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Home Front Soldiers


suesalter1
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My grandfather served in the First World War, but never went overseas as he was not medically fit. I heard somewhere that soldiers on the home front never received any medals, which seems a bit unfair. Does anyone know if this is correct?

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The British War Medal, Victory Medals were awarded for service overseas.

Do you know what e did and where?

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There is no possible medal entitlement as far as I am aware.

The 1914 Star, British War Medal & Victory Medal were campaign medals - and you can't campaign at home ! ?

BillyH.

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The British War Medal, Victory Medals were awarded for service overseas.

There is no possible medal entitlement as far as I am aware.

The 1914 Star, British War Medal & Victory Medal were campaign medals - and you can't campaign at home ! ?.

There were a limited number of circumstances in which a Home Front serviceman could be awarded a BWM. Examples would be men serving with UK-based units which were considered to be 'on active service'. The most obvious examples would be men who were killed or injured through enemy action (bombardment of Hartlepool, for instance), and I'm pretty certain that it applied to some RN and RFC/RAF men (an example being UK-based RNVR Anti-Aircraft units).

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Headgardener,

What you say sounds fair and reasonable, but I have always believed that overseas service was a requirement for the British War Medal.

The Imperial War Museum gives it's version of qualification for the BWM as :

This silver medal was awarded to officers and men of the British and Imperial Forces who either entered a theatre of war (an area of active fighting) or served overseas (perhaps as a garrison soldier) between 5 August 1914 and 11 November 1918 inclusive.This was later extended to services in Russia, Siberia and some other areas in 1919 and 1920.

National Archives says : For service abroad (including India) 5 August 1914 - 11 November 1918, or 1919-1920 in Russia.

The Long Long Trail says : http://www.1914-1918.net/soldiers/themedals.html

How can we get a definitive answer?

BillyH.

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There are MIC's for the army examples.

I am referring to the man in the OP which states that he never went overseas. Perhaps if his name was given we could look for a MIC.

What would be the difference between wounded or dying in the UK while serving at home , and serving unscathed at home medal wise?

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The difference may be whether or not you were in contact with the enemy (e.g. killed by bombing or shelling), and therefore in a theatre of war?

Would be good to get clarification.

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If there are MIC's for this situation it would be interesting to see the code for theatre of war.

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He may have been awarded The Silver War Badge! if medically unfit.

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I've just found an old thread on the subject - looks like the Hartlepool servicemen got the BWM -

There seems to have possibly been a specific medal roll - "[A.C.] Durham RGM [fwds] roll of men on duty 15 12/14. Eligible BWM"

Centurion makes an interesting point in the thread about coastal batteries, whose members should surely have been considered to be in a theatre of war if they engaged the enemy.

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I have seen the MIC and looked on Medal Roll.

I could not find him but then it is late!

The medal roll seems to be in a funny order and what you say could be correct.

Most medal Rolls I have looked at list in service number order but the pages he might be on show for example 19/100, 23/100 19/100 18/100 etc. Using the number after the prefix which is why I have probably missed him.

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Name: Theophilis Jones

Birth Place: Darlington

Residence: West Hartlepool

Death Date: 16 Dec 1914

Rank: Private

Regiment: Durham Light Infantry

Battalion: 18th Battalion.

Number: 18/295

Type of Casualty: Killed in action

Theatre of War: Home

From the previous thread mentioned.

I wonder if air defence crew in UK shooting at zeppelins got one?

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.I wonder if air defence crew in UK shooting at zeppelins got one?

My understanding is that they did (I mentioned it in post #4 on this thread). If you look at the RNVR AA service records you'll find that the UK-based men received BWM's. I'm not clear about coastal defence units, it would make sense that it would apply to them but I wonder whether many did actually engage the enemy.

I've also come across UK-based RFC/RAF ground crew and home-waters RN personnel who appear to have qualified for a BMW, so I wonder exactly what the rules were, and whether they differed slightly between the army, navy and Air Force.

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This silver medal was awarded to officers and men of the British and Imperial Forces who either entered a theatre of war (an area of active fighting) or served overseas (perhaps as a garrison soldier) between 5 August 1914 and 11 November 1918 inclusive.[/font][/i][/size]

In this instance, the UK was the theatre of war.

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I've just found an old thread on the subject - looks like the Hartlepool servicemen got the BWM - http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=143625

There seems to have possibly been a specific medal roll - "[A.C.] Durham RGM [fwds] roll of men on duty 15 12/14. Eligible BWM"

These rolls are specific to the issue of BWM only, just like BWM-only rolls for other regiments and corps. The Durham men would probably be the only men from their regiment who would qualify for BWM only, but medal entitlement for the others (the RNVR AA men, for example) are just buried in the normal medal rolls. No reason to believe that wouldn't apply to RGA coastal defence men and others.

If there are MIC's for this situation it would be interesting to see the code for theatre of war.

I don't have access to Ancestry, but I remember seeing some of the MIC's and I think they simply say 'home', or give no indication. Typically, details of 'theatre' is mostly limited to MIC's for stars and for officers ( with a few exceptions, of course!).
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headgardener & IPT,

Excellent work, the MIC confirms a British War Medal - that's good enough for me.

You learn something new everyday!

BillyH.

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headgardener & IPT,

Excellent work, the MIC confirms a British War Medal - that's good enough for me.

You learn something new everyday!

BillyH.

Billy, you originally referred to what the LLT says about the qualifying criteria for award of a BWM. It's misleading, though, because the statement that the man had to leave 'his native shore' in order to qualify for the BWM was designed to refer to colonial troops who came to the UK. It means that a colonial serviceman who left the dominions for the UK but who never went on to a theatre of war would receive a medal while a native Brit who only served in the UK wouldn't. Returning to the OP on this thread, that part of the process does seem slightly unfair.

As an aside, I understood that it was partly this sense of iniquity that led to the decision to award medals to UK-based service personnel in WW2 (together with the fact that the Home Front was more literally a 'Front Line' during WW2).

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Thanks for all the replies. My grandfather was in the Royal Garrison Artillery, 190th Siege Battery. As far as I can tell from his service record (and it's badly damaged), he enlisted on 25th May 1916 and was discharged on the 13th February 1918 as medically unfit.

Sue.

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If it's any help, my grandfather's service number was 93262. I have checked the Silver War Badge list as well and he's not on it.

Sue.

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