A very fine Second World War Mediterranean operations Officer of the Order of the British Empire group awarded to Engineer Commander R.A. Perry, Royal Navy, who having been commissioned from the lower deck during the Great War, was senior engineer aboard the cruiser H.M.S. Carlisle during continuos action in Norway, and then on Malta Convoy's, including the 1st and 2nd Battle's of Sirte, being decorated with the O.B.E in June 1942.
Order of the British Empire, Officer, O.B.E., 2nd type, Military Division; British War Medal and Victory Medal named to ENG.LT. R.A. PERRY. R.N.; 1939-45 Star; Africa Star; Defence Medal; War Medal.
Together with: recipient's Great War pair of miniatures mounted as worn; and Ministry of Pensions King's Badge for Loyal Service, with original box of issue.
Robert Albert Perry was born on 23rd May 1890 in Devonport, Devon, the son of Robert William Perry, a Warrant Officer in the Royal Navy, and Eliza Jane Perry. After school Perry enlisted into the Royal Navy joining as a Boy Artificer with the shore establishment H.M.S. Fisgard to be trained as an Artificer from 16th August 1906, being then rated as Engine Room Artificer 5th Class from 1st July 1910, and being posted to the shore establishment H.M.S. Victory II from 26th July 1910, he was then posted aboard the armoured cruiser H.M.S. Warrior from 7th August 1910, he was appointed to Acting Engine Room Artificer 4th Class from 1st April 1911, and then promoted to Engine Room Artificer 4th Class on 1st April 1912 seeing service with the 2nd Cruiser Squadron as part of the Channel Fleet. Perry was posted to the shore establishment Vivid II from 1st July 1913, and then to the old cruiser and by then torpedo boat destroyer depot ship H.M.S. Leander from 2nd July 1913, he was aboard her based on the Tyne at the outbreak of the Great War in August 1914, having by then been promoted to Engine Room Artificer 3rd Class on 1st April 1914, and would remain aboard Leander on home service till he was discharged to a commission on 30th April 1916. Perry was commissioned via Vivid on 1st May 1916 as an Acting Engineer Lieutenant aboard the armoured cruiser H.M.S. Leviathan, his first operational wartime posting, Leviathan was then serving on the North America and West Indies Station being involved in Atlantic Convoy escort work, Perry being employed aboard her as of the Navy List of May 1918, being by then confirmed in the rank of Engineer Lieutenant.
With the cessation of hostilities, Perry is confirmed as service aboard the destroyer H.M.S. Vivian as of October 1919, but was then placed in the Reserve List due to a reduction of the armed forces, though he then appears to remain in the service and as of May 1926 had been promoted to Engineer Lieutenant Commander, and from 7th January 1927 was serving aboard the aircraft carrier H.M.S. Pegasus based at Devonport, this vessel being then part of the Reserve Fleet. As of January 1933 Perry was serving aboard the turret drill ship H.M.S. Erebus, which was then acting as tender to H.M.S. Vivid, being then reduced to the special compliment, and as of May 1935 was promoted to Engineer Commander. With the outbreak of the Second World War, Perry then serving as an Engineer Commander, was appointed to the light cruiser H.M.S. Carlisle, this vessel having been converted to an anti-aircraft cruiser, and in February 1940 she sailed for Malta having been equipped with radar, but the equipment having been found to be unsuitable, she returned to Scapa Flow in April 1940, and later that month was posted to Norway where she served at Romdalsjord, Molde, Andalsnes and Namsos on anti aircraft duties, and was then repeatedly under air attack, being one of the vessels which embarked troops on the evacuation of Norway in early May 1940, she was then involved in an attempted interception of an enemy vessel off Narvik, before being posted to the Mediterranean, followed by the Red Sea and Aden where was employed as anti aircraft guardship from June 1940, repulsing an enemy air attack in which nine Italian planes were shot down at Aden on 11th June 1940, she then assisted in the evacuation of troops from Berbera.
In February 1941 she served in an escort role for the convoy MW6 to Malta, sustaining heavy air attacks on arrival, she was then deployed to assist in the defence of Greece, alternating this with convoy protection work to Malta, the defence of and finally the evacuation of Crete, and on 22nd May 1941 she sustained heavy air attack being dive-bombed, her Captain being killed. After repair she was stationed as an anti aircraft guardship at Alexandria, Beirut and Suez, but by December 1941 was involved in further Malta relief operations as part of Force C, being involved in the 1st Battle of Sirte, the protection of convoys MW8A and MW8B, then as part of Force B, and it was while on the return journey to Alexandria from Malta having provided escort to convoy MW9A on 13th February 1942, having sustained continuous air attack, that her engines broke down whilst at sea. It is hard to imagine the immense pressure Perry as the senior engineer aboard the vessel must have been under whilst the ship was a sitting duck to enemy attack, but after a successful repair, H.M.S. Carlisle rejoined the convoy and returned to Alexandria two days later. In March 1942 she was escort to convoy MW10 but having been reinforced by Force K from Malta, this force including Carlisle was attack by the Italian battle squadron comprising the battleship Littorio, three cruisers, and ten escorting destroyers, which resulted in the 2nd Battle of Sirte, the Carlisle having made it successfully to Malta then had one rating killed by as strafing German ME109 on entering the harbour at Valetta on 23rd March 1942. For his vital work in command of the engine room almost certainly including the incident when H.M.S. Carlisle broke down in the middle of the Mediterranean, Perry was decorated with the Officer of the Order of the British Empire in the King's Birthday Honours List published in the London Gazette for 5th June 1942. Perry returned to Scapa Flow aboard Carlisle in December 1942, and must have reached the age limit, as in the Navy List for April 1943, he is shown as Engineer Commander Retired, being last shown on the retired list in 1962.