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Help deciphering wording on medal card


lclark77
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Hi.

 

Hoping someone here might be able to help me interpret the remarks section on my great grandfathers medal card. I understand from the second line that his medals were returned. However I'm struggling to understand the rest of the comments.

 

On the first line I can see a date 5-10-14 but cant work out what the word is prior to this or what this date would refer to.

I think the other remark says MM or MSM Card as above however can't make out the first word at all. Does anyone know what this comment means?

Also there is a number 26493 which again I have no idea what this refers to so if anyone is able to shed any light on what this may refer to.

mcdonald_medal_card.JPG

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Trans 5-10-14

 

I assume that's short for 'transferred'.

 

Not sure about the rest but hope that helps,

 

P

 

EDIT - Also, welcome to the forum.

Edited by Polar Bear
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Thank you for the welcome. That makes sense. I know he transferred from the seaforths to the Gordons in 1916 but the medal roll shows he was in the 2nd battalion of the seaforths and at some point he moved to the 1st battalion so presume that is what that refers to.

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His medal roll for 14 Star shows Transferred 5/10/16 to 1/GH with new number.

 

Looks like a date error on the MIC for the Regiment transfer.

 

Medal roll for the pair on GH roll shows 1st & 2nd Seaforths and 1st Garrison battalion GH.

 

He also shows on a casualty list with 2nd Seaforths in June 1915 with a gas event. Then again in Nov 1915 with 1st Seaforths which gives a timeframe for that transfer. He was probably transferred to the garrison battalion GH after he recovered from the second injury.

 

If the annotations on the rolls are correct he received his 14 Star but the pair were returned and never claimed.

 

26493 is probably an internal reference number the meaning of which will be lost although it could relate to the comments about the MM & MSM card.

 

The latter is a bit odd, I can't see anything for these medals for him although I've not checked the Gazette.

 

If he thought he had the MM & MSM and made enquiries which came to a dead end you'd think they would have sent out his pair.

 

Could it say No MM or MSM card?

 

Nothing on the reverse of the MIC.

TEW

 

 

 

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Hi and welcome to the forum.

 

1 hour ago, lclark77 said:

On the first line I can see a date 5-10-14 but cant work out what the word is prior to this or what this date would refer to.

 

These cards were created by the clerks at the records office in late autumn 1918 to help keep track of documentation relating to the issue of service medals, so you have to bear in mind that most if not all that is recorded is what they needed to do their jobs.

 

The records offices in themselves were a Great War development, with each covering either a number of county regiments or a single corps like Artillery, Engineers, Medical, Labour, etc.

 

For most of the time the papers would stay in one office, but a change of unit could necessitate a transfer of documents. Sometimes you will come across service records with the transfer cover still attached. I cannot guarantee it, but I believe that is the “TRANS” transfer referred to here, although perhaps a pal can confirm whether the Gordon Highlanders and the Seaforth Highlanders were dealt with at different records offices.

 

In the event of missing paperwork or a complex enquiry, there might be a need to check with the previous records office.

 

1 hour ago, lclark77 said:

I think the other remark says MM or MSM Card as above however can't make out the first word at all. Does anyone know what this comment means?

 

Its not at all clear, but I tend to suggest “No MM or MSM Card as above”. Again this is supposition but I suspect David McDonald believed he had been recommended for an MM or MSM and was enquiring about his entitlement. He may well have been recommended but somewhere along the line it may have been watered down to something like a Commendation Certificate from a Divisonal Commander, or he went into a pool for possible allocation of medals awarded by other allies, or something happened to the officer\SNCO concerned before they could forward the recommendation on to the Battalion Commander.

 

I may have the wrong end of the stick but there is no reference to the medals being considered for disposal – i.e. destruction. Instead I believe they have been returned for adjustment (“Adt”) – name error \ number error \ unit error \ rank error on the actual medal rather than the details on the card. Hopefully the experts will be along soon to comment.

 

Cheers,

Peter

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Not an expert but the pair are annotated as returned KR 1743 which I've copied from another post as;

 

Kings Regulations 1743 (1912) is "Medals which, at the end of 10 years, still remained unclaimed, will be sent to the India Office (If granted for India Service), or to the deputy director of ordnance stores, Royal Dockyard (Medal Branch), Woolwich (if granted for other services) to be broken up. A.O.402 (1913)."

 

Don't think at present his 14 Star was returned.

 

TEW

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There is a colour image of the MIC available free on Ancestry, but it's so overexposed, I'd say in this instance, the Black and white image is better:

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Thank you all for insights so far. 

 

Quote
18 hours ago, TEW said:

His medal roll for 14 Star shows Transferred 5/10/16 to 1/GH with new number.

 

Looks like a date error on the MIC for the Regiment transfer.

 

Yes you're right I hadn't spotted that the day and months were the same as the date quoted on the medal roll for 14 star. So does look likely that it is an error.

 

Quote
17 hours ago, TEW said:

 

The latter is a bit odd, I can't see anything for these medals for him although I've not checked the Gazette

 

I have checked the gazette and so far cant find anything there either so can only assume that he wasn't awarded either of those medals. We always understood in the family that he received the military medal but I'm beginning to think that wasn't the case. As you say he may have thought he had received it and made enquiries but for whatever reason it wasn't processed or it was downgraded.

 

Unfortunately there are no family members to check with. We have contacted both the Gordon Highlanders Museum and the Seaforth Highlanders Museum at Fort George to see if they can provide any further information as to whether he did receive anything. He supposedly received the Freedom of Dingwall as well when he returned which we always thought was in connection to his military medal but it may that they conferred that on all returning soldiers? 

 

As to whether he received his medals or they were destroyed. I really don't know. As I understand it he sold his medals at some point. Back in the 70s, apparently my Great Aunt received a call from Fort George to say they had his medals. I don't know how true that story is as it seems unlikely  but if true then it would seem he at some point did get his medals and then sold them on. It looks like he received his 14 star so maybe that is what Fort George were referring to. Interestingly he did have a war pension so they did have his address at that time.

 

The medal roll does have some additional information which from what I understand does indicate the medals were never claimed. Is it possible that he claimed them at a later date and the roll wasn't updated?

medalroll.JPG.c6fed93e08833637f77543573eb8e185.JPG 

 

 

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Re his war pension, there's a pension card or record for him under his Gordon Highlanders regimental number, though I can't access it via Ancestry (it'll be on FMP if you have a subscription). You may already know this, of course.

 

Cheers, Pat.

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54 minutes ago, Pat Atkins said:

Re his war pension, there's a pension card or record for him under his Gordon Highlanders regimental number, though I can't access it via Ancestry (it'll be on FMP if you have a subscription). You may already know this, of course.

 

Thank you - I do have his pension record. Of course understanding it is a whole other matte! 

 

It was actually his pension card that I found first. We didn't have any record of his service numbers but I came across the pension entry in Ancestry after I removed the location he lived in. The entry had been put in as living in Dugwall instead of Dingwall. Just goes to show you have to search from lots of different angles to find things.

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14 hours ago, Dai Bach y Sowldiwr said:

There is a colour image of the MIC available free on Ancestry, but it's so overexposed, I'd say in this instance, the Black and white image is better:

The good news about the colour  Ancestry/Fold3 MIC image is that it more clearly shows the Gordon Highlanders Regtl. No. as: 12659 which is scrambled on the b/w TNA version in OP = As per/also see the Medal Roll above.

His pension card is under Scottish Rifles 9100 Apologies that is for John McDonald

:-) M

Edited by Matlock1418
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1 hour ago, lclark77 said:

I do have his pension record. Of course understanding it is a whole other matte! 

I'm struggling to find a pension record for him.

Looking at WFA/Fold3 for a pension card = ??

If you have details and can direct to/post them/post the card then I/we will try to help.

:-) M

Edited by Matlock1418
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Here is his pension card. Hope it is clear enough. Any help that you can provide would be great.

 

EDIT: His surname is spelt Macdonald here and on medal card McDonald so that maybe why you couldn't find it.903564129_PensionMacdonaldD(12659).jpg.e7c974d8b93dd6595e0b55dcaacdf6fc.jpg

Edited by lclark77
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2 hours ago, lclark77 said:

Here is his pension card. Hope it is clear enough. Any help that you can provide would be great.

 

EDIT: His surname is spelt Macdonald here and on medal card McDonald so that maybe why you couldn't find it.

You got in one! - Doh!! - Macdonald!!!

This is a Pension Ledger index card - theoretically linked to a Regional Pension Ledger by a reference number in top right corner.

In this case such a reference is not wholly there / the basic one for the London / SE Region [Region 11] - 11/MW/2394 has been scored out - a reference of 16094 inserted instead

The M indicates a Military pension and the W a claim by someone with a surname starting with W - hence it has been scored out

I would have expected a claim reference starting with "1" for Scotland - this would help find the claim file = along the lines of 1/MM/16094 for a Mc/Macdonald

The ledger is not available [none are].

This sort of card would commonly be used for a Disability claim but no such entry described

And there are very, very few surviving disability files [most have been officially destroyed] - a couple of thousand out of several million claims remain [which is more than there are for Widows/Dependants!].

The notes on the left side are admin notations as the file/claim was passed around & correspondence etc. - I can't interpret with much benefit though one entry does mention London 5/4 so perhaps it was sent / handled there at one stage in April 1921

The most puzzling annotation is the "Cancelled  See 3Z4   Z / Gordon Highlanders / 1784" [or 1984] - I don't know what it means not recalling having seen such a 3Z4 but [Sorry, my error when originally reading the card] - this probably suggests another file was once found to be in existence - probably with a claim ref ending in 1784 [or 1984 - I don't think it is a Regimental No.].

The trouble is we can't usually find the file reference without finding the man first! :-( = we will have to keep looking.

I will send this to put you in the picture so far - and will continue.

Watch this space in case I can find another claim and/or a file - but no promises I'm afraid!

:-) M

 

Edit: this is where it gets potentially messy - and it quite likely seems the clerks back in the day were potentially struggling too [or there is a remarkable coincidence] = Remember that "1784"? = there is a claim reference of 11/MF/1784 for a MACDONALD, John, Cameron Highlanders 3022 / 23857 [with another claim reference of 1/MM/15684 - I think] - all seems potentially a bit scrambled - It doesn't seem to get us any further though. I'll keep looking :-/

Edited by Matlock1418
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Given the numbers of cards, rolls and the enquiries about medals it wouldn't surprise me if medals were sometimes sent out later without the roll/MIC being updated. Usually you see an annotation for a medal claim and a new issue voucher. A signed receipt (CRV) had to be sent back to the medal office.

 

I still think if he had made enquiries about an MM or MSM they would have brought up the subject of his unclaimed pair.

 

You could check the date his 14 Star was sent to him (which he did receive) and the date the pair were originally sent out. Each roll usually has a date on the sheet and sometimes an issue voucher date. It's feasible he enquired about the MM & MSM after receiving his Star but before the pair roll had been prepared.

 

The normal explanation for medals being returned unclaimed is put down to an un-notified change of address which in this case would be between after the Star arrived and before the pair roll was completed.

 

Someone else probably knows more than I do but the pension card says 'returned to region', could this indicate a change of address?

TEW

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8 minutes ago, TEW said:

Someone else probably knows more than I do but the pension card says 'returned to region', could this indicate a change of address?

To a degree I think - I believe it indicates the movement of files between offices, and thus potentially between regions so an address change would be likely to trigger/have triggered such an action.

The problem I suspect was that there probably was some confusion as to who was who, and where at the MoP - address changes would not be likely to help - the John Macdonald 3022 / 23857, above with the 1784 reference, appears to have been from North Uist and ended up with a Calgary, Alberta, Canada address - but I don't think he was the McDonald/Macdonald of the OP

:-) M

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Looked at both medal rolls again. 14 Star roll prepared Feb 1918, pair roll prepared May 1920. Medals would have been sent out shortly after these dates.

 

The pension record has correspondence dates from March 1920 through to May 1921, then the 'OK Aug 1930' date.

 

So, if there was a change of regional office resulting from a change of address around March-May 1920 that would explain the medals being returned.

 

TEW 

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5 hours ago, Matlock1418 said:

3Z4 

 3 and 4 are the numbers for any disabilities printed on the form and are unrelated to the handwritten entry.

The handwritten entry is thus :

" Cancelled

See or( Sec ) Z  Gordon Hdrs.   1794  "

Edited by Dai Bach y Sowldiwr
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31 minutes ago, Dai Bach y Sowldiwr said:

3 and 4 are the numbers for any disabilities printed on the form and are unrelated to the handwritten entry.

The handwritten entry is thus :

" Cancelled

See or( Sec ) Z  Gordon Hdrs.   1794  "

Yes, as previously edited/struckthrough - I spotted my erroneous first reading - That is how I read it

:-) M

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On 24/11/2020 at 17:21, PRC said:

I may have the wrong end of the stick but there is no reference to the medals being considered for disposal – i.e. destruction. Instead I believe they have been returned for adjustment (“Adt”) – name error \ number error \ unit error \ rank error on the actual medal rather than the details on the card. Hopefully the experts will be along soon to comment.

Spotted earlier, but passed over so as to discuss the Pension Ledger first ... Returning to the McDonald MIC:

Yes, I agree with you Peter - I can't see any reference to disposal either

I'm certainly not an expert [!] but I have just re-read bits of Howard Williamson's wonderful "The Great War Medal Collectors Companion" Vol. 1, Incl. - Abbreviations pp218-248

"Adt" is Adjustment

[I can't yet explain the 8029 without reference to the 1912 KR, Para 1734 [not in my possession] - but I am thinking that it was perhaps a sub-note relating to keeping records of & perhaps more specifically to those of adjustments ??]

There is clearly a Ret'd = Returned - but I am not sure it is for disposal - seems to me more likely for adjustment - seemingly against the BWM & VM only

["Retd Uncl" would be for Unclaimed and "Retd Undel" for undelivered] 

Noting the "Macdonald" on the Pension Ledger card one wonders if a similar 'typo' might have been committed onto his medals and thus needed adjusting.

Furthermore:

"G" for the Medal Rolls is for the Perth Medal Office

The MIC is written all in blue ink for the medals - so was a single issue of a 1914 'trio'

The dotted  X  indicating with the Seaforth Highlanders it would seem to appear [Note: like his MIC the SH landed 23-8-1914 according to LLT]

The rear of the colour MIC shows a printer's mark including a 10/19 [thus I believe an October 1919 batch of MIC]  - so it's after that when it was completed

[maybe it was a replacement for a Macdonald MIC ? - perhaps there was an earlier solo for his 1914 Star - though I probably would have expected a correction/expansion rather than a whole new card = this is just speculation] - certainly a late completion of this MIC.

Other notes also helped by HW/GWMCC [my fault if I have mis-interpreted HW's explanation]

But I can't explain the reference to "MM or MSM" in black ink - I too couldn't find any entries using a search of the London Gazette [a later annotation seems probable - perhaps there was a later enquiry into possible entitlement/award??] = ???

:-) M

Edited by Matlock1418
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The KR 1743 annotation on the MIC is the main reference to the disposal of the returned medals.

 

Where medals are returned due to name, rank, number errors they are not being returned under a King's Regulation so the MIC does not have the KR.

 

MICs with medals returned for an error usually identify the error plus there should be a new IV and CRV annotations.

 

Sometimes with KR 1743 returns the medal is claimed later but again there is usually a new IV/CRV annotation plus the possibility of an address on the reverse. Theoretically, if they claim within 10 years they get the original set, if after 10 years a new set.

TEW

 

 

 

 

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11 hours ago, Matlock1418 said:

[I can't yet explain the 8029 without reference to the 1912 KR, Para 1734 [not in my possession] - but I am thinking that it was perhaps a sub-note relating to keeping records of & perhaps more specifically to those of adjustments ??]

 

2 hours ago, TEW said:

The KR 1743 annotation on the MIC is the main reference to the disposal of the returned medals.

 

Where medals are returned due to name, rank, number errors they are not being returned under a King's Regulation so the MIC does not have the KR.

 

MICs with medals returned for an error usually identify the error plus there should be a new IV and CRV annotations.

Thanks for this.

I'm certainly not an expert - but always willing to learn.

As always - this is clearly a case where having the KR to hand is certainly particularly advantageous. :-)

Not challenging you - but, please, so as for all of us/others to learn from the exact wording is it possible for you to post an image extract(s)? - in hope. Edit: please also see the next post - I found it.]

 

This seems to me a most peculiar case as there are clearly two "Adt" annotations on the MIC

I agree unusual that there are no notes on adjustment [or 'amendment' as TGWMCC uses - I feel sure this is more correct and alternatively more appropriate (as is 'Amdt' also used on some MIC)] on the MIC and/or IV and CRV annotations.

And on disposal often more obvious notes with the clear word "disposal" somewhere on the front/rear. [i.e. not 'encrypted' as a KR - for some of us now, I am sure the MO clerks would have understood it instantly!]

Your comment  on a lack of an address on the rear is informative.

:-) M

Edited by Matlock1418
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12 hours ago, Matlock1418 said:

please, so as for all of us/others to learn from the exact wording is it possible for you to post an image extract(s)? - in hope.

 

You still can if you wish, but ...

Being an impatient inquisitive sort/wanting to learn more I just had to have a look and so just got hold of a copy of KR 1912 - so here's an abstract:

 

The King's Regulations for the Army 1912

Medals and Decorations - General Instructions
Paras:
"1734 ...
(ii) Medals of individuals who have left the unit: To the officer i/c records of the corps.
An officer receiving medals under (ii) will forward them to the individuals for whom they are intended, subject to paras. 1763 and 1764 as regards insane and deceased soldiers. If medals cannot be delivered (as in the case of men whose addresses cannot be ascertained) they will be retained by the officer i/c records for custody and for issue, if subsequently applied for."

 

And most specifically:
"1743. Medals which at the end of 10 years, still remain unclaimed, will be sent to the India Office (if granted for Indian service), or to the deputy director of ordnance store, Woolwich Arsenal (if granted for other service) to be broken up."

[the strike-though of Woolwich Arsenal was on my copy of KR 1912 - was subsequently amended but I cannot read the amendment/insertion on my copy of KR 1912 - always open to enlightenment - if another can now perhaps please supply the revised the wording inserted, seemingly by AO 2102.1913, it would be much appreciated - in hope!]

:-) M

Edited by Matlock1418
added AO 2102, 1913
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18 hours ago, Matlock1418 said:

The most puzzling annotation is the "Cancelled  See 3Z4   Z / Gordon Highlanders / 1784" [or 1984] - I don't know what it means not recalling having seen such a 3Z4 but [Sorry, my error when originally reading the card] - this probably suggests another file was once found to be in existence - probably with a claim ref ending in 1784 [or 1984 - I don't think it is a Regimental No.].

It's a reference to the pension files used for a man discharged under Class Z - the pensions for Class Z men were originally referenced as Z / (UNIT) / (ALPHA-SPLIT)/ REFERENCE NO.

 

The ALPHA-SPLIT  was used in some cases and not others. Some regiments split the case load, often A-L and M-Z - whereas others leave it blank (or just put A-Z).

 

The REFERENCE NO. was simply the number of the man in the pension process for that man - each split started at 1 and then ran on sequentially.

 

By the time the regional system came in to place then any claim (except in certain unusual cases) should have been renumbered in to the regional system. It suspect in this case that that ClassZ reference should have continued and the claim under the regional system should not have been opened.

Craig

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10 minutes ago, ss002d6252 said:

It's a reference to the pension files used for a man discharged under Class Z

Thanks Craig - knew you would have a decent answer. [my main initial puzzle was the 3Z4 bit - but obviously I just need glasses!]

Discharge to Class Z was to Reserve, wasn't it? - presumably fit enough??

Would a claim be accepted for someone in Z Reserve? - you seem to suggest it perhaps would [??]

Or, did Z mean something else for pensions?

Had this claim perhaps come in later after Class Z Reserve was abolished in 1920?

Do you think this claim might have been completely cancelled?

Or just a matter of re-referencing as the 1784 would seem to perhaps suggest?

Or??

:-) M

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