It is with great sadness that we announce the death of one of our most prolific authors, Michael Maton, who died, aged 85, on April 13 after a short illness.
Michael Maton is known to many of you as the author of a number of books on orders, medals and decorations. His first book THE NATIONAL HONOURS AND AWARDS OF AUSTRALIA is still the only book which comprehensively covers Australia’s post 1975 suite of honours and awards which now total over 50. Since that first work he privately published 12 limited edition books on Australian honours and awards covering a range of diverse subjects.
In 2004 he turned his attention to the wider field of British and Dominion gallantry awards and started the now famous and invaluable HONOUR series that he is perhaps best known for within our hobby. The first book in the series HONOUR THE AIRFORCES is now being used by collectors and historians as the standard reference work for Second World War honours and awards to the RAF and Dominion Air Forces. It was reprinted in 2012 after high demand saw the first print run sell out very quickly. The second book, HONOUR THE ARMIES (detailing honours and awards to both the British and Dominion Armies in World War II) was published in 2006 with the third book in the series HONOUR THE NAVIES following in 2007 and then HONOUR THE CIVILIANS, which detailed Civilian honours awards (and MiDs) came along in 2012. World War I was dealt with in HONOUR THE OFFICERS—a full list of the awards and decorations for British and Empire Officers 1914-1919 which was published in 2009. His “HONOUR THOSE MENTIONED” Series, comprising a volume on the Air Forces, two on the Armies (Recipients with surnames A-K in Volume I and L-Z in Volume II) and one on the Navies, details awards of the Mention in Despatches to British and Dominion forces for World War II; it was started in 2010 and completed in 2012. HONOUR THE RECIPIENTS OF FOREIGN AWARDS, published in 2013, was a major breakthrough in the research of the foreign awards often found in British and Empire/Commonwealth groups as it lists all the gazetted medals and awards made to members of the British and Dominion armed forces and civilians by foreign governments during the 1914-68 period. Michael’s next books, published in 2015, again looked at Mentions in Despatches, this time in a three volume set covering the recipients of the MiD during World War some 155,000 names in all.
In 2016 Michael’s new book HONOURS AND AWARDS 1854-1914 & 1920-1939 concentrated on two historical periods, the 60 years from the Crimean War in 1854 until the outbreak of the next major European conflict in 1914 and then the period of relative peace in Europe from 1920 until the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939. His next work, published in 2017, continued to look at those two time periods, now concentrating on the Mentions in Despatches.
The very last book in an incredible series - HONOUR THE RECIPIENTS OF THE MEDAL OF THE ORDER OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE - saw Michael turn his attention to the Medal of the Order of the British Empire (in all its forms) which celebrated its centenary in 2017. It will be published posthumously in May.
There can be no doubt that Michael will be sorely missed by those of us who have benefitted so very greatly from his research but he leaves behind a legacy that will aid our hobby for years to come and we owe him a huge debt of gratitude.