The orders, decorations and medals of Brigadier J.F.B. Coombe, 11th Hussars
Lot 111
The Post War C.B., and Second World War D.S.O. and bar group of fourteen to Major General J.F.B.Combe, 11th Hussars,
Sold for £11,750 (US$ 19,965) inc. premium
Lot Details
The Post War C.B., and Second World War D.S.O. and bar group of fourteen to Major General J.F.B.Combe, 11th Hussars,
The Most Honourable Order of the Bath, C.B., Military Division, neck badge in silver-gilt and enamel; Distinguished Service Order, G.VI.R dated 1941 on the reverse with second award bar, dated 1941, the pin on the suspension bar removed; 1914 Star with Mons bar (2.Lieut J.F.B. Combe. 11/Hrs.); British War and Victory Medal (Lieut. J.F.B.Combe.); General Service 1918-62, one bar, Palestine (Major J.F.B Combe. 11-H.); 1939-1945 Star; Africa Star; Italy Star; Defence Medal; War Medal with M.I.D. Oakleaf; Coronation 1937; Coronation 1953; U.S.A. Order of the Legion of Merit, engraved on the reverse (John F.B.Combe), with emblem on riband. With corresponding miniatures, which are mounted as worn. Some medals with traces of lacquer, otherwise very fine. (Lot)

Footnotes

  • C.B. London Gazette 12.6.1947.

    D.S.O. London Gazette 1.4.1941.

    Recommendation from General Wavell: I wish to recommend this officer especially for gallantry, exceptional leadership and outstandingly valuable services during the battles of Fort Capuzzo, Sidi Azeiz and Ghirba and the successful action of the blocking of the Tobruk - Bardia road by 'C' Squadron, 11th Hussars on 14 and 16 June 1940.
    He handled his Regt. of Armd Cars brilliantly during the continuous successful operations of the week ending 19 June 1940, and the successes gained were largely due to his personal leadership and energy.

    Bar to the D.S.O. London Gazette 25.4.1941.

    Recommendation from General Wavell: It was entirely on account of the brilliant leadership and outstanding handling of his Regiment by Lt Col Combe, that the swift advance of the 4 Armd Bde into the gap between Buq Buq and Sidi Barrani was made possible. His dispositions were such that it was possible to find immediately weak points in the enemy's lines and to take advantage of the information so obtained. This regiment passed deep and wide round the enemy, obtaining invaluable co-operation. During the advance on Dec 13/14th Lt-Col Combe commanded the advanced elements with great skill and daring. His actions and impertability during the trying hostile dive-bombing and machine gunning attacks of the 14th Dec., were an inspiration to all ranks. Despite intense enemy air action, he continued his reconnaissance in a most gallant manner.

    M.I.D. London Gazette 3.8.1944; 29.11.1945.

    U.S.A. Legion of Merit London Gazette 17.9.1948.

    Brigadier John Frederick Boyce Combe, D.S.O., British Army, performed outstanding service in Italy from September 1944 to the end of the campaign, as Commanding Officer of the 2d Armoured Brigade. He directed his Brigade with outstanding professional skill during the heavy fighting to force the Gothic Line and in the subsequent operations during the Spring offensive in which with an aggressive spirit emulating that of their commander, the Brigade supported the seizure of the Argenta Gap, crossing of the Po and the final pursuit operations culminating that collapse of the enemy forces in this Theater. Brigadier Combe has contributed materially to the Over-all success of Allied forces in Italy.

    The lot includes various badges and documentation including copy photographs of him dancing with H.M. the Queen and H.M. the Queen Mother. Photograph of him in uniform, a forged Italian Identity Card, and a Temporary I.D. Pass issued on escape from enemy lines dated 12.5.1944. He was captured in 1941 but escaped from Castle Vincigliata, Florence 1943.

    John Frederick Boyce Combe was born on 1st August 1895, he enlisted into the 11th Hussars on 15.8.1914; Lieutenant 8.8.1915 (M.G.C. 26.2.1916 to 22.8.1916; act Captain 11.7.1919 to 10.11.1919); Captain 26.9.1921; Major 6.7.1931; Lieutenant Colonel 27.9.1939; act Col 3.4.1941 to 12.6.1944 and 5.9.1944 to 5.10.1944; Colonel 27.9.1942 (6.10.1944); act Brigadier 3.4.1941 to 12.6.1944 & 23/9/1944. Colonel 11th Hussars 12.7.1945.
    Served in France and Belgium from 8.11.1914 to 11.11.1918, and was wounded twice.
    A.D.C. to H.E. the Viceroy and Governor General of India 15.4.1924 to 14.5.1925.

    Appointed as Gold Staff Officer at the Coronation 1937. He took over from Colonel J.Galbraith in Palestine, and was very much a true soldier. His first task was to take the Regiment off to Mersa Matruh for 'Special Training' it was there on the 3rd September 1939 that they learned that war had broken out and were ordered to 'Mobilize and prepare to move at once'. It was not sure which way Mussolini would go so the Royal Air Force were left to patrol the frontier and the 11th Hussars were withdrawn to join the rest in collective training. Colonel Combe had been given secret orders to complete training by the end of March 1940. He gave out his main orders on 11th June 1940, the task being to dominate the frontier between Capuzzo and Maddalena, and to delay any Italian advance to the east across the plateau from the direction of the latter. He was to use his armoured cars to destroy the wire wherever possible, penetrate into Italian territory, and if possible harass communications along the road from Fort Capuzzo, through Bardia, towards Tobruk, it was stressed that 'Although the utmost agressiveness will be displayed it is important to avoid becoming engaged with superior enemy formations'. After numerous victories and skirmishes he was taken POW in April 1941 when the Germans broke the allies southern flank and reached Derna. He was in a car caught with a convoy of British transport, he along with General A.Smith and General Neame were captured and taken to Northern Italy. Three years passed before they escaped and reached British lines and within a year he was leading one of Field Marshal Alexander's armoured brigades in the battle for the 'Gothic Line'.

    He represented the King at the unveiling of the 11th Hussars War Memorial at Osnabruck in May 1949.
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