Jump to content
The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Military medal announcement in London Gazette


marsid
 Share

Recommended Posts

I am trying to find the announcement of the award of the MM to William Matthew Dempsey , Reg number 12377 . It is shown on his service record as awarded and announced on 11/5 /17 but I don't seem able to find it . I must be doing some thing wrong.

Can anyone assist me with this please , I would be most grateful .

Thank you .

Link to comment
Share on other sites

MM awards were normally gazetted around three months after the award, if it was an "immediate" one.

The online London Gazette search engine is not the most user-friendly, but try the combination 'number, surname, initials' in that order and you may find it.

Ron

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Unless you know the way the Gazette search works it is best with the number:

London:

https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/30064/supplement/4598

Edinburgh:

https://www.thegazette.co.uk/Edinburgh/issue/13090/page/922

Steve.

Edit: As ably demonstrated by Phil !

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you all for assistance . Yes it is there but I was hoping to be able to buy a copy to read about the award .

Is this possible ?

People who say that this publication is not user friendly were spot on .

But again thanks to all .

Sid

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sid

What is in the links to the online London Gazette is all that there will be. Citations describing the acts for which the MM was awarded were not published there.

As you have his service record, you should know the battalion of the Royal Berks in which he served, and you will be able to download a copy of its War Diary for around £3.50. It MAY mention him by name - other ranks' names do not usually appear in war diaries but gallantry awards are often noted.

Ron

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Sid,

The names of some men do appear in the Battalion war diary - see for example this transcript extract, which whilst not giving specific citations does say it was for actions on a certain date, which to an extent can be cross referenced. In those cases it says that they were awarded their decorations in May 1917, for actions on 9th April 1917, but the notifications don't appear in the London Gazette until July 1917. Presumably if you man is gazetted in May 1917, his award and action would predate those that are mentioned in the war diary in May 1917. Unfortunately though when I had a quick read of the original diary (on Ancestry) for the few months prior, I didn't see William mentioned - I could well have missed something though!

As records of specific MM citations no longer exist en masse, it might be worth checking local newspapers to see if anything was reported, and as another long shot contacting the good folk at the Wardrobe (the Regimental museum - contact details via the above "transcript" hyperlink) to see if they might be able to help.

Good luck with your research.

Regards

Chris

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I see the service records note a date when the report of his MM was received from VI Corps commander was on 6 April 1917 so presumably the award was a little before that. The battalion's raid against German trenches on 17 March 1917 seems the most likely to me:

I see he was admitted ill to hospital on 18 March 1917 and that the battalion was in training during February 1917, so the window for the award does not seem that large.

March 1917 war diary:

http://interactive.ancestry.co.uk/60779/43112_1850_0-00218?pid=529407&backurl=http%3a%2f%2fsearch.ancestry.co.uk%2f%2fcgi-bin%2fsse.dll%3findiv%3d1%26db%3dUKWarDiariesWWI%26gss%3dangs-d%26new%3d1%26rank%3d1%26MS_AdvCB%3d1%26msypn__ftp_x%3d1%26gskw%3d1850%26gskw_x%3d1%26_82100400-n__ftp_x%3d1%26MSAV%3d2%26uidh%3d5k3%26pcat%3d39%26fh%3d7%26h%3d529407%26recoff%3d%26ml_rpos%3d8&treeid=&personid=&hintid=&usePUB=true#?imageId=43112_1850_0-00179

Steve.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you gentlemen . I have looked at the War Diaries and found exactly the same . I will contact The Wardrobe on Monday . They are excellent and helpful as I have talked to them before for my fathers records .

I underline my fathers as I often get a response that it must be an error . !!!!

I will also browse newspapers . Trouble with that is ...will it be in his home newspapers , Birmingham where his family lived , or Reading Berkshire where the regiment came from . Ah well onwards and upwards as they say .

Sid

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Admin

He's in a list published in the Reading Mercury 19 May 1917 ' Honours to Berkshire Regiment' which simply reiterates the names from the LG, no citation or further details.

Ken

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Ken .

I have found an entry in reading Mercury for 19th May 1917 for a " Bar MM . Does this signify another award. ?

Sid

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, that would be a second award of the MM. They didn't issue a second actual medal, simply a bar to be sewn onto the ribbon of the existing medal.

Ron

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Any specific mention of the award is far more likely to be in his local papers rather than the Regimental area.

This is the Operation Order for the raid on 17-3-1917 in 35th Infantry Brigade War Diary (start):

http://interactive.ancestry.co.uk/60779/43112_1848_0-00035?pid=529281&backurl=http%3a%2f%2fsearch.ancestry.co.uk%2f%2fcgi-bin%2fsse.dll%3findiv%3d1%26db%3dUKWarDiariesWWI%26gss%3dangs-d%26new%3d1%26rank%3d1%26MS_AdvCB%3d1%26msypn__ftp_x%3d1%26gskw%3d1848%26gskw_x%3d1%26_82100400-n__ftp_x%3d1%26MSAV%3d2%26uidh%3d5k3%26pcat%3d39%26fh%3d6%26h%3d529281%26recoff%3d%26ml_rpos%3d7&treeid=&personid=&hintid=&usePUB=true#?imageId=43112_1848_0-00079

Page 2 of the Orders (after the map) confirms that a Lance-Sergeant Dempsey was leader of a bombing squad in "A" Party (1st Wave) under Second Lieutenant Maybury attacking gap "X" on the map:

http://interactive.ancestry.co.uk/60779/43112_1848_0-00035?pid=529281&backurl=http%3a%2f%2fsearch.ancestry.co.uk%2f%2fcgi-bin%2fsse.dll%3findiv%3d1%26db%3dUKWarDiariesWWI%26gss%3dangs-d%26new%3d1%26rank%3d1%26MS_AdvCB%3d1%26msypn__ftp_x%3d1%26gskw%3d1848%26gskw_x%3d1%26_82100400-n__ftp_x%3d1%26MSAV%3d2%26uidh%3d5k3%26pcat%3d39%26fh%3d6%26h%3d529281%26recoff%3d%26ml_rpos%3d7&treeid=&personid=&hintid=&usePUB=true#?imageId=43112_1848_0-00081

Report on the raid here:

http://interactive.ancestry.co.uk/60779/43112_1848_0-00035?pid=529281&backurl=http%3a%2f%2fsearch.ancestry.co.uk%2f%2fcgi-bin%2fsse.dll%3findiv%3d1%26db%3dUKWarDiariesWWI%26gss%3dangs-d%26new%3d1%26rank%3d1%26MS_AdvCB%3d1%26msypn__ftp_x%3d1%26gskw%3d1848%26gskw_x%3d1%26_82100400-n__ftp_x%3d1%26MSAV%3d2%26uidh%3d5k3%26pcat%3d39%26fh%3d6%26h%3d529281%26recoff%3d%26ml_rpos%3d7&treeid=&personid=&hintid=&usePUB=true#?imageId=43112_1848_0-00095

Of the list of raid leaders I can see Dempsey, Epsley (Bar) and Hutt amongst the awards in the Gazette of 11-5-1917.

DCM of Sgt. Breakspear from the raid, same Gazette issue:

10017 Sjt. E. Breakspear, R. Berks. R. For conspicuous gallantry during a raid on the enemy's trenches. He handled a bombing party with great skill, and was largely responsible for the success of the raid.

https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/30064/supplement/4595

So, the raid was at the right time for the Gazette in which the MM was announced, Lance-Sgt. Dempsey was on the raid, and others on the raid appear in the same Gazette - I will leave it to you to decide on the strength of evidence...

Steve.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My goodness you have all given me a very large amount of info to digest and explore for which I am very grateful and thank you very much . However I must point out to those who put links to Ancestry site my subs to Ancestry .com has now ended and not inclined to renew due their decision to no longer support Family Tree Maker program which I have used for many years.

But will continue to dig into this mystery using other sites .

Thank you all for your sterling efforts on my behalf .

Sid

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ah, my apologies. Basically, it shows that on 17 March 1917 there was a raid by the battalion on the German lines east of Arras and that Lance-Sergeant Dempsey was leader of one of the bombing groups (him + 7 men) - their job was bomb dugouts with grenades and gain information about the German lines in advance of the Arras offensive.

If you want to send me a Personal Message (PM) then I will sort some bits out for you.

Steve.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Steve that would be excellent.

Sid

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Admin

Thanks Ken .

I have found an entry in reading Mercury for 19th May 1917 for a " Bar MM . Does this signify another award. ?

Sid

Just for clarification if you look closely the heading 'Bar to the Military Medal' refers to Cpl Epsley, the date of the first award shown in brackets. Under his name there is the bold 'MILITARY MEDAL' and the list of recipients for that award including 12377 Sgt. W. M. Dempsey

Only the one decoration, as inscribed 'for bravery in the field'. Just wanted to clear that up so time wasn't spent searching for a previous award.

Ken

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Ken you are right . My sight is not as good as it once was......................an age thing perhaps !!!!

Have had good input from various members especially Stebie9173 ,but everyone has ben wonderful on this site as usual .

Sid

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sid

Most local libraries seem to have an Ancestry subscription so that may be an avenue for you to explore.

Ron

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...