SAS C0-Founder Blair Mayne to be honoured.

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by spike7451, Dec 11, 2005.

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  1. spike7451

    spike7451 RIP

    The Mayne battle plan
    VC honour bid for Ulster's SAS hero
    (11 December 2005 Sunday Life newspaper)
    CAMPAIGNERS are to mark the 50th anniversary of the death of legendary SAS co-founder Blair Mayne later this week by stepping up efforts to have him honoured.

    Wednesday marks 50 years to the day since Col 'Paddy' died aged 40 after crashing his car in Newtownards.

    More than 100 MPs have signed three separate Parliamentary motions in the past year calling for him to be awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross.

    Mayne was the most decorated British soldier of World War II.

    It was the decision by MoD officials in 1945 not to upgrade his fourth DSO to a VC that is being challenged by the MPs.

    Derek Harkness, a Newtownards businessman and member of the Blair Mayne Group, said: "We will campaign on and embarrass them into giving Blair his true reward.

    "We have cross-party support and are hoping the wrong will finally be put right."

    Dr Ian Gibson is the latest MP to table a motion in the Commons demanding a review of the decision not to award him the VC.

    During the 1945 incident at Oldeburg, Mayne was called in to help clear German lines after a convoy of Canadian tanks was attacked. He drove up and down the road, taking out German sniper positions by firing a machine-gun from his waist.

    Two senior officers recommended he should receive the VC to accompany the three DSOs he'd already won. In the event, he was awarded another bar to his DSO.

    Mr Harkness claimed new evidence has emerged that explains why Mayne's actions were not considered worthy of the VC.

    Correspondence from the time reveals that the MoD committee believed there was a "flaw" in the VC recommendation because it was not a single act of heroism. Mayne had been assisted by another officer who provided covering fire.

    But the campaigners are undeterred. They already have the words of support from SAS founder David Stirling, who said it is "a monstrous injustice".

    A statue of Mayne has been erected in Newtownards town centre and efforts are under way to preserve the family home at Mount Pleasant.

    The former Ireland and British Lions rugby player is buried in Movilla Cemetery,Newtownards.

  2. I reckon they may need more than a little luck to succeed with this one.

    One thing that really gets my goat though is the way the Stirling quote has ben used, both as quoted above and rather more conspicuously as a title to a photo in the actual paper.
  3. Has the awarding of a postumous VC late after the event ever happened? And the nonsense that he wasn't acting alone is rediculous - there has been many instances of group acts of bravery/heroism that produced various awards including the VC. I mean, Bromhead was assisted by a whole bloody company!
  4. I think the surgeon at Rorkes Drift was awarded his a year later after qustions were raised in Parliament.
  5. I noticed also that awards and decorations for Desert Storm were appearing in the London Gazette five years after the last shot was heard. But 60 odd years on?

    By the way, I would support this wholeheartidly. As a kid I was amazed at his exploits, and as an adult I still am. Quite a man, and it would be a shame that some staffy somewhere, who probably slept in his jim jams throughout the War, decided out of spite against a virgin and unorthodox unit.
  6. This may seem a bit off, but isn't this a bit of a waste of time? The guy is dead, thus a VC is no good to him really. He was decorated for doing a good job and probably should have been a VC, but in relaity it makes little point now. Arn't people just using this as a bandwagon and in doing so abusing his name and what he has done?
  7. Cutaway

    Cutaway LE Reviewer

    Good point Oneshot.

    I'm in no way attempting to belittle Mayne's deeds, but there have been many men who for one reason or another have received a less prestigious decoration than the VC that should have been awarded.

    Did Paddy Mayne bemoan the fact that he'd not received one ?
    I hardly think so, that sort of attitude doesn't sit well with the way he lived his life.

    The fact that MPs have signed the petition makes me think there is more to this than meets the eye.
    Who's pushing for an award for themselves ?
  8. cpunk

    cpunk LE Moderator

    I completely agree. This isn't about Paddy Mayne, who isn't there to appreciate it, but about the campaigners trying to make a name for themselves and gain some publicity. It's a shame, but a fact of life, that many people who deserve high decorations don't get them, for whatever reason; awarding Mayne a VC sixty years after the events which might have earned it for him would just open the floodgates for a mass of similar claims for VCs and lesser awards. We need to stick with the rule that if you don't get it at the time, then you don't get it.
  9. The man was a legend. Got a pin badge of him somewhere given to me by the RI Bn I was serving with at the time; he was virtually worshiped in the province, and when you read about some of his exploits rightly so.
    Whether or not he should get the VC after all this time - maybe, but what about all the other Tommies in the same boat?
  10. Where do you stop? A bit of research by familes or historians and you could potentially have tens of thousands of cases for posthumous award - for all medals, not just the VC - stretching back the 150 years or so where there exist accurate documentary accounts. This is further complicated by the impression that some modern awards may not be of the quality of those earned in earlier times, or conversely that thousands of servicemen went unrewarded for exploits far surpassing those of modern, smaller conflcts.
  11. Shouldnt this thread be called 'campaign for SAS C0-Founder Blair Mayne to be honoured', as the actual title implies that the VC is in the bag.

    Hope the campaign pays off though.
  12. And, to put this in a bit more perspective, People don't go and do these brave things thinking "I'll get a VC for this" and then get p1ssed off when they dont. They do it for their buddies who are in trouble etc etc. If you get an award afterwards then great, but its not the prime reason, thus I'm sure he isn't going to be to bothered?
  13. Whilst we're on the subject, I had always thought that the RN officer who boarded and captured the U-boat, complete with Enigma machine should have got the VC. No, I'm not a matelot. The U-boat was scuttled to conceal the fact that the Enigma machine had been captured and I suspect decorations were withheld for the sake of secrecy. Boarding a sinking sub that the crew were abandoning, required bottle of the highest order and the action altered the course of the war in a big way.

    Unlike Paddy Mayne, the man is ( I think) still alive. A much-deserved VC might also serve to correct the bull re U-571 coming from Hollywood.

    Any thoughts?
  14. It certainly had immense strategic consequences, far more than many other actions that attracted gongs aplenty.

    I wasn't aware Stirling was still with us!
  15. Me too. And, perhaps a bit more controversially, isn`t there a parallel with pardons for those shot for desertion in WW1? Who are we to overturn decisions made in the political/social context of the day? Few would agree with them now - but other than that, perhaps it would be better to let things rest.