News > Press Release > Medals & Militaria Auction - 12 May 2017
Part of a large private collection consigned for the 12 May 2017 Medals & Militaria auction.
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Royal Observer Corps Medal (Observer V. Bedford), extremely fine with Long Service Bar and rosette, these loose on riband, together with a small archive relating to the recipients service including pocket notebook, R.O.C. Souvenir Programme dated 1953, photographs of the recipient, postcards, shoulder titles, lapel badge & cap badge, identity card, eight R.O.C. proficiency certificates for the period of 1963-72 etc.
Observer Vivien Pansy Irene Bedford was born in 1909, educated at Nuneaton High School for Girls, resided in Tunbridge Wells. A detailed handwritten account of the Battle of Britain is included in the lot presumably recounted in later life by Miss Bedford, detailing an attack by Ju88's over Tunbridge Wells in August 1940.
Note included with the lot reads
One bright sunny day in August 1940 the inevitable siren sounded once again. Being on rota duty I reported to my A.R.P. post which was under the mortuary at Tunbridge Wells. My colleagues and I had not long to wait before a wave of Ju's appeared over the town (we used to count the enemy planes going over and deduct the number we saw when they were returning. This gave us some idea - albeit childishly - of the number of planes missing!).
This particular day however, we did not have time to do much counting. Dozens of planes were more or less overhead and not at a great height, when one plane exploded in mid-air. Our fighters were nowhere near so we never really discovered the cause, but we were asked to look out for and return any pieces of metal etc. that we found.
A more amusing incident happened when one of our lads baled out after a 'dog fight'. Some medical students, who were just leaving their lecture room, spotted him. With one accord they raced off down the road. Unfortunately they did not stop to consider the direction or strength of the wind! The airman landed safely, but inconveniently in a tree, but there were no students to help him down.
Things I shall never forget were the 'dog fights' and the contrails they made. I was filled with disgust when I saw the enemy shooting at our men who had baled out of their damaged plane, but I was filled with a certain amount of pride when one of our Spitfires dropped down and encircled the parachute till the man was out of range of the attacker.
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