TWO BROTHERS & FOUR MEDALS & A QUESTION Prior to retireing and moving to Wales, I spent my last couple of working months living in The Victory Services Club and travelling backward and forwards to Wales and London. During my time in the Club, there was always a varied clientele staying with many reunions taking in place all over London. I to got know the Manager very well. Indeed, I spent many the hour in his company bellying up to the bar. He introduced me to lots of interesting people. I met pilots who had flown in the blockade of Berlin (I was there as a kid) who were in London for the 50th Anniversary. I had lunch with both the outgoing/incoming Queens Ghurkha Officers who are stationed at Buckingham Palace. This time the shoe was on the other foot though, they were kids when I served in 48 Bde Hong Kong! Indeed, I spent many an interesting night at the bar, meeting many different and interesting people, including a few ex Corps members. It was a bit like the Rheindahlen NAAFI, its said that if you stand in the queue long enough, you are bound to meet someone you know, the Victory Services Club was much about the same! The Elder Brother One night, Steve the Manager, introduced me to an elderly gentleman who was a retired member of the Palestine Police. He told some interesting tales of those days (the force being disbanded in 1948 I mentioned the fact that my father had served with the Colonial Police and that several members of that force were ex Palestine Police! He recognised several names that I could remember, including the last Inspector General. During our conversation, I told him that I knew of a member of the force who had been killed in action in Palestine. He was intrigued, and took details of what I knew. I told him that I had understood that the person had been killed by a Jewish Terrorist gang! Anyway, he told me he would check it out and let me know. Some weeks later, I received a very nice letter from him. He confirmed that the person I had referred to had indeed been killed in action on 20th November 1935 and was buried in the Mount Zion cemetery Jerusalem. He went on to say, âhe must have been one hell of a man as he was awarded the Kings Police Medal and the British Empire Medal and was British Constable 1208.â He said, âI enclose for your interest a Photostat copy of these details from the register of those who lost their lives, and the two actions in which he was awarded his decorations. I am only too pleased to have been of some assistance in looking up a few facts concerning a most distinguished and brave member of my old force.â It would appear, that The BEM was awarded when the British Constable was accompanied by a Palestinian Constable when they faced down a crowd of some 700 Arabs in the Street of the Chains inside the old city of Jerusalem. Having ordered the crowd to disperse both constables were attacked. The crowd attempted to get the rifle from the Palestinian Constable. The British Constable fired into the crowd at the same time encouraging his Arab comrade to do the same. He (the British Constable) then, from the kneeling position in front of the crowd fired two more shots into the angry Arab crowd bent on killing them. His comrade managed to do the same. Their coolness saved the day, and the crowd melted away. The KPM was awarded posthumously some two years later. From what I can gather, A police patrol managed to corner a well know gang of Arab outlaws (the term Terrorist was not in use at that time, they were just criminals) led by Sheikh Izzadin. The Arabs were holding the high ground and were not short of ammunition. The police attacking up hill, found cover very sparse, only amounting to rocks and cactus. The police advanced in short rushes giving each other covering fire, attracting a hail of fire. It was during one of these rushes that he was hit and mortally wounded. Being miles from any hospital or indeed any worthwhile medical treatment, he died within the hour. The patrol pressed on with their attack eventually taking the position. In doing so killing four (the Sheikh being one of them) and capturing five. Sheikh Izzadin went onto become something of a martyr (it would appear that nothing has changed over the passing years in that respect!) The Younger Brother The younger brother joined the army just prior to the outbreak of WW11, enlisting in the Royal West Kents. He was part of the BEF and was among the lucky ones who managed to fight their way out. He saw service in North Africa, Sicily and Italy. It was in Italy aged 23 and by then a CSM that he was awarded the Military Medal. It would appear, that the 5th Battalion D Coy were holding positions around Cassino Railway Station. They were the only company in close contact with the enemy. Another company was one mile further back and the remainder of the battalion further back still. The railway embankment was covered by the fixed lines of fire by the enemy. Because of this, rations were only taken every third night. The rations were placed in sandbags - one bag for each two-man weapon pit and the sandbags were slung round tanks which drove along the embankment and around the station positions dropping them off as required. Except for spasmodic shelling and mortaring by the enemy, usually in the afternoons and evenings, the situation was quiet and there were no casualties for eight days. Then on April 24 a post of D Company (which was at the station ) was hit by a shell seven men were killed and fourteen wounded. The evacuation of casualties was organised by the CSM, who went to the post under fire and arranged a dressing station there. Within the hour, all of the wounded had been carried back under the Red Cross Flag. Some three weeks later, the 5th Battalion were called out from their rest period to support the Poles who were meeting strong enemy resistance in the area of Piedimonte to the west of Cassino. Because of a lack of an interpreter there was no proper liaison between the Poles and the battalion. The operation began at 12,30 p.m. The advance was across open corn fields swept by enemy fire from the hillside to the right, The companies went forward by platoons in short controlled rushes. Major Wollaston and Lieutenant Sainsbury of D Coy were both wounded. The Coy attack continued under the command of the CSM. Casualties were numerous. Nevertheless, the battalion swept the objective capturing thirty one prisoners. For his part in the action, the CSM was awarded an immediate Battle Field Commission! He finished his war as a Capt. Some years later whilst serving with the Colonial Police in Africa he was awarded the MBE for his work with Special Branch during a civil war. So, there we have it. Two brothers who earned four decorations. One survived to tell the tale and one didnât! Oh, and by the way. The older brother was my uncle . The younger brother was my father. Now for my question. Do the readers agree with the awards policy as now adopted i.e. no distinction between ranks when awarding medals, and does this in any way, demean those who earned their awards prior to this change in policy? For my part, I fully agree with there being no distinction in gallantry awards. My father always said that after the war, it was more of a hindrance to be seen to have an MM. It marked you out as having been an other rank! Iâm sure the Army has moved on since those days, at least I would like to think so! P.S. I hope that is alright to post in this forum. If not, please would the MOD delete or move it for me.