A Collection of Medals to Second World War Casualties

Date of Auction: 18th July 2018

Sold for £80

Estimate: £80 - £120

Three: Ordinary Seaman K. J. Harrison, Royal Navy, who was killed in action when H.M.S. Arethusa, on escort duty as part of Operation Stoneage, was struck by an aerial torpedo from an Italian torpedo bomber during the final re-supply of the Siege of Malta, 18 November 1942

1939-45 Star; Africa Star, 1 clasp, North Africa 1942-43; War Medal 1939-45, with named Admiralty enclosure, in card box of issue, addressed to ‘Mr. J. R. Harrison, 5 Bibsworth Avenue, Broadway, Worcester’, extremely fine (3) £80-120


Kenneth John Harrison served during the Second World War as an Ordinary Seaman in the cruiser H.M.S. Arethusa. Shortly after 6:00 p.m. on 18 November 1942, whilst escorting convoy MW-13 from Alexandria to Malta, an Italian torpedo bomber approached the Arethusa from starboard. Moments later a second torpedo bomber approached from port. Five seconds later a torpedo broke surface about 300 yards away and struck the Arethusa, with the loss of 155 officers and ratings. Although badly damaged, the Arethusa made it back to Alexandria. She was the only casualty of the convoy and the safe arrival of the four merchant ships at Valetta effectively marked the end of the siege of Malta.

Harrison was amongst those killed, aged 19. He is commemorated on the Chatham Naval Memorial. His medals were sent to his father John Harrison.