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MC and Three Bars


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Whilst looking for triple MM winners, I stumbled on a Lieutenant Humphrey Arthur Gilkes MC and Three Bars - all awarded within a 17 month period. Some going. I have no other information on him but I thought I would share this....

Supp to LG 17 September 1917: Awarded the Military Cross.
2nd Lt. Humphrey Arthur Gilkes, Lond. R. For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty as Battalion Intelligence and Signalling Officer. He made repeated reconnaissances under heavy fire, gaining valuable information and maintaining efficient communications throughout a period of several days.
Supp to LG 4 March 1918: Awarded a Bar to the Military Cross.
Lt. Humphrey Arthur Gilkes', M.C., Lond.R. [Note -there is no citation for the first Bar]
Supp to LG 22 June 1918: Awarded a Second Bar to the Military Cross.
Lt Humphrey Arthur Gilkes, M.C., Lond.R. For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. Accompanied by an N.C.O., he entered the enemy's advanced line and captured four prisoners. On the following day he reconnoitred the ground in advance of the line for over 1,500 yards, and discovered the enemy's dispositions. Later, he reconnoitred over 2,000 yards of the front and obtained valuable information as to the enemy's movements. ' On the same day, when the situation was very obscure, he entered a village which was held by the enemy, reconnoitred it, and brought back valuable information. He showed magnificent daring and skill.

Supp to LG 1 February 1919: Awarded a Third Bar to the Military Cross.

Lt. Humphrey Arthur Gilkes, M.C., 21st Bn., Lond. R., attd. H.Q., 140th Inf. Bde. For conspicuous gallantry at Moislains on September 2nd, 1918. When an attack had partially failed, and the situation had become obscure, he made repeated reconnaissances through a very heavy barrage, and over ground swept by machine-gun fire, regardless of his own safety, and it was owing to his accurate reports that timely action was taken to restore a critical situation. His courage and resource was most marked.

Looks like he only stopped getting another MC because the War ended. Does anyone have a history of the 21st Bn London Regt?

MG

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SPOF - thanks for the link...interesting...I had found the others but Gilkes stood out as being just a Lt and all his MCs were in a small space of time...

I believe he lived. There was a H A Gilkes (RAMC) who relinquished his commission in 1940 ...I wonder if it was the same person who might have become a doctor in the inter-war years......

I now see he was mentioned before in the GWF here http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=136492

And biog here; http://www.chch.ox.ac.uk/cathedral/memorials/WW2/humphrey-gilkes%26print=true

...which I should have looked up before posting....anyway, an interesting gentleman.

MG

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Four officers received a third bar to their MC and they are listed on page 144 of 'Recipients of Bars to the Military Cross 1916-1920' by J.V. WEBB published in 1988. These four survived the War.

BENTLEY P. Capt. Yorkshire Light Infantry 3RD Bar L.G. 1.2.19 with citation.

GILKES H.A. Lt. 21st London Regiment 3RD Bar L.G. 1.2.19 with citation.

TIMMS C.G. T/Capt. RAMC attd ,7/RI Fus. 3RD Bar L.G. 1.2.19 with citation.

WALLINGTON F.V. 2/Lt. RFA 3RD Bar L.G. 16.9.18 with citation.

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Thanks Philip - I noted your contribution on the earlier thread.

For only four men to have achieved one measure of sustained 'gallant and distinguished' service in action seems to be pretty rare. I understand that a DSO could be awarded for Staff work i.e not front line duty, which arguably puts a different perspective on it -I can find 21 DSO and 2 bars and five DSO and three bars. It seems that the change in designation for the MC clearly made it a 'fighting' medal. The numbers eligible for the DSC would of course be considerably fewer. (five DSC and two bars). Among all these is the incredible Capt Ross Macpherson Smith who was awarded the MC and bar and DFC and 2 Bars (ALH and Aust FC)

It is with great trepidation that I would venture to suggest the obsession with VCs and VC winners sometimes casts a long dark shadow over the men who displayed extreme sustained gallantry of a different sort which were recognised with 'lesser' gallantry medals. Some of the MC citations are breathtaking.

On a different thread trying to track the men (and ultimately their stories) who were awarded the MM three times (63 tracked down of 180 so far) I have stumbled on three 'DCMs and MM and two Bars'. Lots of material for some interesting research.

I would be very keen to prevent this spiralling into a comparison of awards - my point is that these men's achievements are probably less well known than those of the VC winners and is something that I have always found perplexing.

MG

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For only four men to have achieved one measure of sustained 'gallant and distinguished' service in action seems to be pretty rare. I understand that a DSO could be awarded for Staff work i.e not front line duty, which arguably puts a different perspective on it - I can find 21 DSO and 2 bars and five DSO and three bars.* It seems that the change in designation for the MC clearly made it a 'fighting' medal. The numbers eligible for the DSC would of course be considerably fewer. (five DSC and two bars).**

............................I would venture to suggest the obsession with VCs and VC winners sometimes casts a long dark shadow over the men who displayed extreme sustained gallantry of a different sort which were recognised with 'lesser' gallantry medals. Some of the MC citations are breathtaking.

I would be very keen to prevent this spiralling into a comparison of awards - my point is that these men's achievements are probably less well known than those of the VC winners and is something that I have always found perplexing. ***

MG

* the numbers of recipients of British decorations for First World War 1914 to May 1920 can be found in 'British Gallantry Awards' by ABBOTT AND TAMPLIN – they list 7 recipients of DSO and 3 bars for 1914 to May 1920 - a very useful book.

** they list 10 DSC and two bars

*** I agree.

Philip

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Hello Martin

The MC could also be awarded for distinguished service not involving particular acts of gallantry. These awards appear in the New Year or King's Birthday editions of the London Gazette, and do not have individual citations.

Ron

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Hello Martin

The MC could also be awarded for distinguished service not involving particular acts of gallantry. These awards appear in the New Year or King's Birthday editions of the London Gazette, and do not have individual citations.

Ron

Thank you. Interesting. MG

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Three MC's and a DSO is the best I have found -

LG -:

MC - 16/09/1918,

first bar - 02/12/1918,

second bar - 11/01/1919,

DSO - 08/03/1919. (for conspicuous gallantry)

It seems that his actions occurred in July, August, Sept and October 1918.

2/Lt Harry Greaves, 3rd Notts & Derby's attached 1st bn.

I wonder if he was attempting to outdo his brother - Fred Greaves VC 9th Notts & Derby's

Quite a family collection though.

Steve

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Interesting to note he served in the ranks of the 11th Btn as Lance Sergeant with number 15523 being commissioned from the ranks in October 1917 and joining the 1st Btn in January 1918. A brave man and quite an achievement in 1918. BRONNO.

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Both he and Fred were put forward but only Harry wanted to be an officer. Fred was happy to just survive WW1.

Just been chatting to Hazel (Fred's daughter) and she will be on Radio Sheffield on Tuesday, talking about her dad.

(apologies for going off your thread Martin!)

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  • 1 month later...

If the MC can be awarded for service other than gallantry, what did the Prince of Wales get his MC for in WW1? Is there a citation? Cheers

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I have reserached one man, a signaller with 24th Divisional Signal Company, who in 1915 was Mentioned in Despatches for the Battle of Loos 9just weeks after he and the division arrived in theatre), he then received a DCM in 1916 (not pinned down exactly what action this might have corresponded to, citation just refers to keeping his lines going under fire essentially), MM in 1917 (probably related to the Battle of Arras) - along with a commission, and an MC for his efforts in keeping comms in during the German Spring Offensive in 1918. Before the war he was a gardener. He continued serving for a while after the war, but eventually left the army, and returned to work as a gardener and building contractor (he also had some struggle to get the gratuity he was entitled to for his ranks service, as he'd been told he couldn't claim until he was demobbed, but by the time he did leave the pay voucehrs for that period had already been destroyed and the army wouldn't accept his claim, with the help fo the British Legion it was eventually sorted out).

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  • 2 months later...

Three MC's and a DSO is the best I have found -

LG -:

MC - 16/09/1918,

first bar - 02/12/1918,

second bar - 11/01/1919,

DSO - 08/03/1919. (for conspicuous gallantry)

It seems that his actions occurred in July, August, Sept and October 1918.

2/Lt Harry Greaves, 3rd Notts & Derby's attached 1st bn.

I wonder if he was attempting to outdo his brother - Fred Greaves VC 9th Notts & Derby's

Quite a family collection though.

Steve

Under brotherly competition, (but not as impressive as the Greaves brothers)...

The Allen brothers (SS and RC) were both Lieut-Cols in the Auckland Regiment, NZEF, both awarded DSO and bar with all four decorations for gallantry in the face of the enemy. SS Allen also awarded CMG so came out on top so to speak! They were farmers from the Waikato region.

Andrew

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My old friend Layton Alexander Davey, 1st Liverpool Scottish ex 4th QO Cameron Highlanders, was awarded the MC and Bar for events less than two weeks apart at "Route A Keep" near Festubert during the German 1918 spring offensive.

Tom

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I note from wiki that Dr Charles Gordon Timms OBE MC (and 3 bars) was also a British Lion; he played in South Africa in 1910.

Roxy

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