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Remembered Today:

Silver War Badge


westkent78
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Is it possible to infer any award date from the number on the badge, presumably starting at number 1 in August 1916?

If so, any ideas when 233444 would have been issued? The recipient is an officer if that makes a difference.

I seem to recall reading they were issued by district which may complicate things, but I'm hoping an expert might have some ideas

Thanks in advance for any help/information.

Matthew

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Matthew

It is now possible to download the first section of the Officers SWB roll from the NA website (which will include the number you have). I'm away from my notes at the moment but will post details of your particular badge this evening.

Alternatively, Dick Flory might see this thread and provide you with a precise issue date before then:

NA Officer SWB Pages

As a matter of interest, SWB No.1 was issued to a Notts. & Derby. Officer. Incidentally, Officer SWB's were issued "centrally" by the War Office.

Kind rgds

Ed

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Matthew

SWB No. 233444 would have been issued August/September 1917. I'm just looking through the rolls for the exact entry!

Rgds

Ed

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Thanks for that information Ed.

Any ideas on the processing time from actual wounding to receipt of the badge?

I suppose they did have a two year backlog of recipients when the badge was instituted.

Dick Flory has already kindly looked, but sadly this number was in one of the gaps in the online roll.

I'll just have to wait until they post it all, just like I'm waiting for the MIC. Still, I have plenty of other research to do. :D

Thank you for your help.

Matthew

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Guest Ian Bowbrick

Matthew,

It wasn't as simple as that. To be discharged you had to be examined by a medical board who would then reassess your medical category. A soldier would only attend a medical board once the Doctors considered he had recuperated fully from his wounds or sickness. So if for example you suffered a GSW to the leg you would recover quicker than if you had lost an arm.

The award of a silver war badge was not automatic - it had to be applied for and approved by an officer at the respective command. I have come across a case of a soldier in the Lancashire Fusiliers who had the top of his head shot off, but was not awarded a silver war badge simply because he did apply for one. When given a white feather by a woman in the street, he simply doffed his cap, like a gentleman, but also to prove a point!

Ian

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Ian,

Thank you for that anecdote and the further information. It raises a couple of questions in my mind.

1. Are the reports of the medical board and any relevant correspondence still to be found in the particular officer's file at the NA, or were these all 'weeded out' at some point?

2. Where did the idea of the feathers and cowardice/shirking one's responsibilities originate?

I'm familiar with the idea from the Korda (1939) and Kapur (2002) versions of "The Four Feathers" but did this symbolism originate with Mason's 1902 book ,drawing on fictional events in 1882, or were there earlier examples?

Matthew

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Guest Ian Bowbrick

1. Depends - there appears to be no consistency in what was weeded form officer's files - some were destroyed in their entireity.

2. It certianly wasn't a WW1 invention - cowardice in Victorian times always used to be associated with a 'smell' and this is recorded in various contemporary texts.

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Ian

My G-Grandfather received a SWB

He was discharged due to sickness in 20th November 1916

The form that goes with it is dated 11th January 1917, and the form number itself is 115060. It was issued form Preston - see below.

His SWB is number 1647 I would suggest that this does not fit very well with August being the start of issue, and the number of people who must have been qualifying.

Hope this is of use

cheers

Mike

post-23-1096219082.jpg

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Mike

Your g-grandfather's SWB number is actually 115060 and not 1647. Do you have his actual SWB as a matter of interest? 1647 refers to his entry on the SWB roll but this is not always entered on the certificate and sometimes the badge number is stamped in its place (next to "No." as opposed to the right hand corner). According to my records, 115,060 would have been issued in January 1917 which ties in with the Certificate that you have.

SWB No. 1 was issued in September 1916 but in my experience you can only derive a very approximate correlation between badge number and issue date (although the whole issue can be divided accurately into a number of distinct issue "blocks"). Within the first series (1-350,000 issued between September 1916 and March 1918) for example, SWB's 20,000 - 49,000 appear to have been issued between January-March 1917 whereas the number block 50,000 - 100,000 were issued between November - December 1916. Of course, there are exceptions to the rule but I am merely pointing out a very general trend!

Hope this helps!

Rgds

Ed

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SWB Roll Reference entered in the left hand corner next to "No." and the SWB number stamped in the right hand corner:

post-23-1096226589.jpg

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Based on the replies already posted, would I be correct to assume that an individual who was discharged by a medical board as no longer fit for service would not automatically have a SWB, and that they would have to apply for it themselves? Apologies for hijacking the original post.

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Ed,

Many thanks for correcting my earlier understanding of the slip.

I'll have to make sure I amend the 'Wanted' entries on various lists.

Thanks again

Mike

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Mutley,

From what Ian has said above, I'd read it that officers definitely had to apply for a badge (as with their medals) and O/R's might have to with all the pitfalls that may have entailed - seems very harsh to be denied one on the grounds of applying for one! Hopefully Ian or another expert can provide the definitive answer.

Matthew

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Matthew

Officers were requested to apply to the War Office whilst OR's had to apply to their respective District Record Office stating regimental number, Rank, Corps last served in, date of enlistment and date and cause of discharge.

Hope this helps.

Rgds

Ed

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So, now that I'm looking at the info correctly... (thanks Ed, would have been embarassing to by the wrong one!)

Were the forms held centrally (centrally issued for officers is mentioned above, and makes sense if you had to apply for them) , or as the date stamp implies, ie Preston, more locally.

If locally then surely they can only be a guide because on day one in August 1916 each of the local offices would presumably have a pack.

Given the two year backlog each area could have been given say 1000,(could be any number but the logic applies)

Surely in this case number 1, 1001, 2001, 3001 etc could all be issued 'first'

Just a thought

cheers

Mike

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Thanks for the info,

my grandfather was discharged due to injuries received( shot in the chest and gassed). He attended a standard invaliding board at Southern Command Discharge Centre Winchester 08/04/18 and was discharged the next day. His MIC shows no SWB, I have his medals is it to late to apply for his SWB????

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