World War Two Greek Awards the New Zealanders

New Zealand soldiers had a long relationship with Greece during WW2, not only with the failed allied defence of the Greek homeland and Crete in 1941 but also with the Allied Campaign in Italy in 1944. A few of the uniforms in my collection were worn by recipients of Greek Awards.

The first of these uniforms belonged to Brigadier Russell David KING, NZ Medical Corps. He was awarded the Medal for Outstanding Acts. He received this award for assisting 3 Greek Mountain Brigade in training during the battles of Rimini, Bellaria and Rubicone in Italy 1944 as Assistant Adjutant and Quarter Master General NZ Division.king-dso1

king-ribbonsIn the above photo the medal ribbon for “Outstanding Acts” is the last ribbon on his ribbon bar (Black and yellow). greek

He was also awarded the Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, Distinguished Service Order (D.S.O.) and Mention in Dispatches. The D.S.O. was awarded for conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty while second in command of 4th (NZ) Field Ambulance during Operation Crusader 20 November to 20 December 1941. On the 26 November the main dressing station established by the 4th Field Ambulance was overrun and captured by the Germans. During the period of enemy occupation the then Major KING attended wounded continuously and worked efficiently in spite of lack of sleep, shortages of water and other difficulties. The dressing station was re-taken by Allies on the 28 November.

My second Service Dress with a Greek award belonged to Captain Lewis James FROUDE, NZ Divisional Signals . He was awarded the impressive sounding “Royal Order of the Phoenix, Knights Silver Cross with Swords”. He was attached to British Military Mission 210 in 1942, as a liaison officer with the Greek Signals unit of 1st Royal Greek Brigade.phoenixpicturelarge


In a letter written in 1958 FROUDE admitted that he had no idea why the Greek King had bestowed the order on him and he could “…only imagine that he had one left over.”.

The last uniform belonged to Staff Sergeant Leonard James KNOX. Like RD KING he was awarded the Medal for Outstanding Acts and like FROUDE he was a member of the NZ Divisional Signals who was attached to British Military Mission 210. His role was as an instructor to elements of 1st Royal Greek Brigade.kd-s-sgt-ftHave a few uniform items that belonged to KNOX but this is the most interesting. It’s a khaki drill bush jacket. Instead of having the normal NZ brass buttons this has plaited leather buttons.

7 thoughts on “World War Two Greek Awards the New Zealanders

  1. I have a photo of the Medals to Knox if you are interested. Also, are you happy if I link to some of the photos on your page? I’ve written a couple of articles and previously had a webpage on Greek Awards to New Zealanders. It would be good to put all of this together into an updated on-line resource, if possible. Cheers, Mark.


  2. Would you like the original ribbons for Knox’s uniform? I have his ribbon bar of the Efficiency Medal and the Greek award. They came with his medals when I purchased them. Unfortunately, I subsequently sold the group (still kicking myself) but retained these. It would be good to see them reunited with the uniform. How do I contact you via email? Mark


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