Orders, Decorations, Medals and Militaria (8 December 2016)

Date of Auction: 8th December 2016

Sold for £1,000

Estimate: £300 - £400

A Second War 1944 ‘Bomb Disposal’ M.B.E. group of seven awarded to Major W. Machin, Royal Engineers, who, over a period of three years, safely disposed of over 400 enemy bombs without a single casualty being incurred

The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, M.B.E. (Military) Member’s 2nd type, silver; 1914-15 Star (21512 Cpl. W. Machin. R.E.); British War and Victory Medals (21512 Cpl. W. Machin. R.E.); Defence and War Medals 1939-45; Army L.S. & G.C., G.V.R., 1st issue (1859293 Sjt. W. Machin. R.E.) mounted as worn, generally very fine (7) £300-400


M.B.E. London Gazette 31 March 1944:

‘In recognition of gallant conduct in carrying out hazardous work in a very brave manner.’

The original recommendation states: ‘Major Machin has been employed on bomb disposal duties since January 1941. These duties constantly exposed him to personal risk, especially during the major raids on Portsmouth and Southampton. He has always displayed readiness to tackle any job at any time of the day or night and has made many reconnaissances whilst raids have been in progress. During the time which he has been engaged on this kind of work he has supervised the disposal of 12 category “A” and over four hundred bombs, without any casualties being incurred. By his courage, cheerfulness, and devotion to duty he has been a source of great inspiration to the officer, non-commissioned officers and men of his Group, especially when very little was known about bombs and the technical equipment to deal with them was scarce. Over a period of three years this officer has carried out his duties in a most able and exemplary manner and frequently under highly dangerous conditions.’

Walter Machin, of Willaston, Cheshire, served with the Royal Engineers during the Great War, and was advanced to Warrant Officer Class I. Commissioned temporary Second Lieutenant, Cheshire Regiment (Territorial Army) in the inter-war period, he was promoted Captain, Royal Engineers, on 2 September 1939, and served during the Second World War at home as part of a Bomb Disposal Group, being advanced to temporary Major.