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Remembered Today:

Pencil Marks, Comments and Initials on Medal Rolls


rolt968
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Hello Everyone,

I first started to look at Medal Rolls about a year ago. Now I can actually see them more frequently online, I am trying work out if there is anything useful in the various pencil marks and comments.

I assume that "noted" + initials in the last column is someone signing the entry of for some reason. Crosses and ticks in the from and to columns are presumably much the same.

I have seen at least one "SWB" (actually in the from column) which presumably means Silver War Badge.

What about "owsy"? The last character might be z or g or anachaic long tailed s. (It is in the from column agains Pte Benjamin Taylor, S/41355, Black Watch. (He was killed.))

It might be someone's initials, but I haven't seen any quite like that. I will not be surprised if it something obvious. I am no good at word games or puzzles!

R.

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R

I just peeked at a few more Rolls in the same sequence and get the impression that it is probably initials from checkers of the Rolls, which could well reflect that the soldiers were in differing Units/Battalions/Companies etc and had been cleared as accurate for medal marking. Your owsy appears frequently as does swb and the X here and there. Then at the bottom of the form there is some kind of pencilled "score" 4-1,5-1 etc. The larger number equates to the number of lines on the page and the 1 may well be another delineation between the units administered from the Perth Army District.

The Civil Service mindset abounds with ticks and squiggles as an assurance that nothing has been missed,and the boss scrutineer needs to be assured in return before he signs the form finally prior to proceeding into action !!

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Have you met rjaydee?

Could you post an image of "owsy"?

:D

Just looking at medal roll of a 2/Seaforth man, and it looks similar? Is it an administrative abbreviation?

2nsyhas.jpg

Mike

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I wonder how consistent the entries are?

For those of you with ancestry access this link:

http://interactive.ancestry.co.uk/5119/41629_626640_11701-00092/1413226?backurl=http%3a%2f%2fsearch.ancestry.co.uk%2fcgi-bin%2fsse.dll%3findiv%3d1%26db%3dIWOServiceMedalAwardRolls%26rank%3d1%26new%3d1%26MSAV%3d1%26msT%3d1%26gss%3dangs-d%26gsfn%3dFrank%26gsln%3dDuncan%26gsln_x%3dNP_NN%26dbOnly%3d_F8007A65%257c_F8007A65_x%252c_F00061C3%257c_F00061C3_x%252c_F000836E%257c_F000836E_x%26_F00061C3%3dRoyal%2bHighlanders%26uidh%3d1fc%26pcat%3d39%26fh%3d0%26h%3d1413226%26recoff%3d5%2b6%26ml_rpos%3d1&ssrc=&backlabel=ReturnRecord#?imageId=41629_626640_11701-00091

leads to a page of the Black Watch in which a piece of paper has been inserted which reads:

"Column 4 Shows:-

In sequence Units and Corps previously served with by each individual and Regimental numbers therein, the highest rank whether substantive, acting or temporary recorded as having been held for any period in a theatre of war unless reverted for misconduct being shown against the name of the corps or regiment which is to be inscribed on the medal.

Illegible signature (Captain)

C. i/c Records (Royal Highlanders)"

In the pages which follow, the cross in the from column is opposite the entry at the highest rank, presumably the one inscribed on the medal. (One is listed as Private in the main list but shows A/WO II in column 4!)

R.

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My take on the owsy is that the first character is a "0" (zero). It's in the column for "from" in "Theater if War in which served". In the "to" column it looks like initials or abbreviations. I look forward to someone knowledgeable being able to decipher these items.

Mike Morrison

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These sort of annotations are common to pretty much all medal rolls, and some years back I spent a bit of time trying to work out what they stood for. All I can say is that they don't appear to bear any relationship to the supposed function of the various columns in which they are written. For what it's worth, my take on the annotations in post #4 is that they represent each entry being checked and initialled by 2 separate clerks in the Army Medal Office. The circle represents something being checked and is followed by a set of initials (presumably the initials of the person who did the checking), then there's a 2nd set of initials (the 'counter-signature') followed by a tick (perhaps the mark of someone confirming that the medals had been issued). I suspect that each medal issue had to be countersigned - perhaps one person preparing the medal(s) and the other checking that the details were correct, or that the address was correct, etc.

Edited by headgardener
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Does anybody know why there is an annotation regarding "SWB"? Initials or a reference to the Silver War Badge. I see many of these on the rolls of the War and Victory medals.

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It may be because the header over the two left hand columns (Regimental Number and Rank) is "On 11/11/18 or on becoming non-effective" noting that they received an SWB indicates that they became non-effective prior to the Armistice. Though obviously some discharges took place subsequently, it would be interesting to see if they are actually marked in the same way as those who received an SWB before the armsitice.

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I'm grateful for all contributions so far. I apologise for not posting an image of "owsy" - I am still in the early days of finding my way around with a new Windows 8.1. (I occasionally manage to persuade it to do exactly what I want!)

I will follow up the various entries with "SWB" and see if they do have Silver War Badges and report back.

R.

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