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ian harrison

Medal Card Interpretation

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ian harrison

Dear Listers,

I’ve recently obtained my great uncles medal card from the UK Archives.

The card has some details that are difficult to decipher, I wonder if someone could help me in explaining what some of the wording and some of the comments might mean.

· What is Suspense list/17

· In the NAME box what is the word

· The campaign at the top LH top corner, what/where is this campaign

· What is the wording under Suspense list/17

· In the RH lower corner there is an X in the “over” box does this mean there is more data on the reverse side?

Captain Albert Edward Harrison was court martialled from the AIF in 1917 he subsequently joined the British Army, he never returned to Australia and was never seen again, He joined the British Army as a 2nd Lt

I have attached the medal card picture to this posting, I can re-scan and send directly if it doesn't read well through this medium

If there is thought to be data on the reverse side of the card are the cards still in existence and can they be viewed?

Many thanks

Ian Harrison

Torquay Australia

post-23-1092225513.jpg

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olosangus

Hi, not sure that this is much help and hopefully someone will be able to give you a fuller answer.

BEF 1914 is the British Expeditionery Force 1914, presumably your man arrived in France some time in 1914, although this would perhaps be unlikely if he were serving with the Australians ?

The letters in the Name are ORG - I have seen this on other mic's but have not been able to find any reference to what it means.

The original MIC's do not survive, although that are lleft are microfiche copies - what you have is it. Of course there may be service records available - if he served as an officer in the British army there is a good chnace of finding something in the PRO in London.

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Blackblue

Hi Ian,

There is an Captain Albert Edward HARRISON listed in the WW1 Nominal Roll as serving with the 19th Battalion Australian Imperial Force. There is no enlistment date but it has him discharging on the 28.08.1917.

His Medal Index Card is interesting as it lists him as serving with the AIF. The campaign section seems to be B.E.F. 1914. I believe this would mean British Expeditionary Force 1914. Perhaps he was in the BEF and was then posted to the AIF for some reason before returning to the BEF in 1917? Is it possible he has another Medal Index Card?

There should be service papers for him at the Australian National Archives which should shed some light on his service and perhaos lead you to more research in the UK. A researcher over there may be able to turn up some papers at the National Arhcives/PRO. Try this link for WW1 Australian records.

http://www.naa.gov.au/the_collection/defen...ts/ww1/ww1.html

I can't find him mentioned in the official history of the AIF. There was no history of the 19th Battalion written. He may be mentioned in the War Dairy. The Australian War Memorial may be able to assist in this regard.

Regards

Tim D

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ian harrison

Dear olosangus & Tim,

many thanks for your remarks on this,

BEF: and the 1914 are obviously correct and this does throw up many new questions as he didnt join the AIF until 1915 as a Lt and I can't believe that he was in France prior to his AIF career, It seems back to front! He was a Captain from 1917. He hasn't listed any previous service other that the Boer war in his AIF attestation papers in 1915

ORG: I can see this now, I'm sure your are right, I wonder if anybody else might know something about this term?

The medal index cards: I was reading some other posts and there was some mention that the originals were actually still available at Kew, perhspas somebody else might be able to confirm this?

His Australian Military history is well known to me from the Boer war to his eventual court martial in Perham Down UK in 1917, his records are 3" thick. His wife was written a letter in 1918 by his old commading officer a Major, he told her that he had been seen in the British Army and was a 2/Lt at that stage

His case was unusual and it ended up in the Prime Minister's office, there was quite a lot of information in the Australian archives, It is compounded by the fact that his uncle was the commading officer of the entire Australian Armed forces. A very good reason to disappear from the family after a court martial

Did either of you understand the term "suspense list /17" this may mean something

many thanks again

Ian

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Blackblue

Sorry Ian..didn't read your whole post carefully. Could be interested in any information you could give on his court martial and why this occurred. Instances I have seen usually include details of this.

Regards

Tim

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Tom Tulloch-Marshall
Did either of you understand the term "suspense list /17" this may mean something

Ian - "suspense list" simply means that his medal issues were blocked, no doubt because of the court martial. There is no source of additional information which will expand on that, other than a surviving service record.

Curious that he reputedly later served with the British Army, yet it isnt shown on the card. Are you sure there isnt another index card, possibly using one or both of his full forenames ?

TNA database has one officer AE Harrison in file WO374/31332 and several in WO339 indexed as A Harrison.

regards - Tom

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ian harrison

Hi Tim,

Captain Harrison was dismissed after a GCM on 28th August 1917 at Perham Down hardening camp, he was the commanding officer at the time.

He was AWOL the result of confusion regarding permission from his commanding officer, he subsequently went to a more senior officer and there ended up being one No and one yes, the no won and he ended up being unable to get back to the camp from London by the correct time. He needed to get to London on urgent personal business as he was going back to the front, "money, girl"???

The second charge was that he had misused his authority to obtain unauthorised pay to the tune of 14 pounds and then 25 pounds in advance of his correct pay. It is thought that the AWOL and the money were connected although this was not connected at the GCM.

His wife was sent an unofficial correspondence from a Major in the AIF which told her that her husband had joined the British Army, She had not heard from him and nor did she ever hear from him again. He had four children.

Interestingly his birthday and marriage date were also on August 28th ????

As he never returned to Australia there were many questions asked as to the sense of dismissing soldiers whilst overseas and then not returning to Australia where their families would suffer. The laws governing these dismissals were subsequently changed in the AIF following this case.

He had previously been a conscientious Officer and was not a shirker, he had an excellent education for the time and had previously fought in the Boer war as a Sergent, a perplexing mystery??!!

I have all his history and GCM documents from the Australian archives, a very, very large quantity.

I hope this helps

Regards

IanH

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ian harrison

Hi Tom,

you could be right about another index card and additional info located under other christian names etc,

"TNA database has one officer AE Harrison in file WO374/31332 and several in WO339 indexed as A Harrison."

I will take another look at this aspect and see where it ends up.

The suspense list now makes some sense thanks very much for this advice, the plot thickens!!

many thanks

IanH

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