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UNCLAIMED MEDALS


nick ward408
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I have been doing some digging on a 'shot at dawn' lad,J E Barnes 7th Royal Sussex shot 04.07.17 and have been in contact with his relatives who tell me his medals were never claimed due to the nature of his death,if this is the case where are they and can they still be claimed?

Nick

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His medals were forfeited due to the circumstances of his death, and thus no medals were ever impressed with his details. The Army Medals Office discontinued the issue of WW1 medals some years ago in any case, so unclaimed medals cannot be claimed any longer.

Barnes was a Littlehampton lad and his name is on the war memorial there.

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Im a Littlehampton man myself and know the family it was his Mother who passed down the story of his medals,just a thought though what about 15 Star?were they presented after the war? or when a soldier qualified?

cheers fellas anyway

Nick

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His MiC does not actually state they were forefeit,it is possible they may well have been issued {they would not have needed to be claimed as he was an OR} the 1914~15 Star was issued from around 1920 onwards the BWM & Victory from the early 1920s onwards,had they not been issued I would have expected to have seen an annotation on the Index card to that effect,it might be worth checking the Medal Roll {ref on the MiC} to confirm if they were unissued.

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The cross against the Victory reference might indicate they were not issued, but there is no similar mark against the 1914-15 Star. As these are only index cards, the medal roll might be more specific.

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His MiC does not actually state they were forefeit,it is possible they may well have been issued {they would not have needed to be claimed as he was an OR} the 1914~15 Star was issued from around 1920 onwards the BWM & Victory from the early 1920s onwards,had they not been issued I would have expected to have seen an annotation on the Indexcard to that effect,it might be worth checking the Medal Roll {ref on the MiC} to confirm if they were unissued.

thanks for that,I shall look at the Medal Roll next week I am also meeting a relative for a chat,they are adamant the family never had them,so a little mystery to ponder on.

cheers

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The Manual of Military Law and/or King's Regulations states that men convicted of certain military crimes automatically forfeited their rights to campaign medals. MICs for executed soldiers often don't indicate that medals were not issued. In some cases nor do the Medal Rolls. The statement relating to execution was enough to indicate this fact, perhaps. Authors Putkowski/Sykes who wrote 'Shot At Dawn' were unable to find a single example of medals being issued to executed soldiers.

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It is interesting to contrast this MIC with the one shown in the thread below, which specifically mentions that the medals were forfeited and gives no medal roll information:

 

 

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The Manual of Military Law and/or King's Regulations states that men convicted of certain military crimes automatically forfeited their rights to campaign medals. MICs for executed soldiers often don't indicate that medals were not issued. In some cases nor do the Medal Rolls. The statement relating to execution was enough to indicate this fact, perhaps. Authors Putkowski/Sykes who wrote 'Shot At Dawn' were unable to find a single example of medals being issued to executed soldiers.

well that must be the answer then,thinking about it you could even forfeit a Victoria Cross if you disgraced the Crown,mind you seeing as they have all been pardoned should'nt that mean the families deserve to have those medals?

thanks Paul

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It is interesting to contrast this MIC with the one shown in the thread below, which specifically mentions that the medals were forfeited and gives no medal roll information:

http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/i...p;#entry1283687

I shall look at the medal roll for Barnes and Pattison who were shot on the same day,on that link does it say why those medals were forfeited? was there a list of reasons you could lose your medal entitlement?

Interesting but I would still like to know if you have been given a pardon why can't the family be given his medals as well?

thanks all for your help

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I would still like to know if you have been given a pardon why can't the family be given his medals as well?

If there is no note to say thet they were not issued, I think the balance of probability is that they were. As can be seen from the other thread the clerks at the time usually noted when medals were forfeited. It is not the only MIC or roll that I have seen which specificall mentions the medals were forfeited, but Barnes' doesn't.

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[,thinking about it you could even forfeit a Victoria Cross if you disgraced the Crown

Is this the case? I had it in mind that the VC was exempt from forfeit but I may be wrong (not for the first or several time)

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John

There was at least one VC forfeit - for bigamy! I think it was restored some years later however.

With regard to those executed, the pardon does not mean that the findings of the court were reversed, it was just a clever political way out of a particular situation.

TR

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If there is no note to say thet they were not issued, I think the balance of probability is that they were.

It's never a good idea to draw a conclusion based on a single example. As I stated above, more than 20 years ago, two authors and their researchers could not find a single example of any campaign medals being issued to executed soldiers.

The medal roll for Barnes, in WO329, states "forfeited on conviction for desertion 10.6.17. Shot 4.7.17."

These are from my notes made many years ago, before digital cameras and the Net.

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It is interesting to contrast this MIC with the one shown in the thread below, which specifically mentions that the medals were forfeited and gives no medal roll information:

http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/i...p;#entry1283687

I shall look at the medal roll for Barnes and Pattison who were shot on the same day,on that link does it say why those medals were forfeited? was there a list of reasons you could lose your medal entitlement?

Interesting but I would still like to know if you have been given a pardon why can't the family be given his medals as well?

thanks all for your help

My understanding of the pardon is that the soldiers should not have been executed - not that they did not commit a 'crime'. (by the standards of the time) As soldiers today know, certain 'crimes' prevent issue of medals (LS&GC, as an example) therefore the non issue of medals to those convicted in WW1 should still stand- as it's the punishment in this case that is questioned rather than the interpretation/acception of whether they committed a crime (and they did by military standards at the time - irrefutable and undeniable!!!)

Please do not go down the road of judging issues of yesterday by the standards of today.

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It's never a good idea to draw a conclusion based on a single example. As I stated above, more than 20 years ago, two authors and their researchers could not find a single example of any campaign medals being issued to executed soldiers.

The medal roll for Barnes, in WO329, states "forfeited on conviction for desertion 10.6.17. Shot 4.7.17."

These are from my notes made many years ago, before digital cameras and the Net.

thanks Paul that seals it then,just my question about the conditions of his pardon that is a little grey?to me they should be able to recieve the medals now?I guess there must be an official gov document stating the terms of the pardon?

Thanks again

Nick

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My understanding of the pardon is that the soldiers should not have been executed - not that they did not commit a 'crime'. (by the standards of the time) As soldiers today know, certain 'crimes' prevent issue of medals (LS&GC, as an example) therefore the non issue of medals to those convicted in WW1 should still stand- as it's the punishment in this case that is questioned rather than the interpretation/acception of whether they committed a crime (and they did by military standards at the time - irrefutable and undeniable!!!)

Please do not go down the road of judging issues of yesterday by the standards of today.

of course that must be the case i guess, there is no doubt he committed the crime so no medals because of it.

thanks

Nick

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Is this the case? I had it in mind that the VC was exempt from forfeit but I may be wrong (not for the first or several time)

There were several cases of the VC being forfeited, but this practice was stopped by King George V. I think though it was regularised in the 1920 warrant.

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The medal roll for Barnes, in WO329, states "forfeited on conviction for desertion 10.6.17. Shot 4.7.17."

As I wrote in post #6 I regard the medal rolls as more comprehensive than the MICs and so as a note has been found there it shows the value of consulting the rolls. My conclusions are not based on one case.

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