DE WINTON, Thomas H, MBE, VRD

Display Number:  0407  
Name:  de Winton  Thomas H
Rank:  Lieutenant Commander (Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve) Service Number:  
Date Joined:  ca 1939 Date Discharged:  

At the outbreak of the Second World War Thomas de Winton was an undergraduate at Cambridge University. He immediately volunteered to serve in the Royal Navy, eventually serving in the battleship HMS Resolution as her high angle gunnery officer. He later specialised as a navigation officer, and was a lieutenant when demobilised in 1946. Deciding to join the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, he became a teacher at Durham School, commanding its cadet corps. In 1951 he was created a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) for his services. He was alsoawarded the Volunteer Reserve Decoration (VRD). He emigrated to New Zealand upon his retirement.

 

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Medal Description (Left to Right):  
  • Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire - Was established by King George V in June 1917 for services to the British Empire. In December 1918 the Order was split into two divisions: Civil division for civilian recipients; and a military division for distinguished service in action. The insignia of the award from both divisions is identical, distinguished only by their ribbons. The rose-gray ribbon with narrow pearl grey stripes shows it was awarded from 1936 onward under the military division of the award. 
  • 1939-1945 Star - Recognises service in the Second World War. It was usually awarded for six months service in special operational areas. Those whose service was shortened by death, injury or capture or who were awarded a decoration or mentioned in despatches also qualified for the medal. Those who served a day or more in specified battles or invasions also qualified for this award. The ribbon has three equal vertical stripes of dark blue (symbolising Navy and Merchant Navy), red (symbolising Army) and light blue (representing Air Force).
  • Atlantic Star (France and Germany Clasp) - Awarded to personnel who served an additional 6 months in Home (United Kingdom), Atlantic or North Russian waters after first qualifying for the 1939-45 Star. The ribbon is water silk coloured blue, white and green. These colours symbolise service in the Atlantic Ocean, and in UK and North Russian waters. Those awarded with both the Atlantic Star and the France and Germany Star were awarded the first star they qualified for, with a clasp in respect of the second star. The France and Germany clasp/star is awarded for service in France, Belgium the Netherlands, Germany or adjacent sea areas between 6 June 1944 and 8 May 1945. 
  • Africa Star - Awarded for service in North Africa between 10 June 1940 and 12 May 1943. The ribbon is pale buff in colour with a central vertical red stripe and narrower stripes, one dark blue and one light blue. The pale buff background symbolises the desert, the red stripe symbolises the Army, the dark blue stripe symbolises the Navy and Merchant Navy, while the light blue stripe symbolises the Air Force. New Zealand soldiers who were captured or killed in Greece or Crete in 1941 had qualified for this star before entering Greece. This was because they were based in Egypt on or after 10 June 1940, before being sent to Greece.
  • Italy Star - Awarded for operational service in Italy and adjacent countries between 11 June 1943 and 8 May 1945. The ribbon has 5 equal stripes of green, white and red, the national colours of Italy.
  • War Medal - Awarded across the British Commonwealth to all fulltime members of the Armed Force for 28 days service between 3 September 1939 and 2 September 1945 irrespective of where they were serving. On one side is an effigy of King George VI. On the reverse is a lion trampling on a dragon symbolising the Axis powers. The ribbon is the red, white and blue of the (British) Union Flag.
  • Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve Decoration - Awarded to Naval Volunteer Reserve commissioned officers who have completed 20 years service with service in the ranks counting half and war service counting double.
  • Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (Miniature) - Miniature version of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire award. It was established by King George V in June 1917 for services to the British Empire. In December 1918 the Order was split into two divisions: Civil division for civilian recipients; and a military division for distinguished service in action. The insignia of the award from both divisions is identical, distinguished only by their ribbons. The rose-gray ribbon with narrow pearl grey stripes shows it was awarded from 1936 onward under the military division of the award.