Hunstanton family’s war medals up for auction

As father and son, they fought for King and Country on land and sea. Now the medals they earned in the Battle of the Atlantic and the Normandy landings are coming up for auction.

Former Hunstanton Mayor Lt Col Richard Hamer, who died at the age of 90 last November, was awarded five medals for his service during the second world war, including the French and German stars.

After a war which included taking part in the Allied invasion of Europe in 1944, he retired from the military in 1969.

In 1975, Middlesex-born Lt Col Hamer settled in Old Hunstanton with his wife Marie, after working at the British Embassy in Washington.

Lt Col Hamer taught languages and became a house master at Glebe House School, in nearby Hunstanton.


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He served two terms as the town's Mayor from 1994 to 1996.

His father, Cmdr Richard Lloyd Hamer, who died in 1951, captained an armed merchant ship HMS Bulolo from 1940 to 1943.

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He was awarded the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) in December 1943, for his 'courage and resource' in successful attacks on enemy submarines.

Cmdr Hamer had also served in the Navy and been decorated for service in the Persian Gulf and Africa, between 1909 and 1914. He was recalled to the service at the start of the second world war.

The ship he commanded, Bulolo, took part in D-Day – the first day of the Normandy landings, on June 6, 1944. It was the HQ ship for the assault on Gold Beach, where Lt Col Hamer landed the following day with the 56th Independent Infantry Brigade, which forged ashore to liberate the town of Bayeux and took part in the assault on Arnhem.

It is not known whether he landed from his father's former command.

Geoff Needham, 79, was a friend of Lt Col Hamer, who was also the president of Hunstanton's British Legion branch.

Last night Mr Needham, from Holme, press officer at Hunstanton Lifeboat station, said: 'He didn't speak too much about his exploits but he always wore a red beret on Armistice Day.'

The Hamers' medals are being sold at auction by Rowley's Fine Art Auctioneers, in Newmarket, on Tuesday.

The medals awarded to Cmdr Hamer are expected to sell for more than �2,000, while the medals awarded to Lt Col Hamer are expected to fetch more than �1,000.

chris.bishop@archant.co.uk

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