Time for Reconition
It is time for those who served in Operation Crown and Post Crown to be recognised.
The Australian and New Zealand Sappers that served in Op-crown qualified for a clasp to their Australian and New Zealand Service Medals, which was sanctioned with the Sovereign's permission. Although they were deployed there with and at the same time and doing the same job as the British service men, it did not stop the then Labour PM Mr Wilson from giving a categorical "NO" for a similar award to be issued to the British contingent at "Crown".
This injustice ha prompted extensive enquiries at high UK Military & Government level by the Operation Crown Association. It has now been firmly established that there will be no UK recognition of Op-Crown & Post-Crown efforts, as a consequence of Sir John Holmes Military Medal Review 2012 and subsequent Government rulings in 2014. In essence, no further historic claims will be reviewed unless there is significant new evidence. The principal reasons being cost and the requirements for sufficient levels of danger and difficult conditions, dubbed ‘Risk & Vigour’.
Following on from the UK's refusal to sanction an award, a letter and justification to the Prime Minister of Thailand for a Thai Govt Medal, using the Malaysian Pingat Jasa as an example, also failed even though it was progressed through the system with the help of the British Defence Attaché in Bangkok.
All due thanks must go to Mike Stanbridge for his persistant vigour in pursuing an official award reconition for All Op-Crown personnel.
As a consequence of the latest rejection for an official award, the Operation Crown Association is commissioning the production of it's own commemorative medal based on the design produced by myself... Roger Andrews. The ‘tooling & casting’ cost will be covered from association funds with OCA members being able to purchase their own medal at cost price plus P&P. Associate & Non-OCA members would be able to purchase the medal at a higher price so that the Association could recover part of the ‘tooling & casting’ costs
The medal to be worn with pride, not alongside campaign medals, gallantry decorations but separately and distinctively.
The medal to be available to all those who served on Operation Crown or Post Crown, their next of kin or direct descendants.
The commemorative medal as designed by me is depicted and described below.
Operation Crown Commemorative Medal Description
Medal is being struck in Polished Nickel Silver.
Full size medal: 36mm in diameter and 3mm thick as per standard UK issued medals.
Miniature medal: Mirroring the full size medal but 18mm in diameture as per standard
UK issued miniature medals.
The Obverse (face) of Medal
With the words "OPERATION CROWN" embossed and arched around the top of
the medal and "THAILAND" embossed and arched around the bottom of the medal.
A Stylised depiction of “Thai Great Crown of Victory" embossed and centred on the medal.
“1963” embossed and centred to the left of the “Crown”.
“1968” embossed and centred to the right of the “Crown”.
All lettering in capitals
The Reverse (rear) of Medal
Laurel/Oak leaf wreath embossed around edge, with the words
in support of
SEATO and SLAT
embossed in both upper and lower case lettering balanced and centred on medal.
1. "SEATO" South East Asia Treaty Organization
2. "SLAT" Special Logistics Action for Thailand
The Medal Ribbon
Based on the Thai flag colours Red-White-Blue-White-Red striped,
in ratio proportions of 1:1:2:1:1.
The medal will be available as:
1. A single full sized medal in a presentation box.
2. A full size and miniature along with a ribbon bar in a presentation box.
Name, Rank, number, and Unit i.e. RE, REME etc' will be engraved on edge of medal.
On the subject of commemorative medals, the following paragraph from the medal producer is ‘food for thought’ if you are faced with any confrontation on the matter. It reads as follows:
"We live in a world steeped in military history with barely a day going by, in modern times, without conflict and the recognition of achievements, sacrifices and involvement of many people. This proves to be an ever-increasing sensitive undertaking.
Commemorative Medals often work in conjunction with groups and associations to pay tribute to acts, battles, conflicts and service that are unrecognised by official rewards for political, confidential or economic reasons. The instituting of such medals has always caused debate and discussion, which is both acceptable and important in a democratic society.
It is however important to remember that whilst such issues may upset the few, a large number of deserving personnel take a great deal of satisfaction in being able to immortalise their contribution to specific events, be they commemorative or otherwise".
What are the RBL general rules for wearing medals?
The following extract from Royal British Legion Ceremonial Handbook states:
'The official rules for wearing medals allow only official awards to be worn. Unofficial purchased medals and foreign medals which do not have the Sovereign's permission to be worn are not allowed. Standard Bearers, Parade Marshals and other officials on Legion duty are bound by this ruling and unofficial medals must not be worn when on Legion duty.'
The Legion has no jurisdiction to issue any guidance on medal wearing at non-Legion events.