A fine Second World War North-West Europe
operations C.B.E., Great War M.C. group of twelve awarded to Brigadier W. A. S. Turner, Royal Artillery: having seen almost four years of continuous active service in the 1914-18 War, he was gassed and evacuated with shell-shock, but rose to senior rank in the 1939-45 War as Deputy Chief of Public Relations at S.H.A.E.F., when he was credited with master-minding the success of the Allied Film and Photographic Sections in North-West Europe 1944-45: The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, C.B.E. (Military) Commander?s 2nd type neck badge, silver-gilt and enamel, in its Garrard & Co. case of issue; Military Cross, G.V.R., the reverse privately engraved, ?Major W. A. S. Turner, R.H.A., 3rd June 1918?; 1914 Star, with clasp (2 Lieut., R.F.A.); British War and Victory Medals, M.I.D. oak leaf (Major); 1939-45 Star; France and Germany Star; Defence and War Medals, M.I.D. oak leaf, these four privately engraved, ?Brig. W. A. S. Turner?; U.S.A., Legion of Merit, Officer?s breast badge, gilt and enamels, the reverse engraved, ?W. A. S. Turner?; French Legion of Honour, Chevalier?s breast badge, silver, gilt and enamels; French Croix de Guerre 1939, with palm, mounted court-style as worn, in Spink & Son Ltd. leather box, the lid gilt inscribed, ?Brig. W. A. S. Turner?, very fine and better. C.B.E. London Gazette 2 August 1945. The original recommendation states:?Since its inception, Brigadier Turner has served as senior British representative in the Public Relations Division, S.H.A.E.F., first as Assistant Chief and then as Deputy Chief of the Division. In addition to his general Public Relations duties Brigadier Turner has had particular charge of the Film and Photographic Section.Brigadier Turner?s work has throughout been of a very high order of excellence. Not only has he been outstandingly successful in maintaining harmony among all sorts and conditions of British correspondents but he has managed over a long period to compose the many and varied international differences inevitable in a Public Relations organisation of the nature of that set up for the recent campaign in North-West Europe.His untiring efforts and unfailing imperturbability have earned the respect of all with whom he has come in contact. The undoubted success of the Public Relations aspect of the operations can be attributed in large measure to Brigadier Turner?s devoted efforts.?M.C. London Gazette 3 June 1918.American Legion of Merit London Gazette 8 November 1945. The White House citation, signed by Harry Truman, states:?Brigadier W. A. S. Turner, British Army, served from May 1944 to May 1946 as Assistant to the Director, and later as Deputy Director of the Public Relations Division, Supreme Headquarters, Allied Expeditionary Force. He was instrumental in the preliminary planning for Public Relations activities in the invasion of North-West France and later organised and supervised the operation of film and photographic coverage of the campaigns in Western Europe. Through his tact, ingenuity and meticulous spirit of abnegation, he played an exemplary role in composing the many nationalistic difficulties in the allocation of war correspondents to ensure proportional representation and the establishment of equitable quotas throughout operations on the Continent. He contributed immeasurably to the efficient operations of the Public Relations Division and to the successful conclusion of the war against Germany.?French Legion of Honour 30 October 1945 (Register No. 53003 refers).William Arthur Scales Turner was born in January 1890, the son of William Henry Turner of Leicestershire, and was educated at the Leys School and Trinity College, Cambridge.Commissioned in the Royal Artillery in December 1911, he went out to France on 7 August 1914, where he served in ?I? Battery, R.H.A. until transferring to 2/?A? Battery, H.A.C. at Langemarck in November 1917. Gassed during a heavy enemy bombardment near Loos on 6 April 1918, he was evacuated with three officers and 60 other ranks, but he returned to duty in the following month, when he resumed command of the Battery as an Acting Major near Mazingarbe. But the effects of almost four years continuous active service were beginning to surface, and a few weeks later he was invalided home suffering from shell-shock. He was awarded the M.C., his unit?s history stating that it was ?difficult adequately to express the admiration of all ranks of the Battery, and indeed of the Brigade, for this officer.?Between the wars, Turner held a succession of staff appointments, was appointed Assistant Adjutant-General in February 1935 and was placed on the Retired List as a full Colonel in 1937. Quickly re-employed at the Public Relations Department of the War Office, he was appointed a Deputy Director in 1941, and served in a similar capacity at Supreme Headquarters, Allied Expeditionary Force 1943-45, work that was rewarded with a C.B.E., American Legion of Merit and French Legion of Honour and Croix de Guerre in 1945, following the successful conclusion of the North-West Europe operations. Sold with original certificate of award and White House citation for the recipient?s Legion of Merit, both signed by Harry Truman, and the warrant for his Legion of Merit, dated at Paris on 30 October 1945.