British Empire Medal, George VI G.VI.R Cypher (Civil), 2nd issue. Arthur J. N. Chapple. In Royal Mint case of issue.


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Sold with named Buckingham Palace enclosure; various newspaper cuttings and copied research.
B.E.M. London Gazette 21 June 1949; ‘Arthur John Norman Chapple, Sub-Postmaster, Speldhurst, Kent. A man entered the Speldhurst Sub-Post Office, shut the door behind him, pointed a firearm at the sub-postmaster and demanded money. Chapple, who is 65 years of age, threw a small rubber mat at the man and jumped over the counter to close with him. The intruder reversed his firearm and struck the sub-postmaster on the head, knocking him to the ground. Chapple then clasped the man round the legs in an attempt to throw him off his balance. Although struck repeatedly on the head with the butt of the firearm, Chapple refused to let go until he lost consciousness. Chapple displayed outstanding devotion to duty and courage in his efforts to prevent the robbery and the escape of the criminal.’ He was born in Kingston-on-Thames in 1884 and after leaving school, took an appointment in Canada. Returning home, he joined the Postal Service at Addington, near Ashford. During the Great War, he served as a Private in the 8th Battalion, London Regiment (Post Office Rifles), rejoining the Postal Service on his return home and transferring to Speldhurst.
Still employed at Speldhurst as Sub-Postmaster in 1949, on 10 May that year, Chapple, who was at the time counting money, was confronted by a man armed with a revolver. On hearing the words ‘hand it over – I mean it’, Chapple dived over the desk at the robber but was hit over the head with the butt of the robber’s revolver. The robber then proceeded to viciously attack Chapple, breaking his leg in several places, and knocking him unconscious. The robber escaped with £40 but for some reason, he missed a further £150 in an open safe. He was never caught. For his gallantry Chapple was awarded the B.E.M. but was unfortunately not able to attend the investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace as he was still recovering from his injuries. He also received a gratuity of £30 from the Postmaster General. He died on 21 February 1962.