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I acquired these items regarding Sergeant Quentin Smythe a while back and have found some time to post them from a rainy and wet Juba in South Sudan.

Quentin George Murray Smythe (6 August 1916 – 22 October 1997) was a recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.

During the Second World War, he served with the 1st Batalion Royal Natal Carabineers as part of the 1st SA Infantry Division, Union Defence Forces in the East Africa Campaign against the Italians before moving to the Western Desert.

He was a 25 year old sergeant when the South African Forces were attacked at Alem Hamza in Libya. During the attack Smythe realised that there was no officer to command his platoon and he took command. Although he had a wound in his forehead, causing much loss of blood, he managed single-handedly to obliterate a machine gun post, taking all the surviving crew prisoner. Then, again single-handedly and armed only with rifle and bayonet, he promptly did the same with an enemy anti-tank gun crew, after which he consolidated the position.

Some of the items may be of interest.

Regards,

Will

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http://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_04_2013/post-3034-0-84539200-1367237205.jpghttp://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_04_2013/post-3034-0-76510600-1367237354.jpghttp://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_04_2013/post-3034-0-21407200-1367237094.jpg

Cetified citation copies, VC and GC gathering photograph and tie.

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http://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_04_2013/post-3034-0-65042300-1367237693.jpghttp://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_04_2013/post-3034-0-76928400-1367237682.jpg

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http://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_04_2013/post-3034-0-02840700-1367237975.jpghttp://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_04_2013/post-3034-0-76324500-1367237966.jpg

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Will - this posting is very much appreciated. With your permission I will copy-it and include with the Helmet when it is awarded.

I always wanted to visit Juba - however, everyone says 'good' that I didn't. Hope you are well. Mervyn

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Some very nice stuff, Will. You definitely don't find VC - related items like this every day. Are we permitted to know how / where you

'acquired' these items. Naturally, I will understand if you would prefer not to say.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Mervyn wrote:

"Will - this posting is very much appreciated. With your permission I will copy-it and include with the Helmet when it is awarded."

My question: What is "the Helmet" when it is awarded, please?

Thank you

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Hi Mervyn,

It was the "helmet" that reminded me of these items and you are more than welcome to use any items you may require.

All going well, Somalia is now part of my portfolio.

Regards,

Will

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Will

Shown below are the medals and badges of a man who served with Sgt Smythe in North Africa. He was wounded in Smythe's VC action, but remained on duty afterwards.

Walter Robert Reid was born in Johannesburg in 1917. The family moved to Estcourt, Natal, when he was young. He was educated at the local government schools and he must have known Smythe while both were at Estcourt High School. Smythe was a year older than Reid.

He joined the Royal Natal Carbineers on 10/4/1940 and served with the regiment in both the East and North African campaigns. He was a Corporal at the time of the VC action.

Reid remained with the RNC after Smythe had been detached from it and went on to serve in the Italian campaign. He was seriously wounded by machinegun bullets in both legs on 4/12/1944 near Castiglione. He was hospitalised for 146 days and did not return to active service. He was demobilised on 27/8/1945.

Reid's military service and other periods in his life have been documented in detail. Although an active sportsman before the war, his wounds restricted his activities in later life. In spite of his long and arduous military service, his granddaughter described him as an energetic hard worker with a keen sense of humour. He died in 1986. He was a devoted family man and his granddaughter ended her biography of him by writing, "He was my friend."

Reid kept the medal ribbons and badges from the uniform he was wearing at the time of his discharge. Later he added his service medals, which were not mounted for wear, and other badges, including his King's Badge for War Service that marked his career-ending wounds. All this material and more came into my possession many years ago.

My attendance at Estcourt High School in the 1950's and Reid's relics are my link to Sergeant Q G M Smythe VC.

Brett

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Hi Brett - Your Reid collection is also very interesting, and most beautifully presented.

Indeed the presentation is far better than one sees in many museums, and including

the S.A. Museum of Military History, and we could all use your form of presentation

as a sort of "template" to follow for style, layout and neatness.

Very nice, indeed.

Best wishes,

David B 1812

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Hi Brett,

I really believe that the Smythe items should be in your collection.

I would really like to "unite" them with the excellent Reid display and donate them to your collection.

Regards,

Will

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Will

That is a very kind and generous offer. However, since my wife and I recently moved to a small unit in a retirement complex, it would be best if your Smythe material stays where it is in an ideal environment for the preservation of militaria. Perhaps in time the Reid relics can find their home there too?

Regards

Brett

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David - we are preparing for our second Competition of the year. See the Comp. Forum above the Lounge. Spasm has just painted

an SA Desert helmet as a prize - he used the VC for Captain Smythe as his motif. Have a look - all being well it will start in June. Mervyn

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Hi Will and Brett,

The Smythe / Reid connection and your Smythe items. I have known Brett for well over twenty years now

and I fully understand his present position and honesty about the items remaining where they are. I am a

person who has been connected with Museums for more than 30 years now. At one time on the Old Fort

(Durban) Military Museum Advisory Board. I have been Chairman of the Durban Natural Science Museum

Trust Board since 1994 (as I recall) and a member since before that. I am still Chairman. With Brett, in

1989 we founded the Durban Natural Science Museum Friends Society. I am now a Life Member. I also

currently serve on the Durban Local History Museums Trust Board, and I am also a member of the KZN

Heritage Foundation, and have been the Chairman of the Durban Heritage Trust since 1989. I am a Life

Member of the S.A. Museums Association. I know a bit about museums, I think.

I have decided, and I have advised my family that when I pass on, whatever collections they do not want

(and I have many, assorted collections), must be sold / auctioned to OTHER collectors (after all, if you

want to PAY for something, the chances are that you WANT it, and will probably CARE for it). I have

advised them NOT do give or donate ANYTHING to ANY South African Museum. Since the advent of

the "new Rainbow/Transparent Nation of South Africa" I have seen personally, and know of personally,

many valuable museum items which have "gone missing" or have been subject to "affirmative shopping"

or have "grown legs" or have otherwise "left" museum collections all over South Africa.

And the SAME goes for the very valuable collections of some of our MAJOR MILITARY REGIMENTS

in South Africa. The A.N.C. presently have an ongoing policy where very white officer of any substantial

rank, including MOST Commanding Officers of most of the leading regiments (who are usually men

with decades of proper military experience, and who are well versed in military ettiquette, and in proper

regimental procedure and history) are being replaced, increasingly by so-called A.N.C. "cadres" - more

or less as a "reward" for their loyal support. That they know little or nothing about military matters, appears

not to be important to the ANC. Just get the whites out.

Recently an ANC man was apppointed as Commanding Officer of a well-known local regiment. At the

first big, official regimental function, wanting to "look the part" this man went into the regimental museum

and removed the rather impressive medal group of a recently passed on Padre of that Regiment - who had

decades of service with the Regiment, and a wonderful group of medals. The padre was well known to

me, personally, and was a Client of mine, professionally. Anyway as soon as this ANC man appeared at

the function, wearing the stolen medals, he was immediately found out. The matter hit the press, of course

and the Officer denied theft. He even denied wearing the medals, saying that he had been "framed".

An investigation started, during which time the group of medals have conveniently disappeared off the face

of the earth, and, as the investigation proceeded higher and higher within the SADF the more it has been

suppressed, so much so, that it now appears to have been "swept under the carpet" completely..... and

what is worse, the thief remains 'free' and unpunished, which is normal ANC policy, anyway.

I have decided, that until matters improve, I WILL NOT, and NOR WILL MY FAMILY donate so much as

a matchstick to ANY SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM, or ANY SOUTH AFRICAN REGIMENTAL MUSEUM.

And so Will, with that background, if you cannot find someone reliable and who actually CARES (and

Brett certainly would have, if he had the space), about any part of your collection, rather sell it or hold

onto it. Just do not give it away to a South Africa Government run institution. The chances of it being

lost, stolen, broken, destroyed or sold on are excellent.

Best wishes,

David

Edited by David B 1812

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I will just repeat previous advices - we try to avoid Politicss and Religion in our posts. This is OFFICIAL GMIC ruling - as

set out by the Chairman. Use the IM sytem for personal correspondence.

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Will and Brett,

Those are some marvelous groupings. You are so lucky to find such treasures.

That VC citation is really something.

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