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WWII D.S.O. GROUP OF 11 MEDALS TO BRIG. A.A. CROOK, NORTHAMPTON. R.

*** RESERVED *** Distinguished Service Order George VI; WWI War Medal to 2.Lieut. A.A. Crook; WWI Victory Medal with M.I.D. Oak Leaf to 2.Lieut. A.A. Crook; 1939-45 Star; Africa Star with 1st Army clasp; Burma Star; WWII Defence Medal; WWII War Medal with M.I.D. Oak Leaf; 1977 Silver Jubilee Medal; Greek War Cross 2nd Class; Greek War Cross 1st Class. Accompanied by an extensive archive of original documentation, including Bisley Shooting Medal to Capt. A.A. Crook 1936, Record of Service, multiple letters concerning award of D.S.O. and promotions, photographs, medal ribbons and original box of issue.
Description

D.S.O. Gazetted 22 Mar 1945: "During the operation from 10 to 22 Dec 1944 to cross the Kaladan River and then eject the enemy from the strong Thayettabin-Kyauktaw defence position, this officer showed outstanding determination, energy and leadership. Speed was essential to forestall and opposed crossing. Brigadier Crook reached Orama village, where the crossing was to be effected, with his troops on 4 Dec 1944. That afternoon a strong party of the enemy probed his starting base and occupied a position covering the beach. Such an event would have daunted many commanders, and caused hesitation and delay. Realising however the vital necessity of crossing quickly, Brigadier Crook counter-attacked and threw back the enemy elements. Next he decided to cross by night. He was down on the beaches himself all through the night and successfully saw the first flights over. These flights effected a landing and found the enemy at dawn a few hundred yards inland, thus proving that any lack of speed and hesitancy would have been fatal and resulted in many casualties. Brigadier Crook next led his Brigade over the very difficult and trackless hills known as the Sendaung-Yo and down the Yo-Chaung valley east of those hills. As his Brigade started to advance down enemy opposition started immediately. At all times up near the leading troops, Brigadier Crook so stimulated and encouraged the impetus of the advance that, though the enemy occupied no fewer than six successive positions in seven miles, the enemy was able to make a firm stand nowhere, nor delay the advance to any appreciable extent. The final phase of this very rapid advance necessitated passing through exceptionally difficult country to seize Point 887. Again hesitation or delay would have been fatal. Brigadier Crook's bold advance secured the area with a few hours to spare. The Japanese arrived in force the next morning and sustained substantial casualties throughout these operations. Brigadier Crook showed and inspired the finest qualities of determination, energy and leadership. These operations would certainly have gone more slowly and proved much more costly in casualties had it not been for this officer."

M.I.D.s Gazetted 23 Sep 1943 & 27 Sep 1945. Brigadier Arthur Ainslie Crook was first commissioned into the Royal Artillery and served on the Western Front in the final months of WWI, prior to duty with the Rhine Army until 1920 when posted to Ireland for 2 years. A gunnery instructor at Woolwich from 1923-25, Crook was then seconded to the King's African Rifles in Tanganyika from 1926-31 at which point he transferred to the Northamptonshire Regiment, being made Captain in Jan 1932. Serving in the UK and India with both the 1st and 2nd Battalions until 1939, Crook was seconded for service with the Straits Settlements Volunteer Force until 1942 when he was appointed to command the 5th (T.A.) Bn. of the Northamptons, taking them through the North African campaign from the landings in Nov 1942 until May 1943. After a year commanding teh 2nd Bn. of the Nigerian Regt. W.A.F.F., he was given command of the 6th W.A. Infantry Brigade, 81st W.A. Division in Burma until 1946. Returning to the UK for a year, he was then appointed to the British Military Mission in Greece during 1948-49 for which he received his two War Crosses. Subsequently serving in Cyprus, Ethiopia and Siam, Crook retired  with the rank of Brigadier in Jan 1953. Appointed a Military Knight of Windsor by the Queen in Aug 1963, he retained this post until his death in 1981.

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