Great War Western Front and Second World War Home Service Camouflage Section officer’s group awarded to Captain J.P.C. Bicknell, 2nd/6th Renfrewshire Battalion, Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, Territorial Force, who having originally enlisted into the London Scottish in 1914 but been found to be only 16 and ’turfed out’ he was then commissioned the following year, and qualified as a Regimental Bombing Instructor in August 1916. Present out on the Western Front from May 1918, he is known to have service as a Brigade Bombing Officer, most prob

Price: £350.00


Product ID: CMA/27213
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Description:

Great War Western Front and Second World War Home Service Camouflage Section officer’s group awarded to Captain J.P.C. Bicknell, 2nd/6th Renfrewshire Battalion, Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, Territorial Force, who having originally enlisted into the London Scottish in 1914 but been found to be only 16 and ’turfed out’ he was then commissioned the following year, and qualified as a Regimental Bombing Instructor in August 1916. Present out on the Western Front from May 1918, he is known to have service as a Brigade Bombing Officer, most probably with the 153rd Infantry Brigade. Later during the Second World War he was recalled from the Reserve of Officers, and having been a Military Liaison Officer at Ramsgate at the time of the Dunkirk evacuation in June 1940, was later a General Staff Officer 3rd Grade with the Headquarters of the South Eastern Army and employed with the Camouflage Section, being involved in the preparations for Operation Overlord, the invasion of Normandy.

Group of 4: British War Medal and Victory Medal; (LIEUT. J.P.C. BICKNELL. ‘6 A & S HRS:’), unit details being unofficially added by the recipient; Defence Medal; War Medal 1939-1945.

Condition: Good Very Fine.

Together with the recipient’s pair of miniature medals representative of his first two awards.

Also a very fine picture / photograph album, this presumably put together by the recipient. Contains some 17 original photographs of the recipient all taken during his military service, both Great War and Second World War. Also including are the following documents: the list of officers originally gazetted and who served with the 2/6th Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders in 1914; recipient’s Regular Army Commission Warrant, issued to John Conduitt Bicknell, a Lieutenant with the Land Forces, dated 10th July 1926; a newspaper cutting regarding his service in the Great War; Bomb Throwing Instructor’s Certificate issued to: ‘2/Lt J.P. Bicknell, 2/6th A. & S. Hrs, who qualified as a Regimental Instructor in Bomb-throwing at Mildenhall, dated 24th August 1916; Seoond World War period form for HQ Eastern Command, listing officers serving with the Adjutant General & Quartermasterv General’s Branch, Bicknell shown on the list as a Captain; page from the London Gazette showing his promotion to Captain and Acting Major on 10th August 1940; the envelope marked ‘Top Secret’ to be opened personally by Captain Bicknell, this envelope originally contained his orders for Operation Overlord; War Officer letter issued on his release from service, dated 19th July 1945; Letter from Birmingham University thanking Bicknell on his lecture given to the Home Guard, dated 4th August 1942; letter of recommendation from his time with the 30th Infantry Training Centre; letter of recommendation from his time with the Camouflage Development and Training Centre at Farnham in Surrey; letter of recommendation concerning his time as GSO III in the Camouflage Section at HQ South-Eastern Army; a number of other sundry cards and images etc concerning his time with the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders.

John Philip Conduit Bicknell originally enlisted into the Territorial Force with the London Scottish in 1914, ‘but was turfed out when it was discovered that his real age was only 16’, and then re-enlisted in 1915, and saw service as a Private with ‘C’ Company of the London Scottish, His brother, Gregor Bicknell, was killed in action with the London Scottish at Messines in the Ypres Sector in 1914.

Commissioned into the Territorial Force as a 2nd Lieutenant with the 2nd/6th Renfrewshire Battalion, Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. He then qualified as a Regimental Bombing Instructor after a course at Mildenhall on 24th August 1916, and was then appointed as a Bombing Officer to the Northern Army, being subsequently posted to Chelsea Barracks and briefly attached to the Scots Guards.

When his battalion was disbanded in March 1918, and it would appear that he then saw service with the 1st/6th Renfrewshire Battalion out on the Western Front from 3rd May 1918, when his battalion, which had recently returned from Italy, served as the Pioneer Battalion to the 5th Division, before transferring to the 153rd Brigade in the 51st (Highland) Division on 5th October 1918. Bicknell who appears to have served as a Brigade Bombing Officer, was promoted to Lieutenant before the wars end, and was living in Ealing, London, when he claimed his medals in October 1921.

Having then opted for a commission in the Regular Army Reserve of Officers, and was appointed as a Lieutenant to the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders on 13th August 1926. Recalled just prior to the outbreak of the Second World War as a Lieutenant, he was posted to Stirling Castle and then to Biggin Hill Aerodrome in July 1939, before being sent to Blandford Camp as Assistant Adjutant later that month, being stationed at Devizes in 1940. Bicknell was the Military Liaison Officer at Ramsgate at the time of the Dunkirk evacuation in June 1940.

Bicknell was promoted to Captain and Acting Major on 10th August 1940, and then appointed a General Staff Officer 3rd Grade with the Headquarters of the South Eastern Army, he saw service in the Camouflage Section, as well as being stationed at the Camouflage Development and Training Centre at Farnham in Surrey. Involved most likely in the work of camouflage in preparation for Operation Overlord, the Normandy landings, he relinquished his commission with the rank of Captain on 19th July 1945 having seen home service throughout the war.