Orders, Decorations, Medals and Militaria (13 January 2021)

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Date of Auction: 13th January 2021

Sold for £4,800

Estimate: £3,000 - £4,000

A fine post-War George Medal group of nine awarded to Petty Officer Stoker Mechanic V. H. Stanton, Royal Navy, for ‘outstanding courage and devotion to duty’ when an explosion occurred in the aircraft carrier H.M.S. Indomitable off Malta in February 1953, resulting in 3 men killed, and 37 injured

George Medal, E.II.R., 1st issue (P/.O.S.M. Victor H. Stanton, P/SKX. 801626); 1939-45 Star; Atlantic Star, 1 clasp, France and Germany; Africa Star; Pacific Star, 1 clasp, Burma; War Medal 1939-45; U.N. Korea 1950-54; Royal Fleet Reserve L.S. & G.C., E.II.R., 1st issue (SKX 801626. V. H. Stanton. G.M. P.O. B.24201 P.O.S.M. R.F.R.); Special Constabulary Long Service Medal, E.II.R., 2nd issue (Sergt. Victor H. Stanton) nearly extremely fine (9) £3,000-£4,000

Footnote

G.M. London Gazette 27 July 1953. The recommendation states:

‘Petty Officer Stoker Mechanic Victor Harold Stanton, P/SKX. 801626.

Stanton was P.O. Stoker Mechanic in charge of the petrol party when a severe flood of Avgas occurred in the Starboard Oiling Bay from a delivery line under repair. Fully realising the danger, he remained to assist the late E.R.A. Pugh in his efforts to stop the leak. When the explosion took place, Stanton was blown a considerable distance but was not injured. He assisted E.R.A. Pugh to a place of safety and then checked that all deliveries of Avgas had been stopped, and all storage tanks properly shut down, reporting these facts to the Commander and Commander (E) personally, which greatly assisted in the assessment of the situation.

Stanton then did invaluable work in fighting the fires, continuing without sparing himself until all danger was over. Before the explosion Stanton’s courage, steadiness and devotion to duty in the face of grave and imminent danger were of the highest order. After the explosion he displayed a very high standard of leadership and resourcefulness which was an inspiration to those around him.’

A condensed version of the above recommendation was published in the London Gazette. Stanton received his George Medal from the Queen at an Investiture at Buckingham Palace on 27 October 1953.

Victor Harold Stanton was born in Camden Town, London, on 11 July 1920, and joined Stoker Branch of the Royal Navy on 5 September 1939, for a period of 12 years. He enrolled in the Royal Fleet Reserve as a Petty Officer Stoker Mechanic on 29 February 1949. He re-enrolled in the R.F.R. in September 1951, serving in the aircraft carrier Indomitable from January 1952 to April 1953, after which he was at Victory until discharged to shore for R.F.R. on 3 June 1953. He re-enrolled in the R.F.R. for a third time on 5 September 1956, and was finally discharged on 31 March 1957. He served in the Metropolitan Special Constabulary from 21 October 1959 to 22 October 1968, and retired with the rank of Sergeant.

Sold with original case of issue for the George Medal, and original documents including Certificate of Service, Trade Certificate, History Sheet, copies of signals exchanged between Commanders-in-Chief, Home Fleet and Mediterranean and H.M.S. Indomitable on the occasion of the announcement of the awards, letter of congratulations from Engineer-in-Chief of the Fleet, and other service related documents; together with copies of the Admiralty recommendations to the Select Committee for the G.C., the G.M., and the B.E.M. for this incident, and the Surgeon Captain’s detailed report on Treatment of Casualties.