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Remembered Today:

Harold George Kither mm & bar


lucycutler
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One of my neighbours popped in today with this photo of her Uncle, 252834 Serjeant Harold George Kither MM & Bar, 3rd London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers), killed 28/8/18.  She has always wanted to know what he was awarded the two Military medals for.  I've not had anyone before with a Military medal let alone two, so if anyone can answer that question I and my neighbour would be eternally grateful. 

H G Kither # 1.jpg

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Hi

HERE is the Gazette entry for the MM, as a Corporal 8644 SUPPLEMENT TO THE LONDON GAZETTE, 21 AUGUST, 1917

header a couple of pages earlier His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to award the Military Medal for bravery in the Field to the undermentioned Non-commissioned Officers and Men

HERE is the Bar award as a Sjt SUPPLEMENT TO THE LONDON GAZETTE, 29 AUGUST, 1918. 10111 - header His Majesty the KING Has been graciously pleased to approve of the award of a Bar to the Military Medal to the undermentioned Noncommissioned Officers and Men:— 
Diary entries could be some time earlier of a couple of months if there for any specific detail, though no guarantees

 

regards

Jon

 

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About the Military Medal and Bar:

Lastly.—It is ordained that in cases where non-commissioned officers and men who have been awarded the Military Medal shall be recommended by a Commander-in-Chief in the Field for further acts of bravery, a Bar may be added to the medal already conferred.

https://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/research-award-military-medal-mm/

 

Obverse and reverse of a Military Medal and Bar:

2009939060_MilitaryMedalandBar.jpg.d03cc8f6d8b4bc2e7b1a05b631c0749a.jpg

 

 

JP

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17 minutes ago, jonbem said:

Here is the CWGC grave record entry

I note his date of death recorded as the day before his bar announcement in the Gazette. 

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1 minute ago, jonbem said:

I note his date of death recorded as the day before his bar announcement in the Gazette. 

Yes, I guess that's just coincidence.  Many thanks for the Gazette entries btw.

His Niece seemed to think that he had fought in Galipolli, but as he hasn't got a 14-15 star, I don't think that can be right .

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Assuming due to date of MM could have been for action here

 

deleted as errata to avoid confusion

Edited by jonbem
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6 minutes ago, jonbem said:

The LongLong Trail link https://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/army/regiments-and-corps/the-british-infantry-regiments-of-1914-1918/royal-fusiliers-city-of-london-regiment/

3rd Battalion
August 1914 : in Lucknow in India.
Returned to England December 1914. Joined 85th Brigade, 28th Division.
Landed at Le Havre mid January 1915. Moved to Egypt October 1915 and thence to Salonika.
July 1918 : left Brigade and moved to France. Joined 149th Brigade, 50th (Northumbrian) Division.

 

War diary on Ancestry HERE

 

CWGC shows London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers) so I suspect:-

 

2/3rd (City of London) Battalion (Royal Fusiliers)
Formed at 21 Edward Street, London in September 1914. By December 1914, had moved to Epsom Downs and Tonbridge and placed under orders of 2/1st London Brigade in 2/1st London Division.
31 December 1914 : left the Division and relieved the 1/3rd Bn in Malta. Imtarfa Barracks.
13 April 1915 : moved to Egypt,landing at Port Said before going on to garrison Khartoum in Sudan. Left on 15 September and returned to Port Said.
18 September 1915 : arrived at Mudros before landing on 23 September at Suvla Bay, Gallipoli, joining the 86th Brigade in 29th Division, in the “Dublin Castle” sector.
January 1916 : evacuated from Gallipoli and moved to Egypt, joining the 53rd (Welsh) Division.
April 1916 : moved independently to France.
June 1916 : disbanded at Rouen, after which 3/3rd Bn was renamed as a new 2/3rd Bn.

https://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/army/regiments-and-corps/the-british-infantry-regiments-of-1914-1918/london-regiment/

 

However I can only find a MiC for Victory Medal and British War Medal on the Service Medal side, so that would rule Gallipoli in all but the most unlikely circumstances of him landing and being evacuated in January 1916. Therefore more likely he served with 1/3 or 3/3 until they were merged in January 1918.

 

Cheers,

Peter

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2 minutes ago, jonbem said:

seems I got the wrong battalion, sorry, thanks to Pete for squaring up.

A big thank you to both for your input!

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The regiment and war diary cited in post #7 and post #8 is not correct.  As Peter has pointed out he was in 2/3rd (City of London Battalion (Royal Fusiliers) Battalion  which despite its title was a Battalion of the London Regiment.  His MM award is when he was in 2/3rd and the Bar ljkely to have been in 3rd Battalion when, in 1918, 1/3rd became 3rd Battalion and absorbed 2/3rd.

 

Max

 

All crossed in the post with messages and posts!!

 

.

 

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3 minutes ago, MaxD said:

The regiment and war diary cited in post #7 and post #8 is not correct.

deleted as errata to avoid confusion

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13 hours ago, jonbem said:

seems I got the wrong battalion, sorry, thanks to Pete for squaring up.

 

After years of expensive therapy I may just have got my head around the differences between the London Regiment and the Royal Fusiliers :)

 

So a slight re-write of the Long, Long Trail entry for the original 3/3rd would look like this:-

 

Formed in January 1915. By April 1915, in 3/1st London Brigade at Tadworth.
May 1915: moved to Bury St Edmunds and transferred to 173rd Brigade in 58th (2/1st London) Division.
June 1916: became 2/3rd Bn, when original was disbanded. Moved to Ipswich in June and Sutton Veny in July.
22 January 1917: landed at Le Havre.

6 February 1918: absorbed by 1/3rd Bn.

 

If that is the unit that Harold served with it would make sense of him only qualifying for the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

 

Cheers,

Peter

Edited by PRC
Typo
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According to my records he won the MM as part of the 2/3rd Bn London Regt for gallantry at Bullecourt on 16.5.17.It is likely for driving out a party of the Prussian Guard who had taken part of their trench.His schedule number shows it to be one of 6 awards to 2/3rd bn for this action on 16th May 1917.MM L/GAZETTE  21.8.17.SCHEDULE NUMBER 98263

*BAR TO MM L/GAZ 29.8.18. SCHEDULE NUMBER 180879 won with 1/3rd Bn.Award for gallantry during the Spring Offensive "Operation Georgette". 9 to 29th April 1918.A single award to the Battalion.

KIA Maricourt Somme 28.8.18.son of James and Louisa 532 Woolwich road Charlton London. best w, Howard

*

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The Bar in the illustration is upside down !!!!! Pedantic Moi ? best w, Howard

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4 hours ago, collectorsguide said:

According to my records he won the MM as part of the 2/3rd Bn London Regt for gallantry at Bullecourt on 16.5.17.It is likely for driving out a party of the Prussian Guard who had taken part of their trench.His schedule number shows it to be one of 6 awards to 2/3rd bn for this action on 16th May 1917.MM L/GAZETTE  21.8.17.SCHEDULE NUMBER 98263

 

 

11 hours ago, MaxD said:

 

Bullecourt 

1.See pages 574-576 in war diary.

2. A brief mention, with errors, on page 174 of O'Neill's The Royal Fusiliers In The Great War:

https://archive.org/details/royalfusiliersin00onei/page/174

3.  DSO awarded to Lt.-Colonel The Reverend Percy William Beresford, commanding 2/3rd Bn:

https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/30188/supplement/7211/data.pdf

https://www.pagesofthesea.org.uk/soldier/the-reverend-percy-william-beresford-d-s-o/

 

JP

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Fantastic work gentlemen! Thank you all so much.  For further interest, his Niece has just found another photo of H G Kither with two others (Harold George is standing, on the right of photo).

H G Kither with two other comrades.jpg

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Always nice to put a face to a name, thank you.

 

The action at Bullecourt in which he won his first MM took place in trenches to the east of Bullecourt.  On the map and image at :https://maps.nls.uk/geo/explore/side-by-side/#zoom=15&lat=50.1968&lon=2.9437&layers=101465080&right=BingHyb

the area is best described as being in the triangle of fields enclosed by the Rue de Queant and across the Rue des Australiens (they had relieved an Australian battalion on 12th May).

 

Max

 

 

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1 hour ago, lucycutler said:

Fantastic work gentlemen! Thank you all so much.  For further interest, his Niece has just found another photo of H G Kither with two others (Harold George is standing, on the right of photo).

H G Kither with two other comrades.jpg

1715404122_HGKitherwithtwoothercomrades.jpg.jpg.a4e71190b15afc096edb1afa28cec847.jpg1382410256_1191482487_HGKither1(2)c.jpg.c2982b7d3d572b42e5934ef310b1de0a.jpg

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WOW!!! Mind totally blown!  Harold's Niece will be overjoyed by this work and with the actual positon on the map to boot. Wonderful, thank you so much.

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There is always more!

 

He was awarded the bar to his MM for his actions on 24/25 April 1918.  The award is recorded in the 173 Brigade diary in a Brigade Routine Order dated 14 May 1918 (the London Gazette publication usually lagged behind the event).  A number of awards for bravery were made for that action, his was the only one from 3rd Battalion.

 

Page 433 of the war diary cited above has a very thin account of the action and, as it quite normal, no specific mention there of individuals.

 

I'll post a map in due course, domestic duties taking priority for a bit!

 

Max

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Courtesy of Google Earth, the attached shows where, on 24 April 1918, 3rd Battalion London Regiment were holding the line south of Villers Bretonneux (just off the image to the top) on the  west side of Hangard Woods (the three woods north of Hangard).  The enemy attacked at 6 am following a heavy bombardment at 3.30 am.  Although the left of the line near to Cachy were pushed back, the right of the line held by 3rd Londons held firm.  In the day's fighting, the enemy were beaten off.  Although no individual is mentioned by name, the order of 14 May 1918 clearly relates his second MM to the action that day/

 

Max1151416054_Screenshot(12).jpg.539deca0d41e6e6fc9622f8efa371bfc.jpg.

 

 

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