A Collection of Medals to the 10th and 11th Hussars

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Date of Auction: 5th April 2006

Sold for £5,500

Estimate: £4,000 - £5,000

The outstanding 1940 D.C.M., M.M. group awarded to Regimental Sergeant-Major Charles Lamb, 11th Hussars, who was personally credited with shooting down five enemy aircraft from the ground

Distinguished Conduct Medal, G.VI.R. (554456 Sjt. C. P. Lamb, M.M., 11-H); Military Medal, G.VI.R. (554456 Sjt. C. P. Lamb, 11-H); General Service 1918-62, 2 clasps, Palestine, Malaya, unnamed; 1939-45 Star; Africa Star; Defence and War Medals; Coronation 1953; Regular Army L.S. & G.C., E.II.R., 1st issue (554456 W.O. Cl. 2 C. P. Lamb, DCM, MM, 11H) contact marks, otherwise very fine (8) £4000-5000

Footnote

M.M. London Gazette 1 April 1941: ‘For gallant services in the Middle East during the period August 1939 to November 1940.’

The recommendation states: ‘At GIARRABUB in June 1940, this very young Troop Leader did exceptionally fine work. His Troop, when stalked at night, inflicted 5 casualties on the enemy. Shortly afterwards his Troop captured GARN EL GRIEN. At SCHEFERZEN in August 1940, his Troop shot down a BREDA 67. In October, 12 enemy dive bombers attacked his car and he personally shot down one. He has shown outstanding ability and bravery since the outbreak of War. His conduct and leadership has set up a very high morale and spirit in his Troop.’

D.C.M. London Gazette 25 April 1941: ‘In recognition of gallant and distinguished services in the Middle East.’

The recommendation states: ‘On December 14th during an air attack by 12 Fighters on his Troop, Sergeant Lamb whilst firing his gun, saw his Troop Leader, 2/Lt. Reid Scott, had been wounded in the head.
He handed his gun over and proceeded on foot to 2/Lt. Reid Scott to see the situation as his car being the wireless is the “Parent” car. One other man was wounded as well as 2/Lt. Reid Scott. The Bren rifle had been put out of action. He attended the two wounded men, returned to his car and carried on firing his Bren rifle and took immediate charge of the Troop. All three cars had been hit and damaged. He then evacuated one badly damaged car and the wounded men and then carried on with the remaining cars though he had been wounded himself early on.
Sergeant Lamb’s personal bravery and cool headedness under fire and most severe conditions was a fine example to his men and the fact that the Troop was so quickly reorganised and ready for further action was entirely due to him. Sergeant Lamb has previously shewn outstanding courage, ability and skill in the face of air attacks and on two occasions he has brought down two enemy aircraft.’

Charles Lamb enlisted early in 1934, and after some initial training joined the 11th Hussars in Egypt during May. The regiment’s establishment of fighting vehicles at that time was 34 Rolls Royce armoured cars and 5 Crossley armoured cars which carried wireless, one to each Squadron HQ, and two to RHQ. The troubles in Palestine blew up in April 1936, and the 11th Hussars were sent there on active service, and were still there at the out-break of war in 1939. Lamb had been promoted to Lance-Corporal in 1938, to Corporal in 1939, and, after a Gunnery course in Lulworth, to Sergeant early in 1940. Rejoining his regiment in Egypt, Lamb was soon in the thick of the fighting, winning both the M.M. and the D.C.M. before the year’s end, the only man of the regiment to win both decorations during the war.

The regimental history includes many incidents involving Sergeant Lamb, including one with a little light relief. In June 1940, his Troop captured a convoy of Italian vehicles, the chief prize being a Lancia staff car with an Italian General and his Staff officer, and to the infinite diversion of the Troop, two lady friends. Lamb was twice wounded, firstly when attacked by a Squadron of Italian fighters on 14 December 1940, and secondly when attacked by Messerschmitt 110s in April 1941. Except for a short period from May to July 1942, when the regiment was training in Iraq and Persia, the 11th continued to be in close contact with the enemy and played a prominent part in the big offensive which swept the enemy out of Africa. Afterwards, when the regiment was campaigning in Italy, Lamb was posted as an armoured car instructor to Sandhurst, which during the war was the Royal Armoured Corps Officer Cadet Training Unit. He remained there until 1946 and then returned to regimental soldiering, mostly in Germany with the British Army of the Rhine. He was appointed Regimental Sergeant-Major of the 11th Hussars in April 1952, and took part in the regiment’s final training before going to Malaya in 1953. He served there until 1954, when he had to be repatriated to the U.K. on medical grounds. He spent the remainder of his service as R.S.M. of the R.A.C. ranges at Castlemartin, received his L.S. & G.C. medal in 1953, and retired in 1957 after 23 years in the Army. Sold with further research and three original photographs.