BEM. British Empire Medal WWII grouping. Wild. Merchant Navy. Harwich.

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BEM correctly named Claude Hubert Wild

WWII medals unnamed as issued  as is 1953 Coronation Medal.

Claude Hubert Wild was born in October 1903 to Herbert John and Miriam Georgina Wild in Harwich, Essex.

His father, an ex Royal Engineer worked as a quay labourer after WWI.

In 1911, we find the family living at 2 Canning Street, Harwich, St Nicholas, Essex.

In 1921, the family has now moved to 2 Myrtle Terrace, Canningham. It is noted that Hubert is an Able Seaman with GER, Great Eastern Railways. His father is also an employee of GER on the quayside as a labourer.

Hubert married Edith Maud Elizabeth Beech in 1928 and by now, Hubert is a Steward aboard SS Bruges. Their address is given as 47, Pembroke Road, Erith, London.

SS Bruges:

The ship was built by John Brown of Clydebank for the Great Eastern Railway as one of a contract for two new steamers and launched on 20 March 1920. She was launched by Lady Thornton


She was placed on the Harwich to Antwerp route.

In 1923 she was acquired by the London and North Eastern Railway.

She was requisitioned during the World War II as a troopship. She took part in Operation Cycle (the evacuation of Allied troops from Le Havre) and bombed and damaged on 11 June 1940 at Le Havre by Luftwaffe aircraft. She was beached to prevent her from sinking. We can’t say for sure if Claude was aboard at the time.

In 1932, we see Hubert and Edith have moved to 82 West Street, Erith.

Documents tell us that Claude served aboard SS Corsea, a ship used to deliver coal in home waters during WWII.

SS Corsea:

SS Corsea, a laden 2,674 GRT William Cory & Son collier in convoy FS 32 on 11 November 1940, was damaged by a Junkers Ju 87 Stuka bomber. There were no casualties, and the ship reached the Thames safely. Two other colliers in the same convoy (SS Colonel Crompton and SS Corduff) were bombed by the same Luftwaffe group at the same time.

Records show us that Claude was aboard the Corsea in early 1944 and re-engaged service aboard mid 1944.He was still aboard her when awarded his BEM.

Claude was awarded the Queens Coronation Medal in 1953 and later the British Empire Medal as Chief Steward aboard the Corsea in the Birthday Honours 1966.

Claude died in Sunderland, 1992.

The lot includes Claude’s cased BEM, 4 WWII medals, 39-45 Star, Atlantic Star, Defence and War Medal along with the Coronation Medal. Also included is the official 10 Downing Street letter confirming the award of the BEM as well as a cigarette card of the Corsea.

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