The rare, emotive, and numismatically important first ever posthumous George Medal awarded to Sergeant D.J. Garside, 10th Volunteer Battalion, Parachute Regiment, Territorial Army, who was posthumously decorated for his great bravery, sacrifice and coolness in saving the life of a recruit during live grenade throwing practice on the Sennybridge training area in Powys, Wales on 11th July 1979.
George Medal, Eliz II, Dei Gratia named to 23913522 SGT. DAVID J. GARSIDE, PARA., housed in its fitted Royal Mint presentation case. T
ogether with six original press photographs of the funeral of the recipient with Parachute Regiment soldier’s in attendance. The recipient’s original Marriage Certificate dated 29th January 1973. Letter from recipient’s civil employees, Brown Brothers Limited, of Swindon, Wiltshire, expressing shock at his sudden and tragic death, dated 12th July 1979. Letter from recipient’s civil employees, Induction Limited of Basingstoke, expressing sadness at his loss due to the ‘dreadful accident’, dated 24th July 1979. The recipient’s original Death Certificate dated 1st October 1979. Certificate of Registration of Death dated 5th October 1979. Letters from the Solicitor’s Amery-Parkes & Co who oversaw the estate, dated 11th January 1980 and another dated 14th February 1980.
David John Garside, known to all as Aaron Garside, was born in Bombay, India on 12th October 1946, and worked as a manager for a motor accessories business, whilst living in Basingstoke, Hampshire. Garside was also a member of the Territorial Army, and saw service as a Sergeant (No.23913522) with the 10th Volunteer Battalion, Parachute Regiment. Garside was killed during a live grenade training accident at the Sennybridge training area at Powys in South Wales during recruit cadre training on 11th July 1979, an incident which resulted in Garside receiving the first ever posthumous George Medal, this being the first time the award had been made posthumously since the Royal Warrant had been amended in 1977.
The recommendation reads as follows: ‘On 11th July 1979, during recruit cadre training at Sennybridge, Sergeant Garside, a Territorial Army Senior Non-Commissioned Officer in the 10th (Volunteer) Battalion, Parachute Regiment, was supervising live grenade throwing. During the live grenade throwing an incident took place when a recruit, in the act of preparing to throw a live grenade, allowed the striker level to spring off prematurely, and at the same time appeared to freeze with the grenade in his hand. At this point Sergeant Garside, acting with total disregard for his own safety and with great resource, took preventive action to move the recruit to safety whilst at the same time endeavouring to get him to either throw the grenade or drop it. It was in the course of this action, whilst Sergeant Garside was pushing the recruit to safety that the grenade dropped to the ground and exploded underneath Sergeant Garside. As a result of the explosion Sergeant Garside sustained fatal injuries and the recruit received superficial injuries. It is clear that Sergeant Garside acted with great coolness and presence of mind, and with complete disregard for his own safety, and in so doing gave his life saving the life of a recruit. His act was one of great bravery, sacrifice and coolness.’ Garside who died of his injuries shortly afterwards in Nevill Hall Hospital at Abergavenny, was awarded the first ever posthumous George Medal in the London Gazette for 25th March 1980. This was the recipient’s sole-entitlement. Nearly extremely fine