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Auction: 18002 - Orders, Decorations and Medals
Lot: 504

'There was a large cross-roads in this village at which the Group was supposed to turn right in the direction of Lessines, but, when they were still half a mile from it, anti-tank guns opened fire - the first to do so since the Somme - and the two leading tanks were knocked out.

The first tank to be hit was Major F. J. C. Bowes-Lyon's (No. 2 Squadron), but, although three shells landed on it, it did not start to burn until the third hit, and the gunner, Guardsman Binns, was able to destroy two of the enemy guns before bailing out.

This successful opening invited the belief that the rest of the opposition would disintegrate as soon as fire was brought to bear'

The Grenadier Guards in the War of 1939-45, refers. The tank commander, Major Bowes-Lyon, later Major General Sir F. J. C. Bowes-Lyon, K.C.V.O., C.B., O.B.E., M.C. & Bar, was a first cousin of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother and was awarded a Military Cross as a result.

A fine Second World War North-West Europe tank action M.M. group of four awarded to Guardsman F. Binns, Grenadier Guards, Major Bowes-Lyon's gunner

Military Medal, G.VI.R. (2617007 Gdmn. F. Binns, G. Gds.), in its card box of issue with Buckingham Palace forwarding letter in the name of '2617007 Gdmn. F. Binns, M.M., Grenadier Guards'; 1939-45 Star; France and Germany Star; War Medal 1939-45, extremely fine (4)

M.M. London Gazette 1 March 1945. The original recommendation for an immediate award states:

'Although his tank was three times hit and eventually burst into flames, this gunner continued to fire his gun and, with great coolness and skill, destroyed two enemy anti-tank guns, before eventually evacuating his tank. By his very great courage and determination he succeeded in causing much damage and consternation to the enemy. This encounter took place on 3 September 1944 at Ont-a-Marcq.'

Frank Binns was serving in the 2nd Armoured Guards Brigade at the time of the above deeds. In the summer of 1944, the withdrawing Germans attempted to delay the allied advance by concentrating armour at Pont-a-Marcq. The village was eventually captured by the Grenadiers in September, following a vicious encounter in which 24 guardsmen were killed.

In May 2010, the mayor of Pont-a-Marcq was invited to Buckingham Palace for the presentation of new colours to the Grenadiers.

Binns died in Yorkshire in 1995.

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