The honour awarded to the late Acting Flight Sergeant William Barker Oldroyd, Royal Air Force Provost and Security Services, for action during the Cyprus emergency of 1974, was offered with Oldroyd’s RAF Long Service and Good Conduct Medal and matching miniature medals, together with a comprehensive portfolio chronicling the circumstances giving rise to the award of the QGM.
Blaze of glory
Oldroyd’s medal was awarded jointly with his Commanding Officer Acting Squadron Leader RA Chasemore for their actions on July 21, 1974, when the pair dealt with a fire next to a petrol store at the civilian location of Nicosia International Airport and while under enemy fire from Turkish aircraft.
The QGM had been instituted just a month earlier, on June 20, to replace the Order of the British Empire for Gallantry and the British Empire Medal for Gallantry and was intended to award gallantry for non-military acts of bravery or military acts in situations where the country was not officially ‘at war’.
Consigned by a local private client, it sold in Ripon on low estimate at £10,000 to a UK phone buyer on February 20.
The Elstob & Elstob militaria, organised by specialist David Douglas, also included a large Gordon Highlanders group from a private local vendor, a collector of over 50 years. It was sold without reserve.
David Douglas said: “As the sale progressed, it was clear that there was much interest from Australia and North America – not surprising as both continents have deep roots in Scottish military traditions even to this day.”
The GH was a line infantry regiment of the British Army, from 1881-1994, whose origins go back to 1787. Pictured above is a ‘very rare’ post-1881 bullion wire officer’s pattern peaked forage cap badge of the 2nd Battalion, The Gordon Highlanders, retaining the pre-1881 LXXV symbol (The Gordon Highlanders were created during the Childers Reforms of 1881 by merging the 75th and 92nd Regiments of Foot).
The badge made a four-times top estimate £400, going to a private buyer on thesaleroom.com.
Further items from the Gordon Highlanders collection will be offered at a later sale, including a bullion embroidered officers’ pouch of the Banff Volunteers, possibly the only surviving example.