A Collection of Awards for Burma Operations during the Second World War

Date of Auction: 27th September 2017

Sold for £950

Estimate: £1,000 - £1,400

A fine ‘Immediate’ Second War Burma operations M.M. group of five awarded to Gunner F. D. Alderson, 115th Field Regiment, Royal Artillery, who was originally recommended for the D.C.M. for his gallant actions during a Japanese ambush in the Sindaw Chaung area, north of Zigon, 3 January 1945. Acting as Batman for his CO, he accompanied him in a jeep recce for forward gun positions - ambushed from 20 yards, and with a jammed trailer, Alderson stepped out under sniper fire to unhook the trailer thus enabling the jeep to reverse unencumbered out of danger


Military Medal
, G.VI.R. (1424473 Gnr. F. D, Alderson. R.A.); 1939-45 Star; Burma Star; Defence and War Medals 1939-45, mounted for wear, with 14th Army Cloth Insignia, generally very fine (5) £1000-1400

Footnote

M.M. London Gazette 19 April 1945 (originally recommended for the D.C.M.):

‘At Zigon on 3 Jan 45 Gnr. Alderson was accompanying his C.O. as batman/orderly in a jeep on a recce for forward gun positions and O. P.’s in the area of Sindaw Chaung north of Zigon. The party was ambushed by an enemy LMG post at the Chaung, fire being opened at 20 yards range. Owing to the fact that a bullet-proof screen of wood and bricks had previously been fixed on the jeep in place of the windscreen the enemy’s fire did not cause casualties, though the radiator was pierced in several places. The occupants of the jeep retaliated with Sten, rifle and grenade fire. Gnr. Alderson firing from the rear seat, with little cover from the bullet-proof screen.

After the enemy LMG had fired 20 rds, a sniper opened fire from the right flank and it became clear that the jeep must be reversed out of danger. In reversing, the trailer jammed Gnr. Alderson, showing complete disregard for personal safety and under fire, got out of the jeep and unhooked the trailer in full view of the snipers. The driver was thus enabled to reverse the jeep to safety.

Gnr. Alderson displayed not only great initiative in a critical situation but also great gallantry by exposing himself without hesitation to the enemy fire at such close range, and by his act undoubtedly saved the lives of all three in the party.’

The Royal Artillery Commemoration Book 1939-1945, under ‘A story of the march of 115th Field Regiment RA with 19th Indian (Dagger) Division by Brigadier R. A. G. Nicholson, D.S.O.’ adds the following to the above action:

‘On December 26th [1944], 239th Battery fired the first round in anger since the Regiment left Dunkirk. This was at Leiktu, 45 miles south of Kawlin, in support of 98 Indian Infantry Brigade. For the next 50 miles to Shwebo the Regiment was continually in action assisting the infantry to turn the Japs out of successive rearguard positions at Sindawchaung, Lettokon, Zigon, Magaunghla and Kin-U. Actions at these places followed the normal tactics of artillery support to infantry - out-flanking, continuous rapid leapfrogging of batteries and close shoots. Gun ammunition was scarce, as it was all dropped from the air. Certain incidents remain as milestones in one’s memory. Late on January 3rd the CO, leading OP parties, got ahead of the leading infantry. His jeep was suddenly brought to a halt by machine-gun fire at 20 yards range from Sindawchaung. Thanks to improvised bullet-proof ‘windscreen’ of teak and bricks, the CO, batman and driver were able to retaliate with Stens and grenades. Gunner F. D. Alderson, batman, by unhooking the trailer regardless of the enemy fire, enabled the jeep to reverse, narrowly missing a mine. A fine GF target then presented itself to 240th Battery. The shoot was so ably conducted by Major K. Walker that the Jap position was completely smashed by the time the leading Gurkhas arrived. Jap flags were subsequently presented by them to the CO and Major Walker; Alderson recieved the M.M.’