Martin Paul Caines was born in 1979 in Surrey, England and was raised in Northern Ireland and England. He was a member of the Army Cadets and joined the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment in 1997. Having completed two tours in Kosovo he was embarked for Iraq on operation Telic 4 in July 2004.
As Christopher Mellor-Hill, Head of Client Liason at Dix Noonan Webb noted: “Colour Sergeant M. P. Caines, who as Platoon Leader, employed both clear-headed discernment and cold courage in resolving a dangerous and escalating incident involving his men and Iraqi soldiers at Maysaan, Iraq, on July 7, 2006, and in so doing prevented a fire-fight, the implications of which would have been disastrous, both militarily and politically.”
Following a joint stop and search patrol carried out by Caines’ platoon and a much larger contingent of Iraqi soldiers, re-supply failures by the Iraqi Army resulted in food and water shortages among the Iraqis, causing resentment towards the well supplied British, who had offered to share their own resources, however inadequate. Frustration turned to anger and shots were fired in the direction of the British who were ordered by Caines to take cover and not return fire. As 15 Iraqi soldiers then fired rounds provocatively towards Caines’ section, an Iraqi Army ring-leader produced a sniper rifle and started shooting directly at the front of the British position. A full confrontation seemed inevitable.
Realising the breadth and enormity of the consequences of shooting the ringleader and precipitating a firefight, Caines stood up from behind cover and, keeping his weapon lowered, stared at the Iraqis, challenging them to fire again. All firing ceased and there was a stand off as the ringleader kept his sniper rifle level and aimed at Caines. Finally the Iraqi assailant faltered, threw down his weapon and walked away, and as a consequence the atmosphere changed and co-operation was re-established.
Caines had earlier served on 1/PWRR’s action-packed 2004 Iraq tour which resulted in a large number of gallantry awards for the battalion, including Johnson Beharry’s V.C., and during which, while undertaking Operation Waterloo, Caines’ vehicle was immobilised having been struck by RPG, grenades, blast bombs and small arms fire - a contact for which his commander was mentioned in despatches.
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Dix Noonan Webb – a brief history
In 1991, its first year of trading, the company held three medal auctions and sold 1,200 lots for a total hammer price of £553,000, however 30 years later, DNW is established as the premier medal auctioneer worldwide. Two years later, in 1993, it opened a coin department which also auctions commemorative medals and tokens. In 2015 DNW added jewellery to its sales calendar as well as setting up a stand alone banknotes department and expanding into premises next door. In 2020 DNW achieved a total hammer price of £14,256,060 and the total number of lots sold across all departments was 24,400. To date the company has sold in excess of 350,000 lots totalling over £200 million.
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