Please Take Note
next meeting will take place at 1300 hrs. on Sunday 21 January 2018, at the Royal British Legion, Central Branch, 33 Rodney Street, Edinburgh.
Please make an effort to attend.
Service Medal 1962 with Clasp South
In 1965 members of 300
Parachute Squadron 131 Parachute Engineer Regiment
deployed to Aden and Radfan. WO2 (SSM) John Lonergan was killed and
Captain maclachlainn and Sergeant Earl were seriously wounded during an attack
by dissidents on their camp in Radfan. The men of 131 readily
volunteered to serve in this theatre, however, they have never been
recognised for their service by receiving their GSM General Service
Medal 62 with Clasp South Arabia.
Over the past three years letters have been
written to the Prime Minister and the Ministry of Defence in pusrsuance
of the General Sevice Medal (GSM). The bottom line is that the
Government is not interested in awarding the GSM to the Officers and Men
of 300 Parachute Field Squadron, Royal Engineers who served in Aden and
Radfan in 1965 as they fell short of the qualifying criteria. How on
earth could they have fallen short when one man gave his life and two
were seriously wounded. How much more
were they expected to give. According to the MoD awarding the medal to
300 Para Sqn RE would
devalue it.A letter dated 6 December
2016 was received from the Defence People Secretariat and is similar to
those received in the past, the gist of which is former officers and men
of 300 Para Sqn are not entitled to medallic recognition.
16 September 2016 an e-mail from the MoD Medal Office confirmed that WO2
John Lonergan is entitled to the GSM with Clasp South Arabia and Captain
maclachlainn and Sgt Earl are also entitled to the medal. Special Army Orders of 25 July
1966 refers. Why did the MoD take so long to confirm this.
September 2016, a letter was sent to Theresa May, asking her to wave the
30 day in theatre criteria, however, the letter was forwarded to the
Letter dated 24 January from Major General RMB Nitch CBE says
that former members of 300 Parachute Squadron Royal Engineers cannot be
awarded the GSM nor would it be appropriate to use a campaign medal to
recocognise the actions of 300 Squadron when the rules apply equally to
them as to Regular soldiers. It has always been the policy for campaign
awards that qualifying service may be reduced for those who are killed
or have their service in theatre terminated prematurely by wounding or
other related injury, or having been captured or detained. It was for
that reason that WO2 Lonergan and those who were injured received the
GSM62 even though they had not completed the full qualifying period.
As of 7 January 2018 none of 300 Para Sqn RE has
received the GSM62.
This is the latest from 10 Downing Street
I am writing on behalf of the Prime Minister to thank you for your email
of 2 April. I am sorry that you did not receive a full response to your
letter of 16 December.
I am aware that you have written to this
Office and the Ministry of Defence on a number of occasions, regarding
qualification for the General Service Medal 1962 with South Arabia
The Ministry of Defence wrote to you on 6 December to
explain that they were unable to add anything further to their previous
correspondence and to confirm that the Government has no plans to
revisit or revise the criteria for the awarding of the decoration. I
have attached a copy of their letter for your information.
Prime Ministerís Office is unable to add anything further to the
information provided by the MOD. However, we would like to reiterate the
Governmentís deep appreciation of the service given by you and your
colleagues in 300 Parachute Field Squadron Royal Engineers.
Ceremony Kingsbury ARC to "Lonergan Lines"
12 April 2016.
Please click the link to view all photographs
The Birth and Early Years
2 Troop 300 Airborne Squadron R.E.
"The Edinburgh Troop".
By D. H. Thomas.
The History of 131 Commando Squadron Royal Engineers