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Remembered Today:

Decorated by the enemy


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Somewhat related to the thread on this website about a VC winner who may have received the iron Cross is the story of Pte. Harry Cochran, PPCLI.

Wounded and captured in June,1916, Cochran was on a work party in Jan.,1918 when he heard the cries of children. A three year old girl had fallen through the ice on a frozen pond. Cochran rescued and revived the girl.

The Bavarian Ministry of War gave a letter of commendation to Pte.Cochran and awarded him the Bavarian Cross of Military Merit,3rd Class.

Cochran was eventually released but died in Dec.,1918. His 1914-15 Star and Bavarian decoration are in the PPCLI Gallery at the Museum of the Regiments

Are any Pals aware of similar examples of Empire troops being decorated by the enemy?.

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Guest Ian Bowbrick

There were at least 2 instances of British secret agents being decorated by the Germans in WW2. These are mentioned in the book by MRD Foot.

Cheers - Ian

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Also many years ago a medal dealer now out of business, based in Nottingham, had a CBE, WW1, WW2 medals group to a Col RAMC - who was awarded the Nazi Red Cross Order. The 'Deutschland', alongside in Gibraltar (I think in 1936), suffered a fire and explosion and he took to a boat and rendered assistance to the wounded.

There, attached to the group - with all the paperwork, including 'restricted permission to wear' (only allowed to wear the medal when serving with or at functions featuring the awarding state) was this large, neck decoration enamelled cross. A phenomenal amount of money for the time - probably justified - but then in small print at the bottom 'The Red Cross Order is not an original' I bet!!

Have never encountered any other instances of UK citizens receiving awards from the Nazis pre-war.

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