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Terry Denham

Medal Roll Interpretation

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Terry Denham

I have the following info from the medal rolls about this man who survived the war.

Pte Henry FAIRBAIRN

3886 4 Bn London Regt 12.07.16 - 23.07.16

63499 20 Bn Royal Fusiliers 24.07.16 - 01.12.16

Gap in service dates

63499 13 Bn Royal Fusiliers 08.08.17 - 22.08.17

63499 11 Bn Royal Fusiliers 23.08.17 - 21.03.18

I know where he was during these periods but I have three questions.

1) He was captured and became a POW near St Quentin. Would the last date shown be his date of capture?

2) Would time in a prison camp be deemed time in a theatre of war for medal entitlement purposes?

3) Any ideas for the gap in dates? (Returned to UK presumably and therefore not in a theatre of war).

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andyspiller

Terry

My man served 11/14 to 04/15 in France and then again 02/16 to 08/17 (from medal rolls). MIC says POW 16/8/1917 and the MR says France until 15/8/17 (question1).

Question 2 - no idea but would be interested in the answer.

Question 3 - 06/15 my man was transferred from 1/9th to 3/9th Londons and then transferred back to the 1/9th three days before returning to France.

Hope this helps

Regards

Andy

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Terry Denham

Thanks Andy

My man's MIC and medal roll entry make no mention of him being a POW.

However, we know that this was the case from the man himself and his surviving family (assuming that he was not a liar!).

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andyspiller

Terry

Re: Question 2

Just checked his service record and it says under Overseas Service

POW 16/8/1917 to 26/12/1918.

Date of repatriation is 27/12/1918.

Hope this helps

Andy

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Terry_Reeves

Terry

I assume your man was entitled to the BWM and Victory Medal. He would have qualified for these with any of the units you have mentioned as they all were serving in a theatre of war on the dates he was with them. His incarceration would have made no difference.

With regard to question No 1, it is most likely that this was the date of his capture. It should be fairly easy to find out what 11th RF were doing on that date which would at least confirm the possibility of him being captured then.

Terry Reeves

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Terry Denham

Thanks Terry

I know exactly where the unit was and what it was doing.

The war diary confirms that a recon party suffered casualties/missings that day and that is when he was likely to have been bagged if the date of 21.03.18 was his date of capture.

A couple of weeks ago I was on the banks of a muddy canal under a railway bridge from where the party set off. I was with the man's son and grandson. We did our best to retrace his steps into the bag.

We then retired to St Quentin for Kwak supplies.

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Guest Ian Bowbrick

Terry,

Casualties and POWS were officially struck off the strength of their Bn/Coy. That is why your man's service ends on 21 March 1918 - the date he was posted missing and or later confirmed as a POW.

MICs, except those for 14 Stars do not usually show POW status. This is usually shown in service records or WO 161 - ask Mick aka Michael - he has a complete listing.

Ian

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Terry Denham

Thanks Ian

That is the info for which I was looking.

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andyspiller

Ian

OK

Why does my man (14 Star/Clasp & Roses) have his POW status recorded when later men did not?

Regards

Andy

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Guest Ian Bowbrick
Ian

OK

Why does my man (14 Star/Clasp & Roses) have his POW status recorded when later men did not?

Regards

Andy

Andy,

Because the Medal Index Cards and rolls for the 14 Star were compiled when the war was still on ie the man was still a POW.

Subsequent MICs and rolls, for 14/15 Stars and BWM/Victorys, were compiled after the war had finished and all POWs had been repatriated.

Ian :)

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andyspiller

Ian

Many thanks for your answer.

Regards

Andy

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