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The "Berlin Medals"

After many years of writing a weekly newsletter to villagers serving in the forces during the second world war Reverend Forse pondered - "I wonder who will be the possessor of the first copy [of the Newsletter] to enter Berlin? That will be an interesting fact to record in an issue before we finally close down. If it can be proved with any certainty I will give a medal to the lad who has that honour. "
Source Rectors Weekly Newsletter 7th Sept 1944

"While I was in London last week I chose, and bought, three really fine Medals for presentation to the first Tarleton lad in Berlin with a News Letter on him, and also for the first Tarleton Sailor to anchor in the Keil Canal, and the first Tarleton R.A.F. lad to take up his work on a recognised Berlin Aerodrome. The medals will be suitably inscribed, with the name of the winner and what they have been given for. Toye's of London, Manchester, Sheffield, Leeds and Birmingham, one of the biggest firms in England doing this class of work, are supplying the medal. I managed to run to earth a few pre-war solid silver Hall-marked medals which they had in stock. They are a little bigger than a five shilling piece, and quite heavy. The ribbon will be red, white and blue."
Source Rectors Weekly Newsletter 3rd May 1945

The winners of the medals were announced in the 12th July 1945 News Letter:

Winners of the Medals awarded by the Rector of Tarleton to the first Tarleton lads to: -
1.Enter Berlin as a member of a victorious army occupying the city as conquerors.
2.Enter the Keil Canal as a member of a ship's crew receiving the surrender of the German Navy.
3.Land his aeroplane on a recognised aerodrome in Germany in complete possession of the R.A.F.

1. Awarded to T/83618 Driver Clark N.C. who arrived in Berlin at 23.00 hours on June 30th 1945. Claim signed by R. George, Lieut. 50 Company R.A.S.C.
2. Awarded to Mr. John Hornby, B.E.M. Bos'n R.N., who entered the Keil Canal at 0800 hours on May 12th 1945. Claim signed by P. Walter Gidifant, Chaplain R.N.V.R. Naval Party 1755.
3. Awarded to Flt/Sgt Hanson D.R. who landed at the aerodrome in Hanover, on April 18th 1945. Claim signed by C. Wanth, Flt/Lieut. 190 Squadron.

Noel Clark

Dvr. Noel Clark writes from BLA "I am getting quite near Hanover and am expecting to move any day. Our Company has been given the great honour to enter Berlin on the great Victory march through, but I am keeping my fingers crossed. I have not read in the NL of any of the lads winning the Berlin Medal so far so I should be in the running.
Source Rectors Weekly Newsletter 5th July 1945

Dvr. Noel Clark writes from Berlin "As you will see from the enclosed card which I have carried with me since you sent it on October of last year, I arrived in Berlin late on the last day of June, the time being 23.00 hours, i.e. eleven o'clock at night. I do not know if anyone else has beaten me to the post, but here's hoping anyway."
Source Rectors Weekly Newsletter 12th July 1945

Driver Noel Clark, HM Army
Driver Noel Clark
1918 - 2001
"Driver N.C. Clark, the first Tarleton man to enter Berlin after the surrender of the German Army. Joined the Territorial Army April 1939; in France from September 1939 till May 1940. Evacuated from Dunkirk. Sent almost immediatly to Middle East. Fought from Alemein to Tunisia; through Sicily to Italy. Landed on Beach-Head in Normandy, fought through France, Belgium, Holland, Germany to Berlin"
Source Tarleton Parish Magazine Vol 21 No. 9 September 1945
Parish of Tarleton. Rectors Weekly Newsletter. Berlin Medal. Presented by Revd LN Forse MAHCE Rector 1945
Presented to Driver Noel C. Clark . The first Tarleton member of HM Army to enter Berlin after its Capitulation June 30th 1945

At the time of writing the medal presented to Noel Clark is in the posession of his son, David Clark, who lives in Tarleton.

John Hornby

Mr. John Hornby, B.E.M. Bos'n R.N. writes from his ship "I am going over to Germany in the next few days to help control the armed forces of the enemy when our fighting boys have finished with them. I may add that any Tarleton boy who may wish to qualify for the 'Sailing into Kiel Canal Medal' will have to buck up because I'm nearly there and have my certificate in my pocket.
Source Rectors Weekly Newsletter 10th May 1945

Mr. John Hornby BEM, R.N., writes from the Kiel Canal "It gave me a thrill to think that I was the only Tarleton boy in this area; at least we are represented all over Germany from Tarleton.
Source Rectors Weekly Newsletter 16th August 1945

Bosun John Hornby, HM Navy
Bos'n John Hornby
1901 - 1974
John's father, William, moved to Tarleton and was the local policeman (PC 1485). John was in service to Sir Harcourt Clare at Bank Hall before joining the Royal Navy aged 15 and led a distinguished career of over 40 years naval service which embraced six wars. He recieved the British Empire Medal in 1943. The story of John Hornby's life has been documented and is published on this website.
Parish of Tarleton. Rectors Weekly Newsletter. Berlin Medal. Presented by Revd LN Forse MAHCE Rector 1945
Presented to Mr John Hornby B.E.M. Bos'n. The first Tarleton member of HM Navy to anchor in Kiel Canal after the surrender of the German Fleet. May 18th 1945
At the time of writing the medal presented to John Hornby is in the posession of his son, Haydn Hornby, who lives in Trowbridge, Wiltshire.

David Hanson

Flt. Sgt. David Hanson writes "We have been taking petrol to the front line aerodromes and bringing back p-o-ws. We landed on the Hanover aerodrome the day after our Forces had captured it, and it is this which the Flt.Lt. has mentioned on the claim Form.
Source Rectors Weekly Newsletter 24th May 1945

One of the winners of the three medals which the Rector of Tarleton. the Rev. L. N. Forse, has awarded to local lads who were engaged in the fight against the Germans, Flight Sergt. David R. Hanson, eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. David Hanson of Kearsley Avenue, Tarleton, was married on Saturday at Holy Trinity Church, Tarleton, to Miss Lily Tindsley, only daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Tindsley, of Melrose Farm, Hesketh Moss.
Source Contemporary Newspaper Cutting (undated)

Flight Sergeant David Hanson of Kearsley Avenue, Tarleton
Flight Sergt.
David Hanson
1923 - 1977

The medal presented to David Hanson is in the posession of his daughter, Mrs Shirley Wentworth, High Park, Southport.

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