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Auction: 24001 - Orders, Decorations and Medals
Lot: 152

A 'Manchester Home Guard' C.B.E. group of seven awarded to Lieutenant-Colonel H. Bardsley, Royal Army Service Corps, late Royal Air Force

The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, Commander's (C.B.E.) neck Badge, Military Division, silver-gilt and enamel; British War Medal 1914-20 (Lieut. H. Bardsley R.A.F.); Victory Medal 1914-1919 (Lieut. H. Bardsley.); 1939-45 Star; Defence and War Medals 1939-45, with M.I.D. oakleaf; Territorial Decoration, with Second Award Bar, the reverse dated '1947', light pitting, overall good very fine (7)

C.B.E. London Gazette 6 February 1956, the original recommendation states:

'Colonel Bardsley served throughout the World Wars of 1914-1918 and 1939-45, and saw a great deal of action with fighting units, as Honorary Colonel 42 (Lancs) Infantry Division Column RASC (TA). He was appointed to command MANCHESTER Garrison "B" Home Guard Sector in tenure of command Colonel Bardsley has given a tremendous amount of time to visits and conferences, directed at stimulating and encouraging Home Guard Recruiting, and his efforts have had the most beneficial results. He has also given much thought and care to the supervision of the expansion plans of his battalions, and no detail has escaped his notice. Colonel Bardsley's background and wide war experience have enabled him to ensure that the training of his battalions has been imaginative and realistic. He has personally directed and supervised a great number of Sector exercises from which his battalions, and also those of other sectors, gained great value. He has always demanded the best of his battalions and consequently ensured that they were kept in a high state of efficiency. Colonel Bardsley has, by his personal example, done a great deal to stimulate and maintain keenness and enthusiasm in all ranks of his Sector. This devotion of so much time and energy to the cause of the Home Guard, despite many other commitments, has been outstanding, and well merits special recognition.'

T.D. London Gazette 23 December 1947.

Henry Bardsley was born at Southport on 25 January 1894 and worked as a warehouseman prior to attesting with the Army Service Corps. Commissioned 2nd Lieutenant on 1 July 1917 he entered the war on 16 January 1917 in France. Transferring to the Royal Air Force he was posted as 2nd Lieutenant (Observer) on 2 November 1918 and promoted Lieutenant on 4 November.

Returning to the Royal Army Service Corps after the war on 11 February 1919, Bardsley was advanced Captain with them on 9 April 1921. Joining the Territorial Army on 27 October 1923 he remained a reservist until the outbreak of the Second World War.

Swiftly mobilised Bardsley proceeded to France with the 42nd Divisional Supply Column, R.A.S.C., as a Major and officer commanding the column. Here they found themselves caught up in the chaos of the German breakthrough and the retreat to Dunkirk. Despite the desperate withdrawal and the near impossibility of maintaining cohesion, Bardsley managed to get the bulk of his unit to the beaches.

While there they continued to supply the troops, making runs to the Guards Brigade, 1st Division, still in action, the same day that the unit embarked for England. For his calm and effective leadership Bardsley was 'mentioned' (London Gazette 20 December 1940, refers), however he was not to see any further overseas service.

After the war Bardsley was appointed O.B.E. on 1 January 1946 and promoted Lieutenant-Colonel on 27 June 1947. He was further advanced Brevet Colonel on 15 February 1949 but soon retired in 1951. Bardsley was appointed Honorary Commander of a Territorial Unit, likely the Manchester Home Guard, in 1954.

He left this final appointment on 25 July 1961; sold together with a large research folder including, service papers, London Gazette extracts, medal rolls and war diary entries.

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