Display Number:  1501  
Name:  Richmond  Sir Maxwell
Rank:  Vice Admiral Service Number:  
Date Joined:  1918 Date Discharged:  ca. 1955

Maxwell Richmond joined the Navy in 1918 but saw no active service in the First World War. In the period between the wars he progressed in rank and on the outbreak of the Second World War was a destroyer commander. During the war he commanded HMS' Basilisk and Hostile. In 1940 his ship participated in Operation Dynamo, rescuing the British Expeditionary Force from Dunkirk, for which he was awarded the French Croix de Guerre in 1945. In 1941, as part of the escort of a convoy, he forced a German U-Boat to surface and captured it. The Enigma encryption machine and its code book were recovered, which proved critical information in British attempts to break the German naval codes. For this he was Mentioned in Despatches (MID). In 1942 he took part in action against German naval forces while escorting a convoy to the Soviet Union. For his part in this action he was created a Companion of the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) and awarded the Soviet Order of the Red Banner. He served in New Zealand as the Royal Navy Liaison Officer from 1948 to 1950. He then continued his active service in the Royal Navy with his final appointment as second in command of the Mediterranean Fleet. He was created a Commander of the Order of the Bath (CB) and then a Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (KBE) upon his retirement. Sir Maxwell died in 1986.


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Medal Description (Left to Right):  
  • The Most Honourable Order of the Bath (Knights Commander)
  • Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire - Was established by King George V in June 1917 for services to the British Empire. In December 1918 the Order was split into two divisions: Civil division for civilian recipients; and a military division for distinguished service in action. The insignia of the award from both divisions is identical, distinguished only by their ribbons. The rose-gray ribbon with narrow pearl grey stripes shows it was awarded from 1936 onward under the military division of the award.  
  • Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (Badge)
  • Companion of the Distinguished Service Order - Was instituted in 1886 to recognise acts of gallantry by military officers for which a Victoria Cross was not considered appropriate. 
  • British War Medal - Recognises the successful conclusion of the First World War. Its coverage was later extended to recognise service until 1920, recognising mine clearing operations at sea, and participation in operations in North and South Russia, the eastern Baltic, Siberia, the Black Sea and the Caspian.
  • Victory Medal - Was issued to all those who had already qualified for the 1914 Star or the 1914-15 Star, and to most persons who had already qualified for the British War Medal. It was awarded to all New Zealand troops serving overseas, except for those who arrived in Samoa after 30 August 1914 and those serving in Great Britain only. It is also sometimes referred to as the "Allied War Medal", because the same basic design and double rainbow ribbon were adopted by 13 other allied nations.
  • 1939-1945 Star - Recognises service in the Second World War. It was usually awarded for six months service in special operational areas. Those whose service was shortened by death, injury or capture or who were awarded a decoration or mentioned in despatches also qualified for the medal. Those who served a day or more in specified battles or invasions also qualified for this award. The ribbon has three equal vertical stripes of dark blue (symbolising Navy and Merchant Navy), red (symbolising Army) and light blue (representing Air Force).
  • Atlantic Star - Awarded to personnel who served an additional 6 months in Home (United Kingdom), Atlantic or North Russian waters after first qualifying for the 1939-45 Star. The ribbon is water silk coloured blue, white and green. These colours symbolise service in the Atlantic Ocean, and in UK and North Russian waters.
  • Africa Star (North Africa 1942-43 Clasp) - Awarded for service in North Africa between 10 June 1940 and 12 May 1943. The ribbon is pale buff in colour with a central vertical red stripe and narrower stripes, one dark blue and one light blue. The pale buff background symbolises the desert, the red stripe symbolises the Army, the dark blue stripe symbolises the Navy and Merchant Navy, while the light blue stripe symbolises the Air Force. New Zealand soldiers who were captured or killed in Greece or Crete in 1941 had qualified for this star before entering Greece. This was because they were based in Egypt on or after 10 June 1940, before being sent to Greece.
  • Italy Star - Awarded for operational service in Italy and adjacent countries between 11 June 1943 and 8 May 1945. The ribbon has 5 equal stripes of green, white and red, the national colours of Italy.
  • War Medal (with Mentioned in Despatches) - Awarded across the British Commonwealth to all fulltime members of the Armed Force for 28 days service between 3 September 1939 and 2 September 1945 irrespective of where they were serving. On one side is an effigy of King George VI. On the reverse is a lion trampling on a dragon symbolising the Axis powers. The ribbon is the red, white and blue of the (British) Union Flag. Attached to the ribbon is a bronze oak leaf which recognises being Mentioned in Despatches.
  • Naval General Service Medal 1915-1962 (Palestine 1945 - 1948 Clasp) - Instituted to recognise service in minor naval operations for which no seperate medal was intended. 
  • Coronation Medal 1937 - Issued to celebrate the Coronation of King George VI in 1937.
  • The Coronation Medal 1953 - Issued to celebrate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953 and was awarded to both military and civilian citizens of the British Commonwealth.
  • Order of the Red Banner - Awarded to Maxwell Richmond by the Russian Government
  • Croix du Guerre (with Mentioned in Despatches) - Awarded to Maxwell Richmond by the French Government. The bronze palm insignia attached to the ribbon recognises he was Mentioned in Despatches.