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Keith_history_buff

Admiralty regulation in respect of unauthorised wear of medals

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Keith_history_buff

I was wondering what legislation was in place during WW1 and beyond. I have a further post to make in relation to this topic.

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Keith_history_buff
As far as the Army is concerned, it became illegal under the Defence of the Realm Act. Defence of the Realm Regulation 41 made it an offence for a person to use or wear a decoration or medal without authority (or wear a replica which closely resembles such a decoration or medal). It also became an offence falsely to represent oneself as a person entitled to wear such a decoration or medal, or to supply decorations or medals to unauthorised persons without lawful authority or excuse.
 
Following the end of the war, the Government put a number of provisions, including Regulation 41, on a permanent statutory footing. An offence of similar scope to Regulation 41 was accordingly inserted into the Army Act 1881 as section 156A. The 1881 Act was subsequently replaced by the Army Act 1955 (‘the 1955 Act’), and the offences relating to decorations and medals were carried over and enacted as section 197 of that Act.

Largely derived from the following:
https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201617/cmselect/cmdfence/658/65805.htm

It's also interesting to see the existence of the Uniforms Act 1894.

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seaJane

You'd need King's Regulations & Admiralty Instructions, I think, but I can't lay hands on a copy. There are a lot of volumes on Google Books but they don't seem to be available electronically - probably been got hold of by the Print on Demand brigade.

Might be worth searching in Hansard online to see if the matter was ever raised in Parliament.

https://api.parliament.uk/historic-hansard/index.html

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DavidOwen
9 hours ago, seaJane said:

You'd need King's Regulations & Admiralty Instructions, I think, but I can't lay hands on a copy. There are a lot of volumes on Google Books but they don't seem to be available electronically - probably been got hold of by the Print on Demand brigade.

Might be worth searching in Hansard online to see if the matter was ever raised in Parliament.

https://api.parliament.uk/historic-hansard/index.html

The 1913 version is on Internet Archive https://archive.org/details/kingsregulations01greaiala/page/n5 a quick shufti didn't spot anything but there are lots of references to medals

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Keith_history_buff

I have seen reference in the past two posts to King's Regulations, but would they affect the Navy?

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DavidOwen

Keith the link I posted is to the Admiralty Instructions not the Army version

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Keith_history_buff

Thanks for the clarification, David. As you say, there is mention of medals, but I saw nothing with regard to unauthorised wearing of medals. It's probably the same for the Army version, too.

Given that the Army Act 1881 was amended around 1919 (as per the OP), I am wondering if a similar amendment was concurrently made to the Naval Discipline Act of 1866.

Thanks, Keith

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horatio2

I remain to be convinced (especially in the apparent absence of any directive therein) that "King's Regulation s and Admiralty Instructions ..." or, for that matter "Uniform Regulations" would be the appropriate vehicle(s) for telling members of the Naval Service what not to do. Furthermore, they have no applicability outside the RN so, unlike an Act of Parliament, they would not cover civilians wearing unearned decorations. Rather these naval regulations tell officers and men how and when to wear medals and ribbons that they had earned.

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derekb

Just a comment and perhaps not relevant, but;

 

A friend of mines father insisted on wearing a medal (Pacific Star) that he was awarded a bar for, he believed that serving with the British Pacific Fleet entitled him to do so regardless of any official regulations or decisions, he maintained that whoever decided to award a bar rather than a medal, most probably didn't know what a kamikaze was let alone seen one.

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Keith_history_buff

What I am trying to get to is this:

Post 1918, what was put in place, in concert with the amendment to the 1881 Army Act, which would have remained in place until the Naval Discipline Act of 1957?


I am aware of an ex-Marine, and a deserter to boot, who would have been wearing two sets of fake medals in the interwar period, and was curious as to what would have been the Admiralty's equivalent of section 156A of the Army Act 1881. I thought that what I was asking was clear from the original post.

There was the similar coverage of the Army Act 1955 and the Air Force Act 1955. These three would have been in place, with the continuation of it being a criminal offence for the unauthorised wearing of medals until the Armed Forces Act 2006 superseded them, but omitted the provisions related to military decorations.

Although it pertains to the Army, rather than the Navy, here's an interesting story of a veteran who was nearly charged, but as this occurred eleven days after the Army Act 1955 was repealed, he did not get prosecuted
https://www.britishbadgeforum.com/forums/showpost.php?p=333090&postcount=13

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Dai Bach y Sowldiwr

A bit confusing for me as a non military person. Can someone please confirm:

 

1) It was illegal for a soldier,sailor, airman, veteran or civilian  to wear a decoration to which they were not entitled, from 4/8/1914.

 

2)Until when?

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Keith_history_buff

During the war, it was illegal under the terms of the Defence of the Realm Act.

When it was peacetime, and the DORA no longer applied by definition, Churchill wanted this to be continued, so an amendment was made to the Army Act 1881. The same rules applied with the Army Act 1995 until it was repealed in 2006. This was replaced by the Armed Forces Act 2006 which has no reference to the unauthorised wearing of medals. 

 

My question from the outset has been "What was the equivalent for the Navy"?

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DavidOwen

Keith

 

My apologies if I had misunderstood your enquiry and so went off on a tangent.

 

I would think it would be the Naval Discipline Act - the last version 1957 was replaced by the Armed Forces Act 2006 in 2008 and repealed in October 2009.

As far as I can see a previous version was the Naval Discipline Act 1941 and prior to that 1922.although interestingly this article makes no mention of either http://www.pdavis.nl/NDA.htm

Having said all that I did find online the 1957 version but as far as I can see it doesn't make any reference to the offence you are interested in https://scholarlylaw.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/naval-discipline-act-1957.pdf but it does make reference / deference to the 1955 Army Act in places (and the relevant Air Force one) so maybe the Army one might have taken precedence? You would need a lawyer for that one!

 

The original act goes back to 1866 and there is apparently no mention in that one either http://pdavis.nl/NDA1866.htm 

 

So, it may not be the correct act after all....

 

Somewhat of a puzzle.

 

Regards

 

David

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Keith_history_buff

Yes, indeed, a puzzle. Unless an individual with experience in these matters sees this, and is able to authoritatively comment, I think this will continue to be an unanswered question.

Although the following relates to the time period after WW1, I have come across the following:

Naval Discipline Act 1957

Quote

39. Conduct to the prejudice of naval discipline.
Every person subject to this Act who is guilty of any act, disorder or neglect to the prejudice of good order and naval discipline not described in the foregoing provisions of this Act shall be liable to dismissal with disgrace from Her Majesty's service or any less punishment authorised by this Act.

 

The successor to the aforementioned section in the Armed Forces Act 2006 appears to have been used in the following court martial
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/marine-fined-300-for-wearing-dress-uniform-and-medals-to-which-he-was-not-entitled-at-family-wedding-8566247.html

 

Quote

Martin Halfpenny Tuesday 9 April 2013 16:37 
 
A Royal Marine corporal who wore the uniform of a sergeant and medals he was not entitled to at a family wedding to "big it up and impress his family" was fined £300 today.

He admitted he had worn the uniform and medals, but he denied conduct that was prejudicial to good order and service discipline because it was a private event. But the court martial panel of three Royal Navy officers found him guilty of the charge.

The charge carried a maximum of two years imprisonment.

 

I have only reproduced the salient points of the article, which is in keeping with the original post. The existing regulation in respect of unauthorised wearing of medals has a historical precedent... which is out there somewhere.

 

 

 

 

 

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Keith_history_buff

A bit like the song "There's a hole in my bucket", I find I am back in a perpetual loop with this.

Whatever is out there that I am after, it appears to have superseded and therefore repealed the following piece of legislation in 1904
 

Quote

Naval and Military Medals Act 1904

 

If any person without lawful authority wears or displays as granted to himself any medal, riband, or other decoration issued to members of His Majesty's naval or military forces in recogni-tion of war or other services, or, with intent to deceive, so wears or displays any colourable imitation of any such decoration, he shall be liable, on conviction under the Summary Jurisdiction Acts, to a fine not exceeding twenty pounds.


Granted, it's not the Senior Service, and only just before the time period that interests me, but The Selby Times in September 1918 gives a mention in the court roundup of a soldier sentenced to six months imprisonment for wearing military decorations without authority. I presume that he was prosecuted under the terms of DORA.

 

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Scalyback

I think a question like this may be best answered on  Army Rumour Service or Navy Net. Some one there will no doubt give you the current situation and historical.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/8454715.stm

From a civil point of view, fraud is the main way to prosecute. 

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Moonraker

As some of these discussions are well outside the Great War period, I'll mention

 

the case of;actor Trevor Howard

 

(from paragraph 5)

 

Moonraker

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Keith_history_buff
5 minutes ago, Moonraker said:

As some of these discussions are well outside the Great War period, I'll mention

 

the case of;actor Trevor Howard

 

(from paragraph 5)

 

Moonraker


These stories have a habit of disappearing paywalls, but interesting to see the following

Quote

In 1945 journalists started to write stories saying that he had been awarded the Military Cross for his service in the airborne forces. Howard was visited by police, who warned him that it was crime under the Army Act to claim falsely that he had a war medal.

Howard assured them that he was not responsible for spreading the lies. They nevertheless stuck with him for the rest of his life. 


Anyone masquerading as a WW1 or WW2 army gallantry medal recipent would be in trouble under the same Army Act 1881, for the reasons already mentioned elsewhere in this thread.



 

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bootneck

With regard to the Royal Marines, the following extract from H E Blumberg’s typescript history might well provide the starting point for further research.

"[1879 marked] a great departure in the Acts governing the Corps.  Hitherto the Army had been governed by a Mutiny Act and Articles of War passed annually by Parliament.  The Marines had followed the same rule, though the Marine Act and Articles, after passing through. Parliament, were signed by the Admiralty and then promulgated.  The Army now consolidated their regulations in the Army Discipline And Regulation Act of 1879, which is brought into force by the Army Annual Act.  The Royal Marines on shore were now brought into the provisions of this Act by a special provision with certain modifications; but the provisions of the old Marine Mutiny Acts 11 & 12 Vict. c63 and 20 Vict. c1 as regards conditions of service were and are retained in force [1920s?].

In consequence of the provisions of s. 171 (11x) of this Act, the Admiralty issued an Order-in-Council 26th February 1880 by which Royal Marines when embarked became subject to the provisions of the Naval Discipline Act of 1868, and also made provision for the RM when landed for active service on shore from the Fleet to be subject to the Army Act.  These provisions became necessary owing to the cancellation of the Marine Mutiny Act and Articles of War on these points.  There were revision Orders-in-Council of 6th February 1882 and 26th February 1888, but the principle that the Marines when embarked became subject to the Naval Discipline Act was not affected."

 

Bootneck

Edited by bootneck

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Keith_history_buff

Thanks for the extra info. 

On one of the many threads that I have seen, I have seen a witty comment by a Marine that it is preferable to be under Army discipline, because Naval = v.anal
I found that surprising, as there is a quote in one of Nicholas Rodger's books, in relation to the Napoleonic Wars, which implied that the Bootnecks were subject to strict discipline, whereas the sailors were not.

So, to quickly return to the scenario of the fake medal wearer:

He deserts from the Royal Marine Artillery in 1905. For arguments sake, let's say that he acquired his fake QSA and fake KSA at this point in time. He would have been committing an offense under the Naval and Military Medals Act 1904. (He had a bogus service number, and the ranks of Able Seaman, then Petty Officer 1st Class respectively on these medals.)

If he had acquired and worn his his fake QSA and fake KSA during WW1, when it is understood he ws performing a Reserved Occupation, he would have been prosecuted under DORA.

With the cessation of WW1, if he had worn his fake QSA and fake KSA with his fake WW1 trio - he promoted himself to Lieutenant Commander RNR with a DSC - it seems likely that he would have been in trouble not only for his desertion, but for being in breach of the Army Act 1881 Section 156A. That is, unless the Admiralty chose to use their equivalent to the Army Act.

Thanks for the assistance rendered so far on this question of naval jurisprudence.

Regards, Keith

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