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MM for unsuccessful escape attempt


stabilis
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I'm researching a Suffolk Regt soldier - 7702 Edgar John Dempster, 2nd Batt - who made two unsuccessful attempts to escape from POW camps in 1918.

According to Murphy's official history of the Suffolks 1914-1927, MMs were awarded for escaping or attempting to escape from captivity (my italics).  He gives three men who apparently qualified this way, but not Dempster.  I've searched the Gazette (although I admit I don't find it the easiest site to navigate) without finding him.

So I have two questions please:

Can anyone find him in the Gazette where I have failed?  And can anyone provide evidence that what Murphy claimed was in fact the case?

Any suggestions welcomed.

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An interesting project.

Who are the other three men who did qualify please as a potential back door to research

George

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I cannot find Dempster in the Gazette either (name or number) and his MIC doesn't mention M. No other refs that I can find on FMP.

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Nothing initially in local papers either

George

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Thank you both - glad it's not just me!

The other men (4 not 3 - my slip) were Sgt T A Bloomfield, Ptes G Cox, L Rudd and R C Waller'   I have actually found their awards in the Gazette: 30 January 1920, Supplement 31759 page 231.  But no sign of 'my' man.

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53 minutes ago, stabilis said:

Sgt T A Bloomfield

His was a successful escape.

courtesy FindmyPast Newspapers. I'm not sure who was his fellow escapee.

358482295_GWFEscapeBloomfieldTABuryPress.JPG.6a554472e1ff5c08ed881aded4966d91.JPG

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Thanks.  I did in fact know about Bloomfield (I'd found the same newspaper article!).  For the record his fellow escaper was a Sgt Davis of the Border Regt.

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As to your question about attempted escapes v successful, I have the (limited sample) impression that successful usually earned an MM but unsuccessful would be v. rare to get an MM.

Charlie

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Charlie

 

I'm sure you're right.  After all, to be brutal, it would be rewarding failure.

Still surprised that Murphy (apparently) got it wrong though.

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The 30 Jan 1920 LG entries - to confirm service nos. etc - it does include 'attempting' to escape, but as Charlie says this would be rare.

Perhaps such MMs were reserved for those who significantly assisted others to escape when they themselves were caught?

Screen Shot 2021-11-20 at 16.52.33.png

Screen Shot 2021-11-20 at 16.51.57.png

Edited by Ivor Anderson
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And that conclusively answers my second question - thank you very much.

And retrospective apologies to Lt Col Murphy for doubting his accuracy.

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There are a number of awards of the MM to men who escaped and were subsequently recaptured. They are very rare. I've only identified 3 so far.

Regards

Chris 

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I have never seen an MM for attempting to escape. Interesting stuff

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How interesting that Army Order 193 of 1919 is mentioned and is with specific reference to POWs. I'm guessing that a number of these former prisoners of war had been demobilised and had long since returned to civvy street by the time of the announcement in the LG. 

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As an example a 3 time escaper and 3 times recaptured, was Pte Selwyn Hobbs of the Canadian Forces.
Not all AO193 awards are to POWs. You didn't have to be a POW to get and award under the terms of AO193. The warrant is quite clear about this.

Regards

Chris 

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