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Remembered Today:

Clasps and Roses


nhclark
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Pte. J. Watcham of the 2nd Battalion, Essex Regiment, entered into a theatre of war on 22nd August 1914. He was at some stage taken prisoner (his MIC is endorsed "PofWCt" - the last two characters are hard to read), and he later received assistance from the Regiment's PoW fund. He received the Victory and British War medals, and the 1914 Star. In March 1920 he was issued with "1914 Clasps and Roses."

Please excuse my ignorance, but what were "Clasps and Roses" and for what might he have been awarded them?

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Clasp worn on ribbon of 1914 Star when medal was worn, and rose worn when just the ribbon was worn.

Denote being "under fire". Someone will post the exact wording.

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5th Aug.-22nd Nov. 1914 Clasp.

Instituted in 1919 and awarded to those who had operated under enemy fire during this period. The clasp was worn on the medal ribbon. In undress uniform, a silver rosette was worn on the medal ribbon to denote the award.

Cheers

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There is a list of units entitled to wear the clasp and roses. Some units just missed out e.g 9th HLI who missed out by one day because they joined the frontline strength on 23rd November 1914.

There are a large number of fake bars on the market. I think those with sliders are tailor's copies.

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7950 Pte J Watcham enlisted June 1904. To France 22.8.14. Reported wounded in the Times of 9th October 1914 (probably at le Cateau on 26th August) reported wounded again in the Essex Chronicle of 15th January 1915 ( so wounded in late 1914 with 2nd Battalion) and reported wounded yet again in the Chronicle of 18th June 1916. (casualties in those lists were from the 2nd Battalion actions on 2nd and 13th May 1915 - it might be possible to work out which of the two from the relevant Times lists which were daily as against the Chronicle ones which were weekly but I don't immediately have the Times lists to hand). He was reported POW in the Chronicle of 27th July 1917. Some of the POWs in that list were 13th Battalion men captured at Oppy Wood on 28th April 1917. Clasp and roses means entitlement to the clasp to the 1914 star for service under fire between 5 August and 22 November 1914. I think your man qualified!

Regards

Owen

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The Admiralty promulgation of the Clasp to 1914 Star reads: "...to Officers and men who have been awarded the 1914 Star AND WHO ACTUALLY SERVED UNDER THE FIRE OF THE ENEMY IN FRANCE AND BELGIUM BETWEEN (etc)....."

The subsequent notice of issue reads: "...ACTUALLY PRESENT AT DUTY ON SHORE WITHIN RANGE OF THE ENEMIES [sic] MOBILE ARTILLERY...

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Unless the man was dead when the issue was a Clasp

Probably intended that way{as they would not,obviously;be worn as a Ribbon Bar},but many Casualty MiC state both

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Owen, again many thanks. You're right, he certainly qualified. Indeed, I think that the whole family qualified, becasue I think that all the boys but one served in WW1 in one capacity or another. That's what I am trying to sort out.

I think that they were all from Great Bentley, Essex, sons of John Francis Watcham and Emma Chiverton.

John Watcham was, I think, the J. Watcham in the Essex Regiment.

Albert Watcham also served in the Essex Regiment.

Herbert Henry Watcham also served in the Essex Regiment. Herbert was killed in action on 17th June 1916. (See CWGC etc.)

Cecil James Watcham (aka James Cecil) (RNR) died when HM Drifter "Silver Queen" was sunk by German destroyers in the English Channel on 15th February 1918. (See CWGC.)

George Stanley Watcham served in the RNR, mainly minesweeping.

Finally, Walter William Watcham served in the RN on a number of vessels, including the Cornwallis.

They were all distant cousins of my mother. I would like to sort them all out so that I can include them all in a book I am writing on the family; that way they will not be forgotten.

Thanks again,

Noel

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Probably intended that way{as they would not,obviously;be worn as a Ribbon Bar},but many Casualty MiC state both

Are we really certain that Casualties are entitled to the Clasp and Roses?

A colleague recently posted the relevant Army Order on another Thread and there seems to be no provision that they could be issued to a casualty.

I fully understand that theory and practice are completely different.

George

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I have seen plenty of MICs to men with 14 Stars who did not survive the war. If there was a mention of Clasp and Roses on the card, the Roses was crossed out. That, or there was only a note of Clasp on it's own.

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I have seen plenty of MICs to men with 14 Stars who did not survive the war. If there was a mention of Clasp and Roses on the card, the Roses was crossed out. That, or there was only a note of Clasp on it's own.

Arm,

I appreciate what you are saying.The subject is close to my heart as I have both my Uncles' Casualty Star Trios but neither have Clasp or Roses.Their Battalion was "in range" during the relevant period.We've debated before whether the Clasp should have been issued automatically or claimed by Relatives.In my case,my Father was a Policeman working with Men that would have been entitled to the Clasp and Roses so it is likely he would have ensured his Brothers' correct entitlement.I do accept there was room for oversight on his part.Neither MIC or Medal Roll show their issue.

The Thread I am referring to is on the Website Forum entitled "Typo in the Main Site" opened by "Teacher" on 16 December 2006.Grandson Michael has reproduced Army Order Number 361 published 16 October 1919 concerning the entitlement to the Clasp and Roses.

Can you and any other interested Colleague please have a look at Michael's post and decide if my interpretatation of the Order is correct.

TIA

George

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Arm,

582 Pte. John Souness 1/8th Royal Scots DofW 29 January 1915.

20/4208/325002 Cpl./Sgt. George S. Souness 1/8th Royal Scots KiA 22 March 1918.

I was a rather late after thought by my Father :D

George

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George,

I only asked to see if the men were killed in action during the clasp qualification period. I do know of men in that category who have no clasp on their medal rolls or MIC. In the past I have had to explain that a man killed in 1918 was not entitled to a clasp for his 14 Star as he had not been "in range" for the Clasp qualification.

I also know of men in a similar situation where their battalion falls under the category of "in range" but who don't have clasps.

I do know there was an interesting article on the OMRS magazine a few years ago. I don't have a copy but I'm sure some forum members will have it.

Regards

Hugh

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Hugh,

I appreciate that it is possible that my Uncles were not in range during the relevant period.

I've not seen the relevant Appendix that lists the qualifying Battalions but am led to believe the 1/8th Royal Scots qualified.This is supported by an extract from a Medal Roll, I have, which confirms that men who landed in France at the same time as my Uncles applied for and received their Clasp and Roses.It is interesting to note, from the extract , that two of the Clasp and Rose Recipients survived the War and three were discharged as Time Expired in 1916.The only other Casualty listed on the same Page as my Uncles did not receive either Clasp Or Roses.

At the end of the day it is an academic discussion.Even if I can ever confirm that they were entitled to one or both I cannot now apply to the Authorities for them to be issued on their behalf.I would feel a fraud by purchasing copies knowing that their MICs/Medal Roll does not support their "attachment".The Stars themselves are unmounted and are still in the envelopes in which they were delivered and this is how they will remain.

George

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  • 2 weeks later...

Gentlemen, I'd like to follow up some parts of this discussion.

A/S/Sgt Jonathan Watcham of the Army Service Corps, attached to the 2nd Indian Cavalry Division Supply Column in France from 21st August 1914, was awarded the 1914 Star, and the Clasp and Roses. Later the award of the latter was cancelled to just the Clasp. But Jonathan did not die until early 1954.

So, why did he lose the Roses?

Next part of the question. Jonathan was Mentioned in Despatches (supplement to the London Gazette, 1st January 1916). Is there any way that I can find out what for? His service record survived in the "burnt series" and I have a copy; the "Mention" is listed, but no reason is given.

Noel

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Could it have been because he had been "Mentioned in Despatches" and had been issued with the oak leaves emblem for same?

Looking closely at the medal card I see that the emblem(s) were issued (22/12/21) after the Clasp and Roses (26/4/21). The emblem notation is "Em/2/2113" and the "cancelled to Clasp" is "Cl/2/2733."

I still don't understand it though. The Oak Leaves were, I think, to be worn on the Victory Medal ribbon, whereas I presume that the Clasp was for the 1914 Star.

Noel

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