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An interesting group of medals awarded to Detective Superintendent Thomas James (Tom) Wilkin. Kings Police Medal for Distinguished Service, Colonial Police Medal for Meritorious Service, General Service Medal clasp Palestine,(1936-1939), Defence Medal and War medal.

Born 1909 in Aldeborough, Suffolk, he joined the Palestine Police on 10th April, 1931 as Constable 956 and gained promotion on merit. A well respected officer, decorated for his arrest of Irgun and Stern Gang members.

On the Morning of 29th September, 1944, he was waylaid in St Pauls Road, Jerusalem and shot 11 times and died instantly, his pistol half drawn. He was buried in Mount Zion Cemetery.

The two guns used in the assassination had killed seven times before, including Detective Constable Guttewitz (Jewish Officer) on 10th May 1944. The pistols were later used in the assassination of Lord Moyne, H.M. Minister of State ( Heir to the Guinness Empire) in Cairo, Egypt on 6th November 1944.

Both Assassins were arrested by an Egyptian Constable after a Bicycle chase. Both men were hanged. After repeated failed requests by Israel the bodies of the two men were finally exchanged for Arab Prisoners just a few years ago and re-buried with full honours in Israel.

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Peter,

A fantastic group of medals to a brave and determined Palestine Police Officer.

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As already mentioned a great group of medals and illustrating the dangers of being a policeman. I am curious on the last paragraph of you article. I am not sure whether the executed men's bodies were repatriated to Israel and if so why would they be buried with military honours if that is the case?

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The men's bodies were repatriated in the mid seventies and given a state Israeli military funeral and regarded as heroic freedom fighters. Britain lodged formal objection but this was unsurprisingly disregarded.

As is often the case in history, particularly British history, one sides murderers and terrorists are later regarded as freedom fighters and heros in the struggle for independence from the yoke of British Imperialism. Palenstine was a poisoned chalace for the British, a mandate given to administer a region which was and still is in conflict.

These are really a great and historically significant set of medals, one of the best Colonial groups I have seen. Thanks for showing them.

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They were repatriated to Israel and Presumably buried with Honours because they were seen as Freedom fighters. Much the same scenario as the repatriation of (Sir) Roger Casement's body to the Republic of Ireland some years ago.

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CPM Meritorious to follow Defence and 39-45 War Medal ,vide ' The Order of Wear ' ?

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Thanks. I am a bit of a purist but they are beautifully, expensively and expertly mounted by a very well known and long established medal company who would know better but probably followed instructions. I made the decision to leave them as the Family obviously wanted them displayed.

Thanks Again.

Peter

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