Orders, Decorations, Medals and Militaria (3 December 2020)

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Date of Auction: 3rd December 2020

Sold for £850

Estimate: £200 - £300

Three: Signaller B. J. Forrest, 2nd Signals Regiment, Royal Australian Corps of Signals

Australian Service Medal 1975, 2 clasps, Iraq, Cambodia (230154 B. J. Forrest) impressed naming; U.N. Medal, on UNAMIC riband; U.N. Medal, on UNTAC riband; together with a Meritorious Unit Citation riband bar, nearly extremely fine (3) £200-£300

Footnote

Brian James Forrest served as the Detachment Commander for Radio Troop, 2nd Signal Regiment during Operation Habitat, 1 May 1991 - 30 June 1991, receiving the Australian Service Medal with Iraq clasp. Operation Habitat, an International Kurdish Relief Operation saw 72 Australian Army and three Royal Australian Air Force medical, dental, engineering and logistics personnel deployed to Turkey and Iraq to assist Kurdish refugees. Although designated a humanitarian mission, elements of the Australian Defence Force were engaged, during the operation, by the Iraqi Republican Guard units which had retreated from the border of Saudi Arabia soon after the commencement of the Gulf War.

Forrest received the Cambodia clasp for his service with Operations Goodwill and Gemini, serving in Cambodia from November 1991 until December 1992. The United Nations Advanced Mission in Cambodia (UNAMIC), to which Australia contributed a 65 strong communications unit primarily from the 2nd Signals Regiment, undertook Operation Goodwill in October 1991 to assist the Cambodian Parties to facilitate communications between the military headquarters of the four Cambodian Parties in matters relating to the cease-fire and to undertake a mine-awareness training role. Subsequently, this mandate was extended to include training in mine clearance. The mandate for this mission expired in March 1992 with the establishment of UNTAC (The United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia), under which authority Operation Gemini was prosecuted. The military component of UNTAC, which was established under the 1991 Paris agreements to supervise a ceasefire and a general election in Cambodia, consisted of 16000 personnel from 32 countries under Lieutenant-General J. M. Sanderson AC.

On UNTAC’s establishment, the Australian Defence Force contingent increased to 502 personnel, comprising 488 Force Communications Unit (FCU) personnel and 14 staff on HQ UNTAC. The FCU was originally built around the 2nd Signal Regiment but reinforced from many other units, including 20 personnel each from the RAN and the RAAF. The FCU, which witnessed more action than any other unit during the mission, was spread across 56 locations in Cambodia. Although originally awarded the Australian Service Medal, a later revision saw the Australian members of UNAMIC and UNTAC have their awards upgraded to the Australian Active Service Medal. In 2014, the Force Communications Unit, UNAMIC, were awarded a Meritorious Unit Citation in the Australia Day honours list allowing eligible serving members of the Unit to wear the riband bar without centre star and the original 65 members of Operation Goodwill to wear the riband bar with the centre star.

Forrest served from 1981 until 2002. Sold with photograph of the recipient in uniform.

Note: This lot is available for viewing in Swanbourne, Western Australia, by appointment with our Australasian representative, John Burridge.