Lot Archive


№ 290


7 April 1994

Hammer Price:

ROYAL AIR FORCE LEVIES, IRAQ, LONG SERVICE AND GOOD CONDUCT, G.VI.R., 2nd issue, with clasp, Royal Air Force Levies, Iraq (X.93 R.E. Lazar Adam) very fine and very rare

Confirmed on roll, the prefix indicating that he was a locally commissioned officer. This rare award was instituted in 1949, and was terminated in 1955. After the First World War the R.A.F. took over responsibility for defending much of British territory in the Middle East, as a few aircraft were considered to be as efficient in remote areas as static army garrisons. In Iraq, local levies were raised to assist the R.A.F., and were for most purposes considered to be a part of the R.A. F., although they were commanded by army officers in the main. During the Second World War, the Iraq levies remained loyal during the Rashid Ali Revolt and by 1944 they numbered over 10,000. After the war their strength was much reduced, and when the British withdrew from Iraq they were disbanded. A total of about 300 medals were issued, about 40% of which were awarded to locally-commissioned officers. Despite the apparent high numbers issued, only a small handful of medals is known to exist today, probably reflecting the turbulent history of that region in the years since the Second World War.