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eMedals-A Second War MC for Bravery Against Japanese Forces in Burma

Item: GB5252

A Second War MC for Bravery Against Japanese Forces in Burma

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A Second War MC for Bravery Against Japanese Forces in Burma

A Second War Military Cross Group of Five to a South African Born, for Bravery in Armoured Combat Against Japanese Forces in Burma, Lieutenant Laurence Ormsby Pearce, Royal Tank Regiment, Royal Armoured Corps   Military Cross, GRI (engraved "1944" on the reverse); 1939-1945 Star; Burma Star; Defence Medal; and War Medal 1939-1945. MC in its hardshelled case of issue, maker marked "Royal Mint" on the inside lid, recessed medal bed. Un-mounted, original ribbons, dark patina on the MC, light contact, near extremely fine. Miniature Group: Military Cross, GRI (silver, 21.3 mm); 1939-1945 Star (bronze, 17.5 mm x 20 mm); Burma Star (bronze, 17.5 mm x 20 mm); Defence Medal (silver, 17.8 mm); and War Medal 1939-1945 (silver, 18 mm). Mounted to a suspension with swing bar pinback, as worn by the veteran, original ribbons, dark patina on the WM, light contact, miniatures also near extremely fine. Accompanied by a Fourteenth Army Patch (silver and gold-coloured bullion wire interlaced with red and black threading, on a khaki wool base with black mesh reinforced backer, 56 mm x 65 mm), two Photographs ofPearce in Uniform (black and white, both identified on the reverse, one with a gloss finish: 57 mm x 58 mm, the other with a matte finish: 68 mm x 98 mm), a Congratulatory Letter from the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Fourteenth Army (dated August 17, 1944, 127 mm x 202 mm), a Letter From the War Office in London (informing his parents in Johannesburg of their son's award of the Military Cross, dated September 4, 1944, 178 mm x 219 mm), along with two copies of his Military Cross citation.   Footnote: Laurence Ormsby Pearce was born and bred in Johannesburg, South Africa. He was a Cadet with the Officer Cadet Training Unit when he was named a 2nd Lieutenant with the Royal Tank Regiment, effective May 17, 1941, the announcement appearing in the Second Supplement to the London Gazette 35175 of Tuesday, May 27, 1941, on Friday, May 30, 1941, page 3078. Lieutenant Laurence Ormsby Pearce (189007), Royal Tank Regiment, Royal Armoured Corps was awarded the Military Cross as an immediate Award of Bravery for armoured combat against Japanese Forces in Burma, a very rare award due to its expediency versus other Military Cross awards. The announcement for the award appeared in the Supplement to the London Gazette 36627 of Tuesday, July 25, 1944, on Thursday, July 27, 1944, page 3502, his forename misspelled as "Lawrence". He was recommended for the award by Lieutenant Colonel R. Younger, M.C., Commanding the 3rd Carabiniers, on May 1, 1944, with subsequent recommendations coming from Brigadier Commander of 254 Indian Tank Brigade, on May 9th and from the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Fourteenth Army, on May 15th, with the final approval coming from the Commander-in-Chief of 11 Army Group, on May 25th. Pearce's citation reads as follows: "This Officer was in command of a troop in operations against Ningthunkhong on April 25th 1944. Soon after the action started, his tank was penetrated by an anti-tank gun, the driver was seriously wounded, and the wireless set and intercommunication destroyed, thus rendering the tank unbattleworthy. Lieut. Pearce at once collected the only spare tank, which was already damaged, and whose turret was jammed, thus making it virtually defenceless at close quarters. He returned to his troop, which he commanded with great coolness and skill for 2 hours, while in close proximity to the enemy, who were concealed in the village. As a result of his efforts his troop knocked out two anti-tank guns, an unidentified vehicle, and two bunker positions, thus enabling the Infantry to reach the first part of their objective with negligible casualties, and at the same time, capture important documents. Later, when a withdrawal was ordered, he waited until all the Infantry and their wounded had gone back, though he could only use his guns in one direction. This Officer also displayed similar qualities of skill and coolness when leading his troop against a Japanese position at MS.18 on the Imphal-Ukhrul Rd. On this occasion he had to make a difficult and practically unreconnoitred climb to reach the position, where he successfully silenced all enemy fire. Throughout the present operations, he has shown himself to be an outstanding leader." Pearce received a congratulatory letter from the General Officer Commanding-in Chief of the Fourteenth Army, dated August 17, 1944: "Dear Lieutenant Pearce, I am very pleased to hear that your gallant action has been rewarded, and send you my warmest congratulations on a well deserved honour." A letter was also sent from the War Office in London and addressed to his father, George Ormsby Pearce of Johannesburg, dated September 4, 1944, informing he and his wife of their son's award of the Military Cross and subsequent announcement in the London Gazette 36627 of Tuesday, July 25, 1944, on Thursday, July 27, 1944, page 3502. Laurence Ormsby Pearce was the second recipient of the Military Cross in his family. His father, George Ormsby Pearce was with the Royal Field Artillery during the First World War. He was named a 2nd Lieutenant on December 14, 1915, the announcement appearing in the London Gazette 29405, on Friday, December 17, 1915, page 12570. His father was also a recipient of the Military Cross, the announcement for the award appearing in the Second Supplement to the London Gazette 31219, on Friday, March 7, 1919, page 3245. (C:14)
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