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Remembered Today:

My grandad George Alfred O'Neal


Lummox
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I wonder if anyone could help me. I knew my granddad fought in WW2 as he was wounded at Dunkirk during the evacuations. However my aunt just told me he was also in WW1 and that my cousin has his 2 lots of medals WW1 and WW2!

He was born 21st September, 1897 and so at the start of WW1 he would have been 17. My cousin said he was in Essex Regiment Coldstream Guards 15864. See attached picture, any help would be greatly appreciated. Phil

Wont let me attach picture??

on thepic was things like Esex Reg C.S gds, S Wales Bord, Service No. 15864 29595 45562 2648794 CG/101 B15 CG/2 CNW/9/2192

Ill keep trying to load pic

Just been told he was at the Somme?

post-116297-51776.jpg

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His medal card reads like he went to France with the Essex Regt on 30/09/1915, transferred to the South Wales Borderers then to the Coldstream Guards who's medal rolls he's listed on.

One very important thing is that his card notes "Medals Forfeited" and shows the source as a "List of forfeitures of medals 2 Jan 1922", it does not give a reason but the medal rolls may, this link explains what the medal rolls are http://www.1914-1918.net/soldiers/campaignmedals.html there's also a link on that page "Interpreting a Medal Index Card" which you've included in your post.

One last thing, the "44" top left of the Medal Card refers to the 44th (East Essex) Regiment of Foot, the forerunner of the Essex Regt, this seems to confirm who he arrived in France with as it's common to note this on Medal Cards.

Sam

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What does "medals forfeited" mean??

Probably what you think it does, he did something for them to be taken from him e.g. Criminal conviction or Desertion.

Could it have been because he lied about his age to get in? How old did you have to be to sign up?

Simply No!

Secondly you had to be 18 to enlist but you had to be 19 to serve overseas, however many "boys" lied about their age and many sources show recruiters were complicit in this either passively by ignoring the fact or proactively encouraging them to lie, many men pre-WW1 did not have their births registered.

Sam

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I'm finding out he used to fight a lot, could be that. He fought a man called Victor McLeglan who fought Jack Johnson the first black Heavyweight champion of the World who went on to become an actor (The Quiet Man with John Wayne).

Ill keep digging.

Where would it be listed if he was arrested or deserted? I assume he didn't desert as he lived and fought in WW2?

Thanks for your help

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That'll be Temporary Captain Victor Andrew de Bier Everleigh McLaglen Britsh Army heavyweight champion 1918? Do you mean boxed him?

What he forfeited his medals for should be on his Medal Roll as I described, it may also give a 2nd reference if they were reissued, my Grandfather deserted and his were reissued in 1926, however that was noted on his medal card.

If he served in WW2, his Service record will be held by the MOD, here you go https://www.gov.uk/requests-for-personal-data-and-service-records why he forfeited them and if he got them back should be in there along with the rest of his service in both Wars.

Sam

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Brilliant thanks Sam, yes he boxed Victor and they became friends. My brother in law said that I did something that my grandfather did, we both boxed fighters that fought a heavyweight champion of the word. I boxed and beat Julius Francis the Britiish and Commonwealth Heavyweight champion who fought MIke Tyson!

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Lummox

The Medal Rolls are online with Naval and Military Archive, did a quick search and his have come up here http://www.nmarchive.com/search-result/page/0/medal-rolls/initial-g/surname-oneal he has 2 entries, the one for service number 15864 is for his 1914-15 Star, the one for 29595 is his War and Victory medals, 30 day membership is £4.95, may be worth the spend.

Let me know if you have any luck with the forfeiture, whether it's from the medal rolls or his Service record, the latter is well worth going for.

Sam

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Didn't get much more than we know already. It says date of disembarkation 30/9/15? Why would he be sent home with 3 years to go? Wounded? He would only have been 18 at the time? Needed to be 19?

On the printed form above it says at the bottom "Costs of forfeiture of medals. 2. Jan 1922" ???

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It says date of disembarkation 30/9/15? Why would he be sent home with 3 years to go?

It's the date he arrived in France, not when he came back.

On the printed form above it says at the bottom "Costs of forfeiture of medals. 2. Jan 1922" ???

The printed form above is the Medal Information Card (MIC) I gave you a link in post #2 that explains the medal rolls and has a link that explains the MIC's, it actually states:

"OC (Officer Commanding) C Gds (Coldstream Guards) Buckingham Gate Fwds (Forwards)

lists of forfeitures of medals. 2 Jan 1922."

Sam

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One last thing, the "44" top left of the Medal Card refers to the 44th (East Essex) Regiment of Foot, the forerunner of the Essex Regt, this seems to confirm who he arrived in France with as it's common to note this on Medal Cards.

Sam

Huh, I would have thought the 44th would have been amalgamated by 1915?

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very high Coldstream number - possibly even after ww1 ended - will check

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my data doesn't go this high - looks like a late 1919/1920 enlistment

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my data doesn't go this high - looks like a late 1919/1920 enlistment

Right enough, you try nearby numbers on CWGC and there's nothing even remotely close, looks like he stayed in hence the 1922 forfeiture list.

Sam

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We know that he used to stand guard at Buckingham Palace in the Coldstream Guards and we believe that he was a Sargent in WW2?

If he arrived in France 30/9/1914 how can we find out when he left? Was he injured? What battles ha was involved in?

We know he had 2 specific war wounds on involved metal plate and rods in his arm from being blown up at Dunkirk and one from WW1.

Would like to get to the bottom of this forfeiture story if possible. I paid me £4.50 for the Army and Navy site but it didn't give me anything I don't already know?

many thanks all

Phil

I remember him as a giant 6'4" of a man very proud and partial to the odd scrap in the local pubs on the Isle of Dogs!

At least I know now where I get it from!

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Have you looked into applying for his Service Record using the link I gave you in post #7? That's where the answers are.

Sam

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  • 2 weeks later...

I knew my granddad fought in WW2 as he was wounded at Dunkirk during the evacuations.

That being the case, the 1939-45 Star is missing, normally you had to do at least 180 days to qualify for it, but those at Dunkirk could qualify for it with only one days service as it fell within a special qualifying period from 10th May to 19th June 1940, so if he was there, he should have one.

There are no Africa, Italy, Burma, Pacific or France and Germany Stars either, so they are either missing or he didn't leave the UK after Dunkirk.

Sam

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Sam.

he had to blow up an ammunition dump at Dunkirk to stop it falling into German hands and was badly injured from the blast. Once home I believe he never went back.

Phil

ps I've just heard his medals were divvied out between some of his grandsons so there could be more....

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  • 1 year later...

Sam, found out from my Aunt (his daughter) that he refused to accept any of his medals from WW1 as he didn't feel he deserved them just because he survived when a load of his friends and fellow soldiers didn't. Apparently saw pure carnage at the Somme and felt he couldn't be proud and receive medals just because the bullet that hit him didn't kill him.

Phil

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Huh, I would have thought the 44th would have been amalgamated by 1915?

They were, but the Regimental Districts of the post-1881 regiments retained the number of the senior of the two regiments.

Ron

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  • 2 years later...

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