Orders, Decorations, Medals and Militaria to include a Fine Collection of Napoleonic Medals (25 March 2015)

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Date of Auction: 25th March 2015

Sold for £15,000

Estimate: £12,000 - £15,000

An extremely rare pre-war Palestine terrorist incident G.C. (exchange E.G.M.) group of nine awarded to Private J. E. Mott, Essex Regiment

George Cross (No. 6009084 Pte. Joseph Edward Mott, The Essex Regiment, 25th February 1938); General Service 1918-62, 1 clasp, Palestine, M.I.D. oak leaf (6009084 Pte. J. E. Mott, Essex R.); 1939-45 Star; Africa Star; Burma Star; Defence and War Medals 1939-45; Coronation 1953; Jubilee 1977, mounted court-style, good very fine or better (9) £12,000-15,000


E.G.M. (Military Division) London Gazette 25 February 1938:

‘At about 8.20 p.m. on 25 December 1937, a bomb was thrown into the Jordania Cafe, Haifa. The cafe was crowded with soldiers and civilians at the time. The bomb fell at the feet of Private Mott who was seated at a table with some other men of the Battalion. With the utmost coolness and presence of mind, Private Mott picked it up and hurled it through the window into the street, where it exploded with great violence.

This highly courageous act undoubtedly saved several lives, and injuries to many.’

Joseph Edward “Joe” Mott was born in Stepney in March 1914, the son of Joseph Robert Mott, a postman, and his wife Ada. Educated at Stevens Road School, Becontree, young Joseph joined the 4th Battalion, Essex Regiment (Territorial Army) in July 1930 but became a regular soldier in January 1932.

Embarked for Palestine with the 1st Battalion in the summer of 1936, it is said Mott was responsible for saving nearly 60 British soldiers and policemen from death or serious injury by his prompt and gallant action at the Jordania Cafe, Haifa on Christmas Day. His subsequent award of the Empire Gallantry Medal (Military Division) was exchanged for the George Cross, which latter distinction he received at a Buckingham Palace investiture held on 11 December 1945. Mott was also mentioned in despatches for the Palestine operations (
London Gazette 23 December 1938, refers).

During the 1939-45 War he served in North Africa, where he was wounded in Egypt on 26 November 1941, and afterwards, from March 1942, in India and Burma.

Following his discharge, Mott worked for London Transport as a bus driver for fifteen years, prior to joining Ford Transporter Company as a driver. Latterly employed in the security side of Ford, he retired in early 1968. ‘A very quiet and unassuming man’, he died at Basildon, Essex in January 1983.

Sold with original Central Chancery letter in respect of the recipient exchanging his E.G.M. for the G.C., and related investiture information, dated 8 November 1945, together with his Jubilee Medal 1977 certificate; also Battalion Orders extract announcing his award of the G.C., dated 16 November 1944, a letter from his widow (March, 1983), and one or two newspaper cuttings.