A while ago I purchased a single MBE and a certificate for a 1953 coronation medal from an antiques/house clearance shop. The guy said they had come from a house clearance locally and I paid about 50 quid for that and another MBE (female) with a newspaper cutting.
Well they languished in my desk for a few years until I had the time to research them, and from the certificate I got a name and from there i found a citation for the MBE (unusual to say the least.......):
How often did this guys MBE and Coronation medal get overlooked and ignored on parades, thinking it to be just another good duty one..... how wrong could you be........ this MBE was awarded in lieu of a GC in 1940.
Charles Alfred Sleeth, Skipper of the steam trawler WARREN (172 tons) awarded the MBE in the LG 20 Jan 1942 (probably for an action c. 1 Aug 1940) for driving off an enemy air attack.
The trawler was suddenly attacked by an enemy bomber. Fifield, who was already at the gun, was hit by machine-gun fire. Although bleeding profusely, he stayed at his gun, firing steadily. The Skipper meanwhile left the bridge to fetch rockets to warn other ships. By this time the gunner was weak from loss of blood and the Skipper took his place at the Lewis gun. It seems probable that while firing some 300 rounds, Fifield hit the enemy, as part of the fuselage was seen to fall. When at the gun, the Skipper succeeded in piercing the plane's under-carriage during a very close attack in which three more bombs only just missed the trawler, whose steering was damaged. After being hit in this last attack, the bomber flew away. Fifield showed unflinching bravery in standing to his gun when wounded and his rapid, and probably successful, fire shook the attacker. The Skipper set a fine example throughout, and when he in turn took over the gun, his fire undoubtedly drove off the enemy, enabling him to bring his ship safely home.