Orders, Decorations and Medals (16 & 17 September 2010)

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Date of Auction: 16th & 17th September 2010

Sold for £2,500

Estimate: £2,000 - £2,500

Lance Sergeant Alex Findlay, 2nd Battalion, Scots Guards, who was wounded in the Battle for Mount Tumbledown - as a result of the Army’s failure to acknowledge that he was suffering from P.T.S.D. he subsequently made a high profile and ultimately successful legal claim against the M.O.D. which had far reaching effects on the British Court Martial system

South Atlantic 1982, with rosette (24585084 Gdsm, SG); General Service 1962, 1 clasp, Northern Ireland (24585084 L Cpl, SG); together with original Regular Army Certificate of Service ‘Red Book’, a photograph of recipient in uniform wearing his medals and numerous newspaper cuttings relating to his court case which give further background detail on recipients military service and subsequent court martial, mounted court style as worn, one or two minor edge bruises and contact wear, otherwise good very fine (2) £2000-2500

Footnote

Alex Findlay served with 15 Platoon, Left Flank Company during the Battle for Mount Tumbledown and was one of the seven men under Major Kiszely, MC, who made it to the top of the mountain. He was WOUNDED in the hand by automatic gunfire on the summit, alongside his Platoon Commander Lieutenant Mitchell, as depicted in the famous painting by Terence Cuneo, The Battle of Tumbledown Mountain. Just prior to that, Guardsman Findlay had carried out an emergency tracheotomy on a friend who had been shot in the throat.

Alex Findlay later served as a Lance Sergeant in Northern Ireland and it was here in 1990 where his earlier service in the Falklands caused extremely unfortunate repercussions. Unknowingly suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) from his time in the Falklands, where he had repeatedly bayoneted a young Argentinean to death, he was involved in an incident which resulted in his Court Martial, demotion, dismissal and a two year prison sentence. His appeal against sentence was rejected but he later received £100,000 plus costs when he brought a civil action against the Defence Secretary alleging negligence in failing to diagnose and treat the PTSD that had resulted from the Battle for Tumbledown in 1982.

In an unprecedented ruling during 1995, the European Commission for Human Rights agreed that the traumatised Falklands veteran had been denied a fair hearing at the Court Martial that had ended his Army career and agreed unanimously to refer the case of Mr Findlay to the European Court of Human Rights.

In 1997 European judges ruled that Britain’s Court Martial system was illegal, a momentous decision of great consequence to modern British Military legal history.