1975 Northern Ireland officer’s MBE & MID early UDR group

The Northern Ireland MBE (Military), MID, Ulster Special Constabulary Long Service group to Major John Francis Jones, Ulster Defence Regiment, was offered in our 8th December 2010 auction. Estimated at £1,000, the group attracted considerable interest and the final result was a realisation of £2,242.

The Ulster Defence Regiment was raised by an Act of Parliament in 1970 to support the Army and RUC in the civil unrest and terrorist activities that began in the late 1960s. It was to go on to become the largest regiment in the British Army.

Major Jones was commissioned early in the formation of the Regiment and was the Officer Commanding C Company, 11th Battalion UDR based in Portadown. As a recognition of his efforts during these trying times, he was Mentioned in Despatches announced in the London Gazette dated 3rd October 1972.

Lieutenant General Sir Harry Tuzo GOC NI wrote a letter of congratulations dated 30th September 1972, “I am writing to congratulate you on your award of a Mention in Despatches for your performance as OC, C Company from February 1970 until February this year. I know well of all you have done to build up your Company and to assist the RUC and the Regular Army in your area. In particular, I know that on the night of 21st April as a result of your vigilance three wanted men were captured. I am delighted that all your work both in establishing the UDR and in ensuring its operational effectiveness had been recognised by this award.”

He retired as OC C Coy in June 1974 and was made a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) announced in the New Years Honour List in the London Gazette dated 7th January 1975.

The full medal details are Northern Ireland MBE (Military), 1962 GSM Northern Ireland clasp with MID oakleaf, WWII Defence Medal and Ulster Special Constabulary Long Service Medal to Major J.F. Jones UDR (S.D.C. John F Jones on Constabulary) very fine and better, half courted mounted as worn in order listed. Sold with superb range of supporting documents and presentation pieces with original MID certificate, typed letter of congratulations from GOC NI dated 30th September 1972, original MBE bestowal scroll dated 7th January 1975, 9ct gold Masonic medal engraved on reverse “Presented to W. Bro John F Jones by Wellington Masonic Lodge 82 1947” with 1947 date clasp and JFJ top mounting clasp, photo in uniform with family after investiture, photo of RUC unit, 2 ornate electro plated copper trays, first 35cm circular tray engraved “Presented to Major J.F. Jones from the Officers & Sen N.C.O.s of C Coy 11 U.D.R. June 1974, the second 46cm x 32cm oval engraved “ Presented by the Junior Ranks and Men of C Company 11 Battalion Ulster Defence Regiment to Major J.F. Jones on his retirement as Officer Commanding June 1974.” A very scarce combination and early Northern Ireland double award.

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