Heraldry Online Blog

3 July 2021

Grant of Arms: Major Francis Vittery Platel GM 1954

Auctioneers Dix Noonan Webb are offering for sale the 1954 Grant of Arms to the late Francis Vittery Platel GM. Major Platel’s widow, Eve Maida Platel (née Chamberlain) petitioned for Arms to be granted “to be placed on a Monument or otherwise to the memory of her late husband” and “to be borne and used by his descendants and the Arms to be borne and used by her as his widow the whole according to the Laws of Arms.”

Auctioneer’s estimate: GBP 80 to 120.

Live Auction: 21 Jul 2021 10:00 BST

George Medal. London Gazette 22 July 1941: ‘At Masara, on the 23rd January, 1941, an explosion occurred in a cave gallery of No. 8 Base Ammunition Depot, killing and wounding about ten of the staff and igniting a stack of gun cartridges. Captain Platel organised and led a rescue and fire-fighting party into the gallery where the cartridges were exploding in all directions; they fought and extinguished the fire. The cave was full of ammunition of all calibres and, but for this officer’s prompt action, example and disregard of danger, the fire must have spread irrevocably, caused a major explosion and the loss of much ammunition.’

Shortly after this incident, Platel transferred to No. 4 Advanced Ammunition Depot in Greece and was captured there on or about the 1st March 1941. After being held in various camps he was finally interned in Oflag VIB in Germany. He died whilst a prisoner of war on 23 November 1944, and is buried in Hanover War Cemetery, Germany.

Arms: Or on a chevron between three cups Gules five gouttes d’eau.

Crest: Between two wings a cubit arm couped vested gules the hand proper holding an open cup Or.

Dated: 15th April 1954

Garter: Sir George Rothe Bellew

Clarenceux: Archibald George Blomefield Russell

Earlier this year, in May, a framed emblazonment of Major Platel’s Arms were sold by auctioneers Dominic Winter as a part of a group of 8 heraldic paintings.

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