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13/1102 Cpl. John Thomson, 1st New Zealand Machine-Gun Squadron, NZ Machine-Gun Corps att. NZMR Brigade

Rare NZMG Squadron Military Medal - Thomson

  • The rare Military Medal awarded to 13/1102 Cpl. John Thomson, 1st NZ Machine-Gun Squadron, for bravery in action at Amman, Palestine on 30th March 1918. Just 8 MMs were awarded to members of the NZMGS in the Sinai/Palestine campaign.


    John Thomson was born in West Taieri, Otago, New Zealand in 1891. Son of William Ascham and Catherine Thomson (née Bain).  At the time of his enlistment in the NZEF in February 1915 he was working as a farmer at Aotea near Hamilton. He joined the Auckland Mounted Rifles, and embarked with the 5th Reinforcements. He appears to have served only in Egypt and Mudros, with no indication he served on Gallipoli. Remaining with the AMR in Egypt, he transferred to the Machine-Gun Squadron at Kantara in July 1916. He was promoted to lance-corporal in January 1917 and to corporal in November 1917, serving in the field throughout. It was during the Battle of Amman on 30th March 1918 that Thomson displayed the gallantry the won him the Military Medal. The recommendation for the award states: "For conspicuous gallantry in action at Amman on 30/3/1918. During an enemy counter attack a gun crew was put out of action by shell fire and Corporal Thomson dashed across exposed fire-swept ground and worked the gun until the enemy were driven off. His officer being wounded early in the day, he commanded the sub-section throughout the engagement, doing very effective work. He set a splendid example to his men during a very critical time". The original recommendation was for the Distinguished Conduct Medal to be awarded, but evidently this was downgraded to the MM.


    Thomson was subsequently promoted to sergeant, and in August 1918 was recommended for a commission. Thomson gained his commission to 2nd lieutenant in March 1919, after the war had ended. Thomson returned to New Zealand, where he was demobilised in October 1919.


    Military Medals to members of the New Zealand Mounted Rifles are scarce on the market, and with only 8 awarded to the NZ MG Squadron - the 'most efficient unit of the NZMR Brigade' - this is a rare opportunity to obtain an excellent example. The medals is correctly impressed 13-1102 Cpl J. THOMSON. M.G. SQ: N.Z.M.G.C.

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