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Donnie

Distinguished Conduct Medal

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Donnie

Hi all,

I was thinking yesterday that if a chap was awarded a DCM where would I find his original recommendation? The reason I ask is that I would like to know if a soldier was recommended for say a VC and was downgraded to a DCM?

My chap was awarded a DCM in 1918 and having looked into the award and surrounding events I'm sure that if the action took place in 1914/15 it would have been a VC.

Anyway, hope someone can help. Don.

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rksimpson

Hi Don, The citations for the DCM are on Ancestry. I don't know about the original recommendations though? regards Robert

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kenf48

The recommendations at TNA are for the period 1935 - 1990 http://www.nationala...ours-awards.htm

This page notes the registers for 1854 - 1920 hold pasted citations from the LG http://discovery.nat...I/browse/C14595

Over 21,000 DCMs were awarded compared to 500 VCs. In 'Tommy' Richard Holmes cites Frank Richards as saying the DCM was held in high esteem (might have been the £20 gratuity!) so while you may be right it's unlikely you'll ever know.

The literature is peppered with accounts of men who did not receive awards (often because they,or witnesses, were killed in the action) and it is often discussed here in respect of one officer.

Ken

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Staffsyeoman

Unfortunately you will not find original recommendations for WW1 DCMs in the UK. You will in Australia for Australians, but that's a different story. The pasted citations can sometimes be annotated and differ from the final LG publication, but not to the extent of being akin to a recommendation and not by much from what is in the LG.

WW2 is different - I have seen many in both ways: upgrades and downgrades. I think the most 'ouch' was an award recommended for DSO for the Rhine Crossing: by the time it reached 2nd Army it was a... Mention in Dispatches.

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Mark Abbott

Some of the original recommendations for DCMs do exist. The 55th Div records in Liverpool have them, two examples being:-

687335 Sergeant William SPIBY

C/276 Battery R.F.A.

(2nd West Lancs Bde R.F.A. T.F.)

Date of recommendation: 14/04/18

Award recommended: Distinguished Conduct Medal

“For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty near GORRE on 9th April 1918.

This N.C.O. was acting as Sergeant Major at the gun position.

At 4.15 a.m. on the 9th April 1918 and throughout the day the enemy put down a very heavy barrage near the TUNING FORK (F.4.b.) two guns being put out of action by direct hits and finally the Battery Position came under heavy rifle fire from the enemy, only 100 yards away on the left flank.

Through put the day this N.C.O. was indefatigable in his efforts to keep his guns in action. With absolute disregard for his own personal safety he went from gun to gun and by his coolness and splendid example, encouraged all ranks to further efforts.

He was finally wounded but refused to leave his guns and remained with them and took charge of the operation of moving the only gun still in action to a new position on the night of the 9th April.

This man was not recommended for reward in the King’s Birthday Honours Gazette.”

680346 Sergeant Arthur MUNRO

C/276 Battery R.F.A.

(2nd West Lancs Bde R.F.A. T.F.)

Date of recommendation: 14/04/18

Award recommended: Distinguished Conduct Medal

“For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty near GORRE on 9th April 1918 during the attack on the 55th Division.

This N.C.O. was a linesman and, at 4.15 a.m. on the 9th April 1918 the enemy put down a very heavy barrage of shells of all calibre with H.E. and gas on the Battery Position near TUNING FORK (F.4.b.)

By 5.00 a. m. all telephone communication had been cut and this N.C.O. immediately went out through a continuously heavy barrage to repar the lines.

Throughout the day he was indefatigable in his efforts to maintain communication working the whole time under heavy shell fire/ he displayed the utmost gallantry and disregard for his own personal safety and his gallant action was of immense value in maintaining communication at a critical period of the battle.

This N.C.O. was awarded the Belgian Croix de Guerre in January 1918 for gallant conduct.

His name was not recommended for reward in the King’s Birthday Honours Gazette.”

From the DNW catalogue.

Distinguished Conduct Medal, G.V.R. (241694 Pte., 1/5 S. Lan. R.); 1914-15 Star (4152 Pte., S. Lan. R.); British War and Victory Medals (4152 Cpl., S. Lan. R.); France, Croix de Guerre 1914-1918, bronze star on ribbon,

Harry ‘Mad Ginger’ Holcroft was born in Crawford Village, near Rainford. A miner by occupation, he volunteered for service in the Army at the outbreak of the Great War, giving a false date of birth, being 17 years of age at the time. He joined the 5th Battalion South Lancashire Regiment and entered the France/Flanders theatre of war on 28 October 1915. He was recommended for the Victoria Cross and awarded the D.C.M. for his gallantry at Festubert on 10 April 1918. The original recommendation states:

‘Rfn. Holcroft. H. is strongly recommended for reward for excellent work and devotion to duty throughout the last tour of duty in the line and particularly for his epic gallantry when during an enemy attack on Loisne Central Keep on 10th inst. he attacked single handed and on his own initiative an enemy machine gun and crew which was holding up and inflicting losses on our counter attacking platoon. He killed two and captured four others and the machine gun thereby facilitating the operations of the counter attack. Afterwards he repeatedly patrolled up to the enemy trench clearing our own dead and wounded and securing documents and identifications from the enemy dead. Also at great personal risk, locating the body of Lt. Dymond who was killed on the enemy wire whilst exploiting the success of the counter attack and securing from his person very valuable company documents’.

A further recommendation continues:

‘On the night of the 19 /20 June/18 while taking part in a raid on the enemy lines, the above (Holcroft) showed a great example to his comrades by his magnificent bearing throughout the operation. He also helped to get the wounded back to a place of safety under very heavy

I remember finding the original recommendation for Holcroft's VC when searching the 55th Div records in the 1990s, a friend of mine had the group at the time.

Mark

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nthornton1979

Unfortunately you will not find original recommendations for WW1 DCMs in the UK. You will in Australia for Australians, but that's a different story. The pasted citations can sometimes be annotated and differ from the final LG publication, but not to the extent of being akin to a recommendation and not by much from what is in the LG.

WW2 is different - I have seen many in both ways: upgrades and downgrades. I think the most 'ouch' was an award recommended for DSO for the Rhine Crossing: by the time it reached 2nd Army it was a... Mention in Dispatches.

That's because you could not be awarded the D.S.O unless you had already been M.I.D.

I would think it happened regularly.

That was the case in WW1 anyway (I don't know if this ruling changed for WW2?)

Neil

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Staffsyeoman

That's because you could not be awarded the D.S.O unless you had already been M.I.D.

Yes, aware of that. Different war, different rules. But that example real.

And as to other posts - original DCM recommendations are an exception, not the rule.

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Sepoy

Some original award recommendations for the Royal Marine Medical Unit can be found at the National Archives.

I have the 1914 - 15 Star awarded to Deal 3618 (S) Sergeant John William Ferguson, RM Medical Unit attached to the 148th (Royal Naval) Field Ambulance. He was recommended for a DCM for acts of gallantry including trying to put out a fire in an ammunition dump next to an advanced dressing station during the following incident mentioned in the Unit War Diary of 6th November, 1917 which states

Ypres Salient (sheet 28 C17d 26) - 5.00 a.m. Heavy shelling at St.Julien and Vanheul and all roads to the corner of Buffs Road.

Two ammunition lorries were struck by a shell and set on fire near Advanced Dressing Station.

A large crater found in the middle of the Road. Therefore, Road blocked by debris and crater for several hours.

Owing to heavy shelling with high explosives and shrapnel found impossible to evacuate cases until this quietened down and debris removed and crater filled in.

Evacuation commenced at 1.15 p.m.(S)3618 Sergeant J.W.Ferguson R.M. wounded and sent to spinal Casualty Clearing Station.

(S)3246 Lance Sergeant G.C.Tolson, Killed in Action.

post-55476-0-74665300-1366851866_thumb.j

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Sepoy

Unfortunately, the award was down graded to a MM which was awarded in the London Gazette 23rd February, 1918.

With the recommendation was the attached note

(NB (S)3246 Lance Sergeant George Cook Tolson, Royal Marine Medical Unit

Son of Joseph and Ellen Tolson, of Dewsbury. Husband of May Tolson, 60 Wellington Road, Dewsbury. Killed in action on Tuesday, 6th November, 1917

aged 42. Buried in the Gwalia Cemetery, Ypres Salient.)

post-55476-0-00656300-1366852501_thumb.j

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wmfinch

Indeed, I am agreeing with Mark Abbott about the 55th West Lancashire Division Records being held in Liverpool Library. It appears that instead of destroying his copy of the records, Major General Jeudwine donated them to the Library. Members of our research group recently visited the facility, and found many Army Form W3121's relating to our Parents and Grandfathers serving with D/276 Battery when twelve of them were awarded bravery awards for their actions on 30th November 1917. You have to contact the Library and give them 48 hours notice of what you are looking for.

Major General Jeudwine's preservation of the records has to be applauded...they are a wonderful resource for present day researchers, almost 100 years later!

V/R

Wayne Finch

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