Rare Second World War medals awarded to 'vital' Lowestoft woman set to be auctioned
PUBLISHED: 12:50 04 February 2019
She was honoured for her “courage” and devoted duty during the “constant threat” of enemy air attacks.
And now a rare British Empire Medal (BEM), which was awarded to Dorothy Dallimer, of Lowestoft, for her efforts and dedicated service in the town during the Second World War air raids of 1941, is set to be auctioned this month.
It is being auctioned alongside an Imperial Service Medal that was also awarded to Miss Dallimer in 1945 at the orders, decorations, medals and militaria sale organised by the Dix Noonan Webb auction house in London on February 27.
And what makes this a particularly “rare distinction” was that these medals were awarded for her “vital civilian” work as a telephone supervisor at Lowestoft Post Office, which was carried out in “very much an active war setting.”
According to the auction house, Miss Dallimer was born in St Margaret’s, Lowestoft, on December 1, 1889.
After being first appointed to the Lowestoft Post Office as a telephone operator in November 1906, research shows she was employed during the Second World War as an assistant supervisor at the Lowestoft Post Office.
She was awarded the British Empire Medal in October 1941, “for her bravery in maintaining an efficient telephone service during periods of constant danger, while raids were targeting the port and the naval establishments.”
According to the London Gazette edition of October 10, 1941, which highlighted her award, it says: “Miss Dorothy Ann Daphne Dallimer, assistant supervisor, Class II, Post Office, Lowestoft.
“This supervisor of women telephone operators has, by her courage and devotion to duty, set a fine example to her staff.
“Throughout the air raids in the areas where she works, she had maintained an efficient telephone service during periods of constant danger.”
The London Gazette edition of August 17, 1945 said that Miss Dallimer was awarded her Imperial Service Medal upon her retirement in 1945, “prior to her marriage that summer on the cessation of hostilities.”
Research shows she died in Lowestoft in June 1973.
With “significant interest” expected among collectors, the medals – which have an estimate of between £400 and £500 – are being sold with a photocopied extract from the Lowestoft Journal and Mercury edition of October 18, 1941, which contains a photograph of the recipient.
Oliver Pepys, specialist in the medal department at Dix Noonan Webb, said: “Dorothy Dallimer’s award of the BEM was extremely well merited – a civilian, without any military training, she nevertheless carried out her vital work under the constant threat of enemy air attacks, and as a result had the rare distinction of being awarded a civilian decoration in what was very much an active war setting.
“Given the circumstances of the award we expect significant interest in this lot on the day of the auction.”