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Groups and Single Decorations for Gallantry
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'The psychological reaction to lying beneath the mine at close quarters was distinctly unpleasant. It was obvious that if the clock started to run I could not hope to escape.'(The recipient's personal memoir Saints and Parachutes refers)The superb 1940 'London Blitz' bomb disposal operations G.C. and King's Commendation for Brave Conduct (Bar to G.C. recommendation) group of five awarded to Sub-Lieutenant J. B. P. Duppa-Miller, Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, who was awarded the George Cross for his courage and skill in disarming a highly sensitive and dangerous magnetic mine in Barking Creek on 23 September 1940 during the Battle of Britain:'The mine was almost certainly alive and there would in any case be no possibility of running away, if that proved to be necessary' Shortly afterwards, a parachute mine in a situation of considerably more significance 'which was not only of the greatest importance to render safe, but called for the strongest nerve and a nearly superhuman devotion to duty', was dismantled by Duppa-Miller and for this he was recommended for a Second Award Bar to his G.C. by the First Lord of the Admiralty but, having been informed that 'there could be no such thing as a “Bar” to the Cross' - a decision he thought very reasonable - instead received a King's Commendation for Brave ConductGeorge Cross (Sub-Lieut. John B. P. Miller, R.N.V.R. 14 January, 1941.) an official replacement in its Royal Mint case of issue; Defence and War Medals 1939-45, with King's Commendation for Brave Conduct oak leaf; Coronation 1953, unnamed as issued; Jubilee 1977, unnamed as issued, nearly extremely fine (5) £30,000-£50,000---Note: Duppa-Miller received his official replacement G.C. in January 1963 after the original had been irretrievably lost in Africa.G.C. London Gazette 14 January 1941: 'For great gallantry and undaunted devotion to duty'The original recommendation states: 'Sub-Lieutenant Miller, who in civil life is a County Director of Education, is one of a small band of volunteers selected for the hazardous work of mine disposal. With Able Seaman Tuckwell he has disposed of some ten of these deadly instruments, disarming some and counter-mining others. In one case Sub-Lieutenant Miller, as he could not unscrew the bomb-fuse retaining ring, took the great risk of loosening it by hammering and so removed it. Two mines buried six and ten feet underground were disabled by these two. Both the clocks started to run while they were being dealt with.Their finest feat so far has been the disabling of a mine which had been submerged by three tides in Roding River which runs into Barking Creek. Each time a mine of this kind is submerged its deadliness increases. This mine had been correctly dropped; but at low water, when alone it could be handled, it lay on the mud at an awkward angle. Sub-Lieutenant Miller and Able Seaman Tuckwell worked up the creek on the last of the ebb in a small row-boat, and reached the mine by wading in the filth which one of London's main sewers pours into Roding River. The bomb-fuse and primer holder were taken out there and then; if the clock had started there could have been no chance of escape. They then tried to drag the mine from the mud on to a quay, but the ropes broke. Later, they lifted it by crane and completed its disablement.Sub-Lieutenant Miller also disarmed a mine singlehanded in a dark passage in a London warehouse. Nobody knew where it was or would help him find it. This he did by smell after a difficult search. It was more or less buried but he was able, without unduly disturbing it, to unpack some lead roofing in which it had wrapped itself, and so get clearance to disarm it.'He was in charge of the party which recently disabled 15 mines at Coventry.'King's Commendation for Brave Conduct London Gazette 27 June 1941:'For brave conduct and devotion to duty'The original recommendation (for a Second Award Bar to the George Cross) states: 'Lieutenant Miller is an Officer possessing the highest qualities of courage, coolness and devotion to duty. He was recently awarded the George Cross and since then has dealt with further mines. Among those he undertook was one which was not only of the greatest importance to render safe but called for the strongest nerve and nearly a superhuman devotion to duty.On the night of 8/9th December 1940, a mine fell, practically undamaged, at the side of the permanent way with its tail propped up at about about 40 degrees to the horizontal against a part of the signal box outside London Bridge Station. The importance of this mine, quite apart from its effect on rail communications at the time, lay in the fact that, if it should explode, a viaduct carrying all the lines to Cannon Street, Charing Cross and London Bridge Stations would have been destroyed; also the electrically operated signal box would have been destroyed. The bomb fuze was underneath and there was only just room to get between the mine and the wall of the signal box to reach the fuze. It was too risky to attempt to pull the mine out to make it more accessible, in case of precipitating a disaster, so Lieutenant Miller carefully dug a hole below the fuze big enough to take the safety pressure horn. The pressure horn was then screwed on and the pressure admitted, but the usual click of the hydrostatic valve was not forthcoming. The keep ring of the fuze was started carefully, and it had hardly been moved before a noise was heard like the starting of the fuze clock. After twenty minutes Lieutenant Miller went back to investigate and found that the pressure horn had lost its pressure; this was taken off and found to have been leaking.Two further horns were obtained from the Admiralty; one was tested and then screwed on to the fuze; the click of the valve was again not forthcoming when the pressure was applied; however, Lieutenant Miller decided he had better get on with the job as quickly as possible. The spanner had scarcely been applied to the keep ring when the same noise, as of the clock of the fuze starting, was heard again. Again nothing happened so he returned to the mine again and found the horn had lost its pressure.Lieutenant Miller then considered that the hydrostatic valve of the fuze was leaking and that there was nothing to be done but to try to remove the fuze without safety arrangements and despite the fact that he considered that the clock had already started and stopped twice. He explained this to the station-master, returned to the mine and, utterly regardless of consequences, removed the bomb fuze and rendered the mine safe.On investigation it was found that the bomb fuze itself was leaking, consequently the pressure horn was quite useless as a safety arrangement. The mine was, therefore, in a highly dangerous state throughout the whole operation, including those periods when Lieutenant Miller thought the pressure horn was effective.' John Bryan Peter Duppa-Miller (born Miller) was born in 1903 at Stechford, Birmingham, the son of a city council lawyer. A scholar at both Rugby School and Hertford College, Oxford, his subsequent spell with the Colonial Service in Nigeria was cut short by chronic Malaria and so he embarked on a career in local government education.On the outbreak of the Second World War, Duppa-Miller, an experienced yachtsman, opted to join the R.N.V.R and in August 1940 was sent to H.M.S. King Alfred, the training establishment at Hove. Here he soon learned of the urgent need for mine disposal officers and offered his services: 'I felt for humanitarian reasons that I didn't want to shoot at the enemy. One day there was a call for volunteers to dismantle mines and I got my chance of running risks without endangering other people's lives.' (Saints and Parachutes by John Miller G.C. refers).After 48 hours preliminary instruction in the principles of mine design, Duppa-Miller's party of neophyte recruits was sent to Admiralty for their first assignments:'We politely pointed out that we had really received very little instruction and could hardly consider ourselves qualified to tackle a live mine. The submission was waved aside, with the remark that we need not take things too seriously....Sweeping us into a half-circle he proceeded to deal out his papers, about twenty sheets to each man. I looked quickly at mine and saw that each sheet carried an address, a date and a time. “When you have dealt with those,” said the Captain, “you can come back and let me know.” We exchanged anxious glances.'Leaving Admiralty each had to choose an assistant from a row of sailors outside. 'I had never seen such a villainous-looking set of men in my existence,' Miller recalled. 'As my eye passed along the line of faces every jaw was moving slowly - every man was chewing a quid of tobacco; all except one. As the senior man I was given first choice and I chose the only motionless jaw. It belonged to Able Seaman Tuckwell. It turned out that he was the finest fellow who ever put in 18 years' service with the Royal Navy....I began looking more carefully through my sheaf of addresses. I saw to my delight that my “parish” was the area lying between the Thames and King's Lynn. A heavy proportion of the mines were down in Essex.' (ibid)Super flumina BabylonisHaving already dealt with a dozen mines, on 23 September 1940 Miller and Able Seaman Tuckwell were tasked with disarming a large parachute mine stuck vertically down nose first in the muddy bottom of the River Roding, a little known feeder of Barking Creek. They procured a canoe and, finding the mine seemingly immovable in the glutinous mud, contemplated the risks:'the morning's assignment struck Tuckwell and me as exceedingly dangerous. As the Captain had said, the mine was almost certainly alive and there would in any case be no possibility of running away, if that proved to be necessary.' Tuckwell was ordered to stay at a safe distance but he refused, arguing that as Miller would be working under at least a foot of water he would need Tuckwell to hand down the tools:'In short, if my number was up he would like to be with me. The tide was showing no signs of slackening. There was no time to lose. I smiled and we got to work. I unscrewed the ring which secured the fuse in position. In the ordinary way, once this was off I should have attached a line to the fuse and pulled it out from a safe distance. We exchanged a look, and I grabbed the fuse and and whipped it out with a jerk which flung it away over my shoulder into the water. Nothing happened.After a very brief pause we set about the rest of the work, putting our faith in the non-magnetic tools supplied by H.M.S. Vernon. By the time we had extracted what appeared to be the more important elements the tide had risen above my elbows and we were working below water. It was raining hard but the mud was covered. We got into our canoe and paddled straight across the wharf, and climbed to the top, rather shakily - the ladder was very high, and slimy with seaweed and mud.Along the wharf was a range of enormous cranes. The wharf had been evacuated while we were working on the mine but several of the crane drivers had taken up a position from which they could watch. We explained that we had pulled out one fuse but there were other dangerous elements in the carcase; would anybody risk helping us to drag the mine from the creek and get it up on to the wharf for the final operation? Without hesitancy the whole party volunteered: manning one of the largest cranes, they paid out a length of cable. To the end of the cable we attached a stout rope and with this Tuckwell and I were lowered over the edge of the wharf in the canoe into the water. We pulled the rope over to the mine, made it fast round one end of the carcase, signalled the crane, and the huge cylinder was dragged slowly over the mud to the foot of the wharf. Tuckwell and I, the mine and the canoe all came out of the creek together on the end of the cable, and the final stages of the work were completed, in rain, but nevertheless in comparative comfort.' (ibid)Both Duppa-Miller and Tuckwell were awarded the G.C. for the Barking Creek Mine operation.Electi mei non laborant frustraShortly afterwards Duppa-Miller was confronted with a mine far more dangerously situated and presenting even greater personal risk. To render it safe it he would have to lie on his back in a pool of water on the viaduct outside the London Bridge Station, his face six inches from the fuse. If it began to tick, he had 22 seconds in which to remove himself. Twice the ticking started and twice he ran for his life. Both times it stopped. He returned after a cup of tea for a third attempt, conscious that their Lordships would regard this as a situation in which 'damage could not be accepted' and decided this time he would have to stay under the mine. His luck held: fuse and primer both fell out and rolled away, and normal service was shortly resumed at London Bridge Station.After disarming his fifteenth and last mine in Coventry, Duppa-Miller was recommended for a Second Award Bar to his G.C for the London Bridge mine, but received a King's Commendation instead. In his book Saints and Parachutes, he reveals 'there was a ruling that there could be no such thing as a “Bar” to the Cross' a decision that he himself considered very reasonable - indeed to this day no Second Award Bar has ever been awarded to the George Cross. Duppa-Miller goes on to provide valuable insight into the principles upon which the Admiralty based its recommendations for decorations:'An officer ought to be recommended for the highest decoration if the mine was difficult in two senses; first because there was no means of escape and second because the condition or nature of the mine was peculiarly dangerous, that is, for example, if it was damaged or of a new design. If a mine were merely one or the other, an officer might be recommended for a decoration of a lower class, and if it was just a mine, with no special feature, then it must be regarded as a part of the ordinary day's work.'In 1941 Duppa-Miller was appointed Secretary to the Admiralty's Interdepartmental Committee on Anti-Submarine Weapons - one of their early ventures became the 'Hedgehog' weapon. He remained in this capacity until the war's end and then accepted an appointment as temporary Brigadier to the Allied Control Commission for Germany in charge of disposing of German stocks of underwater weapons.Returning to Africa after the war, firstly Ethiopia, he was appointed Inspector General of Education in Addis Ababa by Emperor Haile Selassie and established the university there. This was followed by ten years with the education department in Kenya, 1947-57, during which period, in 1951, he published Saints and Parachutes describing a combination of wartime mine disposal experiences and his personal religious journey from Anglicanism to Roman Catholicism. The name change from Miller to Duppa-Miller occurred in 1956.Positions followed with the Kenya Coffee Marketing Board 1960-61; Tanganyika Coffee Board, 1961-62; Ministry of Lands and Settlement, Kenya, 1963-65. After this he became unofficial economic advisor to Robert Mugabe in what was then Southern Rhodesia. John Bryan Peter (Jack) Duppa-Miller, G.C. died at Somerset West, South Africa, in 1994.Sold together with a length of George Cross ribbon, contained in the George Cross case of issue together with the a note which reads as follows:'The ribbon in this box is King George VI's own personal sample, submitted to him for approval when he instituted the George Cross.My sailor George Tuckwell and I were two of the first recipient's of the Cross. When you went to the Palace to receive a decoration, you were supposed in those days anyhow, to put the ribbon up on your tunic in advance for some reason.As this decoration had only just been instituted, the ribbon was unobtainable, even at Gieves, the naval outfitters.When the King heard this he gave me his own sample, told me to cut off what was needed for the others, and keep the rest as a memento for myself.The George Cross ribbon, like the Victoria Cross ribbon, normally carries a miniature of the Cross (in this case silver, not bronze) in the centre. At this early stage, no miniatures had been made so for some considerable time we wore the plain blue ribbon alone. And this is why there is no miniature on the King's sample. John Miller GC. Note made 13 July 1973.'------For more information, additional images and to bid on this lot please go to the auctioneers website, www.dnw.co.uk
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Groups and Single Decorations for Gallantry

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0208: Groups and Single Decorations for Gallantry

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Lot 0208 Details

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...
'The psychological reaction to lying beneath the mine at close quarters was distinctly unpleasant. It was obvious that if the clock started to run I could not hope to escape.'(The recipient's personal memoir Saints and Parachutes refers)The superb 1940 'London Blitz' bomb disposal operations G.C. and King's Commendation for Brave Conduct (Bar to G.C. recommendation) group of five awarded to Sub-Lieutenant J. B. P. Duppa-Miller, Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, who was awarded the George Cross for his courage and skill in disarming a highly sensitive and dangerous magnetic mine in Barking Creek on 23 September 1940 during the Battle of Britain:'The mine was almost certainly alive and there would in any case be no possibility of running away, if that proved to be necessary' Shortly afterwards, a parachute mine in a situation of considerably more significance 'which was not only of the greatest importance to render safe, but called for the strongest nerve and a nearly superhuman devotion to duty', was dismantled by Duppa-Miller and for this he was recommended for a Second Award Bar to his G.C. by the First Lord of the Admiralty but, having been informed that 'there could be no such thing as a “Bar” to the Cross' - a decision he thought very reasonable - instead received a King's Commendation for Brave ConductGeorge Cross (Sub-Lieut. John B. P. Miller, R.N.V.R. 14 January, 1941.) an official replacement in its Royal Mint case of issue; Defence and War Medals 1939-45, with King's Commendation for Brave Conduct oak leaf; Coronation 1953, unnamed as issued; Jubilee 1977, unnamed as issued, nearly extremely fine (5) £30,000-£50,000---Note: Duppa-Miller received his official replacement G.C. in January 1963 after the original had been irretrievably lost in Africa.G.C. London Gazette 14 January 1941: 'For great gallantry and undaunted devotion to duty'The original recommendation states: 'Sub-Lieutenant Miller, who in civil life is a County Director of Education, is one of a small band of volunteers selected for the hazardous work of mine disposal. With Able Seaman Tuckwell he has disposed of some ten of these deadly instruments, disarming some and counter-mining others. In one case Sub-Lieutenant Miller, as he could not unscrew the bomb-fuse retaining ring, took the great risk of loosening it by hammering and so removed it. Two mines buried six and ten feet underground were disabled by these two. Both the clocks started to run while they were being dealt with.Their finest feat so far has been the disabling of a mine which had been submerged by three tides in Roding River which runs into Barking Creek. Each time a mine of this kind is submerged its deadliness increases. This mine had been correctly dropped; but at low water, when alone it could be handled, it lay on the mud at an awkward angle. Sub-Lieutenant Miller and Able Seaman Tuckwell worked up the creek on the last of the ebb in a small row-boat, and reached the mine by wading in the filth which one of London's main sewers pours into Roding River. The bomb-fuse and primer holder were taken out there and then; if the clock had started there could have been no chance of escape. They then tried to drag the mine from the mud on to a quay, but the ropes broke. Later, they lifted it by crane and completed its disablement.Sub-Lieutenant Miller also disarmed a mine singlehanded in a dark passage in a London warehouse. Nobody knew where it was or would help him find it. This he did by smell after a difficult search. It was more or less buried but he was able, without unduly disturbing it, to unpack some lead roofing in which it had wrapped itself, and so get clearance to disarm it.'He was in charge of the party which recently disabled 15 mines at Coventry.'King's Commendation for Brave Conduct London Gazette 27 June 1941:'For brave conduct and devotion to duty'The original recommendation (for a Second Award Bar to the George Cross) states: 'Lieutenant Miller is an Officer possessing the highest qualities of courage, coolness and devotion to duty. He was recently awarded the George Cross and since then has dealt with further mines. Among those he undertook was one which was not only of the greatest importance to render safe but called for the strongest nerve and nearly a superhuman devotion to duty.On the night of 8/9th December 1940, a mine fell, practically undamaged, at the side of the permanent way with its tail propped up at about about 40 degrees to the horizontal against a part of the signal box outside London Bridge Station. The importance of this mine, quite apart from its effect on rail communications at the time, lay in the fact that, if it should explode, a viaduct carrying all the lines to Cannon Street, Charing Cross and London Bridge Stations would have been destroyed; also the electrically operated signal box would have been destroyed. The bomb fuze was underneath and there was only just room to get between the mine and the wall of the signal box to reach the fuze. It was too risky to attempt to pull the mine out to make it more accessible, in case of precipitating a disaster, so Lieutenant Miller carefully dug a hole below the fuze big enough to take the safety pressure horn. The pressure horn was then screwed on and the pressure admitted, but the usual click of the hydrostatic valve was not forthcoming. The keep ring of the fuze was started carefully, and it had hardly been moved before a noise was heard like the starting of the fuze clock. After twenty minutes Lieutenant Miller went back to investigate and found that the pressure horn had lost its pressure; this was taken off and found to have been leaking.Two further horns were obtained from the Admiralty; one was tested and then screwed on to the fuze; the click of the valve was again not forthcoming when the pressure was applied; however, Lieutenant Miller decided he had better get on with the job as quickly as possible. The spanner had scarcely been applied to the keep ring when the same noise, as of the clock of the fuze starting, was heard again. Again nothing happened so he returned to the mine again and found the horn had lost its pressure.Lieutenant Miller then considered that the hydrostatic valve of the fuze was leaking and that there was nothing to be done but to try to remove the fuze without safety arrangements and despite the fact that he considered that the clock had already started and stopped twice. He explained this to the station-master, returned to the mine and, utterly regardless of consequences, removed the bomb fuze and rendered the mine safe.On investigation it was found that the bomb fuze itself was leaking, consequently the pressure horn was quite useless as a safety arrangement. The mine was, therefore, in a highly dangerous state throughout the whole operation, including those periods when Lieutenant Miller thought the pressure horn was effective.' John Bryan Peter Duppa-Miller (born Miller) was born in 1903 at Stechford, Birmingham, the son of a city council lawyer. A scholar at both Rugby School and Hertford College, Oxford, his subsequent spell with the Colonial Service in Nigeria was cut short by chronic Malaria and so he embarked on a career in local government education.On the outbreak of the Second World War, Duppa-Miller, an experienced yachtsman, opted to join the R.N.V.R and in August 1940 was sent to H.M.S. King Alfred, the training establishment at Hove. Here he soon learned of the urgent need for mine disposal officers and offered his services: 'I felt for humanitarian reasons that I didn't want to shoot at the enemy. One day there was a call for volunteers to dismantle mines and I got my chance of running risks without endangering other people's lives.' (Saints and Parachutes by John Miller G.C. refers).After 48 hours preliminary instruction in the principles of mine design, Duppa-Miller's party of neophyte recruits was sent to Admiralty for their first assignments:'We politely pointed out that we had really received very little instruction and could hardly consider ourselves qualified to tackle a live mine. The submission was waved aside, with the remark that we need not take things too seriously....Sweeping us into a half-circle he proceeded to deal out his papers, about twenty sheets to each man. I looked quickly at mine and saw that each sheet carried an address, a date and a time. “When you have dealt with those,” said the Captain, “you can come back and let me know.” We exchanged anxious glances.'Leaving Admiralty each had to choose an assistant from a row of sailors outside. 'I had never seen such a villainous-looking set of men in my existence,' Miller recalled. 'As my eye passed along the line of faces every jaw was moving slowly - every man was chewing a quid of tobacco; all except one. As the senior man I was given first choice and I chose the only motionless jaw. It belonged to Able Seaman Tuckwell. It turned out that he was the finest fellow who ever put in 18 years' service with the Royal Navy....I began looking more carefully through my sheaf of addresses. I saw to my delight that my “parish” was the area lying between the Thames and King's Lynn. A heavy proportion of the mines were down in Essex.' (ibid)Super flumina BabylonisHaving already dealt with a dozen mines, on 23 September 1940 Miller and Able Seaman Tuckwell were tasked with disarming a large parachute mine stuck vertically down nose first in the muddy bottom of the River Roding, a little known feeder of Barking Creek. They procured a canoe and, finding the mine seemingly immovable in the glutinous mud, contemplated the risks:'the morning's assignment struck Tuckwell and me as exceedingly dangerous. As the Captain had said, the mine was almost certainly alive and there would in any case be no possibility of running away, if that proved to be necessary.' Tuckwell was ordered to stay at a safe distance but he refused, arguing that as Miller would be working under at least a foot of water he would need Tuckwell to hand down the tools:'In short, if my number was up he would like to be with me. The tide was showing no signs of slackening. There was no time to lose. I smiled and we got to work. I unscrewed the ring which secured the fuse in position. In the ordinary way, once this was off I should have attached a line to the fuse and pulled it out from a safe distance. We exchanged a look, and I grabbed the fuse and and whipped it out with a jerk which flung it away over my shoulder into the water. Nothing happened.After a very brief pause we set about the rest of the work, putting our faith in the non-magnetic tools supplied by H.M.S. Vernon. By the time we had extracted what appeared to be the more important elements the tide had risen above my elbows and we were working below water. It was raining hard but the mud was covered. We got into our canoe and paddled straight across the wharf, and climbed to the top, rather shakily - the ladder was very high, and slimy with seaweed and mud.Along the wharf was a range of enormous cranes. The wharf had been evacuated while we were working on the mine but several of the crane drivers had taken up a position from which they could watch. We explained that we had pulled out one fuse but there were other dangerous elements in the carcase; would anybody risk helping us to drag the mine from the creek and get it up on to the wharf for the final operation? Without hesitancy the whole party volunteered: manning one of the largest cranes, they paid out a length of cable. To the end of the cable we attached a stout rope and with this Tuckwell and I were lowered over the edge of the wharf in the canoe into the water. We pulled the rope over to the mine, made it fast round one end of the carcase, signalled the crane, and the huge cylinder was dragged slowly over the mud to the foot of the wharf. Tuckwell and I, the mine and the canoe all came out of the creek together on the end of the cable, and the final stages of the work were completed, in rain, but nevertheless in comparative comfort.' (ibid)Both Duppa-Miller and Tuckwell were awarded the G.C. for the Barking Creek Mine operation.Electi mei non laborant frustraShortly afterwards Duppa-Miller was confronted with a mine far more dangerously situated and presenting even greater personal risk. To render it safe it he would have to lie on his back in a pool of water on the viaduct outside the London Bridge Station, his face six inches from the fuse. If it began to tick, he had 22 seconds in which to remove himself. Twice the ticking started and twice he ran for his life. Both times it stopped. He returned after a cup of tea for a third attempt, conscious that their Lordships would regard this as a situation in which 'damage could not be accepted' and decided this time he would have to stay under the mine. His luck held: fuse and primer both fell out and rolled away, and normal service was shortly resumed at London Bridge Station.After disarming his fifteenth and last mine in Coventry, Duppa-Miller was recommended for a Second Award Bar to his G.C for the London Bridge mine, but received a King's Commendation instead. In his book Saints and Parachutes, he reveals 'there was a ruling that there could be no such thing as a “Bar” to the Cross' a decision that he himself considered very reasonable - indeed to this day no Second Award Bar has ever been awarded to the George Cross. Duppa-Miller goes on to provide valuable insight into the principles upon which the Admiralty based its recommendations for decorations:'An officer ought to be recommended for the highest decoration if the mine was difficult in two senses; first because there was no means of escape and second because the condition or nature of the mine was peculiarly dangerous, that is, for example, if it was damaged or of a new design. If a mine were merely one or the other, an officer might be recommended for a decoration of a lower class, and if it was just a mine, with no special feature, then it must be regarded as a part of the ordinary day's work.'In 1941 Duppa-Miller was appointed Secretary to the Admiralty's Interdepartmental Committee on Anti-Submarine Weapons - one of their early ventures became the 'Hedgehog' weapon. He remained in this capacity until the war's end and then accepted an appointment as temporary Brigadier to the Allied Control Commission for Germany in charge of disposing of German stocks of underwater weapons.Returning to Africa after the war, firstly Ethiopia, he was appointed Inspector General of Education in Addis Ababa by Emperor Haile Selassie and established the university there. This was followed by ten years with the education department in Kenya, 1947-57, during which period, in 1951, he published Saints and Parachutes describing a combination of wartime mine disposal experiences and his personal religious journey from Anglicanism to Roman Catholicism. The name change from Miller to Duppa-Miller occurred in 1956.Positions followed with the Kenya Coffee Marketing Board 1960-61; Tanganyika Coffee Board, 1961-62; Ministry of Lands and Settlement, Kenya, 1963-65. After this he became unofficial economic advisor to Robert Mugabe in what was then Southern Rhodesia. John Bryan Peter (Jack) Duppa-Miller, G.C. died at Somerset West, South Africa, in 1994.Sold together with a length of George Cross ribbon, contained in the George Cross case of issue together with the a note which reads as follows:'The ribbon in this box is King George VI's own personal sample, submitted to him for approval when he instituted the George Cross.My sailor George Tuckwell and I were two of the first recipient's of the Cross. When you went to the Palace to receive a decoration, you were supposed in those days anyhow, to put the ribbon up on your tunic in advance for some reason.As this decoration had only just been instituted, the ribbon was unobtainable, even at Gieves, the naval outfitters.When the King heard this he gave me his own sample, told me to cut off what was needed for the others, and keep the rest as a memento for myself.The George Cross ribbon, like the Victoria Cross ribbon, normally carries a miniature of the Cross (in this case silver, not bronze) in the centre. At this early stage, no miniatures had been made so for some considerable time we wore the plain blue ribbon alone. And this is why there is no miniature on the King's sample. John Miller GC. Note made 13 July 1973.'------For more information, additional images and to bid on this lot please go to the auctioneers website, www.dnw.co.uk

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