WWII LSGC group. Sedgewick. Royal Marines & Royal Fleet Reserve. Oldham/Padstow, Cornwall.



Availability: 1 in stock

WWII medals unnamed as issued.

Royal Fleet Reserve Medal correctly named CH(24636 (B3526) W Sedgewick MNE RFR

William Sedgewick was born in 1907 to William and Clara in Oldham, Lancashire. He worked as a piecer in a cotton mill prior to enlistment.

He enlisted into the Royal Marines in July 1925 and served with them until 1942 when he transferred to the Royal Fleet Reserve to complete his 22 year service. Its where he qualified for his LSGC.

During WWII, he was based at HMS President III. HMS President III was an administrative unit for the Defensive Equipped Merchant Ships (DEMS). It was located at Dedworth Manor in Windsor between 1940 and 1945.

Following the valuable lessons of Defensively Armed Merchant Ships (DAMS) in the First World War, in 1919 the Cabinet approved an Admiralty and Board of Trade policy for the strengthening of merchant vessels during construction, in order to allow the rapid fitting of armaments when necessary. However, later that year the obligation to do this was withdrawn due to opposition from ship­owners on cost grounds. Between 1922 and 1937 only two vessels had been ‘stiffened’ to prepare for the fitting of guns. Old naval guns had been stored since 1918 in ports for possible use. In the Second World War the objective was to equip each ship with a low-angle gun mounted aft as defence against surfaced submarines and a high-angle gun and rifle-calibre machine guns for defence against air attack. 3,400 ships had been armed by the end of 1940; and all ships were armed by 1943.

Untrained gunners posed significant risk to friendly aircraft in the absence of efficient communications. DEMS guns were manned by 24,000 Royal Navy personnel and Royal Marines and 14,000 men of the Royal Artillery Maritime Regiment. 150,000 merchant sailors were trained to assist by passing ammunition, loading and replacing casualties. Initially, Royal Artillery personnel provided anti-aircraft protection by bringing their own machine-guns aboard ships operating close to the British Isles.

DEMS gunners were often retired military personnel and young Hostilities Only ratings, commanded by a petty officer or Royal Marine sergeant. Large ships sometimes embarked a junior naval officer to command the DEMS gunners. All members of the armed forces that served on board a DEMS ship were required to sign on as members of the crew, i.e. as merchant seamen and were therefore under the authority of the ship’s master. As merchant seamen, military personnel could visit neutral countries without being interned.

As they served in home waters, this qualified them for the Atlantic Star with France & Germany clasp.

William was to marry Edna May Fuller in 1944 and we see his address as 7 New Street, Padstow, Cornwall.

William died in Truro, Cornwall in 1987.

All medals have original silk ribbons and are mounted to a card bar for display.

WWII LSGC group. Sedgewick. Royal Marines & Royal Fleet Reserve. Oldham/Padstow, Cornwall.

Availability: 1 in stock

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