Kettering war hero’s medals sold at auction

Air Commodore Edward "Daisy" Sismore
Air Commodore Edward "Daisy" Sismore

Eleven medals and decorations awarded to Kettering war hero Air Commodore Edward “Daisy” Sismore sold for £72,000 at a London auction last Thursday – £22,000 more than expected.

Mr Sismore was one of Kettering’s greatest airmen – possibly the greatest – and he was still only 21 when he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order and the Distinguished Flying Cross within weeks of each other in 1943.

He went on to receive two more DFCs which are the Bars attached to the medal’s white and deep purple striped ribbon.

London auctioneers Spink said Sismore is now “recognised as the RAF’s finest wartime low-level navigator” and that “he planned and took part in some of the most daring raids of the Second War” including planning the Amiens Jail Raid on August 19, 1944, and leading the formations in the last of the ‘Mosquito Daylight Spectaculars’ on the Gestapo headquarters in Aarhus, Copenhagen and Odense.”

Mr Sismore was born in Kettering on June 23, 1921, and was educated at Kettering Grammar School.

When was he was 18 he joined the RAF Volunteer Reserve.

When he died on March 22, 2012, the Daily Telegraph said: “Air Commodore Ted Sismore, 90, was recognised as the RAF’s finest low-level navigator of the Second World War,leading ‘daylight spectaculars on targets including three separate Gestapo headquarters and on Goering and Goebbels themselves.

“For the most part, Sismore completed these hair-raising exploits,for which he was four times decorated alongside Squadron Leader Reggie Reynolds.

“The due teamed up in December 1942 when Sismore, then recently commissioned and a veteran of a tour of operations on Blenheim bombers, joined the Mosquito-equipped No 105 Squadron. He would see continuous action on bombing operations for the next twenty months.

“The Mosquitos flew at low level over Germany and, as they crossed the Elbe, climbed to 25,000ft for their attack, which was carried out exactly on time and photographed by Sismore as it happened.

“On their return the crews were able to hear a tape recording from German radio. As the announcer introduced Goering to the crowds, bombs could be heard exploding. Goering never delivered his speech and his constant boasts about the security of the Fatherland were proved to be empty promises. Among those decorated after the attack was Sismore, who was awarded a DFC,”

The Distinguished Flying Cross is awarded for “gallantry during active operations against the enemy.” and in the Second World War only forty five men, including Kettering’s Edward Sismore, received three DFCs

The Distinguished Service Order, with its distinctive red ribbon and narrow blue edges, is awarded “for distinguished services during active

operations against the enemy.”

The citation for Edward Sismore’s DSO says: “On May 27, 1943, this officer was navigator of the leading aircraft of a formation of fourteen detailed to attack targets at Jena, Germany, in daylight.

“he total distance was 1,100 miles, over 500 of which were to be covered at very low level in daylight, through strong defences, both from the ground and the air, in occupied and enemy territory. Weather conditions were not as expected, being very clear over the first part of the route, but deteriorating badly towards the target.

“Visibility was reduced to less than a mile for the last 150,and was not more than half a mile for the last 40.

“In spite of these difficulties,Flying Officer Sismore navigated with extreme accuracy and finally brought the formation up to the target along the pre-arranged run.

“The attack was made at low level in the face of very heavy anti-aircraft defences and balloons. Over the target itself. a light anti-aircraft shell burst in the cockpit, wounding the pilot.

“Flying Officer Sismore coolly rendered first aid and helped the pilot to maintain control of the aircraft. He then continued his accurate navigation and the aircraft returned safely to base.”

Before the auction, at Spink in London, Air Commodore Edward Sismore’s medals had been expected to sell for between £40,000 and £50,000. They were bought by a mystery bidder.

Mr Sismore and his medals were featured on the front cover of the auction catalogue,as they were the stand out medals in the sale.