Honours and Awards
Our Honours and Awards display opens with the Waterloo Medal awarded to Lieutenant Colquhoun Grant, Wellington's Chief of Intelligence at the battle. The collection spans the decades since that moment in history and features awards to 'intelligencers' from across the armed services during the African wars of the late 1800s, the two World Wars and on to modern times.
The interactive display concentrates on the Intelligence Corps since its formation in July 1940.
During World War II members of the Corps served in a wide range of different countries and theatres of war; Ethiopia, Sweden Jordan and Czechoslovakia being only some examples and were decorated by the governments of those countries.
We even have the Soviet Order of the Red Banner of Labour! In total 360 awards of 47 different decorations representing 20 different countries have been made to members of the Corps.
For obvious security reasons many of the citations relating to the awards for those more recent operations, especially those connected to special duties or counter terrorism, have not been made public and this is likely to remain the case for some considerable time.
However, in many cases where no official citations are available we have been able to unearth some details of the background to the award. Paradoxically, in some cases where the citation is still protectively marked the full details of the award have been published elsewhere.
One area where sensitivity is likely to remain for some considerable time is that of Northern Ireland. In total there were over 400 awards made to members of the Corps for service in Northern Ireland, including; 1 George Medal and 29 Queens Gallantry Medals, the latter being the highest total made to any regiment or corps in the British Army in Ulster.
Much of the research for the original database was conducted by Mr Fred Judge, a well-known retired member of the Intelligence Corps and a former Intelligence Corps Association Regional Secretary and Trustee of the Museum. While gathering the information he did not have the benefit of any one centralised information source, being forced to search through endless publications and databases, including many internet sources.
Visitors can also search by name of recipient and this will show all decorations to that individual together with the dates of the award and the war/campaign/theatre for which it was awarded; the citation, where it is known and can be told, is also included. As representative examples of the actions for which certain decorations were awarded, the stories of several individual recipients of each British decoration have been told, together with some examples of foreign awards; these detailed narratives also include photographs of the individual or those relative to the context of the incident.
For such a small Corps, at any time in its history, the database of awards contains some interesting statistics. As a small snapshot, at the time of writing (2008), since its formation in 1940 the Intelligence Corps has been awarded 896 Mentions in Despatches; 229 Commendations of various types; 127 OBEs; 397 MBEs; 120 BEMs; 22 DSOs; 16 CBEs - and 2 awards of the very rare Burmese Gallantry Medal (BGM), made to native members of the Burma Intelligence Corps. There have been many more since.
Also, as mentioned earlier, our awards of the Queen's Gallantry Medal in Northern Ireland far outstrip any other regiment or Corps in the British Army.
Our foreign awards include the French Legion d'Honneur, the Tunisian Order of Nichan Iftkhar, the Czechoslovakian Order of the White Lion, the Greek Royal Order of the Phoenix and, from Luxemburg, the Order of Adolphe of Nassau. Other foreign awards include the Italian Military Cross and the Omani Distinguished Service Medal plus many, many others.