The tale of two courageous Scottish brothers who were killed in the Second World War can be told after their medals were put up for sale.
Corporal Anthony Drongin was killed in the infamous SAS raid on Benghazi in Libya in September 1942. His younger brother Sapper Francis Drongin lost his life behind enemy lines in Burma in April 1944.
Their campaign medals, including a Military Medal awarded to Francis for rescuing wounded soldiers on the battlefield in Tobruk, Libya, are being sold on Wednesday by London auctioneer Dix Noonan Webb and are being estimated to sell for £6,000.
The brothers, sons of a Lithuanian miner and a Scottish mother, came from Wishaw in Lanarkshire. Anthony was born in 1915, Francis six years later in 1921.
Anthony enlisted with the Scots Guards in 1935, serving in Palestine the following year before transferring to the SAS in February 1941.
He was sent to the Middle East to fight Rommel’s feared Afrika Corps and the Italians.
He died during Operation Bigamy, the SAS’s bold mission to capture and hold Benghazi until a relieving force arrived by sea from Malta.
Anthony was on a Jeep in a convoy approaching the outskirts of the town when it came under fierce machine gun, mortar and sniper fire.
The SAS initially kept on ploughing towards their target but it soon became apparent there was a large force expecting them with a dozen machine guns opening fire from point-blank range.
Anthony was hit in the thigh and groin, causing him to fall off the Jeep. He was picked up and put back in the retreating vehicle.
One officer, thinking he was dead, ordered the “corpse” to be thrown back over the side but he suddenly came to life. His eyes wide open, Anthony reprimanded the officer: “Corporal to you, sir”. However, he died aged 27 later that day.
Francis enlisted in the Royal Engineers aged 16 in 1937 and embarked for the Middle East in October 1940. He was posted to No12 Field Company, RE, in January 1941, with whom he received the Military Medal on the night of 9 November that year.
Francis took part in a night raid on Tobruk, distinguishing himself by going forward under heavy fire to open a gap in the enemy wire.
Even though his duty was over, he subsequently assisted with the removal of wounded men in no man’s land.
Francis left the Middle East for India in early 1942 then went behind enemy lines in Burma, where he died in unknown circumstances on 10 April, 1944.