A Collection of Medals to the Durham Light Infantry and associated units

Date of Auction: 5th April 2006

Sold for £1,300

Estimate: £1,000 - £1,200

A Second World War ‘Battle of Gazala’ M.M. group of seven to Lance-Sergeant T. M. Swallow, 8th Battalion Durham, Light Infantry

Military Medal, G.VI.R. (4455484 Pte., Durh. L.I.); 1939-45 Star; Africa Star, 8th Army clasp; Italy Star; France and Germany Star; Defence and War Medals, nearly extremely fine (7) £1000-1200


M.M. London Gazette 24 September 1942. Recommendation states: ‘This man has proved himself most courageous under fire. He drove his vehicle in the lead of “C” Column both in the withdrawal from Gazala and Mahtruh. When leading “C” Column from the Gazala box, his vehicle was blown up and damaged on a minefield. When others showed hesitation at continuing through the minefield, and though under heavy enemy fire at the time, he succeeded in getting his engine started again and unhesitatingly led the way through the enemy lines. His coolness and bravery have certainly greatly cntributed to the successful evacuation of the column both occasions 14 and 27 June’.

Thomas Meldrum Swallow enlisted into the Durham Light Infantry at Honiton on 4 March 1941, having previously served in the D.L.I. T.A. since 2 May 1939. With the 8th Battalion D.L.I. he served in the Middle East, May 1941-August 1943 and was awarded the Miltary Medal for his bravery during the retreat from Gazala and Matruh. Further service followed in Italy and North West Europe. He was discharged from the Army on 20 July 1948 and from the Reserve on 31 July 1951.

Sold with the recipient’s Certificate of Service; medal forwarding slip; a ‘D.L.I.’ Christmas Card for 1945, with map outlining the theatres of war the 8th Battalion operated, this to his wife and signed ‘Tommy’; two lengthy letters dated 24 April and 10 May 1944 sent to his wife and some copied research.