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Remembered Today:

A Very Full Medal Card - I'm Confused!


Willywombat
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The attached is the MID of Pte 9979 A Boswell, 1st Bn, Royal Berkshire Regiment.

He was the officer's servant to Lt GFM Hall, 1st Bn, Royal Berkshire Regiment, who died of wounds at Loos on 28th September 1915. The officer's service record contains witness statements as to the circumstances of the officer's death, and it appears that he received a thigh and lower leg injury shortly after getting over the parapet and was removed to a dugout. He died shortly before the trench was overrun by the enemy.

Boswell, it appears, did not know that his officer was dead, and thinking him still wounded, went out that night with a doctor and stretcher-bearer to try (unsuccessfully) to find him. For this he was recommended for the DCM (although I can find no trace of him in the LG).

The MIC states "MID forfeited". Could it be that he got an MID instead of a DCM for his actions (seems likely to me)?

There are also other annotations i don't understand next to his medals.

Was he a naughty boy and forfeited his MID as a result? Can this be done? Is it an unusual occurrence?

Anyone more experienced at interpreting these cards able to help?

Thanks,

Bob.

post-12738-1155247430.jpg

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I think it actually reads "Med Forfeited" as the note by the BWM & Victory Roll Reference reads "Not To Be Issued";The note by the Star Reference appears to read:"issued & not returned"

There is no reference to "Emb" {Oak Leaf Emblem} which one usually finds on Cards with an MiD ,also he has no seperate MiC relating to the award of a Mention.

He is not listed in R Walker's DCM Recipients 1914~20 under any of the Regiments on the Card.

A look @ the actual Medal Roll pages might clarify why the Medals were forfeit

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You are right! Many thanks.

Have members come across instances where medals have been forfeited before? I take it it must be for a disciplinary reason?

I know gallantry or long service/good conduct etc. medals can be forfeited, but I didn't know about campaign medals.

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Loads of instances! Usually some disciplinary reason or other.

I recently saw an Old Contemptible who lost his full set of medals as he wandered off after the war had finished but before he was officially demobbed, probably as he couldnt see the point in carrying on in the Labour Corps. Served for years before the war, in France from August 1914, etc, etc & lost the bl**dy lot, having been classed as a deserter :(

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The most common reason was probably as Steve stated; Desertion,but most Military "Crimes" could & often would result in the loss of ones Medals{or rather them being forfeit before you even got them!}

One of the advantages of accquiring Medal roll pages ,against just the index Card is that with around 10~15 other names per page examples of these sometimes show up.

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Just as a form of 'crime' collateral: a friend who ended his days as a WO2 in the Royal Military Police 'forfeited' his LSGC (though not his NI and Kosovo UN Medal) when his ex-wife made allegations that he had been violent towards her. Whilst this was investigated (he was completely cleared) he had to surrender his 'rooty gong' and take down its ribbon.

Innocent until proven guilty. Mmm.

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Hello

Pte Cooney of the Coldstream Gds deserted several times during the war - lost his DCM and 14 star as a result - got them back mind

Ian

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29955 Sgt William Fraser of the 1st Battalion, Liverpool Regiment forfeited his 1914-15 Trio for 'Fraudulent enlistment', despite winning the DCM and Bar, MM and Bar. However, they seem to have been reinstated under 'A.C.I. 75 of 1921'.

Regards

Gavin

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so he didnt forfeit the decorations ?

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Years ago when I collected medals I acquired a Queen's South Africa 1899-1902 (1 bar) to a private in the 3rd South Staffs Regiment who had gone "over the wall" with a mate in May 1902, just before the end of the War.

He was classified as a deserter in the "Oaklands" SAFF Casualty list. I also found his service papers at the National Archives, which ended abruptly and had "DESERTED" scrawled all over them in blue crayon.

I must have checked the Medal Roll but cannot now recall whether it mentioned the inevitable forfeiture or indeed any subsequent restoration; however the medal was perfectly genuine & even had a contemporary ribbon brooch for wearing!

On a more WW1-related tack, I recall being told by a Shot At Dawn researcher back in the early 1980s that in the well-known case of Sub-Lieut. Edwin DYETT, his service medals were definitely issued to the family.

LST_164

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Hello Willy

The awards for the 1st Berks for the attack at 2.30 am on 28th September 1915 were:

Lt A Turner VC

A/Sergeant Walter DCM

L/Corporal A Brooks DCM

Pts W. Sparrow & P.Combley had their Court Martial sentences quashed for their bravery in the attack :ph34r:

There were no MIDs awarded for the attack.

The recently published history of the Batallion by Ian Cull does not record any MID being awarded to Boswell in its listings of awards so it seems to have been unconnected with this action.

If Boswell was recommended for a DCM but not awarded then he would have received a Divisional Recommendation Card.

Regards

Mel

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Willy

Here is a snippet from Cull's account:

' At 11.30 pm on 27 September, 1st Royal Berkshires received orders to mount another attack on Fosse 8 at 2.30 am. The men were scattered in working parties, and the ground was completely unfamiliar to the Batallion' who would be attacking in darkness. Captain Radford went to Brigade Headquarters and pointed out these facts, but a message was sent back from Lieutenant General Gough, the Corps Commander, stating that the attack was imperative and must go on.'

The attack was senseless and completely futile. Fosse 8 (a slagheap) was heavily fortified and had withstood three days of assault by a whole Division. The Batallion had only three hours to re-group for the attack and were simply mown down with 13 officers and 265 ORs casualties.

There is a poignant group photograph of one platoon with ten survivors bearing a placard "All that's left of us".

Regards

Mel

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Thanks to all!

I'll have a look at the medal roll next time I'm at Kew and see if that comes up with anything. I wasn't surprised Boswell didn't get his DCM - it was only a mention in his statement on Hall's officer's service record.

Bob.

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