Gongs Galore

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by Seax, Oct 14, 2005.

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  1. Is there an individual who is regarded as the most decorated ever in the British Army/Commonwealth? (An Audey Murphy equivalent if you will!)

    Surely, this must be subjective to some extent i.e quantity vs. quality for want of a better analogy...

  2. I think most highly decorated squaddies are walking round with I.O.U's mounted instaed of medals - still waitinig for the medal office to get their arrses in gear!


  3. Ventress

    Ventress LE Moderator

    Tough one, there are many Aussies with a clutch of VC, MC,DCM,MM's. A Medic Maj Allen RAMC had VC DSO MC, you need to use some decent search engines.
  4. If you leave out foreign awards such as the Croix de Guerre (French and Belgian), etc -

    Somewhere near the top of the list, you're likely to find Major James McCudden, VC, DSO & Bar, MC & Bar, MM - late of the Royal Flying Corps/RAF. He started out as a boy bugler, joined the RFC as a mechanic, became a pilot and the rest, as they say, is history (he was also awarded a Croix de Guerre)

    He ties with William George Barker (another RFC/RAF chap), who was awarded the VC, DSO & Bar, MC & 2 bars.

    Those army chaps who went on to become part of the RAF aside, an Aussie by the name of Harry Murray won the VC, DSO & Bar and DCM during WW1; L/Cpl. William Coltman, of the North Staffs won the VC, DCM & Bar, MM & Bar.

    From WW2, Paddy Maine (of SAS fame) won 4 DSOs. I dimly seem to recall reading that Lt Col Alistair Pearson of 1st and 8th Btns the Parachute Regiment won 4 DSOs and an MC in the space of 8 months, but would have to check that one.

    The most decorated RAF personnel were Wg Cdr 'Bob' Barham who won 3 DSOs and 3 DFCs (as well as gaining an AFC post war).and Wg Cdr Willie Tait DSO & 3 Bars, DFC & bar. Barham was one of the leading allied night-fighter aces of the war with 29 victories; Tait the penultimate CO of 617 Sqn during the war. I know that there were a couple of RN types who picked up DSOs and DSCs along with bars to both awards, but I'm not sure of their names off hand.
  5. Sorry guys but any competition is wiped out by these three double VC winners. The only double VC winners in history.

    Noel Godfrey Chavasse, RAMC
    Arthur Martin-Leake, RAMC
    Charles Upton, RNZInf
  6. Families who deserve a mention include the Bradford brothers who had 2 VCs, an MC and a couple of DSOs between them; in addition to producing the youngest general of modern times, Roland (also held the VC), who was 25 when gazetted Brigadier General.
  7. cpunk

    cpunk LE Moderator

    That'll be Upham
  8. Are you sure that is correct? I thought that chap was in the Warmington-On-Sea platoon. I vividly recall LCpl Jones always saying to him "They don't like it, Upham."
  9. Reading biography of CSM Stan Hollis (Green Howards) at the moment. Only bloke to get VC on D Day. Apparently he was recommended for it more than once on the day but it can only be awarded once in each day??? does anyone know why?
    Marvellous story. Stormed a pill box off the beach armed only with a sten gun.Will post
    ISDN/author etc in books/films forum tomorrow.
  10. Something to do with the headshed thinking that this was merely the first of many landings/breaches, and not wanting to devalue the currency. Not sure if they placed a limit of more than one a day, though.

    Pill box was about 150/200m off the beach - worth going to all three places mentioned on his citation though.

    Makes you wonder about the acts of gallantry that occured on that day, that went unrecognised.
  11. I think 'Fighting Mac' would be close!!!!

    Major-General Sir Hector Archibald Macdonald 1853-1903

    (K.C.B., D.S.O., A.D.C., L.L.D.), a man who would be offered the Victoria Cross but would refuse it, yet would be knighted and honoured wherever Scotsman gathered.

    Source: Toll For The Brave 1963

  12. Shot himself for allegedly being fond of Egyptian boys' bottoms...
  13. WO2 (CSM) J Williams SWB. Awarded the VC, DCM, MM and Bar. He was decorated by King George V with all four awards on the same day!
  14. The hands down winner has to be Major-General Sir Harry Flashman:

    Victoria Cross; KCB
    KCIE; Queen's Medal for Afghanistan 1841-42 (ribbon very faded); Cabul 1842
    Jellalabad; Sutlej; Crimea; Indian Mutiny
    Second China War (first ribbon, this seems to be a conscious affectation of oddity on the general's part and may reflect some particular personal view of this war); Abyssinia; South Africa, Egypt
    Queen's Sudan; Third China War; Queen Victoria's Jubilee, Edward VII Coronation
    Edward VII Delhi Durbar; George V Coronation; Order of the Elephant (Denmark); Turkish Crimea Medal
    Congressional Medal of Honor (USA, post-1904 ribbon); Civil War Campaign Medal (USA, second ribbon); Southern Cross of Honor (awarded by the United Daughters of the Confederacy to Confederate veterans, a very low-quality specimen of the unofficial ribbon); San Serafino Order of Purity and Truth (4th class)
    Iron Cross (Prussia/Germany, apparently 1870 variety); Legion of Honor (France, faded ribbon); Franco-Prussian War Medal (France); Franco-Prussian War Medal (Germany)
    Indian War Medal (USA, first ribbon); Khedive's Star (Egypt); Khedive's Sudan Medal 1896 (Egypt); General Gordon's Khartoum Star (apparently using spare ribbon from the Order of the Bath)

  15. Theres a full screw in the Black Watch who has the MC and DSM. Both 'won' whilst on Telic.