Lieutenant Colonel JH Burgess
John Howard Searles ‘Johnny’ Burgess initially served in the East Surrey Regiment. He was awarded the MBE with Gallantry Oakleaf for service in Aden. He transferred into the Intelligence Corps in 1967.
When the Queen’s Gallantry Medal (QGM) was instituted in 1974, those who held the MBE for gallantry were permitted to exchange that for a QGM, but Johnny preferred to keep the original award. On his later award of the OBE he was permitted to retain and wear the MBE only because of the gallantry Oakleaf as, usually, the award of a higher grade honour sees the removal of the lower grade honour.
Johnny Burgess was described as ‘a man of unflagging energy and charity, truly an officer and a gentleman.’ He left the Army in 1983 having reached the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He died in February 1999.
His medals are, left to right; OBE, MBE with Gallantry Oakleaf, Defence Medal, Korea Medal, UN Korea Medal, General Service Medal (GSM) with Malaya Clasp, UNFICYP Medal, GSM with Clasps for South Arabia and Northern Ireland, and the Sultan of Oman As Samood Medal. These are accompanied by three commemorative medals, for National Service, the Suez Canal campaign and for British Forces in Germany.