The awards of Sir Reginald P. Biddle, comprising: C.B.E. civil issue, in Garrard’s presentation case Knight Bachelor’s Badge (hallmarked 1956) in Royal Mint case of issue; Order of St John Officer’s (Brother’s) Badge (1947), British War Medal, Victory Medal with M.I.D. oakleaf (Capt R P Biddle); Defence Medal, Coronation Medals for 1937 and 1953, Territorial Decoration George VI (reverse dated 1949), France Legion d’Honneur Knight’s Badge; US Medal of Freedom with silver palm (1945); Belgium Order of Leopold Knight’s badge (1947); France Commercial Merit Medal; Belgium Palmes Universitaires, mounted as a group of (12),
average Good Very Fine (enamel chipped to reverse of Legion d’honneur).
Sir Reginald Poulton Biddle, born 4th December 1888 at St Helier, Jersey. Entered service with London and South Western Railway October 1907 aged 17 as junior clerk and transferred to Southampton. Volunteered for military service 16.12.1915 and served with 2nd/5th Bn. Royal Hampshire Regt. Following the war he returned to the railway company and in 1935 was appointed Docks and Marine Manager at Southampton. In 1940 he became Deputy Director of Ports and Travel Control at the Ministry of War Transport. During June 1940 he played a major part in organising the civilian evacuation of the Channel Islands prior to the German occupation. See “Voices from the Past, Channel Islands Invaded” by Simon Hamon where he is quoted as saying of the 19th/20th June “The whole of the Railway Company’s staff and facilities were unreservedly placed at the disposal of the local authorities. Entirely on my own initiative I sent some of the Southern Railway Company’s steamers to the Islands. They had only peacetime certificates to carry 12 passengers but between them they brought over nearly 3,000 evacuees”. On 21st June he wrote “On the Saturday there were steamers alongside the quays at Jersey but only a few evacuees presented themselves for embarkation…. Arrangements were made to make public announcements in the streets of St Helier… but in the late afternoon it was decided to send them (the vessels) to Guernsey where they were immediately besieged by waiting passengers.” By the Sunday night 20,000 had been evacuated. On the 28th June the German airforce commenced their attacks on St Peter Port, and, on 30th June Guernsey surrendered, Liberation came on 9th May 1945. On 26th September 1944 Mr Biddle was gazetted for the C.B.E. “Reginald Poulton Biddle, Deputy Director Port and Transport Control, Ministry of War Transport, for services in the planning of the landing in Normandy”. On 13th June 1957 he became Sir Reginald in Her Majesty’s birthday honours “For public services in Southampton”.