Jump to content
Free downloads from TNA ×
The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Replica Medals


Retired Dave

Recommended Posts

Hello All,

 

According the medal rolls a soldier is entitled to Squeak and Wilfred. He was KIA a month before the Armistice. HIs medals have been lost in the mist of time. Are relatives entitled at a centenary commemoration to wear replica medals (right side of course) at such a commemoration? Is there any etiquette to be observed?

 

Thanks

 

Dave

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As far as I know there is no official entitlement for anyone to wear relatives' awards. It is a tradition that has evolved over time.

There are some who have issues about relatives wearing original or replica awards as they didn't earn them. I am neutral, but it is not a straightforward subject.

Dave 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In my opinion relatives should wear their ancestors medals whenever and wherever they wish to. I have seen young children proudly displaying their Great Great Grandads medals at remembrance services and who cares if they are replica or, heaven forbid, worn on the "wrong" side. It’s the personal act of remembrance that matters and if replica medals help this process then so what. People who get on their high horse about etiquette and tradition should remember why our ancestors fought and respect that freedom of choice. I have medals that my Grandfather won in WW1 and my father in WW2 but choose not to wear them but they are on display at home. I also have my own medals from military service and would  be pleased if my grand children wore them in years to come as an act of family remembrance.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wear them-replacements or original and be proud to do so - At the going down of the Sun we WILL remember them. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is a contrary view which is that medals are personal awards granted to those who have won/qualified for them by the Sovereign.  They should never be worn by those who are not entitled to them.  No one needs to festoon themselves with other peoples awards to remember them and their service to our country.  However close a relative, they were THEIR medals NOT yours. 

NGG

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well thank you all - As good a cross-section of opinion as one is likely to get.

 

My question was on behalf another family who were anxious not to offend any tradition on the matter. I will pass your diverse comments on to them.

 

I personally don't believe that I should wear my grandfather's medals (also Mutt  and Jeff ) as a general rule and never have. They have been mounted in a small case since 1919/1920. They passed to me on my mother's passing a decade ago. I have decided that on the centenary of his death in October 2018 I will wear his medals proudly right-side at the cemetery where he is buried. I have had them cleaned and swing mounted for this occasion. I am hoping to march in Liverpool with his regiment's association on Armistice Day in November. I will wear the medals then also. They will then be remounted in the small display case and I will never wear them again.

 

Thanks as always for your views.

 

Dave

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nobody could take issue with your intentions. A perfectly valid commemoration in my book.

An alternative view and totally off topic is that I have my grandfather's (Irish) War of Independence medal. I have toyed with the idea that I would similarly wear it at a commemoration, but I tend towards the fact that he earned it. Not me.

I believe the wearing is totally personal and it is no-ones business but yours whether you wear them or not.

 

If it suits your commemoration, wear them.

 

Dave 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Admin

I don't have the opportunity as all my relatives' medals have "moved on" so I cannot comment on  whether to wear or not. However as an alternative to wearing, what are the views on carrying them?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am the custodian of my maternal grandfathers WW2 medals and they have never been out of their boxes or put on the ribbons, so that is the way they will be staying.  I have my paternal grandfathers WW1 and WW2 medals,  they must have been woren at some time as the they are badly mounted on a medal bar, don’t ever remember seeing him wear them.   I will be at Remembrance Sunday, but the medals will be staying at home.  I would also be scared in case I lost them.

Mandy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wear my grandfather's miniature ww2 medals with pride, on the right hand side, to honour and remember what he did for all of us.  I know that he wanted his original medals to go to a particular person who never got them because of a relative who got hold of them and is keeping them. That relative's intention was to donate them to the regimental museum where I suspect they would be put in a drawer.  Grandfather doesn't deserve them to be in a drawer!  So, even without the originals which he was so proud of, as the eldest grandchild, I wear the miniatures he had.  I am not looking for any recognition for me and I am very clear that I didn't receive them he did.  It is because he received them that our family want to continue to wear them for him with pride, thanks and respect because we are lucky enough to have had a grandfather fight to ensure we have choices and freedom. For just one day why not honour our loved ones by wearing their valiantly won medals to remember their war and pay respect not just to them but also to their medals.

 

if my husband had his grandfather's ww1 MM and the others he too would wear them with pride.  Sadly they are in the hands of a distant relative with no knowledge of what Sgt Allen did to gain them.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 02/06/2018 at 11:23, royalredcross said:

There is a contrary view which is that medals are personal awards granted to those who have won/qualified for them by the Sovereign.  They should never be worn by those who are not entitled to them.  No one needs to festoon themselves with other peoples awards to remember them and their service to our country.  However close a relative, they were THEIR medals NOT yours. 

NGG

That is your opinion whilst others, including myself, have a contrary view. As I have stated previously, I have campaign medals and others from my extensive military career and would be very happy for my descendants to wear them at appropriate occassions. It’s nothing to do with "entitlement" or "festooning themselves" but rather a personal act of family rememberance.

Freedom to make a choice is what our forebears fought for in two World Wars and we should never forget that.

Edited by Lawryleslie
Link to comment
Share on other sites

As I indicated above, there are at least two views on this subject and both are entitled to express them.  I do not expect there ever to be agreement. 

NGG

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am not concerned if I 'offend' someone by wearing ,my Grandfather's or Father's medals, that is their problem not mine.

H.M. Government lay no claim to them, so they are mine to do with as I see fit, I treasure them, another generation may scrap them.

I might have a slightly radical opinion about medals, but to me if you chucked 50 of any given medal in a bucket you wouldn't be able to tell who won what.

They are tokens, and even the V.C. is only made from scrap, they have been given their enhanced value and mystique by collectors, not by law.

Edited by T8HANTS
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would have thought that the simple matter of wearing a deceased relative's medals on the right hand side would - apart from anything else (i.e., the actual awards) - makes it clear that these are tokens of remembrance, not personal awards. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So, basically down to the first generation only....

 

Well, fair enough.

 

I habitually wear a non-relative's medal buttonhole group in my jacket on formal occasions to remind myself and - when asked - others of the enormous sacrifices involved in the GW. Oh, and yes, it is a EK group, and so a useful memoir of The pity of war, the pity war distilled.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the link HERITAGE PLUS. Useful to see the Legions official position.

 

I guess the view is that it is those directly affected and perhaps those who knew the soldier who are the only ones to wear them. I will not be in any official position on the day in October near Cambrai, although I have been asked to say a few words at the cemetery as part of the wonderful tribute the local community are planning for that day. The only decision I have to make is whether I try to say any of them in French.

 

My view is that I knew my lovely grandmother until she was 93 (29 when he was KIA) and my mother (born after his death) until a decade ago. The affect on them was a part of my life and I will have no regrets at wearing the medals right-side on the centenary. It is for them as much, or may be more, as for him that I will be there. As I have already said that apart from the centenary Armistice Day in November I will never wear them again.

 

Thank you all as always for your stimulating views and useful input.

 

Dave

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have twice tried to wear my Grandfather's medals and twice they have ended up on the deck moments before the parade, despite every precaution.

So as he has possibly made his views very clear,  I suspect I won't wear the medals only replacement ribbons at this years Remembrance Sunday parade.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

18 hours ago, HERITAGE PLUS said:

Another example of certain elements at the RBL overstepping their remit.

Suspect they will be issuing guidance on acceptable underwear next.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You can argue the whys and wherefore as long as you wish.  However until a DCI is published, ruling for one or other camp's point of view, it is at best academic and at worst any excuse for a punch up!  I myself o not object to NOK wearing awards and medals, providing they are worn clearly as memorials, i.e. on the right breast.

 

i was amused to be asked by a lady in the lift at the Ypres Novotel whose medals I was wearing.  To which my wife replied "His."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When I was young (late 1960's) it was feasible that an adult could have been in the trenches, therefore the legal issue of passing off war medals as one's own was a concern. Nobody will mistake me for my late paternal Grandfather therefore I wear them (right side). Should I inadvertently place these left side I am not pretending to be 120 years old. Nor a character from "Timeless". With social media there are no shortage of mobile phones with cameras willing to take photos of "Walts" with V.C's, S.A.S berets and whatever at commemorations. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

KGB

 

Yes I lived near Birmingham in the 1970's and an old guy in his mid/late 80's tended his allotment opposite our house. The actual road between us was 6 foot lower than the allotment level and he was up a ladder cutting the hedge fully 12 feet of the ground on a very hot day. Trying to be funny I said "You will never live to be old Mr. (name forgotten now) climbing up there". He looked down at me and said "Twice in the Great War I was picked out of a pile of dead and stretchered away to be patched up. If I die today so be it". He died the following year and apart from that occasion, like most he never mentioned his war service.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If the goal is remembrance, what is the point of pinning on medals awarded to one's ancestor and nothing more? 

 

Put them on a suitable framed backing board with a photo of the man and some details of his service and hang that around your neck.  Slightly onerous perhaps, but hardly full marching order.

 

The man is better commemorated and no one will be offended (quite often rightly) at the spectacle of a person wearing medals they are not entitled to wear.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not been following this thread, but my tuppenworth seeing this one from 2ndCMR. Last year, on my way to the IWM with my two boys (10 and 8), passed a gent collecting for Poppy day with his grandfather's medals up one side, his own t'other. My boys know my granddad was in WW1, and asked him about the medals. So, a little bit of history transferred for two WW's. Can't be so easily done with a showcase around the neck! 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 11/06/2018 at 13:32, mills-bomb said:

Another example of certain elements at the RBL overstepping their remit.

Suspect they will be issuing guidance on acceptable underwear next.

Absolutely agree 100%. It’s complete poppycock and the RBL should be ashamed of themselves by forcing their views and opinions as "Rules". Do they not understand the meaning of personal rememberance. It’s complete b0110x in my opinion and makes my blood boil.

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
×
×
  • Create New...