The Collection of Second World War and Modern Gallantry Awards formed by the late William Oakley

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Date of Auction: 12th December 2012

Sold for £2,200

Estimate: £1,800 - £2,200

A fine Second World War North Africa operations M.M. group of eight awarded to Warrant Officer Class 2 E. Lawrie, Royal Tank Regiment, who remained in action after losing three finger tips

Military Medal, G.VI.R. (7885326 A./Sq. Q.M. Sjt. E. Lawrie, R. Tank R.); India General Service 1936-39, 1 clasp, North West Frontier 1936-37 (7885326 Pte. E. Lawrie, R. Tank C.); 1939-45 Star; Africa Star, clasp, 8th Army; France and Germany Star; Defence and War Medals 1939-45; Army L.S. & G.C., E.II.R., Regular Army (22548804 W.O. Cl. 2 E. Lawrie, M.M., R. Tks.), minor contact wear, very fine and better (8) £1800-2200

Footnote

M.M. London Gazette 18 February 1943. The original recommendation states:

‘Whilst assisting in the break through from the Gazala Line with 50 Division on 15 June 1942, Sergeant Lawrie displayed great coolness and determination in the face of enemy fire. He led a large column of ‘B’ vehicles right through the enemy lines west of the Gazala Line and was heavily shelled most of the way. These vehicles, except those completely destroyed by shellfire, all eventually reached the Egyptian Frontier.

And again in the attack on Bardia on 31 December 1941, Sergeant Lawrie’s tank was hit in the suspension as it crossed the anti-tank ditch and was badly damaged. The shock of the hit caused the flaps to fall on his fingers, taking away the tops of three of them. Sergeant Lawrie bound his fingers up and remained in action all day and refused to be relieved. He fired his guns and rendered great assistance to his Troop Commander, and kept his damaged tank going for a period of 16 hours, at the end of which time it had to be towed out. He was in great pain during the whole of this time but refused to be relieved. This N.C.O., by his fine example and great devotion to duty throughout all operations in the of summer of 1942, and in November 1941, is thoroughly deserving of a decoration.’



Eric Lawrie was serving in the 8th Battalion, Royal Tank Regiment, at the time of the above cited deeds.