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BeppoSapone

MM Won in the UK in WW1?

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BeppoSapone

I know of at least one example of an MM being won on English soil in WW2.

Did anything similar happen in WW1?

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Blackblue

How was it won Beppo?

Rgds

Tim

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BeppoSapone
How was it won Beppo?

Rgds

Tim

Tim

This is from memory, so don't quote me on it. The source is a history of the Border Regiment in WW2 that I read about 20 years ago. The book is in store, so I can't check the details.

IIRC a member of the Border Regiment engaged a German plane with a Bren gun.

The plane was straffing his unit, which was in Kent in 1940. I can't remember what happened to the plane, but the soldier was wounded. I think he lost a leg, but was awarded the MM.

Thinking about it in order to write this down I have an idea that the mans name was Lister, although I wouldn't swear to it.

Maybe someone can check out a WW2 award of an MM to a Private Lister of the Border Regiment?

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Blackblue

Thanks mate. Very interesting.

Rgds

Tim

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Stebie9173

Yes, Beppo.

And for similar actions. There may be more but these ones came immediately to mind.

London Gazette 18-12-1917

His Majesty the KING has. been pleased to conferthe following rewards in recognition of gallantry and distinguished service in connection with Anti-Aircraft services in the United Kingdom: -

Awarded a Bar to Distinguished Service Order.

Temporary Captain Gilbert Ware Murles-Greeon, D.S.O., M.C., General List, Royal Flying Corps.

Awarded the Distinguished Service Order.

Lieut.-Colonel William Maxwell Thompson, R.F.C.

Temporary Captain William Harold Haynes, R.F.C.

Awarded the Military Cross.

2nd Lieut. Frederick Arthur Darien Grace, Special Reserve, R.F.C.

Temp. 2nd Lieut. George Murray, General List, R.F.C.

Temp. 2nd Lieut. Thomas Bradley Pritchard, late General List and R.F.C.

Awarded the Military Medal.

No. 564555 Sapper Ralph Eric Frazer, R.E..

No. 23555 Fitter Joseph Homer, R.G.A.

Steve.

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Stebie9173

Also this one, but not specifically stated as being in the UK.

LG 4-8-1917

War Office,

4th August, 1917.

His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to approve of the award of the Military Cross and Military Medal respectively to the undermentioned Officer and Non-commissioned Officer, in recognition of conspicuous gallantry and determination displayed in connection with the destruction of an Enemy Airship: -

2nd Lt. (T./Lt.) Frank Douglas Holder, E. Kent R. and R.F.C. (Military Cross.)

No. 506 Sjt. Sydney Ashby, Royal Flying Corps (Military Medal.)

Steve.

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Dolphin
Awarded a Bar to Distinguished Service Order.

Temporary Captain Gilbert Ware Murles-Greeon, D.S.O., M.C., General List, Royal Flying Corps.

Steve

Isn't this Major G W Murlis-Green of No 44 Sqn RFC? He was awarded a bar to his DSO for bringing down a Gotha G.IV, the first German aeroplane to be shot down over the UK at night, on 18 December 1917. He was flying Sopwith Camel B5192 at the time.

Cheers

Gareth

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Stebie9173

I think so Gareth,

That's how the Gazette reads it's own database! I've just copied and pasted. Makes it a swine to find things at times... Ok, nearly all the time!

That looked odd to me. I was going to have a look for a likely MIC to correct it, but you beat me to it!

Steve.

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BeppoSapone

Stebie & Gareth

All very interesting, but I suspect that most of these awards were won in the air, rather than "on English soil".

Didn't at least one pilot get a VC for shooting down a Zep? Once again over English soil rather than on it.

Stebie

564555 Sapper Ralph Eric Frazer, R.E, and 23555 Fitter Joseph Homer, R.G.A. sound as if they might be something other than air crew. Do you know any more about what they did?

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Stebie9173

I'm afraid not Beppo. I've only got the information printed in the London Gazette.

I posted the complete Gazette entry, and appreciate that only the Other Ranks ones would (a) be eligible and (b ) be for "British soil" awards.

As Military Medals were "in the face of the enemy" awards, I would think it is highly likely that they were for AA duties, certainly the RGA man.

I imagine Sgt. Ashby would be ground personnel as well, by the way.

Sorry I can't add anything extra.

Steve.

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Stebie9173

John,

Forgot about those two!

Steve.

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HarryBettsMCDCM

Until "seperation" Ireland would have been "British soil" surely,there were a number of MMs awarded for the "Troubles" of 1916 on?

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Liam
Stebie & Gareth

All very interesting, but I suspect that most of these awards were won in the air, rather than "on English soil".

Didn't at least one pilot get a VC for shooting down a Zep? Once again over English soil rather than on it.

Stebie

564555 Sapper Ralph Eric Frazer, R.E, and 23555 Fitter Joseph Homer, R.G.A. sound as if they might be something other than air crew. Do you know any more about what they did?

I think that one did but I do know that Jack Mantle was awarded a posthumous VC for his actions on HMS Foylebank in Portland harbour.

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BeppoSapone
I think that one did but I do know that Jack Mantle was awarded a posthumous VC for his actions on HMS Foylebank in Portland harbour.

WW2 again, but a similar sort of thing to Pte Lister MM, who is mentioned above.

Both are cases of engaging the Luftwaffe from the ground, if HMS Foylebank counts as the ground? I suspect not.

"LEADING SEAMAN JACK MANTLE, VC

HMS FOYLEBANK, ROYAL NAVY

During the sea war which began in 1939 and continued into 1945 seamen had many opportunities to show the Naval spirit, especially as the war at sea was even more dangerous than its counterpart during the First World War due to attacks from the air, which had never been a serious hazard during the earlier conflict. British harbours were dangerous places for they were attractive targets for enemy squadrons based in nearby France. The capitulation of France in mid-1940 had left Britain exposed. Dive bombers singled out one British harbour after another and on 4th July 1940 it was the turn of Portland, where some convoys were assembled. Part of the protecting force was the armed merchant cruiser HMS Foylebank and one of its 20 mm rapid-fire pom-pom guns was manned by 23-year old Leading Seaman Jack Mantle of Wandsworth, London.

Mantle already had a reputation, being at that time one of the few naval gunners on convoy protection duty to have shot down a German raider. He had done this with an old-fashioned Lewis light machine gun while serving on a French ship and for this feat he had been Mentioned in Despatches. On 4th July 1940 he reclined in his gunner's swivel chair and faced the fearful sight of more than 20 Stukas diving at him, firing their machine guns and dropping bombs. His exemplary gallantry under fire was witnessed by Foylebank's captain, P.J. Wilson. Foylebank was sunk by the attack and Jack Mantle lost his life. His VC citation on 3rd September 1940 was brief and poignant.

Leading Seaman Jack Mantle was in charge of the starboard pom-pom gun when Foylebank was attacked by enemy aircraft on 4th July 1940. Early in the action his left leg was shattered by a bomb, but he stood fast at his gun and went on firing with hand-gear only, for the ship's electric power had failed. Almost at once he was wounded again in many places. Between his bursts of fire he had time to reflect on the grievous injuries of which he was soon to die, but his great courage bore him up till the end of the fight, when he fell by the gun he had so valliantly served.

Jack Mantle's VC was the only one awarded to the Navy for an act of valour on mainland Britain. He had joined the Navy at the age of 16 and, fittingly, he was buried in the Royal Navy cemetery at Portland, "

Source: http://www.homeusers.prestel.co.uk/stewart/aaholder.htm

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