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Remembered Today:

Walter Cottrell RE and MFP help requested


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TullochArd
13 hours ago, Gunner 87 said:

The Medal Index Card does not record the Star and only lists Walters Royal Engineers service number as 2770 which I would think is his earlier number prior to 508368. Could this be an admin oversight considering Walter served from 24th October 1914 so likely deployed to a Theatre of War in 1915 thus fulfilling the criteria for the Star? Opinion only, but with Walter going on to join the police it seems unlikely he would wear a medal not entitled to. 

 

Agreed - great research by Provost.  Walter's BWM/BVM are shown on the Medal Roll as serving with "3rd Wessex RE" when he first deployed on active service.  As "3rd Wessex RE" only served in UK only during the 14/15 Star qualification period (1914/1915) his entitlement to that medal is not at all obvious.  This is further supported by the fact that the intact Medal Rolls, and Medal Index Cards extracted from them, fail to produce any verification.  I suspect Walter genuinely thought he was entitled to the 14/15 Star.

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Gunner 87
20 minutes ago, TullochArd said:

 

Agreed - great research by Provost.  Walter's BWM/BVM are shown on the Medal Roll as serving with "3rd Wessex RE" when he first deployed on active service.  As "3rd Wessex RE" only served in UK only during the 14/15 Star qualification period (1914/1915) his entitlement to that medal is not at all obvious.  This is further supported by the fact that the intact Medal Rolls, and Medal Index Cards extracted from them, fail to produce any verification.  I suspect Walter genuinely thought he was entitled to the 14/15 Star.

 

 

I have suggested to Cstorey that efforts to obtain any records of Walter’s police service, held by the relevant agency, possibly now the MOD Police, may list the medals he was entitled to wear. The Met Police, to this day, record medals on personal files. In addition, if a researcher for the War Department Constabulary was able to locate a photograph of Walter’s ‘Relief’ as was common at the time, this may show Walter wearing his Great War medals. Certainly worth the enquiry. 

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3 hours ago, TullochArd said:

I suspect Walter genuinely thought he was entitled to the 14/15 Star.

 

Browsing local newspapers indicate the introduction of this campaign medal was controversial to say the least.

A statement in the Commons in November 1919 The 14-15 Star was introduced to recognise, as well as those who bore the brunt of the campaign in 1914, “…those from the Dominions and Colonies as well as those British and Irish troops who first responded to the call of duty and served in a theatre of war will receive special recognition.”

 

It was therefore accepted this award was for the period of  'voluntarism', and averted the call for a "gallipoli Medal", but the caveat concerning the 'theatre of war' caused great resentment, especially in the TF.  This was well expressed in newspapers of the time.  After all they had volunteered for overseas service and  it was not their fault they were kept at home.  Many were already frustrated by the duties they had been given, those in India for example were told they would return to the UK and into action after the 2nd line had been filled yet they remained for the duration. At least they had the BWM, those who served in the Home Army received no recognition at all.

Some service battalions on the way to India or Iraq were denied the medal because they were at sea on the 31st December.  These pleas fell on deaf ears, as Churchill said when representations were made on their behalf, 'no exceptions would be made'.  I make no comment on that, merely the instances of self-awarded medals crop up from time to time on the Forum.  Medals were frequently sold or pawned during the Depression years.

On the other hand a current thread on another soldier quite clearly shows he was wounded in France in 1915 yet no 14-15 Star is shown on the mic.

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On 08/06/2021 at 22:33, alf mcm said:

Great information Richard.

   Are the Army Book 358's available online? They seem to be incredibly useful.

 

Regards,

Alf McM

Morning Alf,

 

The AB 358 for the MMP and MFP are held by the RMP Museum. They are not currently available online, but the information is gradually being transcribed onto www.rmpmuseum.com As for other Regiments/Corps, their Books were offered to their respective museums back in the early 2000s. Some institutions have had them scanned and these are available on findmypast - search for enlistment register - I know the Scots Guards Books are available via that route.

 

For those researching soldiers who served in the disbanded Irish Regiments, the National Army Museum has digitised their AB 358, and these are available free of charge via their website here:- https://www.nam.ac.uk/soldiers-records/persons

 

I hope this helps.

 

Cheers,

 

Richard

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Thanks Richard,

  I look forward to these records coming online in future.

 

Regards,

Alf McM

 

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