Badges of Ranks, Ratings, Speciality Qualifications of Robert (Bob) John Sharplin
|Petty Officer Sleeve (upper left) and Cap badge |
Also worn by Stoker Petty Officer
|Chief Petty Officer – Sleeve buttons|
(On each sleeve cuff) & Cap Badge
Also worn by Chief Mechanician.
➢ These were worn by Bob in his final rank.
Mechanician: [all with propeller with crown above, star below]:
|Chief Mechanician |
Mechanician, 1st Class
Mechanician, 2nd Class
Worn on right upper sleeve
➢ This was worn by Bob in his final rank
|Good Conduct Chevrons |
Good Conduct Pay (for each badge)
Worn on left upper sleeve
➢ Bob wore the 3 chevrons shown on the left in his final rank
Bob’s Decorations: Medals & ClaspsThe Atlantic Star
The Africa Star with France & Germany Bar
The 1939-1945 Star
The 1939-1945 Medal
Long Service & Good Conduct Medal
Bob’s Medal has the France & Germany Clasp
Bob’s Medal does not have the Clasp shown here.
ROYAL NAVY LONG SERVICE & GOOD CONDUCT MEDAL
An Other Rank who completes 15 years of reckonable service from the date of attestation or age 17½, whichever is later, and who holds all three good conduct badges, shall be eligible to receive the medal. However, there are a number of offences which would normally preclude award of the medal. Awards are only made after a thorough check of a sailor's record of service.
The service number, rank and name of the recipient is normally engraved around the edge of the medal as is Bob's. Also up until the early 1980s the name of the ship or shore establishment the recipient was serving on when he or she received the medal was also given. Unfortunately this information is no longer impressed on the medal.
The ORDER of LEGION d'HONNEURThe Légion d’Honneur is the highest decoration that France can bestow and is normally restricted to French Citizens.
On 25th July 2014 the French Government informed the UK Ministry of Defence that it wished to recognise the "selfless acts of heroism and determination displayed" by all veterans of the Normandy landings and of the wider campaigns to liberate France in 1944, by awarding them with the Légion d’Honneur. Thus it was to be awarded to not only those troops who landed on French soil but also to those members of the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force who were there in support, the only exception made was that it would not be awarded posthumously!
So Bob earned it by being in the Cruiser HMS Mauritius (Note 1) at the D-Day landings and the Battle for Normandy, but, like many thousands of others did not receive his recognition, simply because they had died prior to any application resulting from 25th July 2014 announcement. A poor decision leaving one with the impression of a French Government being parsimonious in not only disregarding those thousands who had since died but completely denying recognition of those who actually gave their lives for France in the campaign!
One who also shared this theft of any recognition was Bob's elder brother Perce who was there on HMS Apollo (Note 2).
1. At the “D-Day” invasion of Normandy on 6 June 1944 HMS Mauritius was part of Force D off
Sword Beach acting as a gun platform to "take out" German coastal heavily fortified gun
emplacements. She suffered some slight damage by gunfire from those German shore batteries.
(For details of HMS Mauritius refer to "Ships & Shore Establishments Served In", Entry No. 15).
2. Perce Sharplin was a Chief Petty Officer Stoker on board HMS Apollo as part of "Operation
Neptune" (Note 3) when on D-Day + 1 (7 June) she was assigned to carry the invasion forces most
senior officers, Allied Supreme Commander General Dwight D Eisenhower, Naval Commander in
Chief Admiral Sir Bertram Ramsay, General Bernard Law Montgomery and staff officers from
SHAEF to visit the assault areas. However she grounded damaging her propellers so the
passengers were transferred to HMS Undaunted, a U-class Destroyer, who returned them to
Portsmouth. Apollo made her way back to Sheerness then on to the Tyne for repairs.
(HMS Apollo, 8th of her name, was a 2,650 ton Abdiel class Fast Cruiser-Minelayer capable of 40 knots, built 1943,
broken up 1962).
3. "Operation Neptune" was the cross-Channel crossing phase of "Operation Overlord", the Allied
invasion of Europe. "Operation Neptune" placed all naval issues under the command of Admiral
Sir Bertram Ramsey whose command skills had already been seen in 1940 with the part he played
in the evacuation of troops from Dunkirk. "Operation Neptune" required some 6,000 ships of all
types and sizes.
4. In participating in these actions Mauritius, Apollo and Undaunted (9th of her name) all earned
the Royal Navy 's "Normandy 1944" Battle Honour.