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Interpreting medal card & service records


gilesforrest
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Hi,

I'd like to frame my great grandfather's medals along with some information about his military history. He has the following medals:

  • Queen's South Africa Medal (5 clasps)
  • 1914-15 Star
  • Victory Medal
  • British War Medal
  • General Service Medal (Kurdistan clasp)

Question 1: I found his entry in the Queen's South African Medal Roll and also his WW1 Medal Card which mentions his BWM, VM and 1914-1915 Star, however where can I find in his records or on a medal roll the award of the General Service Medal?

Question 2: Looking at his records he had a varied military career (South African Constabulary, PPCLI, ASC, RFC, RAF, etc) and so I'd like to accompany his medals within the frame some useful information, e.g. enlistment, transfers, assignments, promotions, etc. Can anyone check the below (including my terminology) to ensure I get the info correct before I get it all framed for everyone to see! I admit the records are very confusing to read (with lots of long references), and maybe someone more familiar with them will be able to interpret them a lot quicker than I did....
[dates unknown] Enlisted in SA Constabulary "B" division
08.10.1903 Awarded Queen's South Africa Medal (5 clasps); South African Constabulary "B" Division; Rank: 1/c 3/p

01.09.1914 Enlisted Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry Regiment; Regimental No 853; Rank: [Lance Corporal?]

19.12.1914 Promoted to Corporal
17.03.1915 Promoted to Sergeant
09.11.1915 Enlisted in British Army (Army Service Corps)

13.11.1915 Promoted to Temporary [why temporary?] Second Lieutenant

21.08.1916 Attached 5th Wing Royal Flying Corps & Appointed Flying Officer (Observer) ["Transferred to General List" - what does this mean?]

01.07.1917 Promoted to Temporary [why temporary?] Lieutenant
27.02.1918 Transferred to 39 Squadron Royal Air Force
08.01.1919 Relinquished Commission
[not sure of date] Awarded 1914-15 Star [issued by PPCLI]
[not sure of date] Awarded VM, BWM & General Service Medal (Kurdistan Clasp) [issued by RAF]
Sources:

Many thanks in advance for anyone's help on this!

Giles

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Hi,

It might be worth having a look on the Anglo Boer War forum for an explanation of his SA Police service. It may turn up some more info via SA Archives.

Canadian Archives are part way through a digitisation project for their WW1 soldiers papers. They are doing it in alphabetical order.

Have a look on Canadian Expeditionary Force Study Group Forum for more info re PPCLI.

I know Army GSM medal rolls are on Ancestry so presume likewise for RAF?

Good Luck.

Steve

http://www.angloboerwar.com/forum/

http://www.cefresearch.ca/phpBB3/

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If already enlisted in a Canadian Regiment how would he be allowed out of that obligation to enlist in the British army?

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Hi,

There are many examples of "Imperial" troops who were allowed to transfer to UK forces to take up a commission.

This man appears to be one such candidate for a commission.

Regards

Steve

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The General Service Medal [Army and Royal Air Force] [1918-1964].

Kurdistan bar [23rd May, 1919-6th December, 1919] and [19th March-18th June, 1923].

I think, but am not sure, that the RAF only qualified for the bar by service during 1923 [6, 30, & 63 Squadrons].

British Battles & Medals, Maj. L.L. Gordon.

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gilesforrest, on 18 Jan 2015 - 04:39 AM, said:

Hi,

I'd like to frame my great grandfather's medals along with some information about his military history. He has the following medals:

  • Queen's South Africa Medal (5 clasps)
  • 1914-15 Star
  • Victory Medal
  • British War Medal
  • General Service Medal (Kurdistan clasp)

Question 1: I found his entry in the Queen's South African Medal Roll and also his WW1 Medal Card which mentions his BWM, VM and 1914-1915 Star, however where can I find in his records or on a medal roll the award of the General Service Medal?

Question 2: Looking at his records he had a varied military career (South African Constabulary, PPCLI, ASC, RFC, RAF, etc) and so I'd like to accompany his medals within the frame some useful information, e.g. enlistment, transfers, assignments, promotions, etc. Can anyone check the below (including my terminology) to ensure I get the info correct before I get it all framed for everyone to see! I admit the records are very confusing to read (with lots of long references), and maybe someone more familiar with them will be able to interpret them a lot quicker than I did....
[dates unknown] Enlisted in SA Constabulary "B" division
08.10.1903 Awarded Queen's South Africa Medal (5 clasps); South African Constabulary "B" Division; Rank: 1/c 3/p

01.09.1914 Enlisted Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry Regiment; Regimental No 853; Rank: [Lance Corporal?]

19.12.1914 Promoted to Corporal
17.03.1915 Promoted to Sergeant
09.11.1915 Enlisted in British Army (Army Service Corps)

13.11.1915 Promoted to Temporary [why temporary?] Second Lieutenant

21.08.1916 Attached 5th Wing Royal Flying Corps & Appointed Flying Officer (Observer) ["Transferred to General List" - what does this mean?]

01.07.1917 Promoted to Temporary [why temporary?] Lieutenant
27.02.1918 Transferred to 39 Squadron Royal Air Force
08.01.1919 Relinquished Commission
[not sure of date] Awarded 1914-15 Star [issued by PPCLI]
[not sure of date] Awarded VM, BWM & General Service Medal (Kurdistan Clasp) [issued by RAF]
Sources:

Many thanks in advance for anyone's help on this!

Giles

e.g. "13.11.1915 Promoted to Temporary [why temporary?] Second Lieutenant"

Due to the exingencies of war, it was 'normal' to 'promote' but not pay the going rate for the rank.

As the numbers of killed, wounded, missing, on leave, etc., grew, lower ranks were 'temporarily' used to fill the gaps.

Later, the 'temporary' might be removed by a full promotion, or reduced to the former rank.

Hope this helps.

Tom.

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Thanks everyone so far.

The Anglo Boer War forum has helped me identify the rank as "3rd class Trooper".

Thanks also for explanation Re temporary positions. Do you know if being promoted from temporary 2nd lieutenant to temporary lieutenant would in effect "make permanent" the position of 2nd lieutenant (and so they are paid accordingly) otherwise someone could be paid a privates wage but be temporary Major for example!

Regards,

Giles

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In some British Army service records you will often see Acting Corporal unpaid which is sometimes at a later as paid.

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gilesforrest, on 20 Jan 2015 - 02:26 AM, said:

Thanks everyone so far.

The Anglo Boer War forum has helped me identify the rank as "3rd class Trooper".

Thanks also for explanation Re temporary positions. Do you know if being promoted from temporary 2nd lieutenant to temporary lieutenant would in effect "make permanent" the position of 2nd lieutenant (and so they are paid accordingly) otherwise someone could be paid a privates wage but be temporary Major for example!

Regards,

Giles

Giles,

I read somewhere (?) that 18 months in a certain rank would make it 'substantial', and the rank served, became permanent. Though 18 months in WW1 was a very long time.

I have the service record of a great uncle who was initially 'appointed unpaid' (as opposed to 'promoted') L/Cpl in 24.7.16. He was later 'appointed paid' L/Cpl on 20.10.16.

This was also a nice way to not pay the 'appointed unpaid' in that rank.

Tom.

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