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

Date of Auction: 5th July 2011

Sold for £5,800

Estimate: £4,000 - £5,000

A fine North Africa operations D.C.M. group of eight awarded to Corporal F. C. Field, Rifle Brigade, who went on to witness further active service with the S.B.S. and S.A.S. in 1944-45

Distinguished Conduct Medal, G.VI.R. (2571109 Cpl. F. C. Field, Rif. Brig.); General Service 1918-62, 1 clasp, Palestine (2571109 Rfmn. F. Field, Rif. Brig.); 1939-45 Star; Africa Star, clasp, 1st Army; Italy Star; France and Germany Star; Defence and War Medals 1939-45, minor contact wear, generally good very fine (8) £4000-5000

Footnote

D.C.M. London Gazette 25 April 1941. The original recommendation - upgraded from an M.M. to a D.C.M. - states:

‘This N.C.O. accompanied Lieutenant C. H. Liddell on two reconnaissance patrols on the nights of 2-3 and 7-8 December 1940. He and one other N.C.O. managed to crawl right up to the enemy defences which had sentries posted about 50 yards apart. He got through these and climbed over the wall of the defences and got right inside the enemy camp. He then crept back over the wall and got away undiscovered. He was thus able to bring back valuable information about the size and strength of the defences and location of the anti-tank mines. Again, on the night of 7-8 December, he and one Rifleman crept up to the camp on another side and found a line of tanks closely guarded by sentries. He managed again to penetrate this and got just inside. He crept back again and was able to report a gap in the defences closed only by tanks, which was of the greatest value. Both of these patrols required great patience, courage and skill in locating and avoiding the enemy sentries.’

Frederick Charles Field, who was born at Smallheath, Birmingham in July 1917, enlisted in the Royal Signals (Territorials) in May 1935 and transferred to the Regular Army with an appointment in the Rifle Brigade in February 1939.

Posted to the 2nd Battalion out in Palestine that August, he was embarked for Egypt in January 1940 and remained actively engaged with his Battalion in the Middle East until December 1943, gaining advancement to Corporal and winning the D.C.M. for the above cited deeds during the battle of Sidi Barrani - and collecting a gunshot wound to his left thigh on 9 October 1941.

Posted to the Raiding Support Regiment in early January 1944, a unit established in late 1943 to provide heavy weapons back-up to other raiding forces, Field attended a close combat course in Palestine and joined the Special Boat Squadron (S.B.S.) in the same month, his service record further noting his departure with the latter force to an unknown destination on 10 April and his return to Palestine, via Egypt, on 25 May. Remaining employed with the S.B.S., most probably on Vis in the Dalmatian Islands, Field was admitted to No. 19 General Hospital in early July and returned to the U.K. at the end of the same month, where he was posted back to the Rifle Brigade before being embarked for North-West Europe in November.

In January 1945, after transferring to the Army Air Corps, he was posted to the 1st Special Air Service (S.A.S.), with whom he served until being admitted to No. 9 General Hospital on the 23 February and evacuated to the Royal Gwent Hospital in the U.K. two weeks later - whatever the nature and cause of his injuries they were sufficiently serious to cause his discharge as ‘permanently unfit for military service’ on 3 July 1945.

Sold with copied service records, which confirms his entitlement to all of the above described Honours & Awards.