Author Topic: Why would someone not be eligible for British War Medal?  (Read 450 times)

Offline LizzieW

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Why would someone not be eligible for British War Medal?
« on: Sunday 20 January 19 13:53 GMT (UK) »
The husband of my 1st cousin once removed, joined the Canadian Expeditionary Force in 1914 in Canada.  He was British and had gone over there for work, but I guess joined up when WWI broke out.  He was transferred to UK and spent his time in England in Seaford, Shorncliffe, London and finally Bramshot camps before being sent to France between August and October 1917 with the 8th reserve battalion.  He was shot on 2nd October 1918, transferred back to UK and died on 10 November 1918.

I understand why he was ineligible for the 1914-1915 star, or the Victory Medal, but why not the British War Medal which (according to Google)  was awarded to officers and men of the British and Imperial Forces who either entered a theatre of war or entered service overseas between 5th August 1914 and 11th November 1918 inclusive.   Doesn't being in the Canadian forces count?  Or as he'd been in the Canadian Army Service Corps, is the suggestion that he wasn't fighting whilst he was in France?

He was awarded a P & S (I guess a Canadian award) and a Memorial Cross (well 2 of those, one sent to his wife and another one to his mother).

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Offline medpat

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Re: Why would someone not be eligible for British War Medal?
« Reply #1 on: Sunday 20 January 19 14:08 GMT (UK) »
My thoughts would be that the medals you mention were for members of the British forces only. He may have been British but in the Canadian Army so was entitled to medals from Canada only.

I stand to be corrected but that's why I think he didn't get any British medals. Hopefully someone who is knowledgeable about medals will answer.
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Online MaxD

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Re: Why would someone not be eligible for British War Medal?
« Reply #2 on: Sunday 20 January 19 15:11 GMT (UK) »
Short answer is that he was eligible on the face of the service you detail, the medal was for British and imperial forces .
From the Canadian War Museum (there are many other references, wiki gives the number 427993)

Medals could be given for both service and bravery, but the most common were the service medals, such as the British War Medal 1914-1920 and the Victory Medal 1914-1919.  The vast majority of Canadian Expeditionary Force members received these two medals. Far fewer qualified for the 1914-1915 Star, which was awarded to service personnel who had served in France and Belgium prior to 31 December 1915, and the even rarer 1914 Star was awarded for service for those who served before 23 December 1914.

As with the British, the medal was for service whatever the regiment or corps.

Has his service record been checked?  Would you like to give his name?

MaxD
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Online MaxD

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Re: Why would someone not be eligible for British War Medal?
« Reply #3 on: Sunday 20 January 19 16:02 GMT (UK) »
Is this Pte Herbert Bailey by any chance?  If it is , his record is quite clear that he was eligible for both British War and Victory medals.  It records also the Plaque and Scroll and the Memorial Crosses to his widow and his mother.


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Offline LizzieW

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Re: Why would someone not be eligible for British War Medal?
« Reply #4 on: Sunday 20 January 19 16:46 GMT (UK) »
It is Pte Herbert Bailey.  Oh, looking at his records I now see it says "Not eligible for 14-15 Star and then underneath Eligible for V.M and underneath that Eligible for B.W.M.  Sorry, I read it as he was not eligible for any of the medals.

MaxD - Out of interest as I didn't give a name, how did you know which man I was talking about? Thank you for letting me know what P & S stands for.


Offline LizzieW

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Re: Why would someone not be eligible for British War Medal?
« Reply #5 on: Sunday 20 January 19 16:48 GMT (UK) »
Also why was he eligible for the Victory Medal - I thought you only got that if you had the 1914-1915 star?

Online MaxD

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Re: Why would someone not be eligible for British War Medal?
« Reply #6 on: Sunday 20 January 19 17:31 GMT (UK) »
No all recipients of the Stars got the Victory and most of those with the British War Medal.
Process of elimination on the CWGC site.  Your clues were a CEF man, the date, the death in UK therefore likely commemoration there, 8 Reserve Bn (which was infantry).  8 possibilites only one of which was 8th Bn (The battalion he went overseas with was 8th Battalion via 18th reserve Bn).  Quick check of the records and bingo.
He was only in the Canadian ASC for about a year while in UK, he fought in France with the infantry.  He was also terribly unlucky.  The battalion had fought a hard fight at Bourlon Wood in September and on 27-29 had lost over 60 killed and 300 wounded or missing.  They were ordered out of the line into reserve, the move to take place on the night of 1/2 October.  As they were forming up to move, an 8 inch shell wounded 3 men.  Although names are not given, I think it can be assumed he was one of them.

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Offline LizzieW

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Re: Why would someone not be eligible for British War Medal?
« Reply #7 on: Sunday 20 January 19 18:41 GMT (UK) »
According to his attestation papers and other paperwork, he signed on in Winnipeg in July 1915, he arrived in Shorncliffe Army camp in November 1915 and then fluctuated between Shorncliffe and Seaford until April 1917 when he was sent to London, a few days later he was in Bramshott, Hampshire and sometime between August and October 1917 he was sent to France.  Which makes him very unlucky.  He must have thought he was spending his war in England, only to go to France and a year later be wounded.  Or are you suggesting he went back and forth to France and the UK as you say he was only with the CASC for about a year whilst in UK?

His wife never re-married and lived with her mother, until her mother's death in 1954 and she died in 1970 aged 85.  Apart from the fact her mother had pneumonia, both the women died of the same diseases, Myocardial Degeneration and Arteriosclerosis.

Thanks for ally our help. No rush to reply, i won't be back on here until tomorrow afternoon.

Online MaxD

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Re: Why would someone not be eligible for British War Medal?
« Reply #8 on: Sunday 20 January 19 19:34 GMT (UK) »
My clumsy wording, "about a year" was actually nearly two!  He was indeed in UK from arrival in Nov 1915 serving with the CASC in all  those places until 14 August 1917 when he was posted to 18 Reserve Battalion at Dibgate (nr Shorncliffe)  to become an infantryman.  He went overseas on 28 October 1917 arriving with 8th Battalion Canadian Infantry eventually on 19 Nov 1917.  So just the one fateful overseas tour.

His record is a wee bit confusing about his date of wounding. Re-reading the medical bit confirms he was actually wounded on 29 September and admitted to 23 Casualty Clearing Station on 30 Sep and via 32 Stationary Hospital evacuated to UK on Hospital Ship Cambria. So the action at Bourlon Wood at the end of September was when he was wounded not as I noted before.

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