Jump to content
The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Identifying a soldier - MC & Bar, 1937 Coronation Medal, Belgian Croix de Guerre, WW1 Trio


Andrew Upton
 Share

Recommended Posts

I recently purchased a beautiful condition officers Type B blue serge jacket. Made by J Daniels & Co of London, it is unusual in that it appears to have had an extremely long span of use, as it would have most likely been made c.1912-14 and yet was still in use at least as late as 1937.

Unfortunately the original naming on the label has almost completely faded away, but the original medal ribbon bars present show what must be a fairly distinctive group of medals - the Military Cross and Bar, the 1914 or 1914/15 Star, BWM, VM, 1937 Coronation Medal and lastly the Belgian Croix de Guerre. The buttons show the owner to have been in the Royal Artillery, and although the rank has been removed at some stage the remaining holes would seem to indicate the owner was Captain/Major by the end.

I would like to put a name to the original owner if possible. Only around 90,000 (!) of the 1937 Coronation Medal were awarded, and I suspect tying a recipient of that to an officer awarded the MC & Bar would be the one to yield the best results for likely candidates. Does anyone know if there is a comprehensive list in existence of those entitled to the 1937 Coronation Medal? Or any other suggestions would be appreciated. With thanks in advance.

s-l1600 (2).jpg

s-l1600.jpg

s-l1600 (5).jpg

s-l1600 (7).jpg

s-l1600 (8).jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a list of 1937 Coronation medal holders 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Andrew,

Have a look at this site......https://www.tracesofwar.com/awards/4/Military-Cross-MC.htm?sort=name&show=list&abc=L#abc,

By checking the d of b and the mini pics of the medals awarded on the right of the alphabetical list it should be possible to narrow the search down considerably, IF the site has your man on it. I have searched through to "L"s no luck yet. Very interesting site.

You probably know this according to the LLT there were ONLY 2,983 to 2,992 (depending upon source) recipients of a bar during ww1. So that narrows it down a bit!

Regards Barry

 

Edited by The Inspector
Link to comment
Share on other sites

18 hours ago, Coldstreamer said:

I have a list of 1937 Coronation medal holders 

Thanks Coldstreamer - how is the information presented, eg is it possible to search it or break it down based upon rank, regiment, etc?

17 hours ago, The Inspector said:

Hi Andrew,

Have a look at this site......https://www.tracesofwar.com/awards/4/Military-Cross-MC.htm?sort=name&show=list&abc=L#abc,

By checking the d of b and the mini pics of the medals awarded on the right of the alphabetical list it should be possible to narrow the search down considerably, IF the site has your man on it. I have searched through to "L"s no luck yet. Very interesting site.

You probably know this according to the LLT there were ONLY 2,983 to 2,992 (depending upon source) recipients of a bar during ww1. So that narrows it down a bit!

Regards Barry

Thanks for the link Barry, definitely a very interesting site. I checked through from L to Z and also sadly couldn't find a match, though the list is certainly incomplete as I have a named SD jacket to another man awarded the MC & Bar during WW1 and he is not mentioned at all in the relevant section. Another problem is I cannot necessarily assume one or both awards of the MC are from the Great War period (though that is probably the most likely answer) given the original owner was still managing to use his jacket at least as late as 1937, and a career officer would have had ample chance in the interwar or perhaps even early WW2 period to be awarded them instead.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It’s in alpha order so would need a name to check sorry 

#foreigngong might be able to help 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Unless he was listed in the LG with the other awards it would make it a bit hard to find without a name.

Just in the A to C I have 18 DSO, MC

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, Coldstreamer said:

It’s in alpha order so would need a name to check sorry 

#foreigngong might be able to help 

Barry has suggested the following name - Stanley Adolphus Gerard Andreae-de Roubaix. A bit of a long shot for various reasons, but if he received a 1937 Coronation Medal...

image.png.c2af5475dbaaedcaf454bf6347c2f449.png

Link to comment
Share on other sites

if no one else does I will look tomorrow morning

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Coldstreamer said:

if no one else does I will look tomorrow morning

Thanks :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, Coldstreamer said:

if no one else does I will look tomorrow morning

Barry has put forward another name - Charles Cooper Russell. A career soldier with the RA who was commissioned in 1910 and had long and distinguished service, ending as Colonel/Brigadier in 1948. Please can you look him up as well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sorry pals been tied up at hospital 

will look shortly 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 13/01/2022 at 14:57, Andrew Upton said:

Barry has suggested the following name - Stanley Adolphus Gerard Andreae-de Roubaix. A bit of a long shot for various reasons, but if he received a 1937 Coronation Medal...

image.png.c2af5475dbaaedcaf454bf6347c2f449.png

 

this one isnt on the UK listing under Andreae

Link to comment
Share on other sites

or Roubaix

Link to comment
Share on other sites

22 hours ago, Andrew Upton said:

Barry has put forward another name - Charles Cooper Russell. A career soldier with the RA who was commissioned in 1910 and had long and distinguished service, ending as Colonel/Brigadier in 1948. Please can you look him up as well.

no Charles Cooper RUSSELL - Ill see if under Cooper

not there either

Could be under a commonwealth etc listing but that takes too long to search sorry

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, Coldstreamer said:

Sorry pals been tied up at hospital 

will look shortly...

this one isnt on the UK listing under Andreae...

or Roubaix...

no Charles Cooper RUSSELL - Ill see if under Cooper

not there either

Could be under a commonwealth etc listing but that takes too long to search sorry...

Drat, really thought Charles Cooper Russell was in with a chance :(. Thank you for looking anyhow.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you can find where he was in 1937 I’ll look at other rolls

 

Is his name double barrel or is cooper a middle name ?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Don't know if it helps but here is his medal card from WW1

30850_A001355-02724.jpg.a1d8cda369298789c144d7218c343a24.jpg

Courtesy Ancestry

George

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Admin

Andrew

The 1937 Coronation Medal rolls are at TNA under the reference of QLIB 5. They have been digitised and are currently free to download if you've registered an account with them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 hours ago, Coldstreamer said:

If you can find where he was in 1937 I’ll look at other rolls

Is his name double barrel or is cooper a middle name ?

As far as I'm aware Cooper is just a middle name, and after his original entry his London Gazette entries all refer to C. C. Russell: 

February 1933:

image.png.da6a308d4c32279d8a3fa98f7f18b032.png

January 1937:

image.png.c5972f4fe8b9efb83dd9ad7e4d63f3dd.png

February 1937:

image.png.3d201bc8d33e5f16a0d1c8bd05e094c7.png

March 1937:

image.png.bd9bcbf7f611313125604e48f8d9cd8e.png

April 1940:

image.png.211d06e86c72f05dfd0689117e946b04.png

12 hours ago, George Rayner said:

Don't know if it helps but here is his medal card from WW1

30850_A001355-02724.jpg.a1d8cda369298789c144d7218c343a24.jpg

Courtesy Ancestry

George

Thanks George, it does help - seeing that actually may rule him out, as it mentions "Emblems" (for MID) which is not represented on the medal ribbon bar.

7 hours ago, spof said:

The 1937 Coronation Medal rolls are at TNA under the reference of QLIB 5. They have been digitised and are currently free to download if you've registered an account with them.

Thanks, I'll have a look.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Given the MID info as well  I’d not progress RUSSELL as a candidate unless he can be found on a 1937 roll

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

On 15/01/2022 at 12:40, spof said:

The 1937 Coronation Medal rolls are at TNA under the reference of QLIB 5. They have been digitised and are currently free to download if you've registered an account with them.

Well I have begun the (extremely long) process of downloading the complete rolls, so that will keep me occupied for a good while...

 In the meantime - if the Wiki page on the Military Cross is reliable, I note that there are only approximately 3500 subsequent bars listed in total (including post-WW1 awards). Does a comprehensive list of these exist somewhere? I am also contemplating contacting the State Archives of Belgium to see what help they might be able to offer as regards the award of the Belgian Croix de Guerre, but I again suspect that without a name to check first this will be unlikely to yield any meaningful results... 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Admin

I'm not aware of any list.

You're best bet may be to get the Gazette pages in the first part of the DSO and MC Registers in   WO 389. They are pre-publication copies of the Gazette but as they are a single PDF are much easier to browse than the page by page option of the Gazette. They are not the clearest scans but it shouldn't take long to easily spot the "Awarded a Bar"  sections.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good news - I have him, and it's a cracker! Will post more details in due course...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So the promised update for those interested - the jacket turned out to have been originally owned by Frederick Joseph Rice, born 1893 and died in 1976:609683715_FrederickJosephRiceportrait.png.ab01905aa57d4f43dadd43705e4f1702.png

When the jacket originally arrived I dug out my UV light to try and decipher the name on the makers label, only to discover the batteries had gone bad in the meantime, welding them inside the torch. So on Monday night I bit the bullet and invested in a shiny new UV light, which duly arrived the next day. Using it on Tuesday evening immediately revealed a lot more of the original naming had survived under the accumulated dirt of nearly 110 or so years. I have illustrated the results below, though these were actually less clear in person at the time:

DSC03929.JPG.2a3cbaf624b87ee97238556d84c97dd7.JPG

1683388283_DSC03929-Copy.JPG.0a720162ce010905feec5c9818d2c9c1.JPG

I could read what appeared to me to be the initials F and J followed by a surname I couldn't initially comprehend beginning with the letter R, with the letters RA clarified after. So I decided to take take the plunge, dived into the R section of the 1937 Coronation Medal Roll I had already downloaded, and slowly began working through it, looking for a probable Royal Artillery officer with the probable initials FJR and likely an MC or two listed. And after about 20 minutes or so it paid off:

83536089_1937CoronationMedalroll.png.9147ba40fecd8f78885b8cb2f3ebe93a.png

So I then decided to cross reference this with the WW1 MIC's, and this quickly paid off:

1317793842_FrederickJosephRiceMedalCard.jpg.7f050689a893ae92fd97309d589cf417.jpg

This confirmed the Star/BWM/VM ribbons, and also entitlement to the MC, but no bar at this stage. So now armed with a full name I cross referenced this with the London Gazette, which immediately yielded excellent results. They confirmed he had been commissioned Second Lieutenant into the RA in 1913 (a perfect date for when the jacket would have been newly introduced). More importantly, they also confirmed entitlement not only to the MC but also the Bar, both having been announced in 1919. His entry for the original MC makes interesting reading:

1411290167_MCdetailedentry.png.4ce6ddde8624b099a668dd864079e040.png

Rather unexpectedly, the search also confirmed his entitlement to the Croix de Guerre, this having been announced in 1918. The LG also showed numerous entries for his promotions and appointments over the years as a career soldier, showing that in 1939 he was still a Major, but subsequently promoted Lieutenant Colonel in 1941 and finally retired in 1947 and granted the honorary rank of Colonel.

Googling his full name also found the following - an excellent short biography, but more importantly to me the photograph at the top of this post, taken sometime shortly after the war with Frederick Joseph Rice shown in full dress uniform and clearly wearing his MC & Bar alongside the Belgian Croix de Guerre:

Life story: Frederick Joseph Rice | Lives of the First World War

 
Apparently the IWM has a large collection of his papers and diary, which I may have to invest some time examining at some point in the future.
 
Edited by Andrew Upton
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...