A Second World War Norway D.C.M. group of eight to Guardsman M.P.O'Shea, Irish Guards,
Lot 175
A Second World War Norway D.C.M. group of eight to Guardsman M.P.O'Shea, Irish Guards,
Sold for £8,160 (US$ 10,947) inc. premium

Lot Details
A Second World War Norway D.C.M. group of eight to Guardsman M.P.O'Shea, Irish Guards,
Distinguished Conduct Medal, G.VI.R. (2717837 Gdsmn.M.P.O'Shea. Ir. Gds.); General Service Medal 1918-62, one bar, Palestine (2717837 Gdsmn.M.O'Shea. Ir.Gds.); 1939-1945 Star; Africa Star with 1st Army bar; Italy Star; France and Germany Star; Defence Medal; War Medal. The WW2 medals named in Boots Style (2717837 Gdsm. M.O'Shea. Irish Guards.). Mounted as worn. Very fine. (Lot)

Footnotes

  • D.C.M. London Gazette 6.8.1940.

    During the withdrawl from Vensmoen on the 26th May 1940, a party consisting of Irish Guardsmen and men of an Independent Company came to a fast flowing river. Guardsman O'Shea assisted the whole party of 25 men to cross through this water by means of a belt of web straps. Many times he was nearly pulled back into the water himself, which would have meant the loss of several lives. On one occasion he ran 25 yards down stream and pulled a man out who had been carried away by the current. Further back he carried a man of the Independent Company who had fainted, for a mile to safety. Owing to these acts of gallantry he missed the ferry and with a few others had to walk 25 miles to rejoin his unit.
    During the whole time his unfailing courage and sound advice were an inspiration to the Officers and men of the party and were probably a main cause of its escape.

    Sold with a King's Badge, a Rolls Royce badge, seven copy photographs taken throughout his life and a copy of the Order of Service from when he died in 2002, and a Parish weekly newsletter from November 2002.


    Michael Patrick O'Shea was born at Ballincollig Co. Cork 1914 and was one of seven brothers, in his teens he worked for a local farmer but at the age of 19 decided to join the army as his father had done. He served in Norway and later Tobruk where he was wounded, he served in Italy and France and Germany. After the war finished he served as a chauffeur and general assistant to Captain Harry Cruickshank, a distinguished M.P. who was later promoted to the House of Lords. He travelled abroad with him and remained in his service for the best part of two decades.

    Later he worked for the Chilean ambassador and a property developer, Mr Sputz. He died in 2002.


    The Irish Guards in Norway:

    On the 10th April 1940 the 1st Battalion, which formed part of the 24th Guards Brigade, left London for service in Norway. It was here the Battalion fought against German troops for the first time since 1918. The ship carrying the Battalion into action (HMT Chobry) was bombed by a force of Heinkel bombers resulting in a dreadful loss of life, including the Commanding Officer Lt. Col. W.D. Faulkner, the Second-in-Command Major C.L.J. Bowen, the Adjutant Capt the Hon B.A. O'Neill and three of the five Company Commanders. Fire engulfed the ship and, considering the amount of ammunition on board, an immense explosion seemed imminent. However, the surviving Guardsmen were rescued by escorting vessels.

    Later that month the battalion did fight on land in Norway, seeing action at Pothus, holding out against heavy German attacks for two days until they were finally forced to withdraw as their positions were being outflanked. The Brigade HQ and battalion were withdrawn by boat, though they left many men behind, who managed to break through the German forces and reach Allied lines later that day. The regiment was finally evacuated back to the UK with the rest of the expeditionary force in June.

    The Battle Honour 'Norway' was awarded.

    A total of 17 DCMs were awarded to the Irish Guards for WW2 of which 3 were awarded for Norway.
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