General Service Medal, GVI, bar Bomb and Mine Clearance 1945-49, 14627033 Spr D.J. McGhee, 20th Bomb Disposal Squadron Royal Engineers.
Extremely rare, confirmed on the roll as serving with 20 BD Coy, Royal Engineers.
During the war they were stationed in Tunbridge Wells and later covered Sevenoaks as part of 2nd Bomb Disposal Group.
The 20th Bomb Disposal Company had been active since it was formed on 2nd October 1940 at Tunbridge Wells under Major N.E. Smith R.E.
The formation of the Groups which were multiple companies covering different parts of the same area:
“2 BD Group covered South Eastern Command and was based at Tunbridge Wells. The CRE was Lt Col S C Lynn RE, with 12 BD Coy at Horsham, Sussex, 17 BD Coy at Sevenoaks and 20 BD Coy also in Tunbridge Wells.”
As one of the men who blew up the bomb that was buried underneath the Seaside Recreation Centre they were invited to a dinner with the Mayor:
Eastbourne Herald, Saturday, February 9th 1946.
“PHOTO, THE MAYOR (Ald E.C. Martin) entertained the officers and men of the Bomb Disposal Squad to dinner at the Gildredge Hotel on Saturday evening.
GUESTS OF THE MAYOR
BOMB DISPOSAL MEN ENTERTAINED
Members of No. 20 Bomb Disposal Squad, who, on January 3, blew up the bomb that had lain buried beneath the Seaside Recreation Ground since September, 1940, were the guests of the Mayor (Alderman E.C. Martin) at dinner on Thursday evening at the Gildredge Hotel.
Others present were: Mr F.H. Busby (town clerk), Mr R. Williams (Borough Surveyor), Mr J A Fairclough (Deputy Town Clerk), Police Superintendent H. Archer, MBE, Mr H J Wood (Acting ARP Officers), Alderman RJS Croft and representatives of the local Press.
The members of the Bomb Disposal Squad who attended were: Sergeant R. Walton, Corporal J. Burnham, Sappers, S. Boast, W. Burns, A.W. Ellis, W. Foster, B.A. Keen, J. Lawson, A. Martin, D. McGhee, F. Roberts, D. Simpson, A. Thorne., J. Turner and A. Winduss, Drivers G. Hawkins, J. McLelland and G. Petty, and Private E. Catt (Army Catering Corps), Lieutenant V.F. Cunnington was unable to be present.
After an excellent meal the Mayor (who presided) proposed the loyal toast, and Sergeant Walton asked his comrades to drink tot he health of his Worship and the rest of the company. Then followed a capital singing and dancing programme by members of Fred Tichband’s pantomime company.
There was no formal speech making, but, just before the gathering broke up, the Mayor said he would like to thank the Bomb Disposal Squad for what they had done at Seaside, where he understood they had to work under very great difficulties owing to mud and water. He would like to assure them, on behalf of the town, that their efforts had been appreciated. He hoped they had enjoyed the evening.
A chorus of approval from the men left no doubt that they had had a happy time, and Sergeant Walton also briefly expressed their thanks.
The entertainment consisted to songs by Doris Richardson (a charming Soprano), Teddy Tichband (10 year old Pocket Comedian), Fred Tichband (the popular humorist and compere), and attractive dancing numbers by the Dorita Girls – Doreen Mepham, Marie Coupland, Mabell Wallis, Jean Macartney and Ivonne Read. Ernest Godden was the able pianist and accompanist.”