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Group of medals and memorabilia of Signalman Wilfred Thompson of the Royal Navy destroyer HMS Firedrake. The group includes a Polish Cross of Valour issued to Wilfred Thompson for his action in the Battle of Narvik, supporting the Polish Independant.
Crosses of Valour issued to British personnel are a rarity on the collectors market. It is important to note that during the Second World War only 116 Crosses of Valour were issued to Royal Navy personnel (from the total 46,300 Awarded). Only 722 Crosses of Valour were issued to non-Polish personnel during WW2 altogether.
Signalman Wilfred Thompson was awarded the cross of valor “in the recognition of your gallant and brave conduct during operations with the Polish Brigade in Norway”.
The group includes:
Exceptional grouping with an award for one of the most interesting battles of the Second World War!
Please note that Wilfred Thompson may have been awarded the Naval Long Service medal (ribbon is present on the ribbon bar), but no such medal is on the medal clasp.
Several weeks after the start of the Second World War in September 1939, Firedrake helped to sink a German submarine (First “kill” of the 2nd World War) and took part in the Norwegian Campaign in early 1940. She was sent to Gibraltar in mid-1940 and formed part of Force H where she escorted many Malta convoys in the Mediterranean and helped to sink an Italian submarine. Firedrake participated in the Battle of Cape Spartivento and screened the capital ships of Force H as they bombarded Genoa before she was damaged by an Italian bomb in mid-1941. After her repairs were completed the ship became a convoy escort in the Atlantic at the beginning of 1942. Firedrake was torpedoed and sunk by a German U-boat in late 1942 with the loss of most of her crew.