Ripon man's medals now in museum

War medals of a Ripon man who is said to be the most highly decorated man from the town have been donated to his regimental museum in York by four of his surviving children.

Thursday, 6th December 2018, 2:21 pm
Wg Cdr Alan Bartlett of The Yorkshire Regiment is pictured with CSM Robert S Birkenshaws family members at Lister House.

The medals belong to Company Sergeant Major (CSM) Robert S Birkenshaw of the 5th Bn West Yorkshire Regiment.

Nearing the end of WW1, he accumulated some of the highest gallantry medals awarded by three countries.

CSM Birkenshaw with his replacement medals after two were stolen.

He was one of only 12 British soldiers in WW1 to be awarded the United States Distinguished Service Cross.

He was also awarded the French Medaille Militaire and the UK Military Medal.

Wg Cdr Alan Bartlett, of The Yorkshire Regiment, was contacted by Joyce Quinn, who is the youngest daughter of CSM Birkenshaw, to arrange a handover of his medals at Lister House, Ripon, on Wednesday, November 28.

Mrs Quinn is the youngest of four surviving children (of eight). She is 88 and has a sister Connie who is 97 (ex-Mayor of Ripon), and brother Stanley who is 95 (he owned Birkinshaw’s butchers in the town for many years).

The medals have been donated to CSM Birkenshaws regimental museum.

Both Connie and Stanley are residents at the British Legion Lister House in Ripon.

Sister Olive, who is 91, was also there for the handover and the family were accompanied by grand daughter Susan Green.

Lister House in Ripon is one of The Royal British Legion’s Care Homes, with a specialist Dementia care wing and places for younger people who could benefit from the venue’s specialist care and rehabilitation facilities.

Wg Cdr Alan Bartlett with Joyce Quinn, daughter of CSM Birkenshaw.