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Nurses on Hospital Ships - Qualification for Medals?


alf mcm
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Can anyone tell me how nurses serving on hospital ships qualify for the 1914 Star. 1914-15 Star and British War & Victory Medals?

Were there different rules for nurses from Canada, Australia and New Zealand?

Regards,

Alf McM

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Hi Alf McM,

Quite a few nurses files I've read it appears that the 15 Star was not going to be issued, but the decision was overruled at a later date - it also puzzled me. I did some searches and the best answer I found was in British Journal of Nursing. 

This link states Malta & Gibraltar ranked as home stations and I rather think the authorities were going to treat hospital ships in the same way.

https://rcnarchive.rcn.org.uk/volumes/62/Volume%2062%20Page%20165

This link confirms the rejection of a hospital ship being a theatre of war was still in place in March 1919

https://rcnarchive.rcn.org.uk/volumes/62/Volume%2062%20Page%20202

By Feb 1920 the rules had changed and can be found here. (I can remember another BJN article where the decision was overruled but it eludes me at present)

https://rcnarchive.rcn.org.uk/volumes/64/Volume%2064%20Page%20128

Hope this helps

Incidently in Sidney Browne’s file (WO 399/10074) pages 283 & 284 the question of medals was being discussed as early as 1915. 

Regards ZeZe

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Hi Alf McM

Found the link I remembered: https://rcnarchive.rcn.org.uk/volumes/63/Volume%2063%20Page%20250

Regards ZeZe

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ZeZe,

  Thanks for the links. The last link seems to say that the 14-15 Star was only awarded for hospital ship service in a theatre of operations. That would seem to preclude Malta and Gibraltar, although if a ship stopped off at, say, Marseilles, then perhaps all the nurses would then be eligible.

  I wonder if the full text of the regulations were published in the London Gazette, or perhaps The Times newspaper. I'm sure a lot of people would have wanted to know what the exact rules were.

Regards,

Alf McM

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5 hours ago, alf mcm said:

The last link seems to say that the 14-15 Star was only awarded for hospital ship service in a theatre of operations. That would seem to preclude Malta and Gibraltar, although if a ship stopped off at, say, Marseilles, then perhaps all the nurses would then be eligible.

Although geographically in France Marseille was not included in the "France" Theatre and I have seen a couple of UK officers with no medallic recognition who served exclusively there.  It boils down to "Risk and Rigour" and contact with the enemy. If the ship passed into an active defined Theatre the award was made eg "Aegean Islands" extends the net in the Gallipoli 14/15 Star scenario.  Service exclusively in Gib and Malta seems to preclude entitlement......although not contact with German submarines in the case of the 14/15 Star.  In the UK scenario Admiralty and Army Orders are broadly aligned on medals (14/15 Star link below).  In the Dominion cases the departure date/start point seems to initiate entitlement in the case of BWM/BVM which was very different to the UK case which required entry into an actual active Theatre.

Army and Admirilty orders for the 1914 -15 Star Medal WW1 (northeastmedals.co.uk)

In many Wars the criteria was/is extended after the event.  I my case I can cite the South Atlantic Medal 1982 which was re-defined and awarded some 30-odd years later.  I suspect there might be similar minor exceptions hiding out there somewhere.

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40 minutes ago, TullochArd said:

Although geographically in France Marseille was not included in the "France" Theatre and I have seen a couple of UK officers with no medallic recognition who served exclusively there.  It boils down to "Risk and Rigour" and contact with the enemy. If the ship passed into an active defined Theatre the award was made eg "Aegean Islands" extends the net in the Gallipoli 14/15 Star scenario.  Service exclusively in Gib and Malta seems to preclude entitlement......although not contact with German submarines in the case of the 14/15 Star.  In the UK scenario Admiralty and Army Orders are broadly aligned on medals (14/15 Star link below).  In the Dominion cases the departure date/start point seems to initiate entitlement in the case of BWM/BVM which was very different to the UK case which required entry into an actual active Theatre.

Army and Admirilty orders for the 1914 -15 Star Medal WW1 (northeastmedals.co.uk)

In many Wars the criteria was/is extended after the event.  I my case I can cite the South Atlantic Medal 1982 which was re-defined and awarded some 30-odd years later.  I suspect there might be similar minor exceptions hiding out there somewhere.

Thanks for your comments TullochArd,

   I hadn't appreciated that Marseilles wasn't part of the 'France' theatre. Your link covers the rules for most recipients but, as you say, there were probably a few additions at later dates.

Regards,

Alf McM

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