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My mum has never known why her dad (James Proll) was awarded an MM so I'm trying to find out for her - thought it would be a nice surprise if I could. I've got a copy of his MIC and the following info is taken from the London Gazette (August 1919):

L/2622 Cpl. J. Proll, M.M., B/148th Bde, R.F.A. (Bootle)

(M.M. gazetted 21st September, 1916)

Can anyone tell me how I can find out what he did to be awarded it? Is that something I would get from Kew?

I've searched through the forums and couldn't find any info but I'm new to this site so apologies if this has been brought up before.

Thanks - all help appreciated.

Debbie

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Hi Debbie

Welcome to the forum! You should be able to surprise your mum now youre here! :D

The Battalion war diary may have a mention of his acts, or at least of the day / action the award was made.

I dont have acces to their diaries (Im a beds person myself) but theres likely to be someone here that can help.

Best of luck to you

Steve

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Debbie

I would recommend looking through the local newspapers for the period. Try contacting the local studies section at Bootle Library to see what they have - if this isn't local, some kind soul might be willing to take a look for you!

Bootle Library

Kind rgds

Ed

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Debbie

If you knowthe date that the MM award was published in the London Gazzette you then have to work back upstream. A possible short cut may show the date of the L.G and that is the fact that the date may be included in his Medal Index Card, this you can obtain online from the National Archives for £3.50.

You could also try getting a researcher to check for his Service Papers.

Hunting diaries can be time consuming but may be the only definative answer as to how he got it.

Best of luck

Fred

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L/2622 Cpl. J. Proll, M.M., B/148th Bde, R.F.A. (Bootle)

(M.M. gazetted 21st September, 1916)

The only item I can add, would be to count three months back from the gazette date which will give you a rough idea as to when his act of gallantry occurred. In this case we are looking at June 1916. This will not give you the 'How' but at least narrow down where he may have been at the time.

This is of course is not a rule by far, BUT has proven to be fairly consistent for me over the years researching many dozens of MM's.

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Adding to David's post (above), if you look at the war diaries for around this May/June/July (usually best to bracket the suspected month), you may find him being named in the diary (probably along with several others) as recieving the ribbon to the medal shortly after the event where it was earned. This should pinpoint it further.

Also, with his hometown newspaper archives, an article (similar to an obituary, sometimes with a photo, quite often detailing the deed) may appear (for this, in your case, I'd look at all the dates from around May 1916 to approx. 1month after his LG entry - they seem to appear pretty randomly).

Dave.

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The fact that this is a summer 1916 award may mean that there is a better chance of finding something about it in the local newspaper, since the MM was first issued in 1916 and so would have been quite a novelty at that time, and therefore newsworthy.

The Liverpool Record Office should be able to advise on the newspapers that you should check - they have the papers of the period on microfilm.

Ken

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Dear Steve, Ed, Fred, David, Dave and Ken

Thanks for all your replies and help. I wonder whether you could help me further - as I said, I'm new at all this! I've looked at other info on this site - from what I can gather (still learning though!), my grandfather was in the 148th Brigade of the RFA (Bootle). However, when I checked out artillery brigades on this site, it said that the 148th Brigade formed a "new army" which joined the 30th Division of the Divisional Artillery on 13/8/1915 (http://www.1914-1918.net/rfa_newarmy.htm).

Quote "This Division was originally part of the Fifth New Army, and was numbered 37th. However, the Fourth New Army was broken up in April 1915, and the Division was renumbered 30th, part of K4. It was formed of many units that had been raised by public subscription and private projects, and was only taken over by the War Office on 27th August 1915. The Division moved to France in November 1915. It served on the Western Front with distinction throughout the war.

November 1914 : moved to Knowsley Park, Liverpool

30 April 1915 : moved to Belton Park, Grantham

27 August 1915 : taken over by the War Office

September 1915 : moved to Larkhill"

As you can see from the above, it moved from Liverpool to Wiltshire so do I check out local records from Liverpool or Wiltshire? Also, are war diaries kept at Kew or somewhere else? My mum knows that my grandfather fought in the Battle of Ypres although there were 3 battles recorded (1914 to 1917). I don't know if he received his MM (in 1916) for something he did during one of these battles or was it somewhere else? Can I presume he fought in the 3rd battle? Is is possible to track? Can anyone give me any hints or tips please on where to look next? Sorry to bother you all again with so many questions - I'm just starting out - but you all seem very knowledgable and I am very grateful for your help. I'd really like to surprise my mum with the reason why her dad got an MM - haven't told her what I'm doing but she got goosepimples when I emailed her his MIC!!

Thanks in advance for any further replies.

Debbie

PS I live in Sunderland which is quite a way from Bootle so if anyone from Bootle is looking and knows anything, I'd be very grateful for any help - I'm just getting to grips with terminology etc!!

PPS I can touch-type (ie not look at keyboard and use all fingers and thumbs!!) and I'm pretty fast (used to be a secretary) so I'd happily trade info/tips for typing jobs (saw this request somewhere on a forum here) - I can save to disk or burn to CD. Thanks.

PPS Oooh Oooh!! There's a "qualifying date" on the MIC for the MM which says 28/11/1915 - is this the date he might have earned the MM? By the way.....this site is brilliant - I'm hooked!! :D

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Debbie

There's a "qualifying date" on the MIC for the MM which says 28/11/1915 - is this the date he might have earned the MM?

I think it unlikely (MM wasn't awarded until 1916) but without seeing the MIC (can you post it on the forum?) I can't say definitively.

I think the date mentioned on the MIC is more likely to be the date he first entered the theatre of war.

Regards

Steve

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Wow! :D I didn't know he won it twice! BIG thanks SteveE - my mum is going to be really chuffed - although I have to find out what he did both times now!! I'm going to have a go at attaching his MIC to this message - fingers crossed I've never done this before - please let me know if it doesn't work.

Debbie

PS George Proll (MIC above) was his brother - they signed up together although my grandad said he was a year older than he was so he could sign up.

mic_word_doc.doc

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Debbie

The download works fine and I can confirm that the qualifying date is in fact the date of entry into the theatre of war, in this instance (1) France.

The Gazette doesn't carry citations for the MM so finding out exactly when and why he won it will need some more detective work. The suggestions posted previously are all worth following up especially the local studies section of Bootle Library (if it has one) and the War Diary (if there is one) at Kew.

Local studies sections tend to be extremely helpful if you're calling from distance, I did something similar with Stow-on-the-Wold library for my GGUncle's MM award and they found the entry in the local newspaper, gave me a date for the action, a date for the presentation (and who by) and numerous other snippets of family history.

Happy hunting

Steve

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SteveE

Again, BIG BIG thanks. As I've said, I am an amateur and I can't believe how much useful info I've gained so far from yourself and this site. Still learning terminology and stuff but done research on 30th Division (pka 148th Brigade RFA/Liverpool PALS) movements - can't remember if I said he joined Liverpool Pals (moved to Wiltshire to join 30th Division New Army) or not.....but I think (and hope) the museum in Liverpool holds war diaries for 30th Division. I'm going to have to wait until I get some time off work before I go down to Liverpool....how frustrating though....I need to know now!!! I wish EVERYTHING was available online!! Thanks for all your help. I'll let you know what I find if you like.....although it may be a couple of months til I get down there.

Debbie

PS In the meantime, if anyone else can help from 148th RFA Bootle/Liverpool/30th Division, I'd appreciate anything - the things I've read so far about battles/engagements/war/personal diaries are amazing. My mum has got my eldest son (14 yrs) interested in WWI so much so that he would rather watch Sky's History (War) channel - in black and white! - rather than Nickelodeon etc - this must be a good thing as the history/stories/memories must go on............the lives lost and what our fathers/grandfathers went through can never be forgotten.

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