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Old 10th Jan 2017, 02:15   #41 (permalink)
 
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The NK pic with the medals on the sleeves and trousers is an obvious fake. Real NK generals would have an aide wear their extra medals, until he too was full, and then another, and so on. The pic posted by handsfree bears this out, with only the chap leading being the actual recipient.
Tis true. Trust me, I used to work for the government!
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Old 11th Jan 2017, 15:51   #42 (permalink)
 
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ShotOne as it happens, Pontius Navigator has just referred to the WW2 stars awarded to his Merchant Navy father, on the Arctic Star thread (post #7)

Arctic Star
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Old 11th Jan 2017, 16:09   #43 (permalink)
 
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Surely John Surtees deserves a little something bearing in mind a certain tatooed footballer...,..
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Old 12th Jan 2017, 11:28   #44 (permalink)
 
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RP - if you're referring to John Surtees, the only man ever to be world champion on 2 and 4 wheels, I couldn't agree more.
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Old 12th Jan 2017, 12:03   #45 (permalink)


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PN

Bay war hero honoured for valour after torpedo holes ship - Bay of Plenty Times - Bay of Plenty Times News

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This event was the second time in six months that Mr Gregson had been torpedoed. He was awarded the Albert Medal in February, 1943, by King George. Mr Gregson spent most of his working life on the seas and moved to New Zealand in 1952.
He was a pilot for ships entering Tauranga Harbour for many years. In 1971, the Queen decided to make the Albert Medal obsolete and allow holders to have it replaced with the George Cross. Mr Gregson said it took authorities about seven years to find him in New Zealand and when he was asked to trade his Albert Medal for a George Cross, he refused. "I kept mine. I said it was given to me by the King so I will keep it, thank you very much."
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Old 12th Jan 2017, 13:47   #46 (permalink)
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NL, interesting, so the Telegraph obituary assumed he had the GC
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Old 12th Jan 2017, 13:57   #47 (permalink)


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Their picture shows a medal on his chest not a cross, that is what threw me, though it is probably counted as a GC as that is what replaced it, he just chose to retain the original medal, though I bet they recorded him as a GC holder in all records.

http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles...ng-ship.177153
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Old 12th Jan 2017, 15:07   #48 (permalink)
 
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NL, interesting, so the Telegraph obituary assumed he had the GC - PN

Along with several other sources apparently.

What a modest yet clearly proud man, and interested to see that Captain Gregson was evidently properly treated as a GC holder in view of the photograph in John Gregson GC which seems to illustrate a bronze Albert Medal (Sea), known as the Albert Medal 2nd Class until 1917. I also read that some 15 people altogether declined to exchange their previous award for the GC, and one cannot help wondering how this may have affected any entitlement to the GC Annuity, currently 10000 pa in the UK, especially observing that Captain Gregson was born and brought up in the UK before later adopting NZ nationality.

On a lighter note, I was amused to read in
Bay war hero honoured for valour after torpedo holes ship - Bay of Plenty Times - Bay of Plenty Times News that "I was knocked unconscious but wasn't seriously injured. I was the sight-setter on a 14-inch gun on the stern of the ship." Clearly a typo in lieu of "four inch", since 14 inch guns were the main armament only in such major war vessels as the KGV Class battleships.

Also thoroughly agree re John Surtees.

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Old 12th Jan 2017, 15:55   #49 (permalink)
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UJ, as a slight digression, as a 2nd Officer my father's manoeuvre station was on the poop. Naturally, as the gun was on the poop, he was also in charge of the gun. He told me how they had to load the shell, then the silk bagged charge, and then sponge out after firing. Not 50 years different from the cannon ball era.

Although he was sunk by a surfaced submarine they had not had time to man the gun. He did tell me however of one of his companies fast merchant ships. As far as I can recall, as my geography was nascent at that time, the ship was making independent passage from Gibraltar when a German submarine surfaced. The ship got off the first round which fell short while the Germans were still trying to man and ready their gun. Before the Germans could fire the ship, and I have a dim recollection it could have been the City of Edinburgh, fired again and over this time. The submarine crew was then seen to scuttle back below and submerge before the third shot. He said the ship then departed at 20 kts, far faster than her design speed. I don't know how true that was.
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Old 12th Jan 2017, 23:31   #50 (permalink)
 
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Union Jack - with regard to the annuity, the situation in the UK for holders of the Albert Medal who declined to exchange their medals is quite clear. In 1968, the original royal warrant for the medal was amended with the following:

"...surviving UK recipients of the Albert Medals are entitled to annual gratuities of 100*, irrespective of whether the medal awarded is in gold or bronze. Gratuities may be paid to other Commonwealth recipients under local regulations"

As far as I am aware the surviving George Cross survivors are receiving the full 10k annuity, as the awards were given by the UK, so logically this should apply to holders of the Albert Medal.

* This sum was the same as that paid to George Cross recipients at the time.
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Old 13th Jan 2017, 10:22   #51 (permalink)
 
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PN - a slight discretion perhaps but a very interesting one, so thank you for posting it.

If you would like to find out more, you may care to try asking for info on Ships Nostalgia on one or more of the forums entitled Ship Research, Maritime Family History Research, or Shipping Lines - Ellerman. I would not be at all surprised if some old salt knew which ship it was, or was even on-board at the time!

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Old 13th Jan 2017, 10:30   #52 (permalink)
 
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TTN - VMT for the detailed clarification - much appreciated, and I was confident that you would be along shortly!

It is also interesting to note separately that the *Old Commonwealth* countries are a lot more parsimonious with their VC/GC Annuites.

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Old 13th Jan 2017, 15:37   #53 (permalink)
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Often wondered if I could get the GC bit ruled out of my missing Long Gong. Sadly not -They seemed to overlook the good bits and concentrate on the 9 bad bits.


But Mr Surtees would get my vote. And I nod my head in the direction of those who went out of their way but only have the satisfaction of doing something right to show for it.
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Old 14th Jan 2017, 08:50   #54 (permalink)


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This is a case which I find wrong, he earned his award, it wasn't something awarded like an OBE on the work of others


Boer War hero stripped of VC for stealing 30p worth of scrap
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Old 14th Jan 2017, 10:56   #55 (permalink)
 
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Interesting story, Nutloose which reflects the different attitudes of the times. Here is a quotation from the article.

Quote:
Those supporters included King George V, who publicly stated no man should be stripped of his VC.

“Even were a VC to be sentenced to be hanged for murder, he should be allowed to wear the VC on the scaffold,” said the King.

Those words did the trick, but they did not benefit Ravenhill, although his name was returned to the VC register.
The Royal Warrant was subsequently amended, and the Victoria Cross can not be forfeited now. I do ask myself though, in the current climate, if the holder of a Victoria Cross were convicted and imprisoned for child sex offences, would there be a public clamour for its forfeiture? I rather think there would.

On a slightly different vein, I once attended the installation of a headstone on the grave of a VC winner, Private John Divane, who was a Crimean veteran who died in poverty in Newlyn and was buried in an unmarked pauper's grave in Penzance cemetery. His regiment, the Rifles, (Divane had served in the 60th Rifles) had raised the money for the stone, and the ceremony was attended by a field marshal, no less, who had served in the regiment. Little comfort to Divane himself, of course, and about 100 years too late, but a nice gesture all the same.
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Old 20th Jan 2017, 09:39   #56 (permalink)


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In addition to the bombers, every available plane in Fighter Command flew several sorties that day. Although 600 were available on paper, only 398 took off to attack the Germans. Seventeen of them were shot down. Altogether, with the 242 bombers and 35 Coastal Command Hudsons and Beauforts — of which five were lost—675 aircraft took off to attack the German battleships. No one can blame their aircrews for the failure of this massive attack. The bomber crews who found the ships attacked with lonely heroism on that grey winter's afternoon. In the late afternoon one solitary Wellington shot out of the clouds in thick weather right over Prinz Eugen at 400 feet and flew through a hail of flak which practically ripped off her tail unit. As she dived over the destroyer Hermann Schoemann and dropped her bombs, she was badly hit and crashed into the sea. The German crews watched her burn with a long sheet of flame rising from the water.
This was just one of the bombers which did not return. No one knows who the pilot was but he upheld the honour of the RAF His attack was as courageously carried out as Esmonde's and his Swordfish. He too deserved the VC.
Breakout :: ???. 32 :: ?????? ????? ??????

Quote:
That evening the only surviving Swordfish air-gunner, Donald Bunce, made his lonely way back to the sergeants' mess at Manston, which he had left just before lunch. There he wrote this terse, undramatic report in his log-book, "Torpedo attack against Scharnhorst and Gneisenau. Attacked by fighters (FW 190s) and forced into sea."
The only other unwounded survivor, Edgar Lee, after reporting to Admiral Ramsay, was driven back to Manston where as senior surviving officer of the Swordfish squadron he had a lot to clear up before being sent on immediate leave. Tom Gleave shook him by the hand. He said nothing. What was there to say to a man when thirteen of his comrades were dead and three others wounded?
That same night Gleave sat in his office and wrote his first report on the Swordfish massacre. He admits he was in tears. In his outer office a young WAAF sat sobbing over her desk. She was the girl friend of one of the naval fliers. He addressed his report to Air Vice-Marshal Trafford Leigh-Mallory, Chief of 11 Group, for forwarding to the proper naval authorities. In stilted service prose, he told of the courage of the Sword-fish crews:
"Concerning pilots and crews of 825 Squadron which operated from Manston against Scharnhorst, Gneisenau and Prinz Eugen, attached is the report of Sub-Lt. Lee. As Officer commanding this station to which 825 Squadron was attached for operational purposes, and having been fully acquainted with their operational activities and the circumstances attendant thereto in respect of the above operation against enemy warships, which resulted in the loss of the entire squadron and seventy-five per cent of their crews, I respectfully submit that it would not be presumptuous on my part to express an opinion on the manner in which Lt.-Cdr. Esmonde and the crews under his command carried out their duties on this occasion.
"I discussed the operation with Lt.-Cdr. Esmonde prior to the squadron taking off at 12:30. His pilots and crews present at this meeting displayed signs of great enthusiasm and keenness for the job they were about to undertake, and it was no doubt due to Lt.-Cdr. Esmonde's leadership that such a fine spirit prevailed. Nothing more was heard of the squadron until the five survivors were brought ashore. The German battle-cruisers were undoubtedly protected by a terrific barrage of flak, and covered by one of the biggest fighter screens ever seen. Against this, the determination and gallantry shown by Lt.-Cdr. Esmonde and his pilots and crews is beyond any normal praise. I am of the opinion that Lt.-Cdr. Esmonde is well worthy of the posthumous award of the Victoria Cross."
It was the first time in history that an RAF officer had recommended a naval officer, not even part of his command, for Britain's highest decoration. Gleave later had only one bitter regret. He felt he had written his report too hastily. If he had considered it a little more he would have recommended more VC.s for the Swordfish crews.

Last edited by NutLoose; 20th Jan 2017 at 10:25.
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