Jump to content
Free downloads from TNA ×
The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Another St George medal 4th Class


malsim

Recommended Posts

Hello,

I've read a number of posts here about British servicemen being awarded this medal during WW1.

I have my grandfathers British service medals (2) but there is a ribbon that matches the St George medal (black/orange strips) in there also - but no medal.

He was a RN radio operator 1916-1920. Name is James Weir Sim.

I'm hoping that someone may be able to help to confirm, via records/archives, if in fact he was awarded this.

Many thanks in advance,

Malcolm

Edited by malsim
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • malsim changed the title to Another St George medal 4th Class

Can you give the Forum your grandfather's name, regiment and service number?

Edited by Allan1892
To clarify request for details
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes indeed.

He was enlisted as "J. 53659" and reached rank of "O. Tel" Royal Navy.

Thanks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

He seems to have been borne as a supernumerary rating for his entire wartime service:  as a Boy Telegraphist in HM Ships AGINCOURT (battleship), TRIDENT and ITHURIEL (destroyers supporting the 13th Submarine Flotilla) and NEW ZEALAND (battleship);  and then as an Ordinary Telegraphist  in NEW ZEALAND until February 1919. I can find no trace of a Russian award to him in the medal rolls and the operational services of those ships during his time offer no clues.

I suspect the medal ribbon is just a wartime souvenir.

Edited by horatio2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

There was a great number of the 4th Class Medal awarded in 1915 (London Gazette, August 1915) and one or two towards the end of the war. Your grandfather isn't mentioned, I'm not surprised as he would have been too young to be included in the many that were awarded in 1915.

I would agree with horatio2's comment that the medal ribbon was a souvenir.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

54 minutes ago, ForeignGong said:

Could this explain the situation.

No. This very junior rating never served in Siberia. Apart from a few months 1919-20 in a Med Fleet destroyer, he served entirely ashore in UK or in Home Waters.

Edit:  O.Tel. Sim's Med Fleet destroyer was HMS TRIBUNE. She was sent to the Black Sea in late 1919-early 1920 to support the White Russians (Admiral Kolchak) and help evacuate Crimea. I am not aware of Kolchak awards to TRIBUNE (or subsequent non-recognition) but it might be possible. Against that possibility is the fact that Kolchak was captured in late 1919 and executed in February 1920. Timing is all wrong. The RN ops in Siberia were much earlier:  April-June 1919.

II still think we are dealing with a souvenir medal ribbon.

Edited by horatio2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you all for the inputs.

FWIW, my father recalled him talking about being at the Black Sea at the end of the war - and that it must have been winter, as the snows

made an impression on him. So that would fit with him being there late 1919-early 1920.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I probably should also mention - the ribbon in question is stitched (along with that of the British War and Victory medals) onto the 4" piece of black fabric that is used to display awards without actually wearing the medals....(I don't know the technical name for this). So, he had clearly felt that he could/should display the award via the ribbon. There's also a box that clearly a single medal was issued in. I'm not sure if that was from something else, but I've shown all this in the attached picture in the hope to get some inputs.

jws.jpg

Edited by malsim
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you for posting the image.

It has to be noted that the Medal of St George 4th Class was, like most foreign medals, awarded on the recommendation of the Royal Navy although, formally, it was granted by the Emperor (latterly the Government) of Russia. The men selected for recommendation would most likely be serving at sea with the Fleet and would be highly regarded. It would appear that the last awards by the Russian Government were published in October 1917 (probably recommended weeks earlier).

From his record your GF was serving at sea from February 1917 in HMS AGINCOURT and from August 1917 in HMS TRIDENT. Realistically, a recommendation would have come from one of those two ships. He served in both ships as a 16-year-old supernumerary Boy Telegraphist under training. As a trainee, no matter how keen, it would be impossible for him to stand out from the ship’s company as a superior candidate for an award. It is clear that once trained, as an Ordinary Telegraphist from September 1918, his Ability (1918 and 1919) was never assessed as higher than ‘Satisfactory’.

I cannot confirm your statement about the “… box that clearly a single medal was issued in.” Do you have any evidence for this? Your GF’s WW1 pair of medals were claimed by him after the war, probably no earlier than 1922. The three medal ribbons displayed together prove nothing and I still lean towards a ‘kidnapped’ Russian ribbon, unless one of the GWF medal experts can show otherwise…..

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You, also could be looking at one of those men who informed they were recom or granted such a medal, but no offical award was given.

With the collapse of the White Russian forces, all such medals disapppeared

He may have been left with no idea the award was never officaly granted 

I have a number of soldiers who were informed they were either, recom or awarded, but never passed higher HQ 

The man never checked to confirm and honestly believed they had gained the award when they didn't.

A check of HMS Trident logs of those dates may help in tracing if any others on the ship were granted such awards?

S.B

Edited by stevenbecker
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The quote from T. H. Jameson, Captain RMLI on the lower part of page 112 is from White Russian awards to British & Commonwealth servicemen during the Allied intervention in Russia 1918-1920 by Ray Brough.

On page 111, it lists a grand total of four RN ratings awarded the Cross of St George. I take it that the rating mentioned at the start of the thread is not on that list?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 hours ago, Keith_history_buff said:

four RN ratings awarded the Cross of St George.

That raises another problem: are we looking for a St George Cross "for undaunted courage" or a st George Medal ("For Bravery" awarded for merit in combat)?

As an example , the list of St George awards to the RNAS armored cars (1916) shows both Cross and Medal awards (all 4th Class) for combat operations:   https://sites.rootsweb.com/~pbtyc/RNACD/RNACD_Russian_Awards1.html

I can find no equivalent 'hot' actions for AGINCOURT and TRIDENT in 1917.

Captain JAMESON RMLI was awarded the DSO for Siberia.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

Brough, pg 111 has the following

St George Cross 4th Class

Mate Stanley JENNE

Gunner Alfred John MALLET  [Alfred James Mallet born Manchester 23 Nov 1874, O.N. 354347 ?]
     MD LG 12 Dec 1918 White Sea

216778 Petty Officer Joseph Henry OBORN
     MD LG 12 Dec 1918 White Sea

228007 Leading Seaman Herbert WHITCOMBE
     MD LG 12 Dec 1918 White Sea
      

 

There is a Stanley Fauvel Jenne, born 4 Aug 1895 in St Helier, died Q1 1961 in Surrey. He appears on the 1911 census with his widowed mother, he is an engineering apprentice. I would have thought he would have been too young to have been a Mate in 1919. His Official Number is M6673.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In these listings, what is the meaning of the "MD LG" for each? I can guess the date/location references some action or incident, but does anyone know what occurred then/there?

As said, it's interesting to me that some lower ranks received this award. The only circumstance I can think of with my grandfather is that there is his own indication of having been posted to various sentry duties whilst in Russia around this time.

I get also that people say "...he probably picked up the ribbon/medal as a souvenior..." but he was not by all accounts that sort of guy. In fact he shunned his whole wartime experience for the rest of his life (never marched, never rejoined comrades, never celebrated it, etc, etc). so there's just this strange fact of his medal ribbon bar having this in place.

Thanks to all.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

MD LG means Mentioned in Despatches and the date of the London Gazette, in this instance the Fifth Supplement to the London Gazette of Tuesday the 10th of December 1918, issued on Thursday, 12 December 1918.  The names of Gnr. Alfred John Mallett RN,  P.O. John Henry Oborne O.N. 216778 (Po) and Ldg. Sea. Herbert Whitcombe O.N. 228007 (Po) appear on page 14684.

Arm's. Mate Stanley Fauvel Jenne, O.N. M6673 (Po) was Mentioned in Despatches as per the London Gazette of 17 January 1919; so far I have found nothing that hints at a Russian award. 

Graeme

   

Link to comment
Share on other sites





Stanley Fauvel Jenne
Aboard HMS M25, with the Dover Patrol from 18 Jan 1918 to 31 July 1918
Aboard HMS M25, depot ship is HMS Glory from 1 Aug 1918 to 30 Sep 1918 in Murmansk, North Russia
As above, from 1 Oct 1918 to 31 May 1919


John Henry Oborne
Aboard HMS M25, with the Dover Patrol from 16 Feb 1917 to 31 July 1918
Aboard HMS M25, depot ship is HMS Glory from 1 Aug 1918 to 30 Sep 1918 in Murmansk, North Russia
As above, from 1 Oct 1918 to 31 Mar 1919

At Portsmouth from 1 Apr 1919 until demobilisation on 12 June 1919
Recipient of a Distinguished Service Medal, so it would appear from his certificate of service.

 

Herbert Whitcombe
Aboard HMS M25, with the Dover Patrol from 1 Sep 1915 to 31 July 1918
Aboard HMS M25, depot ship is HMS Glory from 1 Aug 1918 to 30 Sep 1918 in Murmansk, North Russia
As above, from 1 Oct 1918 to 31 Mar 1919
Associated with HMS Glory IV from 1 Apr 1919 to 16 June 1919, thereafter demobilised. 


Gunner Alfred John Mallet
Service record is believed to remain in the custody of the Ministry of Defence

Aboard HMS M25 since 22 Mar 1918, as per the Navy List.

Image courtesy of Ancestry

 

 

 

 

Gunner Alfred Mallet.PNG

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For what it is worth, this passage from my book gives some explanation for why a number of Imperial Russian decorations for service in North Russia 1919 were awarded but never presented, it is relatively common to find reference to soldiers who were awarded a Russian decoration but received the ribbon only, there being no actual medals to award in a remote corner of Russia during the post-revolution period. Production of Imperial Russian awards ceased after the abdication of the Tsar in 1917 but continued to be awarded by various White Russian provisional governments across Russia.

186.jpg

Edited by wrightdw
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The following letter from the mother of an Australian North Russia volunteer who died soon after his return to Australia is kept in his AIF record:

“I am holding the ribbon of ‘An order of St. George’ that he won in Russia. But up to date have received no medal to attach to it…I am particularly anxious about the Russian decoration as my deceased son thought such a lot of the ribbon and also he was anxiously waiting to get the medal or whatever form the decoration takes…So Sir in conclusion I fervently hope you can furnish me with same as I desire to hold it as a treasure and honour."

Of course the actual medal was never received so the mother was left with the ribbon only.

 

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
×
×
  • Create New...