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Guest Ian Topham

SOLDIER MEDAL ENTITLEMENT

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Guest Ian Topham

Can anyone please answer:

Were soldiers that were the subject of the military disciplin system ie. for serious crimes such as desertion, mutiiny etc still entitled to an issue of the campaign medals for the service they may have completed before the crime was committed.

Thanks <_<

Ian

PS Especially those that may have qualified for decorations for acts of gallentry prior to their crimes.

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Staffsyeoman

An on the fly answer - I'm sure others will comment more authoritatively, and rightly so - but from my experience with the Territorial Force War Medal roll for the MGC - there are several (about a dozen in 900, don't quote me!)

entries in the roll, which was compiled between 1920-1923 in the main, where typewritten entries are struck out and in manuscript, red ink, is; 'Declared deserter (date) NO MEDAL'

When I bore down into my notes, will get back to you with cases!

Phil

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Terry_Reeves

Ian

Campaign medals could certainly be forfieted. The RE medal rolls note that a Cpl Reilly was denied his medals after being court martialled and found guilty of fraud.

Terry Reeves

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Annette Burgoyne

Hi Ian

Here is an example from the K.S.L.I. Medal Roll.

Pte. so and so forfeits for Penal Servitude and Desertion 4/1/19, and lines are drawn through the typewritten entries.

Regards

Annette

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Guest Ian Bowbrick

Ian,

There is an interesting case of an MGC soldier, mentioned at the end of ther last medal roll, who deserted and forfeited his medals. However after deserting he joined the Royal Navy and qualified for a pair for service with them :wacko: This is recorded on the roll.

Ian B

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Charles Fair

Ian

In the London Regt such men were entered in the medal rolls either in red typscript, or in black which was crossed out in red ink. As Phil says, there is something along the lines of 'Declared deserter (date) NO MEDAL'. I found a good example a couple of days ago in the BWM&VM Rolls of the 7th London Regt (WO 329/1916, p 220):

HOOKER, William, Pte

Reg Numbers 4946 and 352037

1/7th London Regt, France 20/12/16 - 29/01/18

transferred to 1/19th London Regt, France 30/01/18 - 11/11/18

At the end of his entry (red type) is written:

"Dis Misconduct xi KR 11/3/20 By FGCM to 1 yr IHL for absence without leave 9/10/1919 - no medals"

I was wondering if someone could please clarify a couple of points.

1. Is the 9/10/1919 the date he went AWOL?

2. IHL - is this 'Imprisonment with Hard Labour'?

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Annette Burgoyne

Hi all

Being drunk on active service does not seem to be an offence that would stop a man getting his medals. I have a case of a chap, who faced a field Court Martial for being drunk in the trenches, he was sentenced to one years imprisonment with hard labour, it being also directed by the Brigadier that the prisoner is not to be imprisoned pending further orders (I have never found out what the further orders were), anyway this chaps medal roll entry makes no mention of any offence.

Annette

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Guest Hill 60

One of my great grandfathers was in the CEF.

He went AWOL when his unit arrived in the UK, then twice more 'in the field' in France. He was punished on all occasions, from loss of pay through to FP No 2.

He was awarded his medals (1915 trio) and service badge in about 1920.

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Tom Tulloch-Marshall

Ian - there are a lot of "ifs & buts" with regards to the question of forfeiture of medals, but essentially, - forfeiture was governed by provisions of the Pay Warrant and much depended on whether the soldier was actually discharged as the result of a court martial or retained with the colours.

As I understand it, if the soldier was discharged upon comviction then forfeiture of all medals was automatic except if the man was a VC recipient, in which case the War Office had to present the case to The King, who would decide whether the VC should be retained or forfeited. (I think the King's decision was with regards to the VC only, not any other medals that might be involved).

If the man was not discharged as the result of a conviction, but his medals were forfeited, then they were put into the care of the corps records office to be retained until such time as restoration may be authorised, or the medals met one of the criteria which allowed for their destruction. The same applied to men discharged to Army Reserve. The medals of men who died whilst their medals were forfeited were destroyed, as were the medals of men who were discharged at the time that their medals were forfeited.

Soldiers who had their medals withdrawn after conviction for fraudulent enlistment or desertion, which resulted in forfeiture of service, would have their medals returned upon restoration of the forfeited service (assuming it was ever restored). Medals forfeited for reasons other than fraudulent enlistment or desertion could be restored by a man's CO if he subsequently completed another three years service without any further entry on his regimental conduct sheet, any period of detention following the original conviction not counting towards the three years service.

I think there was also a provision for restoration of previously forfeited medals to Reservists rejoining the colours, but I'm not aware of what rules applied there.

There was also an interesting provision for men admitted to lunatic asylums at discharge. Their medals were retained and issued to them if and when they recovered, or to their next of kin when they died.

Dont take that as gospel - just recollections from various army orders.

regards - Tom

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john w.

BAsed on what you said above Tom... if a soldier was convicted of an offence, given the death penalty, then this was commuted to whatever, the soldier would then forfiet his medals on the basis of the imposition of the death penalty or the commuted sentence?

In 1915 the Army Suspension of sentences act came in... now I assume having no information... that if this covered those who were under the death penalty and then commuted, they could then go back to their unit, be killed and then get their medals back... errr I think thats what I meant :blink:

If they survived.. after being RTU then would they have been their medals ? maybe even have their sentence quashed ?

John

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Guest Ian Bowbrick
Being drunk on active service does not seem to be an offence that would stop a man getting his medals.

The case seemed to be different for Officers. Being drunk could lead to FGCM. If found guilty you were usually cashiered. I Have seen cases in both the Army & RAF where this happened to an officer with note 'suspense list - no medals'.

Ian

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Rodge Dowson

Pte John Ward of the 2nd Manchester Rgt had all his medals forfeited for one act of disobedience and also being abscent without leave the medals he would have received were;

Distinguished Conduct Medal, Military Medal, 1914 Star & Bar Trio, GSM bar 'Iraq'.. He was found guilty be general field court martial and sentenced to 300 days detention, at Borden Camp in 1918 however his sentence was commuted so he was posted with the battalion off to Iraq - I chased for all the awards to be re-instated and went down many avenues to at least get the GSM issued, including the Defence Secretary and H.M the Queen - but to no avail. John Ward was an excellent fighting soldier, who on occasion rebelled against his superiors and paid the price, he also lost his pension. A copy of Kings Regulations 1912 edition is worth obtaining if you can to explain the rigid criteria for offences and loss of awards and campaign medals.

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Guest Ian Topham

There seems to be an infinite number of if's and but's with this topic, too many! to find a standard pattern, judgement seems to be by individual case, and in the case of the D.C.M winner perhaps totally over the top ( perhaps a wrong expression to use).

Thanks for all your inputs, I'm at the moment trying to find out if similar circumstances occured within the NZ formations.

Thanks again

Ian :ph34r:

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Tom Tulloch-Marshall
BAsed on what you said above Tom... if a soldier was convicted of an offence, given the death penalty, then this was commuted to whatever, the soldier would then forfiet his medals on the basis of the imposition of the death penalty or the commuted sentence?

John - I am now about 1/2 a degree farenheit away from total meltdown and am having trouble grasping the question, let alone what the answer might be :blink: - but - in the scenario that you raise I dont think that the sentence being COMMUTED would make any difference at all - if the conviction were to be QUASHED for whatever reason then that would be a different thing entirely.

In your scenario the man is still guilty of whatever it was he was convicted for in the first place, so the same rules re medals would apply.

The Suspension of Sentences Act ? - I've always taken it to mean just that - a suspension of the sentence, not the conviction, and it was the conviction that governed the medal issue rules.

Again, dont take this as gospel, - it's a subject which probably warrants some work in the Army Orders and Army Council Instructions post 1914 before a firm position could be declared.

regards - Tom

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john w.

Tom

Thanks for that... what about the other scenario where the soldier had been convicted sent back to unit... done well survived and would he then get his medals? or had not survived but died on the field of battle... would he then be entitled to them?

John

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Terry

I acquired a group of four in trade last year: WW1 pair to the 5th Canadian Mounted Rifles, plus the Can Volunteer Service Medal/War Medal pair awarded to Canadians who served in Canada in WW2.

When the fellow's files arrived from the National Archives, they made quite a story. He went AWOL on several occasions; was handed 28 days confinement after one offence; and the next time, in August 1917, was sentenced to be executed.

He managed to avoid the firing squad when his sentence was trimmed down to five years, and then two years. His actual time behind bars must have been fairly brief, as he was back with his unit in time to be wounded in August,1918. Even here, I was left wondering, as his wound is listed as: GSW little finger, left hand.

Our man survived the war, received his medals, and in 1940 re-enlisted, in the Veterans Guard. I am not sure which amazes me more - the fact that he would ever want to put on a uniform again, or the fact that the army would welcome him back!

A total of 216 Canadians were sentenced to death in WW1. Twenty-five actually were shot.

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Tom Tulloch-Marshall
what about the other scenario where the soldier had been convicted sent back to unit... done well survived and would he then get his medals? or had not survived but died on the field of battle... would he then be entitled to them?

John - that's an interesting idea, and if it were a matter to be decided at regimental level (etc) then it might just have worked that way - "he was a good bloke really, let's ignore his conviction for desertion last year and send his medals to his wife."

But you have to remember who ultimately administered all of this - the War Office, .............. and the WO was mainly staffed by C

(which is probably a good place to stop - but the answer to your question is almost certainly no)

regards - Tom

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dave ricketts

This is an interesting subject. I have got one chap who died of wounds in F & F, but his records in WO363 note "No medals". I haven't had a chance to check the Medal Rolls but thats on my (lengthy) list for Kew. He suffered some detention in the UK, and a bit of FP2 in the field. However, compared to a couple of Aussies I have seen the records for who got their medals, he seems very well behaved.

Dave

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john w.

Dave

Any chance of a name? If he was convicted with the death penalty and commuted I have the list via Gerald Oram's book

John

Seems from the last three postings that like the firing squad it was inconsistent in its application....

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dave ricketts

John,

As it is a local man there are some sensitivities. There are surviving relatives, so I will e-mail you off forum.

Dave

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