A SUPERB & RARE “DOUBLE IMMEDIATE” (79th Armd Div) MILITARY CROSS (1944) & BAR (1945) M.B.E. (Mily) (1985) (Battle Citations) Capture of Le Havre & of Otterloo. Maj. H.A. WARDE, 42 & 617 ASSAULT Regt & Sqd R.E. (AVRE “CHURCHILL MORTAR TANKS”)

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A SUPERB & RARE “DOUBLE IMMEDIATE” (79th Armd Div)
MILITARY CROSS (1944) & BAR (1945) M.B.E. (Mily) (1985)
(Battle Citations) Capture of Le Havre & of Otterloo. Maj. H.A. WARDE, 42 & 617 ASSAULT Regt & Sqd R.E. (AVRE “CHURCHILL MORTAR TANKS”) A SUPERB & RARE “DOUBLE IMMEDIATE” (79th Armd Div)
MILITARY CROSS (1944) & BAR (1945) M.B.E. (Mily) (1985)
(Battle Citations) Capture of Le Havre & of Otterloo. Maj. H.A. WARDE, 42 & 617 ASSAULT Regt & Sqd R.E. (AVRE “CHURCHILL MORTAR TANKS”) A SUPERB & RARE “DOUBLE IMMEDIATE” (79th Armd Div)
MILITARY CROSS (1944) & BAR (1945) M.B.E. (Mily) (1985)
(Battle Citations) Capture of Le Havre & of Otterloo. Maj. H.A. WARDE, 42 & 617 ASSAULT Regt & Sqd R.E. (AVRE “CHURCHILL MORTAR TANKS”) A SUPERB & RARE “DOUBLE IMMEDIATE” (79th Armd Div)
MILITARY CROSS (1944) & BAR (1945) M.B.E. (Mily) (1985)
(Battle Citations) Capture of Le Havre & of Otterloo. Maj. H.A. WARDE, 42 & 617 ASSAULT Regt & Sqd R.E. (AVRE “CHURCHILL MORTAR TANKS”)

















A SUPERB & RARE “DOUBLE IMMEDIATE” (79th Armoured Div)
MILITARY CROSS (1944) & BAR (1945) with M.B.E. (Mily) (1985)
(Two Battle Citations)
For Capture of Le Havre & Capture of Otterloo.


To:
Major H.A. WARDE, 42 & 617 ASSAULT Regt & Sqd R.E.
“AVRE, CHURCHILL MORTAR TANKS”

[THE MEDALS]
A SUPERB & RARE “DOUBLE IMMEDIATE” (79th Armd Div)
MILITARY CROSS (1944) & BAR (1945) M.B.E. (Mily) (1985)
(Battle Citations) Capture of Le Havre & of Otterloo. Maj. H.A. WARDE, 42 & 617 ASSAULT Regt & Sqd R.E. (AVRE “CHURCHILL MORTAR TANKS”) A SUPERB & RARE “DOUBLE IMMEDIATE” (79th Armd Div)
MILITARY CROSS (1944) & BAR (1945) M.B.E. (Mily) (1985)
(Battle Citations) Capture of Le Havre & of Otterloo. Maj. H.A. WARDE, 42 & 617 ASSAULT Regt & Sqd R.E. (AVRE “CHURCHILL MORTAR TANKS”) M.B.E. (Military) (1985) London Gazette
15th June 1985
MILITARY CROSS (1944) London Gazette
21st Dec 1944 A SUPERB & RARE “DOUBLE IMMEDIATE” (79th Armd Div)
MILITARY CROSS (1944) & BAR (1945) M.B.E. (Mily) (1985)
(Battle Citations) Capture of Le Havre & of Otterloo. Maj. H.A. WARDE, 42 & 617 ASSAULT Regt & Sqd R.E. (AVRE “CHURCHILL MORTAR TANKS”)




Second Award Bar (1945)
London Gazette
11th Oct 1945 A SUPERB & RARE “DOUBLE IMMEDIATE” (79th Armd Div)
MILITARY CROSS (1944) & BAR (1945) M.B.E. (Mily) (1985)
(Battle Citations) Capture of Le Havre & of Otterloo. Maj. H.A. WARDE, 42 & 617 ASSAULT Regt & Sqd R.E. (AVRE “CHURCHILL MORTAR TANKS”)



1939-45 Star
France & Germany Star
Defence Medal
War Medal (1939-45)

*(Group comes complete with miniatures)

A SUPERB & RARE “DOUBLE IMMEDIATE” (79th Armd Div)
MILITARY CROSS (1944) & BAR (1945) M.B.E. (Mily) (1985)
(Battle Citations) Capture of Le Havre & of Otterloo. Maj. H.A. WARDE, 42 & 617 ASSAULT Regt & Sqd R.E. (AVRE “CHURCHILL MORTAR TANKS”) [INTRODUCTION]
“This is one of THE BEST fighting armoured vehicle groups we’ve ever had the privilege to offer. With its TWO SUPERB BATTLE CITATIONS it describes and pretty much defines the nature of the rural, field by field, and street to street close combat fighting which took place on a daily basis in occupied Europe after D-Day.

A SUPERB & RARE “DOUBLE IMMEDIATE” (79th Armd Div)
MILITARY CROSS (1944) & BAR (1945) M.B.E. (Mily) (1985)
(Battle Citations) Capture of Le Havre & of Otterloo. Maj. H.A. WARDE, 42 & 617 ASSAULT Regt & Sqd R.E. (AVRE “CHURCHILL MORTAR TANKS”) A SUPERB & RARE “DOUBLE IMMEDIATE” (79th Armd Div)
MILITARY CROSS (1944) & BAR (1945) M.B.E. (Mily) (1985)
(Battle Citations) Capture of Le Havre & of Otterloo. Maj. H.A. WARDE, 42 & 617 ASSAULT Regt & Sqd R.E. (AVRE “CHURCHILL MORTAR TANKS”) The largely unsung “Churchill AVRE” (Armoured Vehicle, Royal Engineers) units were a vital component in the British invasion force which hit the beaches of Normandy on 6th June 1944.

A SUPERB & RARE “DOUBLE IMMEDIATE” (79th Armd Div)
MILITARY CROSS (1944) & BAR (1945) M.B.E. (Mily) (1985)
(Battle Citations) Capture of Le Havre & of Otterloo. Maj. H.A. WARDE, 42 & 617 ASSAULT Regt & Sqd R.E. (AVRE “CHURCHILL MORTAR TANKS”) Their “AVRE armoured vehicles” were in fact 38 ton Churchill Battle Tanks with modified turrets and special added equipment such as a “dustbin” mortar bomb barrel which fired a 40lb Petard bomb. The Petard mortars could totally demolish enemy Pill Boxes & Bunkers at a range of up to 80 yards. The further addition of a Besa .312 calibre machine gun provided both immediate protection from close infantry attack and longer range assault. The AVRES had a normal crew of four but could accommodate up to six and could travel at 15.5 mph.

These powerful and ultra flexible machines did very MAJOR damage to the German defences and infantry formations in France as will be seen when you read the following original and previously unpublished battle descriptions taken from the papers which come with this magnificent group.

[THE BATTLE CITATIONS]

A SUPERB & RARE “DOUBLE IMMEDIATE” (79th Armd Div)
MILITARY CROSS (1944) & BAR (1945) M.B.E. (Mily) (1985)
(Battle Citations) Capture of Le Havre & of Otterloo. Maj. H.A. WARDE, 42 & 617 ASSAULT Regt & Sqd R.E. (AVRE “CHURCHILL MORTAR TANKS”) MILITARY CROSS (1944)
“An Immediate award”
42 Assault Regiment R.E.
(The Capture of Le Havre, France, September 1944)

“This officer commanded his troop during the Operation starting 10 Sep for the capture of Le Havre with conspicuous gallantry and great initiative. He got through the initial minefield with only one other AVRE besides his own but he immediately headed it full speed for the nearest enemy strongpoint, which was holding up the Infantry. An Anti Tank gun was silenced before it could open fire, as were several machine guns. Immediately after this Capt Warde led his two AVRE and one Crocodile to another enemy post which was silenced by petard fire and flame. On the third and last day of this action Capt Warde with his Troop in conjunction with an Infantry Company carried out a most successful operation round the edge of the plateau on the SE outskirts of Le Havre, which resulted, after liberal use of petard bombs, in the position surrendering. During this Operation the AVRE were up to 200 yds ahead of the Infantry and had no support from other guns or tanks. it was the speed with which this Operation was concluded that enabled other formations to advance into the town.

A SUPERB & RARE “DOUBLE IMMEDIATE” (79th Armd Div)
MILITARY CROSS (1944) & BAR (1945) M.B.E. (Mily) (1985)
(Battle Citations) Capture of Le Havre & of Otterloo. Maj. H.A. WARDE, 42 & 617 ASSAULT Regt & Sqd R.E. (AVRE “CHURCHILL MORTAR TANKS”) A SUPERB & RARE “DOUBLE IMMEDIATE” (79th Armd Div)
MILITARY CROSS (1944) & BAR (1945) M.B.E. (Mily) (1985)
(Battle Citations) Capture of Le Havre & of Otterloo. Maj. H.A. WARDE, 42 & 617 ASSAULT Regt & Sqd R.E. (AVRE “CHURCHILL MORTAR TANKS”) BAR TO MILITARY CROSS (1945)
“An Immediate award”
617 Assault Squadron R.E.
(The Action at Otterloo, Belgium, April 1945)

“On the night 16/17 April 1945, 617 Assault Squadron, Royal Engineers, were harboured about 2 miles East of Otterloo. Considerable enemy activity had been heard during the night and at 06.15 hours 17 April, it was reported that the enemy had attacked Otterloo with a force composed of elements of 4 battalions and had succeeded in penetrating the defences, were fighting in the midst of other units in the village and were working up the road towards 617 Squadron harbour. Captain Warde, with his troop of 6 AVREs, was immediately despatched with orders to stop the enemy and give what help he could in the village. He led his troop toward the village and met the enemy advancing up the road within 800 yards of his unit lines. Without hesitation his troop rushed the enemy force, firing Petard and Besa and killing all Germans in sight. He then continued into the village and along the Apeldoorn road, engaging enemy infantry en-route and relieved the over-run field battery and "B" Company Irish Regiment of Canada, whose position was then very serious. He then made contact with Commanding Officer of the Irish Regiment and in co-operation with them and using the full fire power of the troop they were able to clear the enemy from the village. Before and throughout the operation, Captain Warde had no information about the enemy or the general situation. His coolness and the very prompt action he took on his own initiative, this despite the fact that the AVRE tank has no weapon that can engage enemy tanks, proved a decisive factor in relieving the serious situation that had beset the units in Otterloo. Throughout he displayed outstanding gallantry and led and handled his troop with remarkable skill, dash and efficiency. His own tank was hit three times by shell fire or panzerfaust without serious damage. During this sharp action that lasted approximately one hour, his troop accounted for an estimated total of 75 to 100 Germans killed or wounded, and played an important part in routing the enemy.

A SUPERB & RARE “DOUBLE IMMEDIATE” (79th Armd Div)
MILITARY CROSS (1944) & BAR (1945) M.B.E. (Mily) (1985)
(Battle Citations) Capture of Le Havre & of Otterloo. Maj. H.A. WARDE, 42 & 617 ASSAULT Regt & Sqd R.E. (AVRE “CHURCHILL MORTAR TANKS”) [MAJOR H.A. “HARRY” WARDE]
Harry Warde was born in Ormskirk, Lancashire (near Southport) in His father ( ) also won a Military Cross in the Great War while serving with the Liverpool Regt in France. He joined the Army with a War Commission in 1941 and served with the Royal Engineers until 1959. He won his first MC in the assault on Le Havre in 1944 and a second award bar to his MC in the follow up from the Rhine crossing in 1945. His service after the war included tours at the Royal Military Academy, Staff College at Sandhurst and Ministry of Defence and concluded with his retirement in 1959.

A SUPERB & RARE “DOUBLE IMMEDIATE” (79th Armd Div)
MILITARY CROSS (1944) & BAR (1945) M.B.E. (Mily) (1985)
(Battle Citations) Capture of Le Havre & of Otterloo. Maj. H.A. WARDE, 42 & 617 ASSAULT Regt & Sqd R.E. (AVRE “CHURCHILL MORTAR TANKS”) [DOCUMENT & PHOTOGRAPH LIST]
The group comes with several original photographs and an excellent variety of original documents and correspondence as follows:

Two Originals of the London Gazettes for the MC, (21.13.1944) and the Bar to the MC. (11.10.1945)

Copies of the original Battle Citations for both awards.

Original Buckingham Palace King’s Letter of Congratulation for the MC.

A SUPERB & RARE “DOUBLE IMMEDIATE” (79th Armd Div)
MILITARY CROSS (1944) & BAR (1945) M.B.E. (Mily) (1985)
(Battle Citations) Capture of Le Havre & of Otterloo. Maj. H.A. WARDE, 42 & 617 ASSAULT Regt & Sqd R.E. (AVRE “CHURCHILL MORTAR TANKS”) A SUPERB & RARE “DOUBLE IMMEDIATE” (79th Armd Div)
MILITARY CROSS (1944) & BAR (1945) M.B.E. (Mily) (1985)
(Battle Citations) Capture of Le Havre & of Otterloo. Maj. H.A. WARDE, 42 & 617 ASSAULT Regt & Sqd R.E. (AVRE “CHURCHILL MORTAR TANKS”) The C.O.’s Original Battle Report for the assault and capture of Otterloo.

(A thrilling two page account which was clearly compiled & written up by Major Warde for his boss.)

(CLICK TO ENLARGE FOR READING )




A SUPERB & RARE “DOUBLE IMMEDIATE” (79th Armd Div)
MILITARY CROSS (1944) & BAR (1945) M.B.E. (Mily) (1985)
(Battle Citations) Capture of Le Havre & of Otterloo. Maj. H.A. WARDE, 42 & 617 ASSAULT Regt & Sqd R.E. (AVRE “CHURCHILL MORTAR TANKS”) PHOTO Front view of Capt Warde’s AVRE (with a German helmet on the turret, protecting an aerial.)




PHOTO of Capt Warde’s AVRE’s on the road.
PHOTO of Capt Warde in Military uniform.

A SUPERB & RARE “DOUBLE IMMEDIATE” (79th Armd Div)
MILITARY CROSS (1944) & BAR (1945) M.B.E. (Mily) (1985)
(Battle Citations) Capture of Le Havre & of Otterloo. Maj. H.A. WARDE, 42 & 617 ASSAULT Regt & Sqd R.E. (AVRE “CHURCHILL MORTAR TANKS”) PHOTO (original & unpublished)
Capt Warde
showing General Bernard Montgomery
the front mechanism of a flail tank.





PHOTO of Major Warde in later life wearing his medals at a commemorative event.(colour)
Warrant for his promotion to Lieutenant dated 29.12.1945.

Warrant for the MBE
Copy of the London Gazette showing MBE award
Various original letters of congratulation from several senior army commanders & fellow officers.
Original newspaper cuttings detailing his award of Military Cross & his Second Award Bar.
Letters of congratulation from the Ministry of Defence.
Letter from The Princess Anne at Buckingham Palace congratulating him on the award of the MBE.
Civil Defence Staff College Course Attendance Certificate, dated 23.2.1962.
Huntingdonshire Division Civil Defence Corps Test Certificate dated 7.3.1965.

A SUPERB & RARE “DOUBLE IMMEDIATE” (79th Armd Div)
MILITARY CROSS (1944) & BAR (1945) M.B.E. (Mily) (1985)
(Battle Citations) Capture of Le Havre & of Otterloo. Maj. H.A. WARDE, 42 & 617 ASSAULT Regt & Sqd R.E. (AVRE “CHURCHILL MORTAR TANKS”) Scroll confirming his attendance in Sir Winston Churchill's Funeral Procession as part of the Civil Defence Services Contingent.

A SUPERB & RARE “DOUBLE IMMEDIATE” (79th Armd Div)
MILITARY CROSS (1944) & BAR (1945) M.B.E. (Mily) (1985)
(Battle Citations) Capture of Le Havre & of Otterloo. Maj. H.A. WARDE, 42 & 617 ASSAULT Regt & Sqd R.E. (AVRE “CHURCHILL MORTAR TANKS”) A SUPERB & RARE “DOUBLE IMMEDIATE” (79th Armd Div)
MILITARY CROSS (1944) & BAR (1945) M.B.E. (Mily) (1985)
(Battle Citations) Capture of Le Havre & of Otterloo. Maj. H.A. WARDE, 42 & 617 ASSAULT Regt & Sqd R.E. (AVRE “CHURCHILL MORTAR TANKS”) A SUPERB & RARE “DOUBLE IMMEDIATE” (79th Armd Div)
MILITARY CROSS (1944) & BAR (1945) M.B.E. (Mily) (1985)
(Battle Citations) Capture of Le Havre & of Otterloo. Maj. H.A. WARDE, 42 & 617 ASSAULT Regt & Sqd R.E. (AVRE “CHURCHILL MORTAR TANKS”) A SUPERB & RARE “DOUBLE IMMEDIATE” (79th Armd Div)
MILITARY CROSS (1944) & BAR (1945) M.B.E. (Mily) (1985)
(Battle Citations) Capture of Le Havre & of Otterloo. Maj. H.A. WARDE, 42 & 617 ASSAULT Regt & Sqd R.E. (AVRE “CHURCHILL MORTAR TANKS”) A SUPERB & RARE “DOUBLE IMMEDIATE” (79th Armd Div)
MILITARY CROSS (1944) & BAR (1945) M.B.E. (Mily) (1985)
(Battle Citations) Capture of Le Havre & of Otterloo. Maj. H.A. WARDE, 42 & 617 ASSAULT Regt & Sqd R.E. (AVRE “CHURCHILL MORTAR TANKS”) A SUPERB & RARE “DOUBLE IMMEDIATE” (79th Armd Div)
MILITARY CROSS (1944) & BAR (1945) M.B.E. (Mily) (1985)
(Battle Citations) Capture of Le Havre & of Otterloo. Maj. H.A. WARDE, 42 & 617 ASSAULT Regt & Sqd R.E. (AVRE “CHURCHILL MORTAR TANKS”)


























A RARE & GREATLY DESIRABLE
“DOUBLE GALLANTRY” CLOSE COMBAT “BATTLE CITATION”
A.V.R.E. “CHURCHILL MORTAR TANKS” GROUP OF SEVEN.
*(The Group comes complete with miniatures.)


This group was previously sold eight years ago at auction in London on 26th September 2012 at £4,440.00

Fit For Inclusion in The Finest Collection.

(SOLD)

A SUPERB & RARE “DOUBLE IMMEDIATE” (79th Armd Div)
MILITARY CROSS (1944) & BAR (1945) M.B.E. (Mily) (1985)
(Battle Citations) Capture of Le Havre & of Otterloo. Maj. H.A. WARDE, 42 & 617 ASSAULT Regt & Sqd R.E. (AVRE “CHURCHILL MORTAR TANKS”)

A SUPERB & RARE “DOUBLE IMMEDIATE” (79th Armd Div) MILITARY CROSS (1944) & BAR (1945) M.B.E. (Mily) (1985) (Battle Citations) Capture of Le Havre & of Otterloo. Maj. H.A. WARDE, 42 & 617 ASSAULT Regt & Sqd R.E. (AVRE “CHURCHILL MORTAR TANKS”)
£SOLD

A SUPERB & RARE “DOUBLE IMMEDIATE” (79th Armoured Div) MILITARY CROSS (1944) & BAR (1945) with M.B.E. (Mily) (1985) (Battle Citations) For Capture of Le Havre & Capture of Otterloo To: Major H.A. WARDE, 42 & 617 ASSAULT Regt & Sqd R.E. (AVRE “CHURCHILL MORTAR TANKS”)