Previous Lot Next Lot

Auction: 24001 - Orders, Decorations and Medals
Lot: 292

The remarkable 1970 Special Forces M.B.E. group of four awarded to Captain R. G. Ball, 22 Special Air Service, late Rifle Brigade and Parachute Regiment

Over a career in the Special Forces that spanned over two decades, Ball had the remarkable record of having served at every rank from Trooper to Captain, serving on operations in four theatres and earning a brace of 'mentions' along the way

The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, Military Division, Member's (M.B.E.) breast Badge, silver; General Service 1918-62, Palestine 1945-48, Malaya, Arabian Peninsula, with M.I.D. oak leaf (21023228 Rfn. R. G. Ball. K.R.R.C.), minor official correction to unit, private rivets between clasps; General Service 1962-2007, 2 clasps, Borneo, South Arabia, with M.I.D. oak leaves (21023228 W.O.Cl.2. R. G. Ball. SAS.); Army L.S. & G.C., E.II.R., Regular Army (Lt. R. G. Ball. Gen. List.), mounted court-style as worn, good very fine (4)

M.B.E. London Gazette 1 January 1970. The original recommendation - from Lieutenant-Colonel The Hon. Slim, CO Special Air Service - states:

'Place : Malaya/Oman/ Borneo/South Arabia

Date of Action : 1954-1969


Captain Ball joined the SAS, from the Green Jackets in 1954 and has served continuously with them since that date.

He has had an outstanding career within the SAS, holding every rank from Trooper through to RSM and since 1968, commissioned rank.

Whilst in the junior ranks of the SAS Captain Ball proved himself an outstanding leader in jungle and jebel operations. Here he showed well above average expertise and had numerous successful contacts with the enemy. His leadership and personal courage were of the highest order and well above that normally accepted for his rank, when considered in terms of independent SAS operations of long duration and isolation. On assuming more senior NCO and Warrant Officer rank Captain Bell was, in Borneo and South Arabia, assigned to lead a number of small independent missions in enemy controlled territory. He carried out those tasks, often in conjunction with other Agencies, in an exemplary manner which was highly remarked upon by local military and political staffs. He was also largely instrumental, as SSM, in organising and training a new squadron when it was established to meet increased SAS operational commitments in the Middle and Far Easts. His example, quiet confidence and powers of leadership on active service during crisis ensured that this young squadron did not falter in battle.

In 1966 as RSM of 21 SAS Captain Ball showed exemplary powers of command capacity in a completely different and new environment to that of day to day operations and overseas service. Since commissioning Captain Ball (whose SSC commission will shortly terminate) has been responsible for the Selection of all officer and soldier SAS volunteers, He has not faltered in this task showing a wide understanding of human nature and his operational and world wide experience has enhanced this most vital of SAS appointments.

Captain Ball has already been Mentioned twice in Despatches for particular operations, though recommended at the time for a higher award. By normal Army standards his own long and continuous operational service, outstanding leadership and decisiveness in crisis and operations, combined with his other personal qualities of courage and resourcefulness under stress, should have been further recognised and rewarded.

Captain Ball's career and his selfless devotion to his Country and Regiment are such that it is most strongly recommended he should be given proper recognition for service well above the normal call of duty within the Army and Services as a whole.'

M.I.D. London Gazette 8 May 1956 & 13 December 1966.

Royston George Ball was born on 4 February 1930 and enlisted into the Rifle Brigade on 7 August 1947 at Salisbury. He first saw action in Palestine, before transferring to the Parachute Regiment, with whom he served from 14 September 1949-6 February 1953.

Ball thence joined the Special Air Service in 1954 and never looked back, joining 2 Troop, 'A' Squadron in Malaya. He saw action in four further theatres and earned a brace of 'mentions' for his fine work, finally being commissioned in February 1968. Ball had the remarkable distinction of having served at every rank from Trooper to Captain with the unit and duly went up to Buckingham Palace to receive his M.B.E in 1970 and his L.S. & G.C. being issued in August the same year. Ball retired on medical grounds in October 1976.

Sold together with his Regular Army Certificate of Service, Parachute Regiment Service Certificate, riband bars, besides a selection of copied photographs.

For his SAS beret and wall plaque, please see Lots 293 and 294. For the Medals of his son, please see Lot 295.

Subject to 20% VAT on Buyer’s Premium. For more information please view Terms and Conditions for Buyers.

Sold for

Starting price