Military Medal. GVI first issue (2825461 L. Cpl. J. M. Black. Seaforth.) Military Medal. GVI first issue (2825461 L. Cpl. J. M. Black. Seaforth.) Military Medal. GVI first issue (2825461 L. Cpl. J. M. Black. Seaforth.) Military Medal. GVI first issue (2825461 L. Cpl. J. M. Black. Seaforth.) Military Medal. GVI first issue (2825461 L. Cpl. J. M. Black. Seaforth.)

Military Medal. GVI first issue (2825461 L. Cpl. J. M. Black. Seaforth.)

A '51st Highland Division 'Immediate' award of the 'Military Medal' awarded for gallantry in the field at Roumana Ridge during the Battle of Wadi Akarit, Tunisia, 6 April 1943

Military Medal verification: An 'Immediate' award for repeated acts of gallantry as a Driver of a 'Bren Gun Carrier' with 2nd Battalion Seaforth Highlanders at Roumana Ridge during the Battle of Wadi Akarit, Tunisia1943. The award published in the London Gazette issue of 8 July 1943 (together with x 4 other awards of the M.M. to Jocks of the Seaforth Highlanders)

The official recommendation for the M.M. (a soft copy of which will be forwarded to the buyer by email attachment) is quoted below:


During the attack on ROUMANA RIDGE on 6 April 1943 this N.C.O. drove a bren carrier of No. 4 pl. His first task was to deliver amn to fwd tps, and secondly to evacuate casualties. He accomplished both and continued to drive to and from the RAP with casualties all day under heavy fire the whole time. Whenever wounded men had to be lifted into his carrier he was always the first to assist and was always under heavy fire. His cool conduct and devotion to duty was an inspiration to all that witnessed it


The recommendation for an 'Immediate Award' of the M.M. was signed by the Commanding Officer of the 2nd Battalion Seaforth Highlanders, and endorsed by Major-General D. N. Wimberley GOC 51st Highland Division (a legendary Divisional Commander, loved by the Jock's, who referred to their fearless leader as 'Tartan Tam', and finally approved by General Bernard L. Montgomery 'Monty', General Officer Commanding 8th Army

On the Roumana Ridge (Battle of Wadi Akarit), the regimental records of 2nd Battalion Seaforth Highlanders record the below casualties:

- Killed-in-Action / Died-of-Wounds: 52
- Wounded-in-Action: 123
- Missing: 17

Victoria Cross Action: The only Victoria Cross to be awarded to a Highland Regiment of the British Army during the Second World War, was the award for 'Roumana Ridge' awarded to the fearless Lieutenant-Colonel Lorne Maclaine Campbell, officer commanding 7th Battalion Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, who had earlier been twice decorated with the Distinguished Service Order for deeds performed in France 1940 and at El-Alamein

Shortly after the capture of Tripoli, the 51st Highland Division, was visited by Winston Churchill, the British Prime Minister, and General Alan Brooke, now the Chief of the Imperial General Staff (CIGS). On 4 February 1943, when Churchill and Brooke arrived, 'Tartan Tam' Wimberley ordered a composite brigade of the 51st Division, all of whom were wearing kilts and were led by the massed pipers, to march past the Prime Minister and CIGS. Both men were moved to tears by the encounter. Brooke later wrote in his diary later that night about the encounter:


At 9:30am we all assembled and started off by car for Tripoli. It was most interesting seeing the place for the first time. The streets and housetops were lined with sentries, who held back the local inhabitants. When we arrived on the main square we found there the bulk of the 51st Division formed up on the sea front and the main square. The last time we had seen them was near Ismailia just after their arrival in the Middle East. Then they were still pink and white, now they bronzed warriors of many battles and of a victorious advance. I have seldom seen a finer body of men or one that looked prouder of being soldiers. We drove slowly round the line and then came back with men cheering him Churchill all the way. We then took up our position on a prepared stand and the whole Division marched past with a bagpipe band playing. It was quite one of the most impressive sights I have ever seen. The whole Division was most beautifully turned out, and might have been in barracks for the last 3 months instead of having marched some 1200 miles and fought many battles during the same period.2


Corporal Black's war did not end in Tunisia - far from it. He subsequently served in the Sicily Campaign, and was present with 2/Seaforth when the 51t Highland Division was landed in Normandy in June 1944 and throughout the subsequent North West Europe campaign

Wounded in Action, Netherlands: Corporal J. Black 2nd Battalion Seaforth Highlanders is confirmed having been Wounded-in-Action ('Remaining at duty') while fighting in the Netherlands on 18 November 1944, during liberation of the village Panningen or Helden-Dorp (nowadays the municipality Peel en Maas, province Limburg, Netherlands) on which date the British Army casualty reports, record that the 2nd Battalion Seaforth Highlanders suffered below casualties amongst the unit's 'Other Ranks' (reference the National Archives file series WO 417/86/1 for 'Casualty Lists Other Ranks' 1624-1642, 08-12-1944 to 30-12-1944)

- Killed-in-Action: 4 x Other Ranks
- Wounded: 20 x Other Ranks (another 2 x men are recorded in the same list but with notation for 'Date Not Recorded'

The recipient's comrades now lie commemorated in perpetuity by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission at the Venray War Cemetery, Limburg, Netherlands (Commonwealth War Graves)

Second World War Campaign Medals: The medal rolls are not yet in the public domain, however basis the recipients early war enlistment (1939/1940), and his subsequent continuous service serving with the re-constituted 2nd Battalion Seaforth Highlanders / 51st Highland Division, he was also entitled to the below following un-named Second World War campaign medals

- The 1939-45 Star. No clasp
- The Africa Star. with clasp '8th Army'
- The Italy Star
- The France & Germany Star
- Defence Medal (qualified per aggregated service 1940-1945)
- War Medal

The recipient's unique Army Number, issued circa 1940, is in the block (2809001-2865000) allocated to the Seaforth Highlanders in 1920, and issued sequentially through to end of 1941 - this number being issued sometime in or after September 1939. In 1942 the regimental block army numbers stopped being issued and the new universal Army Numbers of eight digits starting from 14000000- started to be issued.

An outstanding and desirable immediate gallantry award to a Seaforth's Jock of the 51st Highland Division

Condition: Toned about EF

Code: 23519