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In light of the resurrection of the MY thread I thought this might balance it a bit. This is a picture of a friend of mine and 32 other chaps from 2 SAS who parachuted into Italy on  27th December 1944 on operation Galia. The intention was to disrupt German activity and generally make a nuisance of themselves which they did. After 5 weeks they walked out to allied lines. There were few casualties. He had been in the Army since 1941 and continues after the war as a reserve in 21 SAS for a while. He never said much about the operation and died in 1993. Best wishes for the new year!

 

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These have just come to light

This is my Grandfather Cpl Michael Bradley (seated) and my Gt Uncle Jim. Michael served with the R Irish Fusiliers in Salonica, Gallipoli, the Balkans and France during the Great War. He was gassed in France which eventually led to his death in 1930.

He was a Sniper (obviously where I get it from) and was discharged in 1918 due to illness as no longer fit for war service.

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We are fortunate that many of their records survived the Blitz, although you can see the charring on the pic above

James served with the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers and was wounded on 13 July 1916 during the Battle of the Somme (Battle of Albert). He received bomb wounds to his face and neck etc and was evacuated to England one week later.

He was eventually discharged as no longer fit for war service

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I have been given my Grandads medals and just had them cleaned and remounted

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James was entitled to wear a Gold Braid wound distinction strip, you can see it on his lower left arm.

He was shot dead in Belfast in 1921

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4 minutes ago, TSG said:

Excellent, proper history rather than imagined. 

Yes,

As you can imagine, we are immensely proud

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Campaign medals were awarded to individuals who served in the First World War, who met the qualifications laid down for each medal. In general all those who saw service overseas were awarded a campaign medal, however not all individuals that have a medal card were actually entitled to a medal. The qualifications for each campaign medal are:
 

The 1914-15 Star

Established in December 1918.

The front of the 1914-15 Star medal (Pip)

Also known as 'Pip'.

This bronze medal was authorized in 1918. It is very similar to the 1914 Star but it was issued to a much wider range of recipients. Broadly speaking it was awarded to all who served in any theatre of war against Germany between 5th August 1914 and 31st December 1915, except those eligible for the 1914 Star. Similarly, those who received the Africa General Service Medal or the Sudan 1910 Medal were not eligible for the award.

Like the 1914 Star, the 1914-15 Star was not awarded alone. The recipient had to have received the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. The reverse is plain with the recipient's service number, rank, name and unit impressed on it.

An estimated 2.4 million of these medals were issued.

The British War Medal, 1914-18

Established on 26th July 1919.

The Front of the British War Medal, 1914-18 (Squeak)

Also known as 'Squeak'.

The silver or bronze medal was awarded to officers and men of the British and Imperial Forces who either entered a theatre of war or entered service overseas between 5th August 1914 and 11th November 1918 inclusive. This was later extended to services in Russia, Siberia and some other areas in 1919 and 1920.

Approximately 6.5 million British War Medals were issued. Approximately 6.4 million of these were the silver versions of this medal. Around 110,000 of a bronze version were issued mainly to Chinese, Maltese and Indian Labour Corps. The front (obv or obverse) of the medal depicts the head of George V.

The recipient's service number, rank, name and unit was impressed on the rim.

The Allied Victory Medal

The Front of the British Victory Medal (Wilfred)

Also known as 'Wilfred'

It was decided that each of the allies should each issue their own bronze victory medal with a similar design, similar equivalent wording and identical ribbon.

The British medal was designed by W. McMillan. The front depicts a winged classical figure representing victory.

Approximately 5.7 million victory medals were issued. Interestingly, eligibility for this medal was more restrictive and not everyone who received the British War Medal ('Squeak') also received the Victory Medal ('Wilfred'). However, in general, all recipients of 'Wilfred' also received 'Squeak' and all recipients of 'Pip' also received both 'Squeak' and 'Wilfred'.

The recipient's service number, rank, name and unit was impressed on the rim


WW1 medals had the soldiers name and number engraved on the rim.
 
 

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Growing up in Qatar in the 60s and 70s, we acquainted with a lot of British Military personnel

Below are Derek and Sue Lester, they were our neighbours

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When Derek passed away, this is what was published

LESTER Derek: Lieutenant Colonel 
Derek Lester of Wirkworth, Derbyshire on 25 January 2012. 
He was commissioned into The Sherwood Foresters in May 1946 and then served with the SAS from 1955 to 1957 and then with the Trucial Oman Scouts from 1962 to 1964 before moving to MI6 in 1965. He then served with the Infantry Junior Leaders Battalion from 1966 - 67 before being posted to Qatar Armed Forces and became Colonel chief of Staff in 1972 before leaving the Army in 1978. 

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Some of you will have known one of this pair:

20171227_175628.thumb.jpg.ece52933e31933aa717d32a0a15cf594.jpg

Winners DW  1961 and 1962.

1961 20hrs 59min; 1962 20hrs 33min.

G Howe/C Tandy Royal Marines

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5 hours ago, TSG said:

In light of the resurrection of the MY thread I thought this might balance it a bit. This is a picture of a friend of mine and 32 other chaps from 2 SAS who parachuted into Italy on  27th December 1944 on operation Galia. The intention was to disrupt German activity and generally make a nuisance of themselves which they did. After 5 weeks they walked out to allied lines. There were few casualties. He had been in the Army since 1941 and continues after the war as a reserve in 21 SAS for a while. He never said much about the operation and died in 1993. Best wishes for the new year!

 

IMG_0688.PNG

Years back, heard an after dinner talk by one of that crowd. Most understated chap I ever met. 

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On ‎27‎/‎12‎/‎2017 at 6:01 PM, brown dog said:

Some of you will have known one of this pair:

20171227_175628.thumb.jpg.ece52933e31933aa717d32a0a15cf594.jpg

Winners DW  1961 and 1962.

1961 20hrs 59min; 1962 20hrs 33min.

G Howe/C Tandy Royal Marines

Gilly Howe once told me he walked from Norfolk to Portsmouth to join the RM's and slept in hedges and barns on his way to Eastney Barracks.

No known by many was his wife's first occupation, she was a Luftwaffe photographer!  During an aerial reconnaissance mission in ww2 the pilot suggested they land in Sweden and be interned rather than fight on, the whole crew unanimously agreed. 

And it has to said, he looks like he's enjoying himself in the picture! 

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14 FEBRUARY 2017 • 12:09PM

Colour Sergeant Gilbert "Gillie" Howe, who has died aged 87, was one of the most bemedalled and respected members of the Royal Marines and Special Boat Service.

Howe was a 21-year old acting corporal when, in the falling light of February 21 1951 and in dense jungle along the Perak river in Malaya, a subsection of 40 Commando was ambushed by bandits.

When his officer was severely wounded, Howe immediately assumed command and pressed home an attack, killing one enemy and wounding others. He reorganised the subsection and held his position until at first light a heavy counter-attack developed.  

By his skill and leadership Howe prevented further casualties, and when reinforcements arrived, he advanced with his subsection, forcing the bandits to flee.

Howe was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for his outstanding leadership and bravery.

Some years later, now serving with 42 Commando in Borneo, Howe’s courage under fire was again demonstrated. He had devised jungle tracker teams which used dogs and Iban tribesmen and was a sergeant in command of a team which met a party of terrorists outnumbering his patrol by four to one. 

He held his ground doggedly in the face of three attempts to dislodge him. When six of his team became separated and ammunition began running low, he fought an orderly withdrawal. His cool and resolute handling of a very difficult situation led to the award the Military Medal for gallant and distinguished services.

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Colour Sergeant Gilbert Howe with his wife and daughter
Colour Sergeant Gilbert Howe with his wife and daughter

Gilbert Rex Howe was born on December 22 1928 at Stradbroke, east Suffolk, and from an early age he wanted to join the Royal Marines. Having enlisted in 1946, he served in the cruiser Sheffield in the West Indies and in Belize, before joining 40 Commando in Malta and moving with them to Malaya, then the most troubled part of the postwar empire. 

In 1952 he was Corporal of the Gangway in the battleship Vanguard before joining the SBS.

A complete professional, he also made his job into his hobby and his prowess as a canoeist enabled him to win five Devizes to Westminster canoe marathons, and to play a major role in the development of a new folding canoe, the Klepper, which replaced a wartime model and is still widely in use today. His particular expertise was close quarters fighting and small arms technology, and he was a lifelong member of the Christchurch Gun Club. 

At the end of a long and distinguished career he was awarded the BEM and the even rarer Meritorious Service Medal.

Howe retired in 1978 to settle at Tuckton, Bournemouth, where he ran a gun shop and continued to participate in many shooting competitions, winning awards at long-range pistol shooting. Despite the difficulties of changing legislation on private small arms, he continued to offer sound advice and good service to his clientele.

Howe was an innovator who contributed much to his profession in a career of more than 30 years. His awards for gallantry and exceptional service gave him a position of respect and affection, while his feats of endurance, expertise and enthusiasm significantly influenced the way the SBS went about its business. He was also modest and self-effacing. Nevertheless the service’s motto “By strength and guile” was sometimes rendered as “By strength and Gillie”.

In 1958 Gilbert Howe married Rita Zanders, whom he met while serving in HMS Royal Prince, the Royal Navy’s Rhine Squadron based at Krefeld. She predeceased him in 2005 and he is survived by their daughter.

Colour Sergeant Gilbert “Gillie” Howe, born December 22 1928, died December 11 2016

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Thanks Mark, I hadn't seen that obituary of Gillie before.

He'll probably be remembered by many of us as for having the most untidy gun shop in the UK!

Trading an air pistol with him once for some Yugoslavian MkVIII .303 ammunition I found a convenient wooden box to sit on, which I assumed has been put on the customer side of the counter for that very purpose. On concluding the deal I asked Gilly where the ammunition was, your sat on it he replied!

The box complete with ammunition inside sat there for many months until he had sold the lot. 

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