The Miniatures of Wing Commander P. P. C. “Paddy” Barthropp, D.F.C., A.F.C
The mounted group of ten miniature dress medals worn by Wing Commander P. P. C. “Paddy” Barthropp, D.F.C., A.F.C., one of the most colourful fighter’s aces of the last War Distinguished Flying Cross, G.VI.R.; Air Force Cross, E.II.R.; 1939-45 Star, clasp, Battle of Britain; Air Crew Europe Star, clasp, France & Germany; Defence and War Medals 1939-45, M.I.D. oak leaf; General Service 1918-62, 1 clasp, Malaya, E.II.R.; Norway, King Haakon VII’s Freedom Medal 1940-45, with cypher riband fitment; France, Order of Liberation, mounted as worn, generally good very fine To be sold with:The recipient’s Board of Trade, Civil Aviation Division, Private Pilot’s Licence, dated 11 January 1966, together with an Air Force Board invitation in his name, for a 60th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain gathering at Bentley Priory, dated 15 September 2000, and a large quantity of copied documentation, including a fine array of career photographs, several of them signed by Barthropp, in overall good condition. Footnote: Barthropp’s remarkable wartime career needs little introduction here, not least since the Lot is accompanied by a signed copy of his autobiography, Paddy; so, too, by a letter of provenance in which he confirms the sale of the above described set of miniatures and by a photograph of him wearing them. But by way of summary, he first went into action at the height of the Battle of Britain as a Pilot Officer in Spitfires of No. 602 Squadron, claiming his first victory in the same month, a score to which he rapidly added in the following year with No. 91 Squadron in numerous cross-Channel operations. He was awarded the D.F.C. and rested as an instructor, but quickly gained a reputation for fast cars and fast living, on one occasion writing off a two-litre Lagonda in a collision with a London taxi, and on another collecting a fine for assaulting a publican when he was refused entry to a dance - the magistrate doubled the fine when Barthropp called him a ‘silly old bastard.’ It was just such incidents that prompted his C.O. to end his spell as an instructor and get him back on operations, and before long he reported to No. 122 Squadron. Five days later he was shot down near St. Omer and taken P.O.W., the beginning of a relentless chapter of escape activity that never quite paid off, and, by the time he was liberated in Lubeck in May 1945, he was a shadow of his former self, having endured the Gestapo, months in solitary confinement and an appalling forced-march. Notwithstanding such setbacks, he quickly acquired a Mercedes fire engine, and, with a friend, drove it to Brussels via Hamburg, at which latter city they met two ladies who were happy to spend the night with them in return for a tin of corned beef. Post-war the gallant Barthropp added the A.F.C. to his accolades but he became increasingly despondent with mounting red-tape and pen-pushers - it was said he ‘obeyed only the rules he agreed with’. So he was happy to take his ‘golden bowler’ in 1957 and went on to establish a successful luxury car hire business, in addition to being a stalwart supporter of the Battle of Britain Association. Given his contention that ‘as long as you keep smoking cigarettes and drinking plenty of whisky and tap water - not this rubbish in a bottle - you’ll go on for ever’, he had a good innings, dying in April 2008, aged 87 years.