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General Neil Methuen Ritchie - citation for DSO 1917


gjbarclay

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General Ritchie, commander for a time of the 8th Army in WW2, served in the Black Watch in WW1. He was awarded two medals. The Military Cross citation is given in full in the London Gazette (gallantry at the Battle of Megiddo 1918) but the 1917 award of the DSO to Lt (acting Capt) Ritchie was included only in a list in the LG and I can't find a citation. I have come across a suggestion in an unpublished memoir that Ritchie's DSO may have been a 'desk jockey' award, rather than one for gallantry in action. I'd be grateful for any help in determining whether this is true. Thanks.

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The entry in the LG d/d 24-8-1917 suggests that the award is as you think, the wording at the head is "To be Companions of the Distinguished Service Order" so not for any specific action. Ralph.

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Many thanks both of you for your prompt replies. I think Ritchie was the Adjutant of the 2nd Battalion in both 1917 and 1918. I had thought that the rules for the DSO changed early in 1917 to be for 'in action' only because of the disrepute into which the award was falling for awards to rear echelon officers, and would be grateful for any clarification that anyone can give me. The memoir that casts doubt on Ritchie's awards is of someone who had very strong personal dislike of Ritchie, and suggested the MC was also a 'desk' award, which it certainly wasn't. Gordon

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I would be interested to hear who wrote that memoir and when as Ritchie is an important figure in my academic research on WW2 (looking at 1940 when a commanded a Brigade in the BEF).

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Hello Phil. Could we continue this off-site? I'm barclay_gordon@hotmail.com.

Gordon

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  • 2 weeks later...

Gordon, would also be interested in any background you could provide on the memoir. I can email you at the above email address if that is ok.

Thanks

Peter

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