Orders, Decorations and Medals (8 December 1994)

Sorry, there are no images available for this lot

Date of Auction: 8th December 1994

Sold for £3,000

Estimate: £2,500 - £3,500

The rare M.M. group of four awarded to Sergeant C.T. Rees, 45 Commando, Royal Marines, attached Northern Frontier Regiment (Sultan of Muscat's Armed Forces), for gallantry in operations in Oman 1958-59

MILITARY MEDAL, E.II.R., 1st type (Ply. X.5547 Sgt., R.M.); NAVAL GENERAL SERVICE 1915-62, 1 clasp, Malaya, G.VI.R. (A/Cpl., R.M.); CAMPAIGN SERVICE 1962, 1 clasp, Borneo (Clr/Sgt., R.M.); NAVAL L.S. & G.C., E.II.R., 2nd type (Clr/Sgt., M.M., R.M.) some very light contact marks, otherwise nearly extremely fine and unique to the Royal Marines (4)

Footnote

M.M., London Gazette, 25 August, 1959: 'for gallant and distinguished service with the Northern Frontier Regiment in operations in Oman, 1958-59'. A brief citation was published in the Gazette but the original recommendation that follows gives greater detail of the action: '22nd-23rd December 1958. Sgt. Rees R.M., on this night was the leader of a fighting patrol to an enemy strong point known as the Dhala Talib. The aim of this patrol was to take up a position at night covering the enemy position and at first light to kill the sentries and any other rebels in the area of the cave. By first light the patrol had established itself within 100 yards of the enemy cave. No rebels were immediately apparent so Sgt. Rees went forward to inspect the sangars near the cave mouth. This alerted the enemy and heavy LMG and mortar fire came down on the patrol and a considerable battle lasted for approximately 30 minutes before Sgt. Rees was obliged to withdraw. Two rebels were definitely killed during the action. Sgt. Rees, by his coolness under fire, personal courage and devotion to duty surprised the rebels in their own position; by his daring leadership he inflicted enemy casualties whilst his patrol suffered only minor wounds.'

The following extracts are taken from the Globe and Laurel: The above action was fought by the 'Kamah Patrol'; Sgt. Rees was attached to the Northern Frontier Regiment of the Omani Army during guerilla warfare against rebels in the mountains. 'In early April, the London papers published for the first time the news that selected officers and men of the R.M. had not only been training, but had been in action, leading Trucial State forces of Omani and Baluchi infantrymen against rebel formations in the wild rocky mountains that lie along the frontiers of Oman and Saudi Arabia. A year or so ago came the first hints that R.M. had been engaged in training Arab irregulars in the area, but it is now known that a total of 20 officers and 63 N.C.O's had taken part in the guerilla warfare, leading patrols as well as training them.

The Kamah Patrol

On 22 December 1958, a strong fighting patrol was sent out with the task of harassing picquet positions on the Dhalal Talib. Sgt. Rees commanded part of this patrol, the 'Special Patrol Section'. The patrol left Kamah at 2330 and by 0300 they were only 600 yards ftom the feature. At 0400, Rees led his section out with orders to take up position 200 yards from some sangars overlooking the Dhala Talib. The troops were to shoot any sentries and occupy the edge of a wadi. Dawn was at 0630, and for half an hour Rees watched the sangars; however, there was no sign of life, and the patrol moved to the edge of the wadi. Rees went forward to inspect the position, but as he advanced he was spotted by a sentry; as the latter aimed, Rees fired from the hip but missed. Both men took cover, and began to fire at each other from 10 yards range. Rees had a snipers' rifle, unsuitable for close-range work. As both sides opened up a general engagement, Rees was aided by Sgt. Ali Raschid, who closed with his opponent and shot him. By now heavy fire was coming from the sangars, and the patrol was pinned down, unable to move from their cover. Mortar bombs were landing amongst Rees' men, but by his careful deployment of the men, there were no serious injuries. After 30 minutes, Rees managed to damp down the enemy fire and withdraw the patrol. The company commander wrote that 'the success of the section was largely due to the skill and courage of Sgt. Rees'.

Rees, who was detached from 45 Commando in Cyprus, was awarded the M.M., and also an award from the Herbert Lott Trust Fund for fighting efficiency. Colour Sergeant Rees is also entitled to the clasp 'Cyprus' on his Naval General Service medal but it is interesting to note that his M.M. is not accompanied by the clasp 'Arabian Peninsula' as he was not serving on the strength of a British unit and therefore did not qualify.