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Perth Digger

POSTHUMOUS HONOURS COMMITTEE (1916-)

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Perth Digger

Does anyone have any details on a parliamentary committee established after October 1916 to examine whether medals other than the VC might be awarded posthumously? I believe that the Irish MP John Redmond raised the issue in the House of Commons and that Winston Churchill established the committee. It's possible that the issue became entangled with the idea that every serving soldier should later receive a plaque. I'm interested because the father of an officer of the London Regiment KIA at High Wood petitioned the king for a posthumous award and was knocked back. Given that his son had received seven wounds yet continued leading his men before being blown up by a shell, one can understand the father's view. He was told, however, that every other officer was equally gallant. The petition went to Haig, BTW.

Was there a set procedure for the award of gallantry medals? A higher officer in the battalion had to set the process off? I realise that this opens a can of worms, in that the awarding of medals was controversial.

Any suggestions as to where the committee's report (and proceedings) might be found would be gratefully accepted.

Thanks

Mike

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David_Underdown

There's a few possibles in WO 32/14858, but dated 1919. Stick posthumous in a TNA catalogue search and see what you get

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Perth Digger

Thanks very much David and Terry for your useful replies.

Mike

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nthornton1979

Very interesting! Especially the link.

I've always wondered of they ever considered posthumous awards... Now I now.

Neil.

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Perth Digger

You'll have noticed, Neil, that Mr Butcher was hinting that the military authorities were making other awards posthumously. Certainly in one sense that is true. I know of officers mortally wounded who received DSOs and MCs even though they died before the awards were gazetted. It seems that as long as your superior officer thought you were still alive, a recommendation could go forward and be acted upon.

Mike

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David_Underdown

I've certainly seen WWII instances where a man was killed in a later action, but a reccomendation had already been submitted, and was approved. It's reasonably common to see (since killed) following names in the gazette. Even now, for New Year and Birthday Honours, if a recommendation for eg an MBE has been made and approved, but the recipient dies before the publication of the list, it still goes into the gazette, but dated just before their death (since membership of orders is still not conferred posthumously)

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Perth Digger

I think you're on the button there, David. I think it was you who pointed on another thread that I started (on the Cruikshanks) that one could get a MC in the King's Birthday Honours List (June) for distinguished service (ity could be in the field) rather than for a specific act of gallantry. I've found another, Capt H H Burn of the Coldstream Guards, who got his MC in the June 1916 list, died in September, and his relatives received the medal by post.. There is some mention in his Personal Record of an Army Order, dated 28 October 1916, dealing with posthumous awards. Would you have any idea where such Army Orders may be found?

Thanks for your input.

Mike

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