medal code j1880

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A WW1 AUSTRALIAN ENGINEERS 1917 ‘ZONNEBEKE OPERATIONS’ M.M. TO AN NCO WHO WAS LATER COMMISSIONED. WOUNDED DURING HIS MM ACTION AND GASSED IN 1918

MILITARY MEDAL, G.V.R. ‘2893 SAPR. G. S. MACKINNON. 7/F. COY. AUST: E.’

M.M. London Gazette 17 December 1917. The original recommendation states:
‘During operations near Zonnebeke east of Ypres on 4th October 1917, Sapper Mackinnon was one of several sappers assisting to lay tapes to mark a communication to the front line immediately following the attack. Throughout this work, in face of exceedingly heavy shell fire, and between the crest and front line, exposed to raking machine gun fire, Sapper Mackinnon acted splendidly, running out tapes coolly and deliberately. While thus engaged Sapper Mackinnon was struck in the face with two small shell splinters, but nevertheless continued to render invaluable assistance toward the successful completion of the marking out right up to the front line. In course of recent operations, Sapper Mackinnon has constantly shown gallantry, determination and initiative in carrying out work under difficult conditions.’

George Sinclair Mackinnon, a 28 year old mining engineer from Edinburgh, enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force on 21st June 1916 at Victoria Barracks Sydney. Initially posted to the 1st Pioneer Australian Battalion, he embarked for Europe to join the BEF in October 1916. Whilst in France, on 7th July 1917, he transferred to 7th Field Company, Australian Engineers and would serve with the Battalion for the duration of the War.

Mackinnon was awarded the M.M. for his gallantry in operations near Zonnebeke, Ypres, 4 October 1917. On the latter date he was also wounded in the face, though is noted as remaining on duty. Mackinnon advanced to Lance-Corporal in December 1917. On 21st February 1918 he was detached to 28 Battalion, rejoining the pioneers on 5th March.

Mackinnon was gassed on 23rd May 1918 and was evacuated to England where over the next two months he was treated for the effects. However in August he was sent back to his unit in France and in September was promoted Temporary Corporal and then 2nd Corporal on 14th September. Soon after Mackinnon was selected to attend the Engineers Cadet Course in England and was commissioned Second Lieutenant in January 1919, and sent back to France. Mackinnon was finally advanced to Lieutenant, 5th Field Company, Australian Engineers in April of the same year and returned to Australia on15th May 1919.

Condition VF, some contact marks. Sold with a copy photo of the recipient in uniform wearing his MM. Also service record and War Diaries for the 7th Field Company, July 1917 – November 1918 are included on CD.

Code J2284        Price £785