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Remembered Today:

Confusing MiC entries,help please ?


WillEll

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Having read back as far as I can I have not found any similar examples but apologise profusely if I have overlooked a previous similar explanation and answer.

Would some kind soul help clarify what the attached MiC card tells them,please ?

From what I have managed to glean so far it would appear that William was in the Kings (Liverpool) Regiment,1/9th Bn, ranked as a ‘private’ and was originally allocated No 3045, (was this his ‘Territorial’ No ?).

He was mobilised to France in March 1915 and managed to survive until Passchaendale 31 July 1917 after when it was eventually recognised that he was “missing, presumed dead”. (Early 1918 !)

At some point during his service he was promoted to L/Cpl and his attendance qualified him for ‘pip, squeak & wilfred’ ??

However, he was unmarried and due to domestic circumstances his Mother was his only N o K.

It is believed that she herself died of Spanish Flu during mid 1918 as did his half siblings.

I mention this history only because I cannot understand the notation after the ‘star’ entry

“Ret’d(1743 KR 1912) 8149/adj” [returned for "adjustment"]

My thoughts are - Were any of the medals ever issued ?

This card, and his entry on the Menin Gate are all that survives it would appear. No address or NoK detail on it. I am also thinking that depending on when exactly the medals would have been issued was there anyone still alive to have received them ?

What is the significance of the red ‘X’ above the ‘15’ ? does this mean that he was given his new battalion No (330849) before he left for France in 1915 ?

Any advice to further investigate his history would be gratefully accepted.

W.E

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The TF were allocated new six-figure numbers in 1917 - those to the King's 1/9th Bn fell in the range 330001 to 355000 - you can read all about it here:

http://www.1914-1918.net/TF_renumbering_infantry.htm

The red X means that his Star was engraved with this number - even though he wouldn't have had that number during the qualifying period. All 3 medals will have the same number.

Others will be along I expect to respond to your other queries.

Regards

Russ

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What is the significance of the red ‘X’ above the ‘15’ ? does this mean that he was given his new battalion No (330849) before he left for France in 1915 ?

The X15 is used to mark which details are to be shown on the 1914 star.

The other details shown in blue are for the British War and Victory Medals.

330849

This was a number issued in early 1917 when the territorial force were re-numbered.

Craig

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King's Regulation 1743 of 1912: " Medals which , at the end of 10 years, still remained unclaimed, will be sent to the India Office (If granted for India Service), or to the deputy director of ordnance stores, Royal Dockyard (Medal Branch), Woolwich (if granted for other services) to be broken up."

Phil

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Hi W.E.

You ask: 'Were the medals ever issued'. The answer is 'Yes', medals to other ranks were sent out automatically to a soldiers NOK. Looking at the MIC this is obviously the case because the 1914/15 Star was returned for adjustment, possibly the surname was mis-spelt or some other minor error, it would then have been returned to the recipient's NOK.

His NOK details would have been contained in his service record, which may or may not have survived the bombing during WW2, when many were destroyed by fire.

Hope this helps,

Robert

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It would be worth looking at his entries in the two medal rolls that are indicated on the card. They are not digitised, but can be viewed as original documents at the National Archives.

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Thanks Robert, As I alluded to in initial post, nothing remains of his existence except the MiC and his inscription.

His service record was indeed completely destroyed in WW2 it would appear, and nothing of his mortal remains have ever been identified.

My quandary is whether there was ever any of his family alive at the time the medals were 'sent' ?

His Mother and siblings were dead from Flu and the only survivor was my Mother (5yrs old)and his Stepfather at that address.

His natural father had died in 1906.

My thinking was this might have been the reason they were 'returned'.

As Phil Evans has pointed out "1743 Kings Regs 1912" suggests that they may have been returned unclaimed and that is what I am trying to determine ?

Thanks

W E

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It would be worth looking at his entries in the two medal rolls that are indicated on the card. They are not digitised, but can be viewed as original documents at the National Archives.

Thanks for the suggestion Chris, Me living in Liverpool makes it a little difficult getting to Kew but would there be much likelihood of there being anything to learn from such a quest,would you think ? What kind of info would normally be contained in these rolls ?

Thanks

W E

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It will confirm his battalion(s), at the very least. The rolls are unlikely to give any further personal information but it is just possible that there will be some extra snippet about the "Retd".

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Thanks again Chris, Will look into the possibility of a look up by proxy,rather than the total expense of a round trip to the NA.

Thanks also to everyone for clearing up the mystery of the 'x' and numbering of his medals.

I now suspect that he may have received the star stamped with his original TF # which was rtd for renumbering as suggested.

However,by the time he would have received it back with the rest of the trio he was already deceased and likely ,so were his mother and siblings.

I am assuming that the victory medal and BWM had to be issued well past 1918 ?

When he left for France in 1915 I can find no reference to him ever returning home.

As for later,(post-war)I dont think that his Stepfather would have been in any position to accept them so I wonder if they were all eventually "Rtd" for 'breaking up' ?

W E

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Having read further (GWF)on the subject of when the campaign medals were actually issued (1920's ?)I think it highly unlikely that maybe apart from the 14-15 star initially,none of the medals were ever received by what remained of his family ? By 1920,both of his natural parents were dead,as were his two sisters and his stepbrother. By 1920 the remainder of his relations had moved from the address which the MoD will have had on file from his enlistment and his Stepfather remarried in Dec of that year.

Does the "8149/adj" apply to all awards or just the star ?

Is there,perhaps,any other way of confirming that the awards were claimed or destroyed-unclaimed ?

My questions are motivated by a frustration that not only were his remains never found (identifiably) but nothing of his service record exists.

He apparently was never recorded as being born .I can find no B.C after searching for six years?

Very little else speaks of him ever having existed other than two census returns and two mentions on the Menin Gate yet he paid the ultimate sacrifice for me and all of us?

It would be nice to discover that at least someone benefitted from,even treasured,his medals rather than they were destroyed at Woolwich.

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WillEll, it's unusual for the MIC to simply state "Deceased" which I would have interpret as dying after the end of hostilities.

However, as you know he died in 1917

ELLISON, WILLIAM. Rank: Lance Corporal. Service No: 330849. Date of Death: 31/07/1917.
Regiment/Service: The King's (Liverpool Regiment). 1st/9th Bn.
Panel Reference: Panel 4 and 6. Memorial: YPRES (MENIN GATE) MEMORIAL
You'll note that CWGC also record him as a Lance Corporal and that should have been shown on his medals, not Private.
The CWGC also show him as being in the 1st/9th Battalion, so that may be the War Diary to look for.
They had 49 deaths that day, most are recorded on the Menin Gate.
Some of the ones with known graves might provide clues to the location where they were fighting that day, but the War Diary should confirm.
The MIC seems to indicate that at least the 1915 Star was returned for adjustment, so someone must have received it and noted whatever error needed correcting.
Whether that applied for the other medals, I have no way of knowing, but if one was "safely" received, why not the others?
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Thank You for your thoughts Kevin, Very much appreciated.

I have already researched the diaries for that day at Lpool Maritime Museum and have received some help from Ken Lees who is very knowledgeable on this particular battalions movements during that campaign. I am intending to visit Ypres very soon and Ken has offered to walk the fields with me.

It is exactly the issues you have noted that are confusing me and raising more and more questions like, as you say, when and where was he promoted ?

The red writing would appear to be by the same hand and why 'deceased' ?

With regards to the medals I am trying to determine a time line for the issue of same and have asked myself the same questions, was the star issued earlier than the others ? If all at the same time they would have probably all had the same error would they not ? I know what happened at his home durin that period but cant fit all the military pieces together.

Thanks again

W E

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With regards to the medals I am trying to determine a time line for the issue of same and have asked myself the same questions, was the star issued earlier than the others ? If all at the same time they would have probably all had the same error would they not ? I know what happened at his home durin that period but cant fit all the military pieces together.

Thanks again

W E

The issue of the 1914-1915 Star was announced on the 24th December 1918, the riband could be worn from the 13th January 1919 and the issue began from then, the first medals were awarded to members of the Household Cavalry.

The BWM and VM issue began in May 1920 by the Armistice Day 1921 only half had been issued and although it was hoped to complete the issue by 1924 I'm not sure this happened.

In other words the issue was separate but could have overlapped, though I don't recall seeing any examples of all three being receipted at the same time it doesn't mean it didn't happen.

Personally I would take issue with the assumption that adt means adjustment, the initials appear frequently on the cards and on this particular card appear twice i.e. 8149/adt this I believe is a correspondence reference the meaning of which is lost. However 1743 KR is quite explicit as noted by Phil at post 4 i.e. the medal was returned and not claimed, probably for the reasons outlined in your posts.

'Deceased' is unusual, rather than KIA but means much the same and as you say appears to have been written in the same hand as 'France' but that doesn't tell us much other than it was probably added when the card was originally made up

As for the 'War Medals' it's impossible to say what happened to those from the mic. Unlike the 14-15 Star at least there may still have been someone at the address who cared enough to return it. It's possible they were sent to the address and kept by the occupier at the time. It does appear they were issued and not returned. There were over 14 million medals in total to be distributed so one imagines that there were not too many checks. If that is what happened it means that unlike the Star the 'war medals' may still be in circulation somewhere.

Ken

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It seems better brains have picked all the juice out over many years, so I'm afraid I haven't added very much for you.

Having said you can't find a Birth Certificate, could he have been recorded under his natural fathers name or conversely his step father?

(I haven't trawled Ancestry as I'm sure that's already been done, but might explain the difficulty of tracing the BC).

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To answer Kevin first,on the contrary Kevin it was refreshing that someone else picked up on some of the vagueries that I had pondered on for some time.

As for the Birth Cert. that is a mystery, and Ellison is in fact,his Fathers name. His stepfather was named Roberts and there is an enigmatic incident during the census of 1911 when ALL of the family were declared as Roberts's by the Mother with the notable exception of William who was 16 then and was not going to take someone elses name quite obviously,he must have been present and insisted he was William ELLISON.(StepSon). ( I ponder on that event often, a proud young man of 16 was not going to forget his deceased fathers name))

I later discovered which of them were really Ellisons and Roberts's as described earlier.

To KenF48, I suppose it had never occurred to me that the sheer scale of the medals exercise, post war, would lead to what I assume would be unregistered and unverified deliveries ?

Nor the dishonesty of not returning them after such carnage that had impacted on everyone and every family.

Obviously, there will have been no surviving member of his family to this date that would have been able to afford to visit the Menin Gate or even the area where he possibly fell and so I feel that he has been 'forgotten' for far too long and in as much as it can be determined I will be visiting the area in April this year,and should God spare me I will also be there in 1917. (add. oops! 2017)

Thanks to All

W E

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Well done W E, you have made sure that he now not forgotten. His abiding memory may only be a name carved on a wall but he is there forever and will be "seen" by many, many people. Have a good trip and put down a :poppy: for me. Very much enjoyed reading this thread. Ralph.

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Well, if you're going there in 1917 :w00t: take your gas mask and tin hat!

Seriously, we do like to help thin out some of the fog of confusion, so thanks for the opportunity and hope we've helped!

And, sorry to say but he wouldn't have "Pip" as that was a nickname for the small rose emblem worn on the medal ribbon strip when the medals themselves were not being worn.

That was for those entitled to the 1914 Star and Clasp as an "Old Contemptible" to distinguish it from the identical 914-15 Star ribbon.

It could be that joining the Army was his way of getting out from a stepfather, my Dad was from L'pool and joined in 1936 after running away. Said it was the making of him, as no doubt it would for William had Fate not intervened.

Take a small stone from your garden to leave with him when you visit :poppy:

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Thanks again Folks,

Tin hat and new fangled respirator at the ready in the Tardis,(oops,typo!) its actually for use when milling MDF but is probably superior to anything that 'the lads' were issued with at the time,by all accounts ?)

Your collective input has been quite illuminating and thanks to all.

I bow to your knowledge regarding 'pip' as I had only used the description from http://www.greatwar.co.uk/medals/ww1-campaign-medals.htm which implies either/or ?

What you say makes sense though and is worth knowing should I ever come across the elusive medals.

I will be taking a few small mementoes of significance with me from both of our Mothers' final resting places and may do likewise on my return to the UK.

Thanks everyone,and if anyone knows of any medals documents or newspaper articles of significance I would be only too glad to hear about them :thumbsup:

W E

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sorry to say but he wouldn't have "Pip" as that was a nickname for the small rose emblem worn on the medal ribbon strip when the medals themselves were not being worn.

That was for those entitled to the 1914 Star and Clasp as an "Old Contemptible" to distinguish it from the identical 914-15 Star ribbon.

First time I've seen that definition. Yes, the rose was used to distinguish between the two Stars when the ribbon bar was worn but this, as I understand it, was not "Pip". My understanding is that the nickname "Pip, Squeak and Wilfred" applied equally to either the 1914 or 1914/1915 trio of medals and was not mutually exclusive. Additionally the nickname "Mutt and Jeff" was applied to the pair (British War & Victory Medals).

Steve

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You'll note that CWGC also record him as a Lance Corporal and that should have been shown on his medals, not Private.

I am not sure I agree with this. In WW1 Lance Corporal was an appointment; not a rank. The naming on the BWM and VM gave the highest rank held overseas and hence his medal would have shown him as a Private.

The 1914 and 1914/15 Stars did show the rank or appointment held when the individual qualified. For example, a trio could have the Star named to a L/Cpl whilst the BWM and VM would be named to a Pte. In this case he entered France as a Private and that is the rank that would have been shown on his Star.

On a practical level, the MIC were used to provide the information to the person naming the medal. This was done by typing the details onto an adhesive label that was stuck to the lid of the box of issue. The medal was then named from the box lid. If the MIC did not mention L/Cpl then how would that information get to the person naming the medal?

Please see here for another thread confirming this: http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=182390

Kenneth

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  • 1 year later...

Its been some time since I started this thread and a lot more research has been done to resolve the questions I first asked, unfortunately the research has only served to reshape the questions ?

To synopsise, I assumed that Williams natural father was deceased because his eldest Daughter declared him so to the registrar at her wedding in 1917.

The only surviving documentary evidence of William ever having existed had been his entry in the 1911 Census at an address in Everton Terrace and, on the back of that I assumed that he had signed his attestation papers at Everton Rd Barracks to enlist with the 9th Kings TF and had become Pte 3045. As it turns out I had guessed right but without his fully destroyed service record there is no knowing exactly who he declared his next of kin, nor the address of same.

This led me to ask about the medal card notes and how, when and IF they would have been distributed.

Imagine my total bewilderment when I recently discovered this :-

In November 1917 Williams eldest Sister married and declared their Father {Robert E] Ellison as "deceased", it should also be remembered that William was "wounded and missing" at this time.

If you look closely you can see the traces of pencil that had originally been used to fill in the name column with "William James" which is actually his full birth name now confirmed by a GRO certificate. There are so many TLAs that are probably meaningless but essentially this entry appears to have been made in June 1918 almost a year after William was declared wounded and missing and is now entered as "Death (assumed) 31-7-1917" there is some accountancy for wages and other payments in the next columns but then it would seem that payment was made to "Robert E" as 'Father' in Sept 1920 ?

His Mother had died during October 1918 and the only person at the same address for the 1911 census after January 1919 was his StepFather ?

Is it at all likely that the Army would have even spoken with him about William, never mind pay him any monies ? Although in the absence of Passports/Driving Licences and ID cards in those days how would they have confirmed who they were talking with ?

The only other possibility is that Robert E was not deceased after all and came out of the woodwork to claim the gratuity and quite possibly the medals ?

If only I could find that address !

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Is it at all likely that the Army would have even spoken with him about William, never mind pay him any monies ? Although in the absence of Passports/Driving Licences and ID cards in those days how would they have confirmed who they were talking with ?

The only other possibility is that Robert E was not deceased after all and came out of the woodwork to claim the gratuity and quite possibly the medals ?

If only I could find that address !

The army had a form which was issued to the NOK's known address asking for full next of kin details however they would also respect any will which was made for dispersement of any monies. It certainly looks like the money was paid to the father - as the mother dead by this point the father would be the direct NOK unless there was a wife or child to pay the monies to. It's beginning to look like the father was still alive.

When a man was declared missing the army waited a year or so before he was declared dead if there was any uncertainty, in case the man turned up as a POW or a previously unnamed hospital patient etc.

Craig

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Thanks Craig, Exactly what I would have thought except there was no wife and consequently no offspring dependants.

I agree the monies were paid, but to whom ? That is more of the mystery ! And what address was that form sent to (and returned from )??

Every document so far discovered has Robert's "mark" upon it so its likely that he was illiterate.

According to his Daughter, Robert E was dead by 1917 !

This Daughter had exited the family when the StepFather had moved in to the place of Robert E. and neither were present in the 1911 census.

My latest investigations are leading me to believe that Robert E, a merchant seaman, volunteered for the RFA in 1915 at the age of 50 and was possibly killed in 1916 on an oiler working out of Mudros.

In no way is that proven but seems more credible than his daughter denying his living existence ?

No doubt all will be revealed in due course but I was just curious to know whether the syatem would have been open to abuse ?

Nowadays you can get nothing at all out of the NA/MoD unless you can prove beyond any doubt that you are a blood relative.

(I have that problem with a cousin who was awarded the MC for services to the SoE in 1942. His records will not be available until 2040 or some other silly date.)

I am trying to stay on topic here but it all has the same ring as the circumstances regards to the medals dont you think ?

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