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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Deciphering Medal Index Card


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Hi, I've been researching my great grandfather. He served in the first World War, and I wanted to find out more because the 100 year memorial is coming up for the armistice. His daughter is still alive (my grandmother), and she has shared some information on him - that he served from 1914 to 1918, fought at Gallipolli and was in the Royal Artillery.


I think I have managed to find his medal index card - it is for a Robert Osmond Reynolds, who served in the Royal Artillery, so I think I have the right guy. However it is full of information I don't understand. Can someone decipher it for me, or direct me in the right direction to do so?

Medal Index Card.jpg

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Here is the link to his Medal Card to make it easier to zoom in on the images https://tinyurl.com/yb6d7tjm . Presumably there was nothing on the back of the card as Ancestry have put in a standard image of a 1929 print Medal Index Card rather than the actual card back. The medal card was used to index and record details from various files, records and pieces of correspondence, including the rolls of those awarded the medals.


The 9 file reference was a War Office file reference, 9 usually relating before the war to Territorials, but by 1924 extended to other parts of the Army. A piece of correspondence/form has been extracted from the original file to a Medal Branch file (NW/7/5511 Reynold's A.G. 10 Medal Branch file). The N.W. series files were destroyed in the Arnside Fire of the night of 7/8th September 1940 which destroyed many WW1 War Office and Army records.


'Min 10' means a file minute used as authority from the NW/7/5511 file and I think 'A/M' means the Air Ministry (responsible for the R.A.F.) as he had become a 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Air Force on 30/9/1918. His R.A.F. record can be found on Findmypast if you have a subscription: https://search.findmypast.co.uk/record?id=gbm%2fair76%2f423%2f0%2f0318&parentid=gbm%2fair76%2f75553


The statement on the roll for the R.F.C./R.A.F. Officers, page 113 F simply says to be issued by the Air Ministry (his entry in the British War & Victory Medals Officers roll is here): https://tinyurl.com/ycsg3a6x


An earlier superseded entry from the Royal Horse & Royal Field Artillery BW & Vic Medals roll (this is the roll that includes the page number 5150 quoted above) states that 'B.W. & V medals claimed by A/M NW/7/5511'.  A link to the roll is here:



His entry in the 1914/15 Star roll also makes reference to his Medals Branch file NW/7/5511 and the issue voucher number i.v. 1201/5d - 21.6.23.



The E.F. 9 reference here could either be to a form submitted by officers used to claim medals or to a file number in the E.F. series usually associated with lists/nominal rolls/policy issues related to 1914/15 Stars. Presumably judging from the blue ink and cross (for the British War Medal, Victory Medal and other changes as opposed to red ink for 1914 and 1914/15 Stars) the information was associated with the addition of the name 'Osmond'.


It is a shame that there is not some information on the back of the card, as cases involving the War Office directly (rather than issued through Army Record Offices) often meant that addresses, references to rolls submitted from units and E.F. 9 forms were recorded on the back of the Medal Index Card.


Here courtesy of his R.A.F. service record is the entry in the London Gazette notifying his appointment as a temporary 2nd Lieutenant in the R.A.F.:







From the Long,Long Trail website mentioned above:


About the medals




For how the War Office Medal Branch file references (NW etc) worked see:



Edited by Justinth
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On 04/08/2018 at 21:07, Justinth said:

Presumably there was nothing on the back of the card as Ancestry have put in a standard image of a 1929 print Medal Index Card rather than the actual card back.


Thanks for that Justin, I've learnt something today!

Just compared that card back  with my grandfather's MIC, in Photoshop.

They are identical!

The scanner interference lines, dust spots and all blemishes are identical.

(Sharpness and colour saturation are different, nevertheless...)

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Hi Dai


On some cards with nothing written on the back they have scanned the back of the card, but on others they have just used the standard image.


There are entire runs of cards with the same back image if you scroll through, so presumably it saved time. In other circumstances I think it replaced missing scans. There may also be cases where the back of the card had information on it but it was missed. Luckily the cards are safely in the hands of the W.F.A., but it is a shame that another company such as Findmypast isn't able (presumably because of the W.F.A.'s agreement with Ancestry) to do another a colour scan of the cards. 


Ancestry's exclusive rights to the Medal Roll images must be coming to an end soon, so perhaps we will see this record set on FMP as well.








Edited by Justinth
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