Lot Archive


№ 142


27 September 1994

Hammer Price:

A North West Europe M.M. group of five awarded to Acting Corporal Matthew Bell, 7th Battalion, Duke of Wellington's Regiment, for gallantry at the defence of Haalderen

MILITARY MEDAL, G.VI.R. (1506652 A. Cpl., D.W.R.); 1939-45 STAR; FRANCE AND GERMANY STAR; DEFENCE AND WAR MEDALS, these last four all privately named, the first polished, good fine, otherwise nearly very fine (5)

M.M., London Gazette, 5 April, 1945. The following citation was extracted from official sources: 'At Haaldaren 7566 on the night 3/4 December, this N.C.O. was a member of a reconnaissance patrol which was bringing back valuable information about a German position. One man was killed and one wounded on a mine near the enemy position and the Germans opened fire. After making sure no identity had been left on the dead man L/Cpl Bell and his patrol crawled back through the mine field under fire to deliver their information. Later on the 4 Dec L/Cpl Bell's courage was further in evidence when a strong enemy attack designed to destroy the Nijmegen Bridge developed on his position to which he had returned. Part of L/Cpl Bell's section was overwhelmed by weight of numbers and L/Cpl Bell was ordered to take up a new position on the flank where most damage could be inflicted on the enemy. This change of position was hotly contested by the enemy but L/Cpl Bell alone covered the move. When the men reached their position L/Cpl Bell was followed by the Germans. As he reached his new position he turned and shot the leading German dead at point blank range. L/Cpl Bell and his men then kept up a determined fire all night against the Germans who finally gave up all attempts to silence the post. This N.C.O's determination to defend his post to the last was a great factor in the demoralisation of the enemy who were crushingly defeated and his personal courage was all the more remarkable as it was his first time in action.'

Sold with further details from the 'Iron Duke.'