The very fine Second World War North Africa 1st Army and Italian Campaign Mention in Despatches, long service and Army Meritorious Service Medal group awarded to Warrant Officer 1st Class and Regimental Sergeant Major A.H. West, Royal Artillery, formerly Royal Tank Corps and 4th/7th Royal Dragoon Guards, who from 1939 saw service as a Permanent Staff Instructor overseeing the training programme for sword drill with the 152nd Field Regiment Royal Artillery - the Earl of Carrick’s Own Ayrshire Yeomanry, and from 1942 as it began operations in North Africa was the regiment's Regimental Sergeant Major. In this role he saw service in Tunisia and from February 1944 in Italy, service for which he was awarded a Mention in Despatches in the London Gazette for 23rd May 1946. He was subsequently awarded the Army Meritorious Service Medal. West is mentioned on a number of occasions in the Regimental History of the Aryshire Yeomanry during 1939 to 1945.
1939-45 Star; Africa Star with 1st Army Clasp; Italy Star; Defence Medal; War Medal with Mention in Despatches Oakleaf; Regular Army Long Service and Good Conduct Medal, GVI 1st type bust; (393570 W.O.CL.II. A.H. WEST. 4-7 D.G.); Army Meritorious Service Medal, GVI 2nd type bust; (393570 W.O.CL.1. A.H. WEST. R.A.), mounted swing style as worn.
Together with a hardback copy of the book ‘Brief Historical Notes on The Ayrshire Yeomanry (Earl of Carrick’s Own) 152 Field Regiment, R.A. 1939-45’, by Major B.M. Knox, M.C., as published by Stephen and Pollock of Ayr, first edition, as published in 1946. The recipient is mentioned on a number of occasions within the history. Alfred Henry West, middle name also shown as Harry on some records, was born on 12th June 1902 in Brighton, Sussex, the son of William and Amelia West, his father was a builder, and by 1911 he was the eldest of four children, all living at 97 Holbingdean Road in Brighton. West went on to become a stone mason, but then attested for service with the British Army at Brighton on 4th February 1920 when he joined as a Private (No.35891) the Royal Tank Corps. West subsequently transferred as a Private (No.393570) to the 4th/7th Royal Dragoon Guards, probably around the time of its formation in 1922. His regiment saw extensive service out in India but returned to the United Kingdom in 1929, and saw home service through to the outbreak of the Second World War, becoming mechanised in 1938, and transferring into the Royal Armoured Corps in 1939 when equipped with Vickers Mk.VI light tanks. West had in the meantime been transferred across as a Warrant Officer 2nd Class to the Ayrshire Yeomanry to work as a Permanent Staff Instructor in the training programme for sword drill, which still played a prominent part in the regimental training. He was still performing this role as of Christmas 1939, and he would remain with the regiment throughout the war, it being then officially known as the 152nd Field Regiment Royal Artillery - the Earl of Carrick’s Own Ayrshire Yeomanry. The 152nd was attached to the 6th Armoured Division in mid-1942, and moved with the division to North Africa that November as part of the 1st Army. It remained with the division through the remainder of the war, fighting in the Tunisia Campaign, and the Italian Campaign, ending the war in Austria. West who is initially shown as having been discharged on 15th February 1940, was then immediately re-enlisted for the duration of the war, and is confirmed as being the regiment’s Regimental Sergeant Major and as a Warrant Officer 1st Class was with the regiment’s Regimental Headquarters when it embarked for North Africa. He was still in this position when the regiment embarked from North Africa for Italy on 18th February 1944, disembarking at Naples, and he oversaw the re-organisation the formation of the Regimental Sergeant’s Mess at Porto san Georgio in March 1944. It was for his gallant and distinguished services in the Mediterranean Theatre that West was awarded a Mention in Despatches in the London Gazette for 23rd May 1946, his award being made to him through the Royal Artillery, and he was subsequently awarded the Army Meritorious Service Medal. West latterly lived in Saint Mary’s Bay, Romney, Kent, where he died on 22nd December 1981. light contact wear, Good Very Fine