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Dennis Cook

Medals forfeit

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Dennis Cook
My grandfather was awarded the Victory, war medal and 14 star for his service in WW1. Some years ago, my aunt told me that he had to hand the medals back. She didn't know why and there's nobody living to ask now. Would the reason for their return be documented somewhere? There's nothing untoward mentioned on his medal index card. From other posts on this site I can see that some type of misbehaviour might be a reason, but his discharge certificate describes his behaviour as 'exemplary'. So would it be a crime committed after the war or perhaps before enlistment?
 
Any suggestions welcome.
Dennis Cook
 
Details:
Arthur Potts born 1887/8 Willenhall Staffordshire . Enlisted 13/11/1907. 1st Battalion, South Staffs Regiment, reg no 8174
Served in South Africa before WW1. Disembarked 4.10.1914 as part of BEF. Prisoner of war Nov 1914
Discharged 28/2/1919
I have his original discharge certificate, and from Ancestry his medal records, medical and pension record.

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ss002d6252

I believe that medals could be forfeited for crimes committed in civilian life. I'm sure someone will come along with the relevant details however.

What was his name and service number ?


Craig

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Dennis Cook
1 hour ago, ss002d6252 said:

I believe that medals could be forfeited for crimes committed in civilian life. I'm sure someone will come along with the relevant details however.

What was his name and service number ?


Craig

 

Thanks for your reply.

 

Details:

Arthur Potts born 1887/8 Willenhall Staffordshire 
Enlisted 13/11/1907
1st Battalion, South Staffs Regiment, reg no 8174
Served in South Africa before WW1
Disembarked 4.10.1914 as part of BEF
Prisoner of war Nov 1914
Discharged 28/2/1919

I have his original discharge certificate, and from Ancestry his medal records, medical and pension record.

 

Regards

Dennis

 

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corisande

Yes, medals were returned on certain "convictions by the civil power"

 

You often get answers you do not expect, perhaps do not want. But this is probably him in Papers on FindmyPast - click for the edition

 

wildenhall.jpg.c0bf694f88b02a042bb473a1be4f16c7.jpg

 

It is a long case, and a long article. I did not look further, but it gives you some idea as to why medals were taken away

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Dennis Cook

Many thanks for your reply. It doesn't surprise me - he was always described as 'a bit of a lad' when he was younger.

 

I will try to find his address in 1926 to see if it matches the one in the article.

 

regards

Dennis

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stevebecker

Mate,

 

I have also known men who during the Depression of the 20's and 30's handed back their medals when disilusion with the Govt?

 

I know a soldier who did even apply for his medals untill the 50's because of his lack of faith in the Govt?

 

The crime must have been pretty bad for his medals to be withdrawn ans stealing coal because they were cold dosn't seam to apply, but I have been wrong before.

 

Thats why I possed the idea of giving back his medals because of the lack of support from his Govt?

 

S.B

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Kimberley John Lindsay

Dear All, and corisande,

Brilliant research, corisande. Well done!

My impression is that the whole sorry story is a sobering statement of the situation facing ex-Soldiers in 1926... 

Kindest regards,

Kim.

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corisande

There have been may threads on the forum about medal losses, including MCs and DSOs.

 

I have done quite a bit of research into  the post war criminal records of officers who joined the ADRIC  in Ireland. For example Major EC Bruce DSO, MC forfeited his medals

 

http://www.theauxiliaries.com/adric-general/criminal-cases/criminal-alphabetic.html

 

There are over 100 of them on that list, out of 2000 who joined ADRIC. There will be more with lesser offences that I have not picked up. My point is that it was relatively common for ex-soldiers to appear in court

 

Whether an individual lost his medals or not seems to depend on whether the authorities heard about his conviction or not. To a certain extent they were in a loose- loose situation. A man would offer his war record as mitigating circumstances, to get a lesser sentence. The courts checked with military records. But if he was sentenced, perhaps with a lesser sentence, then it had been flagged with the military and they followed up to see the outcome of the case

 

By the late 1920s the system on medal losses became more flexible


 

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Dai Bach y Sowldiwr

I presume then that legislation was in place at the time that the medals were issued, stating that the recipient only had them on loan conditional on them never getting a criminal record?

Otherwise it's petty retrospective legislation.

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ss002d6252
20 minutes ago, Dai Bach y Sowldiwr said:

I presume then that legislation was in place at the time that the medals were issued, stating that the recipient only had them on loan conditional on them never getting a criminal record?

Otherwise it's petty retrospective legislation.

I would expect it was in place pre-war.
 

In 1920 Mr Churchill stated to parliament that "...The conditions governing the forfeiture of medals awarded to officers and soldiers are laid down in the Army Act (Section 44 (xi)) and the Royal Warrant for Pay, etc. (Articles 637, 785 and 1236–1239)..."

https://api.parliament.uk/historic-hansard/written-answers/1920/mar/23/criminal-offences-forfeiture-of

 

EDIT:

I can't see forfeiture of medals specifically mentioned in the Aug 14 edition of the manual of military law but it does seem to start being mentioned in the 1916 updated version.

 

Craig

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