Sergeant Frank Snape Distinguished Conduct Medal at Monte Cassino May 1944

Frank Snape was an acting Sergeant in the 2nd Battalion The Bedfordshire and  Hertfordshire during the battle of Monte Cassino in May 1944. During the battle, he earned the Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM) for gallantry.

He was subsequently given a field commission. In addition to the DCM  he was awarded the 1939-1945 star, the Africa Star, the Italy Star, the Defence Medal, the1939-45 War Medal and was Mentioned in Despatches. Frank retired in 1968 as a Lieutenant colonel in the RAOC. He died in 1992. Later that year his son, Mr Christopher Snape, and his daughter Mrs Jane Walker visited Warley and presented his medals to the Regimental Association, with a view to them being displayed in the museum of the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regiment.

Sadly, what happened to them next is not known, but when Mrs Walker enquired after them in 2021 they could not be found. It was reluctantly concluded that they must have been lost or stolen from Warley.

It was at this stage that Colonel Dick Harrold, our ‘Regimental Colonel Heritage’ stepped in on behalf of the regiment and offered to help Frank’s family. What followed was some extensive research of Frank’s service records, confirmation of the medals that he had been awarded, and had subsequently been lost. Once RHQ were satisfied that the medal group could not be found, a proposal was made to replace the medals with a replica set. This was a successful cooperative project between RHQ and Frank Snape’s family. Finally on Tuesday 15 February 2022, Mrs Jane Walker and Mr Christopher Snape visited the Bedfordshire & Hertfordshire Regiment Museum at Wardown House in Luton. During this visit, Colonel Dick Harrold presented the Snape family with the newly commissioned set of replica medals. This was a very emotional and happy moment for all present.

After a period of discussion about Frank’s time in the regiment, and some very positive reflection on the culmination of medals story, Jane and Christopher thanked all involved in replacing their father’s medals. It was at this point that they formally presented the medal group to the Beds & Herts Museum, John Maddox and Nigel Lutt gratefully received the medals, and placed them into a special cabinet were the medals, the DCM citation, and some photographs of Frank are now on display to the public. So concluded a very special day for all involved.

Should you want to view the Snape medal group please visit the Bedfordshire & Hertfordshire Museum at Wardown House in Luton.


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