Metpol Officers Winning the Iron Cross....no, really

#1
Wilkin
Keith
1986
German Iron Cross
With PC Thain on motorcycle escort duty rode deliberately into path of oncoming vehicle whilst escorting President of Germany on State visit in Banstead en route to Gatwick Airport

I thought this was an urban myth. Turns out it's true. I understand at least one of the officers is still serving. Before any smartarse says they should have been reported for dangerous driving :wink: , they were awarded the decoration as they were under the impression that they were under terrorist attack. What actually happened, was the driver of the vehicle had suffered a fatal heart attack at the wheel, causing the car to head straight for the entourage.

The burning question for me is; did/do the officers wear the decoration on their tunics/working rig?

Does anybody else know of any other members of the disciplined services who have also earned or won unusual foreign decorations, which they are entitled to wear?

Answers on a postcard......
 
#2
I know I would! Not as a racist statement....but because I had one! It has to be one of the best looking medals (hmmmm, I might start a thread!)
 
#3
The RAMC traces its history back to the foundation of the Regular Army, following the restoration of King Charles II in 1660, but it was not until 1898 that officers and soldiers were incorporated into one body known as the Royal Army Medical Corps. The RAMC motto "In Arduis Fidelius" is translated as 'Steadfast in Adversity'. The 31 Victoria Crosses won by the Corps, including a double VC and one recipient of both the VC and the Iron Cross, bear testimony to the motto and the character and ideals of the men and women who wear the badge.
More here

edited coz I can't work the linky bit
 
#5
Surgeon General William Manley. Awarded the VC during the Maori War in 1864 as a surgeon attached to the Artillery.

During the Franco Prussian War he was in command of a British Field Ambulance Division supporting the Prussians and was awarded the Iron Cross as well as a host of other Prussian / Germanic decorations and a Croix de Guerre.
 
#7
marco_poloroid said:
Wilkin
Keith
1986
German Iron Cross
With PC Thain on motorcycle escort duty rode deliberately into path of oncoming vehicle whilst escorting President of Germany on State visit in Banstead en route to Gatwick Airport

I thought this was an urban myth. Turns out it's true. I understand at least one of the officers is still serving. Before any smartarse says they should have been reported for dangerous driving :wink: , they were awarded the decoration as they were under the impression that they were under terrorist attack. What actually happened, was the driver of the vehicle had suffered a fatal heart attack at the wheel, causing the car to head straight for the entourage.

The burning question for me is; did/do the officers wear the decoration on their tunics/working rig?

Does anybody else know of any other members of the disciplined services who have also earned or won unusual foreign decorations, which they are entitled to wear?

Answers on a postcard......
Impossible as the Iron Cross hasn't existed as an awardable decoration since 1945. Whatever German gong was awarded, it wasn't an Iron Cross.

If you read this, you'll see why.
Linky
 
#9
Thain
Alistair
1986
German Iron Cross
PC
With PC Wilkin on motorcycle escort duty rode deliberately into path of oncoming vehicle whilst escorting President of Germany on State visit in Banstead en route to Gatwick Airport. See Encyclopedia under Special Escort Group
 
#10
JoseyWales said:
http://www.historybytheyard.co.uk/gallantry_list_1970_0n.htm
This is where I got the info from. I cannot recall where I heard the story from, but when I googled it, this site came up. However, it is not an official Metpol site, but it confirmed my suspicions.

Cdo Gunner; the Wikipedia entry doesn't actually rule out the possibility of awards post 1945. Note, this will of course be the civil award as opposed to the military award.
So stick that in yer pipe and smoke it :wink:
 
#11
Sorry but, It's impossible for him to have been awarded an Iron Cross because the award does not exist! I can well imagine someone calling a German cross shaped award an iron cross but it simply cannot be.

Chances are it was one of these
Link
 
#12
marco_poloroid said:
JoseyWales said:
http://www.historybytheyard.co.uk/gallantry_list_1970_0n.htm
This is where I got the info from. I cannot recall where I heard the story from, but when I googled it, this site came up. However, it is not an official Metpol site, but it confirmed my suspicions.

Cdo Gunner; the Wikipedia entry doesn't actually rule out the possibility of awards post 1945. Note, this will of course be the civil award as opposed to the military award.
So stick that in yer pipe and smoke it :wink:
No, it doesn't rule out the possibility of it being reintroduced but for that to happen it has to be during a time of national crisis, ie. Napoleonic war, Franco-Prussian war, WWI and WWII, it's not on a case by case basis. For example it was impossible for a soldier to be awarded an Iron Cross during the Spanish Civil War. Even the '57 version is not a reinstitution of the award, rather a denazified version of the 39 version, ie. only available to those who'd been awarded one or more of the grades during the war.

also, there's no such thing as a 'civil' version, the 1914 version did have a 'non-combatant' version but that's it.
 
#13
cdo_gunner said:
marco_poloroid said:
JoseyWales said:
http://www.historybytheyard.co.uk/gallantry_list_1970_0n.htm
This is where I got the info from. I cannot recall where I heard the story from, but when I googled it, this site came up. However, it is not an official Metpol site, but it confirmed my suspicions.

Cdo Gunner; the Wikipedia entry doesn't actually rule out the possibility of awards post 1945. Note, this will of course be the civil award as opposed to the military award.
So stick that in yer pipe and smoke it :wink:
No, it doesn't rule out the possibility of it being reintroduced but for that to happen it has to be during a time of national crisis, ie. Napoleonic war, Franco-Prussian war, WWI and WWII, it's not on a case by case basis. For example it was impossible for a soldier to be awarded an Iron Cross during the Spanish Civil War. Even the '57 version is not a reinstitution of the award, rather a denazified version of the 39 version, ie. only available to those who'd been awarded one or more of the grades during the war.

also, there's no such thing as a 'civil' version, the 1914 version did have a 'non-combatant' version but that's it.
Cdo; cheers for your obviously informed and informative post. You clearly know a shedload more than I do regarding this subject! It did sound too good to be true. I am going to contact the source of the info (as per previous linky thing) and also the Met,to bottom out what the award was.
 
#14
Another VC Winner with a foreign decoration for bravery is Brigadier John Alexander Sinton VC OBE FRS MB DL. As well as the VC he was awarded the Russian Order Of St George for bravery and Mentioned in Dispatches six times. He is claimed by both Canada (where he was born) and Ulster (where he grew up and is buried).

The citation to his VC reads:

"For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty. Although shot through both arms and through the side, he refused to go to hospital, and remained as long as daylight lasted, attending to his duties under very heavy fire. In three previous actions Captain Sinton displayed the utmost bravery."


http://www.bookrags.com/wiki/John_Alexander_Sinton

M83
 
#15
marco_poloroid said:
Cdo; cheers for your obviously informed and informative post. You clearly know a shedload more than I do regarding this subject! It did sound too good to be true. I am going to contact the source of the info (as per previous linky thing) and also the Met,to bottom out what the award was.
I see it's been amended on the site to 'A German award'. If i was a betting man i'd wager on some version of the verdienstkreuz but it would be interesting to know for sure what they got.

Going from memory here but as far as Brits getting German or rather Nazi German awards go, i believe the only combat decoration awarded to a Brit was to Thomas Cooper who served in the Waffen-SS and received a wound badge for wounds sustained on the eastern front. Other than that, there were a number of awards made prior to the outbreak of war. On the military side this included a number of German Red Cross decorations handed out in 1937 to naval personnel during the Spanish Civil war who treated wounded German sailors of the battleship Deutschland.
 
#16
Tis true, I know both the officers involved. They were with the Special Escort Group at the time of the incident I I think one of them still is) and as far as I can remember they called it an Iron Cross, when they talked about it.
 
#17
cdo_gunner said:
marco_poloroid said:
Cdo; cheers for your obviously informed and informative post. You clearly know a shedload more than I do regarding this subject! It did sound too good to be true. I am going to contact the source of the info (as per previous linky thing) and also the Met,to bottom out what the award was.
I see it's been amended on the site to 'A German award'. If i was a betting man i'd wager on some version of the verdienstkreuz but it would be interesting to know for sure what they got.

Going from memory here but as far as Brits getting German or rather Nazi German awards go, i believe the only combat decoration awarded to a Brit was to Thomas Cooper who served in the Waffen-SS and received a wound badge for wounds sustained on the eastern front. Other than that, there were a number of awards made prior to the outbreak of war. On the military side this included a number of German Red Cross decorations handed out in 1937 to naval personnel during the Spanish Civil war who treated wounded German sailors of the battleship Deutschland.




Cheers Cdo; I will Google Thomas Coopers award, should be interesting. Makes me wonder, is that why the Nazis wore a Fez with their dress uniform in Afrika :D

A quick update on the chap that administers the Metpol Gallantry Award site. I received this from him:


I am so sorry if this has created controversy.

Somebody has suggested that it might have been the German Republic Merit Cross. The incident was on 6 August 1986. If the participants in the discussion could possibly wait, I will check it out and let you know. I should be able to check some authentic records, next week I hope.

I offer everybody concerned my apologies if I have unwittingly got this wrong, and undertake to correct it in so far as I can. Menawhile I have amended it to read @A German Award'

Thank you for your patience

Alan

Rapier - thanks for the input, although you have probably got Cdo Gunner firing up his jets as we speak.. :wink:
Would you be able to get one of the bobbies on here to explain what he won and why?

Marco (GSM NI, Battle of Jubilee Medal British Amateur Gymnastics Association Badge Junior level 3)
 
#18
Hope you do not mind me joining the discussion, but I run the www.historybytheyard.co.uk website. It is really about Metropolitan Police history but we include lists of gallantry medals. This discussion has made me wonder about the information and I will check it out, hopefully from official records, and let you know.

best Wishes to you all.
 
#20
As long as we get it straigtened out in the end alls well. Had a word today with a serving inspector and well known collector and author on German militaria. He reckons it's some grade of the Verdienstkreuz as that's what German coppers get as well as being available to foreigners.
 

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