer, Sapper William Henry Honey, which came with an early 1st pattern Silver War Badge numbered RN 571 and a copy of his service record plus a number of related lapel badges which came with the medals.
1914-15 Star, BWM and Victory Medal all correctly impressed:
Deal-1342-S-Spr W. H.Honey R.M.
The medal ribbons for BWM and VM replaced and the SWB has a needle bent to replace the original pin.
The British Red Cross Proficiency Medal in First Aid Proficiency has additional date bars for 1916 and 1917 and is named to William Honey.
William Henry Honey was born in 1882, born Devonport, trade Carpenter who enlisted aged 35 in April 1915. Discharged as an invalid on 15 July 1916, which would account for the accompanying SWB.
Also included are a number of related WW1 lapel badges for Red Cross Service, RNOCA and Comrades of the Great War lapel plus an unknown unmarked silver monogram pin badge.
One of the unsung ancillary battalions of the Royal Naval Division was the Deal Battalion, also termed the Royal Marine Divisional Engineers. These men served with the RND at Gallipoli before being transported to France in 1916 where they supported the RND on the Somme and in particular at the battle of the Ancre, the final battle of that campaign. The Deal battalion was then broken up and re-designated as - 247th Field Company Royal Engineers (63rd Royal Naval Division), 248th Field Company Royal Engineers (63rd Royal Naval Division) and the 249th Field Company Royal Engineers (63rd Royal Naval Division). They continued to support the RND in the major engagements of 1917 (3rd Ypres) as well as 1918 (the 100 day offensive). There is a complexity of naming styles - 'Deal Division', 'Royal Marine Divisional Engineers', 'RND Engineers' etc. and the fact that they joined the navy but ended categorised as army makes for an interesting research project.
Members of the RND Divisional Engineers had the Deal Prefix 1/S to 1500/S and 5001/S to 5895/S.
Condition overall is of medals is NEF (Star appears to have been lacquered), and the enamel to all the ancillary items is in good condition.
Code: 60733Price: 285.00 GBP
1914- 15 Star to 1440 Private Richard Showell, 10th Australian Light Horse Regiment
A scarce Light Horse medal correctly impressed to reverse and with original ribbon with single suspension. In very good condition.
Part of the 11th Reinforcement for the 10th Australian Light Horse. he was entitled to the 1914-15 trio but according to his service records his BWM and VM were returned, presumably undelivered. He served in the Egyptian Expeditionary Force (EEF). Born in Derbyshire, settled in Australia. In very good condition.
There are 31 pages in his service records which can be accessed without charge at the url address below:
USA American National Defense Service Medal Mint in Original Card Box of Issue
Medal in mint condition, never removed from its packaging. In its original blue box with label. Some wear to box opening joints otherwise in good condition.
Code: 60613Price: 10.00 GBP
WW1 Victory Medal - to Indian Army Sepoy 1st Battalion 102nd Prince of Wales's Own Grenadiers
Naming is correctly impressed but is very feint/rubbed and some stains to obverse. It looks like 4 Sepoy Gula A Ram. Anry number hard to read, but unit much clearer. Ring slightly mishapened also. An original length of silk ribbon. Fine +.
World War I began with the regiment being stationed at Muscat, Oman and served in the Mesopotamia Campaign with the 14th Indian Division taking part in the Second Battle of Kut and the Fall of Baghdad (1917). A second battalion was raised in 1917. that served in the Sinai and Palestine Campaign.
After World War I the Indian government reformed the army moving from single battalion regiments to multi battalion regiments. In 1922, the 102nd Prince of Wales's Own Grenadiers became the 2nd Battalion, 4th Bombay Grenadiers. After independence they were one of the regiments allocated to the Indian Army.
Code: 60610Price: 15.00 GBP
WW2 Pair of Red Cross Medals to Lady Mary Dormer, Wife of the British Ambassador to Norway during WW2 and subsequently Poland
Two medals still in their original registered delivery envelope addressed to Lady Mary Dormer at Byeways, South Ascot. The First Aid Proficiency Medal is named on the back to her (with award certificate dated 1942) and the three year service medal has the number impressed on the back which matches the award certificate named to Lady Dormer (with paperwork confirming it was for service 1942-1944).
One box has split lid slides but otherwise the medals and associated paperwork are in good original condition with no damage to enamel or pin fixings, with original ribbons. Medals NEF.
The link below is original film footage of her launching the merchant ship "Black Watch" in Oslo in 1938:
Sir Cecil Dormer (1883Ė1979) was the British Minister to Norway between 1934 and 1941. After the German invasion of Norway in April 1940 he joined the Norway's government and King on their move northwards, and followed the government into exile in London in June 1940. In 1941 he was appointed Ambassador to Poland, whose government was also in exile.
Code: 60385Price: 95.00 GBP
WW1 Silver War Badge (SWB) 190671 - Pte Albert Thomas Leadbeater 26th (Bankers Battalion) Royal Fusiliers
A first pattern SWB impressed 190671 and issued to Pte Albert Thomas Leadbeater, of the Pals Battalion which was full of Bankers! With original and functional pin and clasp. Dark toned and in very good condition (small area of scratching to top reverse).
Paperwork (copy of WW1 MIC to be supplied) with it confirms his service number as B/19455 (although SWB roll gives this as 19454) and his entitlement to a WW1 pair. His entry in the SWB roll (copy to be provided) confirms his date of enlistment as 11th September 1915 and his date of discharge as 23rd May 1917 on account of wounds.
Approximately 1,150,000 badges were issued to all services, which had to be claimed and then approved. The first pattern SWB was issued between September 1916 and March 1918, and these were of a better quality than most later stampings. Around 335,000 of these early badges were issued to all services.
Code: 60354Price: 40.00 GBP
WW1 / WW2 Medal Group 2nd City of London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers) / Royal Army Service Corps - Christoper William Giggins
A group of five medals as follows:
WW1 BWM - correctly impressed GS - 80501 Pte. C.W. Giggins, 2. Lond.R (no ribbon)
WW1 Allied Victory medal correctly impressed GS - 80501 Pte. C.W. Giggins, 2. Lond.R (no ribbon)
1939-45 Star - unnamed as issued (no ribbon)
War Medal 1939- 1945 - unnamed as issued (no ribbon)
Defence Medal 1939- 1945 - unnamed as issued (no ribbon)
All in NEF condition, BWM dark toned. Together with VM and the lid of their box only but with registered delivery package. Thel registered delivery packaging addressed to him at 14 Avebury Road, Prittlewell near Southend (-on-sea, Essex). Box lid is squashed and postal envelope torn and tatty but clear enough to see the detail that matters including the issue date of 10th Nov 1921 from the Records Office for E Surrey and R Fusiliers. Two WW2 medal boxes from the RASC and ACC Record Centre: one addressed to Mrs Q.V.M. Giggins at 7 Albion Road, Westcliff -on-Sea , Essex (which suggests he did not apply for his own WW2 medals but his wife did as his next of kin, post war) The box contains a 1939-45 Star and Defence Medal plus a medal slip entitlement for both of these, with their envelopes but no ribbons. The other box is addressed to a C.N. Giggins (sic) at a different address in Westcliff but containing a War Medal 1939-1945 but without its entitlement slip. He does not register as a WW2 casualty but I remember having to nag my own grandfather in the 1970s to apply for his WW2 medals.
These medals are accompanied by five original WW1 photos (removed from an album and in average condition) which identify Chris Giggins, date his service to 1917 (which aligns with his high regimental number) and also denote the that he held the rank of LCpl (acting) and was wounded (single wound stripe to left arm). A copy of his WW1 medal index will be supplied with the group. There is a single photograph dated 1939 showing an older Christopher William Giggins wearing the uniform of a member of the Royal Army Servce Corps (RASC).
Code: 60353Price: 120.00 GBP
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