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aengland

Military Medal - Andrew Tait - Army Service Corps

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aengland

Help required please.  

 

I am trying to ascertain why a particular soldier (Andrew Tait: a driver with the (Royal) Army Service Corps) received a Military Medal, and (being honest) I have no idea how to find out the information.

 

The information that I have is on the attachments (I have more but these are the critical ones I think), but in essence he joined as a 28 year old on 18 February 1915, and was awarded the Military Medal on 3 November 1918..... but for what exactly?  I can see that it was for 'Bravery in the Field' but what was that act of bravery?  

 

I would be grateful for any pointers so as to establish exactly what Andrew Tait did on 3 November 1918.

 

Thank you in advance

 

Andrew

 

 

 

thumbnail_tait service record 2.jpg

thumbnail_tait service record 3.jpg

thumbnail_tait service record 4.jpg

tait service record 8.jpg

thumbnail_tait service record 9.jpg

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PRC
3 hours ago, aengland said:

Military Medal on 3 November 1918

 

I don't know the reason but but it wasn't awarded for actions on this date - he was on leave from the 31st October 1918 to the 14th November 1918. (Source - Casualty Forn Active Service).

 

That leave might even have been granted for the award of the Medal. I believe they normally came with two weeks leave, probably to the UK.

 

The award itself was signed off by (possibly) the Canadian Corps on the 6th October so likely to be in the 4 - 6 weeks previously. As your hopefully aware the British Army decided that the Miltary Medal citations weren't of interest enough to be preserved for posterity, so it wasn't one of the categories of documents handed over to the National Archive. You can try local press accounts, but even these seldom go to the extent of quoting the official citation. These citations didn't go in the London Gazette, and so were only included if they came via a family or friends source.

 

The forms above and his Military Medal card at the National Archive show him as Army Service Corps attached 8 Motor Ambulance Corps.

https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/D6283080

 

Perhaps the War Diary for 8 MAC may give you the information you are after. I had hoped that there might be a copy in the Canadian National Archive. Post war they asked for copies of the War Diaries for British Army units for the periods they were attached to Canadian Army Units. Unfortunately they only seem to have the 11th & 14th Motor Ambulance Convoy units of the R.A.M.C.. However if you could establish where the 8 MAC might have been in the later summer of 1918 it might be possible to identify which Canadian Corps they might have been serving, and thus find the information in that Corps War Diary.

There is a guide on how to search the website for War Diaries here

http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/first-world-war/Pages/war-diaries.aspx

 

Hope that helps,

Peter

Edited by PRC
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clk

Hi Andrew,

 

It looks like he was awarded his MM when he was with 8 Motor Ambulance Convoy. Their war diary may mention something. The link to it at the National Archives is here.

 

Regards

Chris

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aengland

Dear Peter

 

Fascinating, thank you so much for your information and insights.  I feared that the reasons for Military Medals being awarded would not be available, and they would have been destroyed / lost in any post war 'weeding out process'.  Just the sheer number of MMs awarded I guess would have meant that there would have been a very large mass of paper..... what a pity they weren't kept.

 

Thank you again

 

See you are from Norfolk.... great county.... 

 

 

 

Hi Chris

 

Brilliant, thank you for your help.... I shall purchase and have a read. 

 

Andrew

 

 

 

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PRC
6 minutes ago, aengland said:

See you are from Norfolk.... great county.... 

 

I take it there is no Norfolk connection for this man given the address on his attestation?

 

7 minutes ago, aengland said:

I shall purchase and have a read. 

 

If you have an Ancestry subscription then you may be able to find it there. His MM MiC shows it was awarded for services in the France Theatre of War. Norfolk Library service only subscribes to FindMyPast so a trip to the local library isn't another option :-)

 

Just had another thought. The parent site shows 326 Army Service Corps Company attached to 8 Motor Ambulance Convoy, so may be worth looking to see if they have a War Diary.

https://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/army/regiments-and-corps/the-army-service-corps-in-the-first-world-war/army-service-corps-mechanical-transport-companies/

It states that Convoy were First Army, presumably when formed.

 

Long, Long Trail shows the First Army were involved in the following from the likely period of the award of the MM

 

The Second Battles of Arras 1918, August 1918

The Battle of the Canal du Nord, September-October 1918

The Battle of Cambrai, October 1918

The pursuit to the Selle, October 1918

The final advance in Artois, October-November 1918

https://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/army/other-aspects-of-order-of-battle/the-british-armies-of-1914-1918/the-british-first-army-1914-1918/

 

The Canadian Corps were part of the First Army throughout this period. It would appear there was only the one Canadian Corps.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canada's_Hundred_Days

 

Cheers,

Peter

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MaxD

has In the Canadian war diaries that Peter cites above, there is one for the Deputy Director Medical Services Canadian Corps which might reward a trawl through.  A quick and dirty skim through (from Sept 1918) finds Capt Guppy RAMC,  OC 8 MAC, calling on DDMS periodically and mentions now and again of their activity.  In addition each month the diary has activity reports each month which show 8 MAC locations.

Link:

http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/lac-bac/results/images?module=images&SortSpec=score+desc&Language=eng&ShowForm=hide&SearchIn_1=mikanNumber&SearchInText_1=2006026&Operator_1=AND&SearchIn_2=&SearchInText_2=&Operator_2=AND&SearchIn_3=&SearchInText_3=&Level=&MaterialDateOperator=after&MaterialDate=&DigitalImages=1&Source=&ResultCount=10

 

Max

 

Edited by MaxD
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collectorsguide

Andrew Tait was an ambulance driver attached to no 8 Motor Ambulance Convoy..His was one of three awards to the 8th MAC in the 13.3.19 Gazette.This Gazette covers the period 8.8.18 to 1.10.18. CEF Awards from this Gazette run from 27.9.18 to 1.10.18. He won the MM with SGT JAMES OAG M2/048951 and SGT ROBERT EDWARD CULROSS M2/048890 for evacuating the wounded in his motor ambulance as part of no 8 MAC.

                        THE CANADIAN MMs were won in the fighting around Marcoing towards Cambrai.I would guess the awards were for 28/29/30/sept 1918.

His Schedule number was 210452 the other two 210450 and 210451.

     The Military Secretary (MS) notes the award confirmed on 6.10.18. This process normally took a week to 10 days from recommendation.This would make the 28/29.9.18 correct.

                                             The MM Citations were written on ARMY FORM   W-3121.They were lost in the Arnside Street fire at the record centre there on 9.9.1940. due to an incendiary bomb being dropped there on the first day of the blitz on London.

                                       The MM INDEX CARDS survived the War and were saved from incineration by the MOD by 3 researchers,with 2 days to spare in 1997.

                                                 Hope this info is of some help to you.   best wishes, Howard .

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MaxD

Guided by that splendid info from Howard, you could concentrate on that period in the DMS diary cited above.  Although the awards are not recorded there as far as I have been able to discern, the action in the time frame from the medics point of view is described in detail.

 

Max.

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aengland

Dear MaxD, collectorsguide, clk, and PRC

 

My apologies for having not replied before today to your very helpful pointers and comments; been exploring the world with limited access to the www.   Thank you very much indeed for all your help.  I can see that I have plenty of reading to do in order to pull together the story.  

 

Really appreciate all your help..... just brilliant.

 

Andrew

 

 

 

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dbridge276
On 23/08/2019 at 12:12, clk said:

Hi Andrew,

 

It looks like he was awarded his MM when he was with 8 Motor Ambulance Convoy. Their war diary may mention something. The link to it at the National Archives is here.

 

Regards

Chris

 

Great info.

 

I have the same situation with my Grandad A.E.Bridge (T4/044534) being awarded the Military Medal.

 

I had a conversation with the Archivist (Richard) at the ASC Museum (actually part of the Royal Logistics Corp Museum now) Tel: 01252-833371

http://www.royallogisticcorps.co.uk/museum/

I had thought about the War Diaries (National archives) myself and he has just confirmed this.

He also commented that if you enter the Service No in the National Archives search box you can get to see the Index cards and can read a fair bit from thembefore buying them, click on the ull size image link bottom left. 

 

They are currently packing up all the archives for a move to a new Regimental Archive premises in Winchester, due open Spring 2021 (Shame its not sooner).

 

 

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dbridge276
On 23/08/2019 at 12:06, PRC said:

 

I don't know the reason but but it wasn't awarded for actions on this date - he was on leave from the 31st October 1918 to the 14th November 1918. (Source - Casualty Forn Active Service).

 

That leave might even have been granted for the award of the Medal. I believe they normally came with two weeks leave, probably to the UK.

 

The award itself was signed off by (possibly) the Canadian Corps on the 6th October so likely to be in the 4 - 6 weeks previously. As your hopefully aware the British Army decided that the Miltary Medal citations weren't of interest enough to be preserved for posterity, so it wasn't one of the categories of documents handed over to the National Archive. You can try local press accounts, but even these seldom go to the extent of quoting the official citation. These citations didn't go in the London Gazette, and so were only included if they came via a family or friends source.

 

The forms above and his Military Medal card at the National Archive show him as Army Service Corps attached 8 Motor Ambulance Corps.

https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/D6283080

 

Perhaps the War Diary for 8 MAC may give you the information you are after. I had hoped that there might be a copy in the Canadian National Archive. Post war they asked for copies of the War Diaries for British Army units for the periods they were attached to Canadian Army Units. Unfortunately they only seem to have the 11th & 14th Motor Ambulance Convoy units of the R.A.M.C.. However if you could establish where the 8 MAC might have been in the later summer of 1918 it might be possible to identify which Canadian Corps they might have been serving, and thus find the information in that Corps War Diary.

There is a guide on how to search the website for War Diaries here

http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/first-world-war/Pages/war-diaries.aspx

 

Hope that helps,

Peter

 

Peter,

 

Thank you for your post and reply. it has helped me as i wasn't aware of the part snipped below, i am now and will be reading the War Diaries of the units my Grandfather served in.

 

As your hopefully aware the British Army decided that the Miltary Medal citations weren't of interest enough to be preserved for posterity, so it wasn't one of the categories of documents handed over to the National Archive.

 

 

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MaxD

dbridge276

 

Presumably you have found 7 Cavalry Field Ambulance war diaries (there are 2)?  His MM was published in 1919 which tends to indicate an award for conduct and devotion throughout rather than any one occasion.

 

Max

 

 

 

 

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collectorsguide

Hi,

*Taits details are as I posted above.

*awards were normally registered at Brigade level between one and seven days after the action when Army Form w-3121 was  completed and submitted. Usually  it was 2 or 3 days at most.

*    AF W3121 had to be completed as soon as possible, (as conditions allowed), immediately  after the action(, unless there was something unresolved eg date of death etc.)

*ALBERT EDWARD BRIDGE 7TH CAVALRY FA 3RD CAV DIV WAS AWARDED THE MM IN THE L/GAZETTE OF 14.5.19. HIS RP No WAS 68/121/806 (BATTLES OF THE HINDENBURG LINE) HIS SCHEDULE NUMBER WAS 214945. HIS AWARD WAS ONE OF FOUR AWARDS TO 7/CAV F A. IN THIS GAZETTE.

*THE GAZETTE COVERS THE PERIOD 6.9.18. TO 14.10.18. BATTLES OF THE HINDENBERG LINE. 

*He won the award with:SGT W T VICKERY;PTE S.N.SMITH ;AND SGT H CROSS.

*These awards are likely for Cambrai on 8th/9th Oct 18 probably for getting the wounded away in ambulances  under fire. The Gazette for gallantry over a period of time is the L/GAZ OF 20.8.19..

*As I previously stated the MM Citations were lost to incendiary bombs landing on the Army record office at Arnside Street on 9.9.1940. The MOD were to destroy the MM Cards in 2002 but they were saved with 2 days to spare.

                                                Trust this info is of some use. best w, Howard Williamson

 

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collectorsguide

Sorry,MM Roll was started in 1997 cards saved in 2002. best w, Howard

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dbridge276
On 21/09/2019 at 02:17, collectorsguide said:

Hi,

*Taits details are as I posted above.

*awards were normally registered at Brigade level between one and seven days after the action when Army Form w-3121 was  completed and submitted. Usually  it was 2 or 3 days at most.

*    AF W3121 had to be completed as soon as possible, (as conditions allowed), immediately  after the action(, unless there was something unresolved eg date of death etc.)

*ALBERT EDWARD BRIDGE 7TH CAVALRY FA 3RD CAV DIV WAS AWARDED THE MM IN THE L/GAZETTE OF 14.5.19. HIS RP No WAS 68/121/806 (BATTLES OF THE HINDENBURG LINE) HIS SCHEDULE NUMBER WAS 214945. HIS AWARD WAS ONE OF FOUR AWARDS TO 7/CAV F A. IN THIS GAZETTE.

*THE GAZETTE COVERS THE PERIOD 6.9.18. TO 14.10.18. BATTLES OF THE HINDENBERG LINE. 

*He won the award with:SGT W T VICKERY;PTE S.N.SMITH ;AND SGT H CROSS.

*These awards are likely for Cambrai on 8th/9th Oct 18 probably for getting the wounded away in ambulances  under fire. The Gazette for gallantry over a period of time is the L/GAZ OF 20.8.19..

*As I previously stated the MM Citations were lost to incendiary bombs landing on the Army record office at Arnside Street on 9.9.1940. The MOD were to destroy the MM Cards in 2002 but they were saved with 2 days to spare.

                                                Trust this info is of some use. best w, Howard Williamson

 

 

Wow.

 

Howard thank you very much for this info.

You are a mine of very useful info to me.

 

and not far away as i am near Southend-on-Sea

 

Regards

Dave

Edited by dbridge276

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collectorsguide

The full details of those recommended with your Grandad were:

*SCH No 214942 363006 SGT W T VICKERY:S WALES MTD BDE FIELD AMB ATTD 7/CAV FIELD AMB RAMC

*SCH No 214943 MS/3583 PTE S N SMITH   7/CAV, FD AMB RAMC

*SCH No 214944 522658 SGT H CROSS     7/CANADIAN FD AMB CAMC CEF

*SCH NO 214945 T4/044534 DVR A E BRIDGE   RASC 7/CAV FD AMB.

*SCH No 214946 150205    Pte F M RACINE CANADIAN ASC (A Chaffeur)

 

   PTE RACINE and  SGT Cross are interesting being from a Canadian unit. Dvr Bridge was likely on attachment to the Canadians ?

                             I thought your Grandad might be in the Southend Roll of Honour but was not ,there were about 4 Bridges though. 

                                          best w, Howard

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MaxD

The war diary of 7 Canadian Field Ambulance for early October 1918 indicates that both they and 7 Cavalry Field Ambulance were working together at that point in support of 3rd Cavalry Division..  The entry for 9 October records the assistance of one officer and 25 ORs from 7 CFA (clearly Cav this time as it is written by 7 Can) to clear casualties from the area north of the Estrees - Le Cateau road and Sgt H Cross is mentioned as leading a small party to find casualties reported in a house in Maurois.

 

The diary is worth a look:

http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/lac-bac/results/images?module=images&SortSpec=score+desc&Language=eng&ShowForm=hide&SearchIn_1=mikanNumber&SearchInText_1=2005072&Operator_1=AND&SearchIn_2=&SearchInText_2=&Operator_2=AND&SearchIn_3=&SearchInText_3=&Level=&MaterialDateOperator=after&MaterialDate=&DigitalImages=1&Source=&ResultCount=10

 

The 3 Cav Div ADMS diary is also worth a look as it shows the movements of the Canadian and British FAs and clearly shows their work together.

 

Max

 

 

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collectorsguide

Well done Max, I would be pretty certain you have identified exactly for what action those I mentioned won their MMs . This all agrees with my research which suggested 8/9th October with the Canadians.

                           I have to say the War Diaries are the logical next step to the info offered up by the Schedule numbers.

                                 Top teamwork Max,and top result. 

                                                        best w, Howard

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MaxD

I really should have acknowledged your steer towards the various diaries so well done you!

 

I have a query that I shall message you about to avoid cluttering up this thread later

 

Max

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aengland

I am reigniting this topic, as I am intrigued and hopeful that someone will help me understand.

 

I have been through and read the war diaries (particularly the Deputy Director Medical Services Canadian Corps) and closely looked at all the very kind posts that have been added to the thread... I have spent an enjoyable number of hours on this already with more to come.

 

Collectorsguide kindly added this comment.... Andrew Tait was an ambulance driver attached to no 8 Motor Ambulance Convoy..His was one of three awards to the 8th MAC in the 13.3.19 Gazette.This Gazette covers the period 8.8.18 to 1.10.18. CEF Awards from this Gazette run from 27.9.18 to 1.10.18. He won the MM with SGT JAMES OAG M2/048951 and SGT ROBERT EDWARD CULROSS M2/048890 for evacuating the wounded in his motor ambulance as part of no 8 MAC.'

 

I have no reason to doubt that Collectorsguide is correct and indeed the war diary for the would seem to back up Collectosguide's opinion....

 

The War Diary for the Deputy Director Medical Services Canadian Corps has this entry in the 'Medical Report on Battle of Cambrai, Sept.27th to Oct. 2nd 1918.' which ties in the with the dates from Collectorsguide's thinking

 

‘For the evacuation of wounded No 8 M.A.C. was reinforced by 30 cars from No. 1 M.A.C. and later on by 25 cars from No. 22 M.A.C.  In addition to this, 35 lorries and busses were supplied to convey walking wounded to the C.C.S.’s  This transport was placed in charge of Captain F. H Guppy C.A.M.C  O.C. No 8 M.A.C. who all through the battle rendered valuable service.  Great credit is due to the drivers of the M.A.C. cars and Motor Lorries, who went forward to within a few thousand yards of the Regimental Aid Posts and cleared back to the Dressing Station at Queant.’

 

Now I am thinking that a 'few thousand yards of the Regimental Aid Posts' is a long way away...1,760 yards being a mile if I remember correctly from my schooling all those pre-decimal years ago, then has the diarist entered this correctly? would a few hundred yards be more of something that would be considered a brave action? 

 

I am now going into the War Diary of the 8th Motor Ambulance Convoy which I have just found... and hope that the answer is there.

 

Thank you for anyone who has taken the trouble to get this far!

 

Andrew

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aengland

My first look at the War Diary of the 8 Motor Ambulance Convoy has many entries but nothing for the period 17 September to 30 September! Would you believe it! 

 

However the Diary entry for 7 October says 'Received notification Military Medals to Sgt Oag and Culross and Pte Tait'.... so some good news, and for me further reinforces the conclusion of Collectorsguide.

 

Does anyone know where the missing pages might be?  ASC museum perhaps?

Andrew

 

 

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MaxD

I think it might help also to go back to ADMS 3 Cav Div diary again and plot out the many locations recorded there and then look at the possible locations of the RAPs .  The RAPs would be right up with the forward troops and there would next be ADSs a bit further back and then an MDS.  My understanding is that it was to the MDS that the vehicles went to collect wounded and in a fast moving battle as it was in early Oct, perhaps MDS were that far from RAPs.

 

Happy to be put right on this though.

 

Max 

 

 

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aengland

Thanks Max..... we could be easily confused here though. 

 

This enquiry started with my question on Andrew Tait, and then was taken down another with a query regarding A.E.Bridge (T4/044534) who was also awarded the Military Medal

 

Private Andrew Tait is the man I am interested in.... see the original postings.  I know that on 1 October the 8th MAC were based in Queant at V 25.C. 9.1.  

 

Thank you though

 

Andrew

 

 

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aengland

Just re-posting this in the hope that someone can provide me with a view on this War Diary entry

 

The War Diary for the Deputy Director Medical Services Canadian Corps has this entry in the 'Medical Report on Battle of Cambrai, Sept.27th to Oct. 2nd 1918.' 

 

‘For the evacuation of wounded No 8 M.A.C. was reinforced by 30 cars from No. 1 M.A.C. and later on by 25 cars from No. 22 M.A.C.  In addition to this, 35 lorries and busses were supplied to convey walking wounded to the C.C.S.’s  This transport was placed in charge of Captain F. H Guppy C.A.M.C  O.C. No 8 M.A.C. who all through the battle rendered valuable service.  Great credit is due to the drivers of the M.A.C. cars and Motor Lorries, who went forward to within a few thousand yards of the Regimental Aid Posts and cleared back to the Dressing Station at Queant.’

 

Now I am thinking that a 'few thousand yards of the Regimental Aid Posts' is a long way away...1,760 yards being a mile if I remember correctly from my schooling all those pre-decimal years ago, then has the diarist entered this correctly? would a few hundred yards be more of something that would be considered a brave action? 

 

Andrew

 

 

 

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dbridge276
On 21/09/2019 at 02:17, collectorsguide said:

Incorrect oute and post deleted, incorrect person. Should have been in Albert Edward Bridge thread posts.

admins feel free to delete this post 

Edited by dbridge276
Posted in wrong thread

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