Orders, Decorations, Medals and Militaria (5 July 2011)

Image 1

Click Image to Zoom

Date of Auction: 5th July 2011

Sold for £70

Estimate: £60 - £80

The mounted group of six miniature dress medals attributed to Flight Lieutenant H. H. Sandford, O.B.E., D.F.M., Royal Air Force

Order of the British Empire (O.B.E.), Civil, 2nd type; Distinguished Flying Medal, G.VI.R.; 1939-45 Star; Air Crew Europe Star; Defence and War Medals 1939-45, mounted as worn, together with the recipient’s 1941 edition of The Observer’s Book on Astro-Navigation, Part II, by Francis Chichester, together with the latter’s autograph, good very fine (Lot) £60-80


Herbert Henry Sandford was born in November 1916 and was educated at Minchendon Secondary School, Southgate. Serving in Pathfinder Squadrons during the Second World War, he was awarded the D.F.M. as an Air Observer with No. 35 Squadron (London Gazette 20 November 1942 refers), the original recommendation stating:

‘This N.C.O. has completed 29 operational sorties involving a total of 158 flying hours. Targets attacked include Bremen (5), Hamburg (2), Duisburg (5), Essen (3), Dusseldorf (2), Cologne and Frankfurt. On many occasions, his accuracy as Navigator and his skill as Bomb Aimer has enabled his crew to locate and bomb their objective and bring their aircraft safely back to Base. Often, in the most difficult weather conditions, his extreme coolness and disregard of danger when on flying operations and under fire has contributed largely to the fine morale and keenness of the crew of which he was a member. His enthusiasm and the high standard of his navigation which he has at all times set himself provided a fine example to the Observers in the squadron. For his devotion to duty and fine service, Sergeant Sandford is recommended for the non-immediate award of the Distinguished Flying Medal.’

Ending the war as a Flight Lieutenant, Sandford entered a career in the public service, being elected a Councillor for the St. Marylebone Metropolitan Borough Council and later, the City of Westminster Council. Serving on numerous council committees as a chairman or member, he was awarded the O.B.E. in 1963 for his work in the field of road safety - one of his political colleagues jested that his first award was for bombing the Germans, whilst his second was for action against the British motorist!

Sold with a large quantity of copied research including photocopied extracts from the recipient’s log books and cloth Air Observers’ brevet.