A particularly fine Second World War
Estimate: £2,000 - £2,500
ca. US$3,122 - US$3,903
Price realised: £3,200
A particularly fine Second World War Normandy operations M.M. group of seven awarded to Company Quarter-Master Sergeant B. Taylor, Green Howards, later K.O.S.B. and Cameronians, who landed on “Gold Beach” on D-Day: no doubt inspired by the example of his fellow Green Howard N.C.O. Stanley Hollis, who won a V.C. on that memorable date, Taylor took-out an enemy machine-gun post - firing from the hip - just three weeks later Military Medal, G.VI.R. (4914549 Cpl. B. Taylor, Green Howards); 1939-45 Star; France and Germany Star; Defence and War Medals 1939-45; General Service 1918-62, 2 clasps, Palestine 1945-48, Malaya (4914549 C./Sjt. B. Taylor, M.M., K.O.S.B.); Army L.S. & G.C., E.II.R., 1st issue, Regular Army (4914549 Sgt. B. Taylor, M.M., Cameronians) the fifth with re-impressed rank, very fine (10) £2000-2500 Footnote M.M. London Gazette 19 October 1944. The original recommendation states: ‘On 27 June 1944, Corporal Taylor took part in a fighting patrol sent out to search Onchey village and kill or capture any enemy found there. When moving towards the village his section became separated from the remainder of the patrol by a thick hedge and came under heavy machine-gun fire from an enemy post about 100 yards to a flank. At the same time enemy were seen in a hedgerow to the front and running at right angles to the axis of advance, Colonel Taylor at once ordered the section to occupy a fire position and return the enemy fire. This, however, failed to silence the machine-gun whereupon he armed himself with the section Bren Gun and ran towards the machine-gun firing from the hip. As a result the machine-gun was knocked out, the gunner killed and three Germans gave themselves up. Following this he fired along the lateral hedge thereby covering the advance of the remainder of the Platoon and enabling it to assault the enemy position. In this action nine Germans were killed and 4 prisoners taken. Throughout the action Corporal Taylor showed great initiative and a complete disregard for his personal safety. It was largely due to his courage and enterprise that the enemy position was quickly captured with only two casualties to his platoon.’ Benjamin Taylor joined the 2nd Battalion, Green Howards (Yorkshire Regiment) before the War and served on the North-West Frontier of India during 1936-37. But it was as a Corporal in Lieutenant A. Grosvenor’s platoon, ‘A’ Company, 6th Battalion, that he landed on “Gold Beach” on D-Day, when his fellow N.C.O. Stanley Hollis won the V.C. for taking-out enemy pill-boxes - the type of action shortly to be re-enacted by Taylor as the Battalion moved against the village of Onchey, amidst fierce fighting in the Bocage. The following account of the Battalion’s landing on D-Day appears in Geoffrey Powell’s The Green Howards: ‘Now an infernal cacophony accompanied them as their landing craft ran in ... salvoes from warships roared overhead like express trains; tank and artillery guns barked s they fired from the vessels bringing them into the shore; mines exploded among the mass of under-water obstacles and clouds of rocket-firing Typhoons swooped on the enemy positions. To survive such a bombardment seemed impossible, but as the leading companies waded the last sixty yards ashore, they were met by a hail of machine-gun and mortar fire; despite this, the Green Howards, assisted by tanks of the 4th/7th Dragoon Guards, overran the beach defences with unparalleled dash and determination.’ And of Taylor’s subsequent gallantry on the 27 June, The Story of the Green Howards, by Captain W. A. T. Synge, states: ‘On 27 June, the Battalion was ordered to make yet another attack on La Taille, this time under cover of a heavy artillery barrage and machine-gun concentration. Early that morning a fighting patrol was sent out under Lieutenant A. Grosvenor with orders to shoot up any enemy who might be in two houses just north-west of La Taille. The patrol found the houses unoccupied, but, on a further reconnaissance, Li
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