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POWCollector, December 6, 2015 in Great Britain: Orders, Gallantry, Campaign Medals
Next up is a new medal for my collection, The General Service Medal 1918-62 with clasp Malaya.
Sadly, the recipient did not fill out a prisoner of war debrief report so I have been unable to carry out much research on him.
The recipient, 2328213 Signalman R Kirton of the Royal Signals was serving as the driver in charge, headquarters battalion of the Royal Signals.
He was captured, like so many, at Tobruk on the 20th of June 1942 and was taken through North Africa and over to Italy.
Kirton was held latterly in PG 70 Monturano near Fermo in central Italy. He was unlucky not to get away as many did after the Italian capitulation in September 1943 and was entrained through the Bremmer Pass into Germany.
Kirton ended the war in Stalag 4a at Hohenstein which was situated just 20 miles from Dresden. This was a particularly grim place to be a prisoner of war, especially due to the proximity of the camp to Dresden which was devastated by allied bombing in February 1945.
Kirton stayed in the Army after the war and was sent in 1948 to serve with the regiment in the Malayan Emergency earning the GSM pictured below.
I have contacted the Royal Signals Museum and hope to try and find out some more information about Mr Kirton and his more details about his service!
Thanks for looking, more to come soon!
Well done my friend. Was he eligible for any other awards not shown here?
Thanks for you comment.
Kirton would have been eligible for the 1939-45 Star, the Africa Star and the War Medal but as these were issued un-named, It is very unlikely that these will ever be reunited.
I am hoping that the Royal Signals Museum will be able to get back to me and give me some more information. Maybe he stayed in the service long enough to get his LSGC!
Ive got some more interesting posts coming soon, time is the only issue!!
Next up is my first pow group to somebody captured in the battle of Anzio and its a cracker!
John Edwin Francis Watson was born in Cardiff on the 6th of December 1918. He was the son of Major General Gilbert Watson CB DSO OBE who had joined up as a private soldier in 1914 and worked his way all the way to Major General!
John was commissioned into the Royal Welch Fusiliers, his father's regiment, and served with the B.E.F in France and Belgium being evacuated back to England before the Germans were able to capture him and his men.
The regiment were stationed on home service for the next two years before being sent out to India to fight against the Japanese.
John did not go out to India with his regiment and was in fact attached to the 2/4th Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry regiment and was present in the invasion of Sicily and the invasion of Italy. John was captured on the 1st of Februrary 1944 at Anzio.
John was sent to Stalag 7a at Moosberg where he had his details and photo taken by the Germans. Amazingly, John managed to get a hold of his German POW card which is shown in the image below. The smirk on his face is brilliant!
On the 23rd of August 1944, John was transferred to Oflag 79 at Braunschweig. The very next day, Oflag 79 was accidentally strafed by American and British aircraft killing three and seriously wounding 14. Luckily, John was unharmed.
John and his comrades were liberated by the Americans on April the 12th 1945 and he volunteered to jump back in to the action earning himself the France and Germany Star.
After the war, John was promoted to Captain and served out in Palestine earning himself the General Service Medal with Palestine 1945-48 clasp (a new medal for my collection).
I'm very happy to have this group with a new medal for the collection to a man captured in a new battle for the collection.
I believe that the group must be very rare considering no battalions of the Welch Fusiliers served in Italy. Watson may have been the only one!
I hope you enjoyed this one.
I dont see a photo...
For some reason GMIC is not letting me upload any photos from my computer or my phone!
Ill try again tomorrow!
OK. That is strange. Please let me know if this continues.
As always brilliant material. Thank you for sharing!!!
N.B. Driven by both inspiration and jealousy I too will open a thread on Soviet POW awards soon. Not as extensive as your but still...
Nice. I cannot wait to see those Soviet POW medals.
Thank you Egorka, I look forward to seeing the posts!
As promised, here are the pictures of Captain J E F Watson's medals and his mugshot picture from his German POW Card.
I love that photo. LOL
Here is a new auction lot which I got for a very good price indeed!
Denys Arthur Burnell was born in Ynysybwl, Pontypridd in Glamorganshire in Wales on the 13th of December 1919.
On the 16th of March 1940, Denys enlisted into the 1st Battalion of the Welch Regiment.
Serving first in Crete, he was captured on the 29th of January 1942 in Barce, Libya.
He was transported from North Africa to Italy being held in PG 66 Capua and PG 75 Bari before ending up at his final camp, PG 53 Macerata.
It was from here that Denys escaped on the capitulation of Italy. His story is taken up in his POW debrief report:
"We left the camp at 16:30 on Wednesday the 15th of September despite the order to remain in camp given by Captain Frewen, RAMC, the Senior British Officer of the camp. On the second day out of the camp, we arrived at the house of Carlo Lattanzi in Massa Feramo. Here we stayed two nights and then he took us to Giovanni Menecorzi, Montappone. We stayed there for 7 nights. My two mates Pte Astley and Pte Barry returned to the house of Carlo Lattanzi. I carried on and arrived at British lines on October the 6th 1943."
Under the sections 'White List and helpers' and 'Black List' on his debrief, he has named both Carlo Lattanzi and Giovanni Menecorzi as helpers and has listed his SBO Captain Frewen on the black list. Clearly he felt that his SBO had been acting on his own by ordering the men of the camp to stay put even though that order came from the top!
Denys arrived back in the UK on the 6th of November and although he was by this point a Lance Corporal in the Welch Regiment, decided to opt for a demotion and transfer to the Royal Army Service Corps as a driver.
He arrived in France on the 15th of July 1944 serving with 508 company RASC and remained with them until his discharge on the 10th of October 1948.
Denys passed away in August 1986.
What I particularly like about this group as that Denys' POW medal has the clasp 'ITALY' which I have not come across before.
I hope that you enjoyed this post, more to come soon!
Great story. Glad the medals are in good hands.
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