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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Bertie Rowles - What is the medal ribbon?

stuart rowles

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What is the ribbon/badge over his breast pocket.


Bertie Rowles was born on Saturday, 24th November 1894 at No. 62 Catherine Mead Street, Bedminste.

He entered a ‘War Zone’ on 3rd August 1915 in France, with the 7th (Serv ice) Battalion, Somerset Light Infantry, No. 16278.

His injuries included being ‘Gassed’.

He was awarded two ‘Wound Strips’, as can be seen on the photograph.

On an earlier photograph taken about 1916 he is wearing a ‘Good Conduct Chevron’ on his left arm.

Entry from ‘Western Daily Press’ dated 10th November 1916:- WOUNDED: Somerset Light Infantry, Rowles B., 16278, (Treherbert).

In the ‘1939 Register’ he is living at 64 Catherine Mead Street, Briistol. His occupation is given as ‘Fireman at Water Works’. He is listed as a ARP Warden.

He died on Sunday, 7th September 1975 at 93 Bishopsworth Road, Bedminster, Bristol, age 80.
He is buried with his wife Mary Jane Rowles at South Bristol Cemetery. Section D, Grave 85.

Bertie Rowles WW1 EDITED.jpg

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The ribbons for the 1914-15 Star were issued ahead of the ribbons for BWM & VM.

There's a picture of William John Jackson 10521 South Wales Borderers. He's wearing the 1914-15 Star ribbon on his uniform. He was discharged from the army in March 1919, so we know that the photo was taken up to March 1919. There may be a thread on here that tries to determine when the 1914-15 Star ribbons were issued, and what time period the ribbons for BWM & VM were issued. If you have access to Ancestry, you could look at the medal rolls for a given soldier who had entitlement to the trio, and see what date stamps are on the respective medal rolls.

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1914 Star riband approved 10 December 1917
14-15 Star riband approved November 1918 riband as 1914 Star
British War Medal riband approved April 1919, not to be worn or issueduntil authorised by the War Office.
First 250 miles of riband for BWM issued 4 August 1919
Preliminary issue Victory Medal riband announced December 24 1919 (applicants for BWM need not apply!).


Men in the field were given priority for the issue of the Star riband (and medal ) but there were production difficulties given other wartime demands.  As for individual men/units all you can say with certainty BWM was not worn before the 4 August 1919.

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