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Royal Navy - no Medal Index Cards. Why?


depaor01
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Mornin' all,

 

I came across a medal pair to a PO 1, 169549 Martin Lynch of Killough in Co. Down recently. Being normally interested in Army medals, I was surprised at not being able to find an MIC. Further investigation here and elsewhere revealed that no MIC records exist for Royal Navy servicemen.

 

Is it the case that RN records were destroyed? As I understand it, the Army cards were used to ensure details on medals were impressed correctly and entitlement could be recorded. Surely the same was required of RN issued medals and, that being the case, I find it hard to understand the absence of a similar set of records for those who served in the Royal Navy. The person tasked with impressing Army medals would seem to have had an easier job than the equivalent RN "medal-namers" in the absence of cards.

 

I have been able to retrieve Lynch's records from Ancestry along with his medal rolls.

 

Thanks,

 

Dave

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Why should the Admiralty follow the War Office method? They differed in two important ways. Firstly, the Admiralty Medal Rolls were kept as ledgers which are readily available at Kew (in the ADM 171 series - all online) and (I believe) on one of the genealogy sites. Secondly, unlike the WO which used a scatter-gun approach to issuing medals (hence the massively wasteful number of returns), the Admiralty only stamped and issued medals when they had been claimed - less waste, less expense.

Edited by horatio2
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H

 

Didn't know that ! Navy had to claim, Army (apart from Officers) didn't .

I am presuming that Dave found ADM171 on Ancestry.

Edited by sotonmate
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2 hours ago, horatio2 said:

Why should the Admiralty follow the War Office method? They differed in two important ways. Firstly, the Admiralty Medal Rolls were kept as ledgers which are readily available at Kew (in the ADM 171 series - all online) and (I believe) on one of the genealogy sites. Secondly, unlike the WO which used a scatter-gun approach to issuing medals (hence the massively wasteful number of returns), the Admiralty only stamped and issued medals when they had been claimed - less waste, less expense.

 

Horatio2

 

Very interesting. I was able to get info about him from Ancestry's Royal Navy Registers of Seamen's Services. I was unaware that Seamen had to claim their medals, and  also unaware of the disconnect between the Admiralty and the War Office implied by the first sentence of your post.

 

It does smack of the right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing though. One would imagine both arms of the Services would have agreed a common plan and methodology for the issue of medals - after all the standard Trio was common to both. A bit "reinventing the wheel"  if you'll excuse my overuse of metaphors!

 

Thanks for the info.

 

Dave

Edited by depaor01
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4 hours ago, depaor01 said:

It does smack of the right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing though. One would imagine both arms of the Services would have agreed a common plan and methodology for the issue of medals - after all the standard Trio was common to both. A bit "reinventing the wheel"  if you'll excuse my overuse of metaphors!

 

If you read the correspondence reproduced by Fevyer & Wilson in their (1995) book on the 1914 Star then you will understand that the Admiralty (& others) were brought quite reluctantly to the view that the Navy should be awarded the star

 

Fourth SL to First SL 25/9/17

“..I am strongly of the opinion that, if possible, this decoration should be reserved for the Army alone.”

Note by Third SL: “... the Decoration in question is solely to commemorate the glorious death of the original Army and therefore it should be given only to members of that force.”

 

KGV was also agin' it

Ponsonby to R-Adm. Everett 27/9/17

His Majesty has asked Lord Derby to talk the matter over with Admiral Jellicoe, and see whether the announcement cannot be so worded as to exclude the Navy.”

 

The 'Agenda' of the Board Meeting of 22 NOV 1917 is open to the interpretation that in the end their Lordships felt that their hand had been forced on the matter

firstly by statements in the Press and

secondly by a statement in the House by the Financial Secretary to the Admiralty

 

The 'Minutes' for the above meeting however show a rearguard action was yet continuing

... efforts should be made to revert to the original intention in regard to the scope of this decoration, but if such efforts are not successful, endeavours should be made to limit the granting of the decoration..........”

 

I'm sure the navy was grateful that they saw the light in the end

from where I am sitting however there is a whiff of meanness about this episode

Edited by michaeldr
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I have made a lot of use of the Navy medal rolls, but had never realised that the medals had to be claimed.  How about the medals to sailors who lost their lives? I am used to finding what I assume is a file or correspondence reference against the names of RN men who died, but I'm surprised if they had to be claimed in  that so far as I can recall all the naval WW1 casualties (probably less than 100) that I have researched appear to have been awarded  either the trio, or the Victory and War  medals unless they served exclusively in the UK..

 

Keith

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Oct 1921 - one of the newspaper appeals to men to claim. No specific mention of deceased men.

Capture.JPG


Craig

Edited by ss002d6252
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Did men have to claim for the BWM and Victory medal as well as the star?  if they were issued automatically it might account for the issue in respect of men who died.

 

Keith

 

 

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4 hours ago, keithmroberts said:

Did men have to claim for the BWM and Victory medal as well as the star?  if they were issued automatically it might account for the issue in respect of men who died.

 

It appears that they did, and that they weren't issued automatically. These official announcements from The Times, which also cover applications for the NOK/legatees of the deceased,  should be of interest

 

Jan 11, 1919

THE 1914 STAR

ISSUE TO NAVAL & MILITARY UNITS

It is officially announced that the 1914 star is now ready for issue to officers and men of the Navy and of certain regiments the Army who are qualified to receive it. Instructions are given as to the mode of application. The announcements are made in the following form:-

 

THE NAVY

Notice is given that the '1914 star' is now ready for issue to the officers and men of the RN, RM, RNAS, RNR, and RNVR who actually served in France or Belgium on the establishment of a Naval units landed for shore service on shore between August 5 and Midnight November 22-23 1914.

Provided their claims are approved by the Admiralty, Officers and men of the following Naval Units are entitled to the Star:-

Naval Transport Staff on Shore

Armoured Trains

Naval Mission with Belgium Army

Machine-gun parties landed from HM ships Severn, Mersey, and Humber

RN Hospital, Dunkirk

RNAS Dunkirk

RNAS No.1 and No.3 Wings

RNAS Armoured Cars

RN Brigade, Ostend

RN Division, Antwerp

Those who have deserted, or been dismissed with disgrace, since the qualifying service will not be granted the Star

Applications from officers and men not now serving should be made to the Accountant-General of the Naval (Medal Branch), London, SW1, and should be accompanied by certificates of discharge. The decorations earned by deceased officers and men will be issued to their legatees or next of kin entitled to receive them. Claims addressed as above should be accompanied, when available, by the certificate of the  Inspector's wills issued in respect of their naval assets

 

THE ARMY

The Secretary of the War Office announces that the ‘1914 Star’ for officers and other ranks  of the undermentioned regiments is now ready for issue. Applications in the case of officers should be addressed to the Secretary, War Office (AG10), 27, Pilgrim-street, EC4; other ranks should apply to the Officer in Charge of Records concerned:-

Household Cavalry

Foot Guards

Royal Highlanders

Seaforth Highlanders

Gordon Highlanders

Cameron Highlanders

Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders

 

Jun 28, 1920

Naval and Military Intelligence

Navy Decorations ready

It is announced in Admiralty orders that the 1914-15 Star is now ready for issue to officers and men of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines who are still serving, and applications on behalf of those entitled are to be addressed to the Accountant-General of the Navy (Medal Branch) on Form S.540, stating for what service the claim is made. Applications on behalf of those entitled to the Star for service with the Army are to be made to the Secretary of the War Office (Medals Branch), 27, Pilgrim-street, E.C.4.

Clasps and roses for wear with the 1914 Star and riband respectively are also now ready for issue on application to the Accountant-General. This award is to officers and men of the R.N., R.M., R.N.R., and R.N.V.R.,  who have been awarded the 1914  Star and who were actually present on duty on shore  within range of the enemy’s mobile artillery in France or Belgium between August 5 and midnight on November 22-23, 1914. Applicants must state the place and period under fire, and in the case of men the name and rank of an officer who would be able, if necessary, to confirm the service. Units which do not qualify for the clasp include transport staffs; the R.N. Hospital, Dunkirk; the R.M. Brigade, Ostend; the R.N.A.S., Dunkirk;  and  R.N. Division detachments at Dunkirk, with the divisional engineers and train.

The oak leaf emblem, denoting that the wearer has been “mentioned in despatches,” will shortly be ready for issue to approved claimants. It will be issued in two sizes. The larger to be worn with the Victory Medal, will be affixed to the centre of the riband at an angle of 60deg. from the inside edge of the riband, stem to the eight.  A further announcement will be made by the Admiralty when any other Navy decorations are ready for issue, pending which no application should be made.

 

Aug 03, 1921

Medals For Naval Service.

Issue to the Demobilized.

The 1914-15 Stars and British War and Victory medals are now ready for issue to discharged and demobilised officers and men of the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Royal Navy Reserve, and Royal Naval Volunteer  Reserve who have received or are entitled to either the 1914 Star or the 1914-15 Star, and whose surnames begin with one of the letters A,E,L, and S.

Applications should be made in writing to the Accountant –General of the Navy, Medal Branch, Cornwall House, Stamford-street, London, S.E.1, accompanied by certificate of service, or, if this is not available, by discharge certificate, protection  and identity certificate, or some other evidence of identity.  Those who served in any other branch of the Forces during the war should furnish full particulars of such service.

Those who have forfeited their medals in consequence of desertion or dismissal with disgrace should not apply. Personal application at Cornwall House cannot be dealt with.

Application on behalf of deceased officers and men whose services qualified for either the 1914 Star or 1914-15 Star and whose surnames begin with any of the letters named. Further announcements will be made when it is possible to extend the issue to other letters.

No action can be taken on any application received out of this order  or in respect of any officer or man not entitled to either of the Stars.

 

Announcement for surnames beginning with other groups of letters appeared at regular intervals until the final notices which appear to have been ‘catch alls’

 

Jan 21, 1922

Naval And Military

War medals are now available for issue to all officers and men of the naval  forces, retired, demobilised , &c who have received or are entitled to either the 1914 Star or the 1914-15 Star. Issue can also be made to the next-of-kin of those deceased who qualified for either of these stars. Application should be made  to the Accountant-General of the Navy, Medal Branch, Cornwall House, Stamford-street, S.E.1, accompanied by certificate of service, &c.  All service during the war  in any other branch of  the Forces  should be fully stated  quoting regimental number .

Personal application cannot be dealt with.

 

Feb 13, 1922

The  Naval  1914-15 Star

The Admiralty  announces that all those entitled to the Naval award of the 1914-15 Star who have not yet received that decoration should apply by post (enclosing Service Certificate)  to the Accountant-General of the Navy, Medal Branch, Cornwall House, Stamford-street,  S.W.1

 

NigelS

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The Admiralty Medal Rolls show quite clearly who claimed the medals and to whom they were issued. Usually the entry is 'S' (Self) but various relatives of the deceased also claimed (father (Fr), mother (Mr), etc, and various types of legal legatee. Also evident are large numbers who are shown as not claimed and, therefore, not issued, as well as those who forfeited their medal through, for example, desertion.

The Admiralty granted the issue of the British War Medal to all ranks who had completed 28 days' mobilised service between 5th August 1914 and 11th November 1918.

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The Times also published the conditions for the award of the Naval 1914 Star (+clasp), 1914-15 Star, the Victory & the British War medals  (+Clasps)

 

Dec 28, 1917

      1914 STAR FOR THE NAVY

REGULATIONS FOR AWARD

The secretary of the Admiralty announces that the King having approved of the grant of a distinctive decoration to the forces which took part in the operations in France and Belgium during the earlier part of the war in 1914, the following regulations for the award of the decoration to naval and marine units engaged are issued for information:-

(1) The decoration will be the Star - bronze as for the army.

(2) Provided the claims  are approved by the Admiralty, the Star will be granted to all officers and men of the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Royal Naval Reserve, and Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve who actually served in France or Belgium on the establishment of a unit landed for service on shore between August 5, 1914, and Midnight November 22-23 1914.

(3) The decorations earned by fallen officers and men will be issued to their legatees or next of kin entitled to receive them.

(4) Notification will be given when the decorations are ready for issue, and no applications should be made for them pending such notice

 

Dec 24, 1918

1914-15 STAR

AWARD TO THE NAVY AND ARMY

The award of the 1914-15 Star to both the Navy and the Army is announced to-day

ADMIRALTY REGULATIONS.

The following Admiralty Order is being issued by the Admiralty:

The King, having been pleased to approve the grant of a distinctive decoration to the Forces which took part in active operations of the war up to December 31, 1915,  the following regulations for the award of the decoration as regards the Navy  are issued for information:-

1. The decoration will be a star in  bronze, similar in type to the “1914 Star,” but bearing distinctive marks as to date. Those entitled to the “1914 Star” will not be eligible for the new decoration.

2. No clasp will be issued with the star

3. The ribbon will be red, white, and blue, shaded and watered.

4. Provided the claims are approved by the Admiralty, and subject to the limitations in clause 5. the star will be granted to the following:- (a) all officers and men of the R.N., R.M., R.N.A.S., R.N.R., R.N.V.R., R.I.M., and Dominion naval forces, who were mobilized and served (1) at sea, or (2) on shore within the theatres of military operations. (b) Trained pilots and observers and men of R.N.A.S. employed in flying from naval air stations on oversea patrols. (c) Mercantile marine officers and men serving under special naval engagements (Form T.124 and its variants). (d) Canteen staffs who have served in a ship of war at sea.

5. The following service does not qualify:- (a) Service in depot ships, except those which go to sea; boom defence vessels, examination vessels, and other craft employed on harbour service. (b) Service at  shore bases and depots, except those within theatres of active military operations – e.g., casual inspections and inquiries, purchase of material, passage, &c.

6. Desertion or dismissal with disgrace since the date  of the qualifying service forfeits the decoration.

7. The decoration earned by officers and men deceased will be issued to their legatees or next-of-kin entitled to receive them.

8. A further announcement as to the wearing of the ribbon will be made when it is ready for issue, and no applications should be made pending such notification.

9. For the  purpose of this Order, the definition of  “theatres of  war” is as in Appendix “A.”

 

Appendix “A.”

For the purpose of this Order the definition of  “Theatres of War” will be as follows:-

1. Western  European Theatre. – To include all operations in France and Belgium from midnight 22-23, November, 1914.

2. Eastern European Theatre – To include all  operations in (a) Greece, Macedonia, Serbia, and Bulgaria  from October 5, 1915; (b) Gallipoli from April 26, 1915, including the Aegean Islands, &c.

3. Egyptian  Theatre – To include all operations against Turco-German forces from November 5, 1914; also operations against Senussite forces in Western Egypt and on the borders of Cyrenaica from November 3, 1915, but excluding operations for which the Sultan’s Sudan Medal has been awarded.

4. African Theatre. – To include all operations set forth below, but excluding local military operations against native tribes or rebels.

(a)  British East Africa, German East Africa, Rhodesia, Nyassaland and Uganda, and African Lakes, from August 20, 1914.

(b) German South-West Africa and on the adjacent borders of the Union of South Africa from August 20, 1914, to July 9, 1915.

(c) Kamerun and on Nigeria frontier, from August 24, 1914.

(d) Togoland, from August 7, 1914,  to August 26, 1914.

5. Asiatic Theatre. -  To include operations (a)  in Mesopotamia, from November 6,  1914, and (b) at Tsin-Tau, from September 23, 1914 to November 7, 1914

6. Australasian Theatre – to include all operations in

(a) German New Guinea and Bismarck Archipelago as follows:-

(1) New Britain, from September 11, 1914, to September 21, 1914.

(2) New Ireland, from September 16, 1914, to October 18, 1914.

(3) Kaiser Wilhelmland on September 24, 1914;

(4) Admiralty Islands on November 21, 1914.

(b) Nauru on November 6, 1914.

(c) German Samoa on August 29, 1914

 

(This article then continues with the equivalent Army Order & the related ‘Theatres of War’)

 

Dec 15, 1919

Two Navy Medals.

War And Victory Issues.

Conditions Of Award

The Admiralty have now announced the details of two medals which have been approved by the King for issue which have been approved by the King for issue to the personnel of the Naval Services for their work in the war.  The first medal is to commemorate “the bringing of the war to a successful conclusion, and the arduous services rendered by his Majesty’s Forces,” whereas the second, known as the Victory Medal, will be similar in design to that issued by the other Allied and Associated  Powers for corresponding services, and will obviate the interchange of Allied commemorative war medals.

The British War medal will be in Silver and the colour of the riband will be orange (watered) in the centre, with stripes of white and black on each side,  and with borders of royal blue. The Victory  medal, which will be attached  by a ring to its riband, which will be red in the centre, with green and violet on each side, shaded to form the colours of two rainbows. It is understood that an Admiralty Committee is now engaged in considering the question of the clasps to be granted with the Naval War medal. In the case of the Victory medal, there will be no clasp issued.

Provided the claims are approved by the Admiralty, the Naval War Medal, will be granted to all those who performed 28 days’ mobilized service or lost their lives in active operations before completing that period, between August 5, 1914, and November 11, 1918 inclusive. Those eligible include officers and men of the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Royal Naval Air Service, Royal Indian Marine, Royal Naval Reserve (including the Trawler and Fishery Sections, Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, and Dominion and Colonial Naval Forces; mercantile marine officers and men serving in his Majesty’s commissioned ships and auxiliaries under special naval engagements; officers and enrolled members of the Women’s Royal Naval Service who served overseas; members of the Queen Alexandra’s Royal Naval Nursing Service and Reserve, and recognized official nursing organizations, with non-nursing members of medical units, such as dispensers, storekeepers, clerks, wardmaids, &c., who served in a hospital ship at sea or proceeded overseas and served in a naval hospital abroad, and canteen staffs who served in a ship of war at sea.

The Victory medal will likewise be issued to nearly all the foregoing provided they were mobilized and rendered approved service (i.) at sea between midnight on August 4-5, 1914, and midnight on November 11-12, 1918; or (ii,) on the establishment of a unit within a theatre of military operations. Trained pilots and observers and men of R.N.A.S. employed in actual flying from naval air stations at  home on oversea patrols will be eligible; but  not the members of nursing units or medical organizations other than Queen Alexandra’s  R.N.  Nursing Service and Reserve. The  definition of  “theatres of military operations” for the purposes of the Victory medal award to naval recipients is the same as in the case of the Army,  published in The Times on September 2, 1919, except that as regards the Balkan theatre, officers and men of  the Plymouth and Chatham Battalions of the R.M.L.I, who took part in the landing at Seddul Bahr and Kum Kale on March 4, 1915, are eligible. Desertion or dismissal with disgrace since the date of the qualifying service forfeits the decoration both as regards the War and Victory medals. Those earned by officers and men deceased will be issued to their legatees or next-of-kin.

 

Dec 18, 1919

CLASP TO 1914 STAR.

AWARDS TO NAVAL MEN

In an official order issued yesterday the Admiralty announced that the King had approved the grant of a clasp to the officers and men who have been awarded the ‘1914 Star’ and who actually served under the fire of the enemy in France and Belgium between August 5, 1914, and midnight, November 22-23, 1914.

The clasp will be in bronze and will bear the inscription: ‘5th August – 22nd November 1914’.  In undress uniform when ribands are worn, the grant of the clasp will be denoted by the wearing of a small silver rose in the centre of the riband. Two roses will be issued with each clasp. Provided the claims are approved by the Admiralty, the clasp will be issued to all officers and men of the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Royal Naval Reserve, and Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve who were actually present on duty within range of the enemy’s  mobile artillery between the dates mentioned. The clasps earned by officers and  men who have died will be issued to their legatees or next-of-kin entitled to receive them.

Notification will be given when the roses and clasps are ready for issue, and no application should be made for them until then.

Service in the following unit does not qualify for the clasp:- Transport staffs; Royal Naval Hospital, Dunkirk; Royal Marine Brigade, Ostend; Royal Naval Air Service, Dunkirk; Royal Naval Air Service, Dunkirk; Royal Naval Division detachments at Dunkirk; divisional engineers and divisional train.

 

Full Details (rather too extensive to include here!) of qualifying service and conditions for the issue of Naval War clasps for the British War Medal can be found under ‘NAVAL War Clasps. Qualifying Service And Conditions., Bars For Actions And Minesweeping.in the July 3rd, 1920 issue of the paper (Page 10)

 

Details for ‘Black Sea 1918-20’ clasp for the British War Medal appeared in the 10th December, 1920 issue:

Naval And Military Intelligence.

War Medal Clasps.

The Admiralty announce to-day that the terminal date for services qualifying for the award of the “Black Sea 1918-1920” clasp to the  British War Medal has been fixed as September 4, 1920. This clasp is awarded to officers and men serving on board H.M. ships ad vessels which operated in the Black Sea or in the Bosporus within the line joining Stefano Point and Farnar Burnu (at the Sea of Marmara exit from the Bosporus)  subsequent to November 11, 1918.  The clasp is not to be held  in addition to the clasp  for “Russia “by members of the naval  mission serving in South Russia in 1919-20.

In notifying this terminal date the Admiralty point out that the only post-Armistice operation for which clasps to the British War Medal  will be awarded  are  those specifically referred to in section G of the Order of July last, published in The Times on July 3.In the case of all other clasps the period of qualifying service definitely ends  on November 11, 1918.

 

NigelS

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