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 £8,200

Estimate: £8,000 - £10,000

A fine Korean War M.M. group of six awarded to Corporal M. McCurdy, Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders, attached 1st Battalion, King’s Own Scottish Borderers, subsequently Ministry of Defence Police, who was awarded his M.M. for gallantry in tending the wounded ‘with complete disregard for the enemy fire and his own personal safety’ during Operation “Commando” on 3 October 1951 - one month later on 4 November 1951, he was wounded in the same action in which Private Bill Speakman, also of the 1st K.O.S.B., gained the award of his Victoria Cross

Military Medal, G.VI., 2nd issue 22218180 Pte. M. McCurdy, A. & S.H.); War Medal 1939-45; Korea 1950-53 (22218180 Pte. M. McCurdy, (M.M.) A. & S.H.); General Service 1918-62, 1 clasp, Near East (22218180 Cpl. M. McCurdy, M.M., A. & S.H.); General Service 1962, 1 clasp, Northern Ireland (N3232 Const. M. McCurdy, M.M., M.D.P.); U.N. Korea 1950-54, mounted as worn, some edge bruising and contact wear, therefore generally nearly very fine or better (6) £8000-10000

Footnote

M.M. London Gazette 11 December 1951. The original recommendation states:

‘Operation Commando: On 3 October 1951, C Company, 1 K.O.S.B. was directed to assault and capture Hill 185183. Private McCurdy was the Medical Orderly at Company H.Q. Some 300 yards short of the objective, the leading platoon (No. 7) came under heavy mortar, shell and small arms fire from which they sustained heavy casualties. As further platoons were committed, more casualties were sustained. Throughout the action, which lasted from early morning to the late afternoon, Private McCurdy moved between the platoons tending the wounded with complete disregard for the enemy fire and his own personal safety. The efficiency with which he carried out his work and his cool and courageous manner under fire were a source of great relief and encouragement to the many wounded men, as well as being a fine example and inspiration to his comrades.’

Michael McCurdy subsequently joined the Ministry of Defence Police, with whom he served in Northern Ireland. This unit was established as a civil armed police force in 1971 to police M.O.D. establishments.