Orders, Decorations, Medals and Militaria (1 & 2 March 2017)

Image 1

  • Image 2

Click Image to Zoom

Date of Auction: 1st & 2nd March 2017

Sold for £1,400

Estimate: £800 - £1,200

A ‘Malayan Operation’ M.B.E. group of seven awarded to Brigadier M. H. H. Collins, Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, who served with the S.O.E. during World War II, and was ‘dropped’ into Greece to work as a British Liaison Officer with the Mission in Macedonia

The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, M.B.E. (Military) Member’s 2nd type breast star, silver; 1939-45 Star; Italy Star; Defence and War Medals 1939-45, these last two privately engraved ‘Maj. M. H. H. Collins.’; General Service 1918-62, 1 clasp, Malaya, E.II.R. (Major M. H. H. Collins. Loyals.); Coronation 1953, privately engraved ‘Maj. M. H. H. Collins.’, mounted court-style as worn, traces of lacquer, nearly extremely fine (7) £800-1200

Footnote

M.B.E. London Gazette 14 June 1960:
‘In recognition of distinguished service in Malaya for the period 1st July to 31st December 1959’.


The Recommendation, dated 24 November 1959, states: ‘Major Collins has commanded a company in operations in Malaya from March 1958 to October 1959. During this period, he has shown the highest devotion to duty. By his leadership and energy, he has produced a very high state of operational and administrative efficiency in his company and by so doing has set a standard for the other company commanders in the Battalion. He has driven himself hard throughout his time in Malaya and apart from spending much of his time in the jungle, he has been an instructor on the pre-staff college course, has run Brigade courses for promotion candidates, and has distinguished himself on an air support course in Australia. Whatever he is asked to do he does with a rare devotion and skill. Major Collins’ exceptional devotion to duty deserves recognition.’

Michael Henry Hugh Collins was born at Leintwardine, Herefordshire, on 11 July 1921, the son of Lieutenant-Colonel Neville Collins, O.B.E., Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, and was educated at Radley College. He served during the Second World War in the ranks from July 1940, before receiving an emergency commission into his father’s regiment, the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, on 8 March 1941. Promoted Lieutenant on 7 September 1942, and temporary Captain on 27 February 1943, he undertook a course at the School of Military Intelligence at Matlock in early 1943, he subsequently joined the Special Operations Executive, through which he was assigned to Force 133 as a volunteer for special operations on 2 October 1943. He completed the full para-military and parachute courses during the winter of 1943-44, and was subsequently posted to the Operations Pool.

‘On 3 August 1944, Captain Collins was “dropped” into Greece. He went to our Headquarters in the Thessaly area but was destined to work as a British Liaison Officer with our Mission in Macedonia. He subsequently made his way to Western Macedonia to one of our sub-area Headquarters in Area 1, and whilst there carried out his duties satisfactorily. Owing to the termination of his work and the civil war being in progress he was evacuated by sea from Salonika on 14 December 1944, arriving in Cairo on 21 December 1944.’ (the recipient’s confidential S.O.E. report refers).

Collins returned to his former Regiment on 3 March 1945, and was promoted Major on 11 July 1955. He went with the Loyals to Malaya, where it is reported that he spent a long time in the Malay jungle and accounted for some casualties, and was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire. After a posting to Australia as an Instructor in jungle warfare, he returned to the U.K. and was promoted Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel on 1 July 1961, Colonel on 1 January 1967, and Brigadier on 30 June 1973. Appointed Divisional Brigadier of the King’s Division, he finally retired on 11 July 1976.

Sold together with the recipient’s cap badge, photographic image of the recipient; a letter to the recipient from Admiral of the Fleet Lord Mountbatten, dated 8 October 1968, and signed ‘Mountbatten of Burma’; and copied research.

Note: The medals awarded to the recipient’s father, Lieutenant-Colonel N. Collins, O.B.E., sold in these rooms in June 2014.