Orders, Decorations and Medals (25 March 1997)

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Date of Auction: 25th March 1997

Sold for £1,350

Estimate: £500 - £600

The campaign medal awarded to Corporal Harry Goodman, Lancashire Fusiliers, attached Special Air Service Regiment, Mentioned in Despatches for bravery in the attack on the Green Mountain in Oman

General Service 1918-62, 3 clasps, Cyprus, Malaya, Arabian Peninsula, with M.I.D. oak leaf emblem (22978668 Cpl. H. Goodman, L.F.) together with original M.I.D. Certificate (22978668 Tpr. H. Goodman, L.F., P/attd. 22 S.A.S. Regt.), congratulatory letters and photographs, nearly extremely fine

Footnote

Ex H. Y. Usher Collection 1975.

M.I.D.
London Gazette 25 August 1959, ‘in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in the Arabian Peninsula’.

Harry Goodman enlisted in the Lancashire Fusiliers and served with them in Cyprus before volunteering for the Special Air Service regiment with whom he served in Malaya and the Arabian Peninsula. He was in Captain de la Billière’s troop in the attack on the Jebel Akhdar (Green Mountain) during the campaign in Oman 1958-59. A small patrol had found, on the south side of the mountain, a cave used by guerillas to guard the main approach to Jebel Akhdar. It was also a main store for weapons and ammunition. Two nights later, two SAS troops moved on it. One of these, under Captain de la Billière and including Harry Goodman as No.1 on rocket-launcher, made a ten-hour night march through enemy territory in order to approach the cave from an unexpected direction. It then crept to a point 200 yards from the cave mouth, lined up a 3.5in rocket-launcher, and waited. The only point from which the SAS could open fire was below the cave, and this meant that the rocket crew had to kneel or stand to use the weapon. The same firing point was in a natural amphitheatre whose upper slopes were honeycombed by many small caves sheltering enemy snipers. At dawn, as the first of the guerillas emerged, stretching his limbs and yawning, the troop poured a hail of missiles and machine-gun fire into the main cave. The battle instantly brought down rifle fire from the surrounding hills and the rebels still had a mortar firing from a crevice behind the cave, but the SAS had laid on air support. As Venom aircraft came swooping in, one of their rockets made a direct hit destroying the mortar and men instantly. The air strike was meant to last exactly 15 minutes, during which time the troop was to make an orderly, co-ordinated retreat. This now became a fighting retreat, in which the men moved back singly or in pairs, using every scrap of cover available. They were sniped at all the way down the Jebel but finally reached the safety of the covering fire laid down by ‘Tanky’ Smith and his .3-inch Browning form the nearest high ground held by the SAS. Captain Peter de la Billière was awarded the Military Cross for this action, the first of his many gallantry awards won subsequently. The lot also includes two letters written by the recipient and his detailed account of the Green Mountain action.