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Everything posted by SemperParatus

  1. Peter, thanks for your input on this, I was hoping you would make an appearance in this thread as I know you are an authority on the topic. As for RCMP files held in the archives, here is what Library and Archives Canada has to say on the topic: So no record found for CM Wood in the archives does not necessarily mean Cpl CM Wood did not exist. As for his purported Regimental Number 1788, it was in use from 1885 to 1887 by a James Mason who died of medical complications. My "hunch" when I purchased this medal was that the man was on some sort of exchange in a training capacity. The two agencies being similar in nature. A Corporal in the RNWMP was a NCO rank after all.
  2. Glad to hear about the credible sources, thanks Peter!
  3. Not yet, I don't currently have access and was hoping someone who does may help me in that regard. Cheers
  4. SemperParatus

    Help finding information of WWII Italian Officer

    I'm happy to help. I've done a lot of research from Canada on my Italian great grandfather and grandfather who fought in WW1 and WW2 respectively as well as their brothers, with barely being able to speak the language. It's taken me years but I more or less have their entire service history. I'm at work right now but will be happy to provide you with wh8ch archives to contact in Italy for help on this. As for the 7th Infantry... The Italian army had compulsory military service, and to help forge a national identity (modern Italy was confederated in the 1860s) typically filled line regiments with men from two different regions, gave the brigade a name of a region and then headquartered it an a different region from both it's name and from where the men were from. For example my great-grandfather from Molise was in the Parma Brigade and stationed in Genoa. The powers that be thought that would help their countrymen stop thinking as regional peoples (Calabrian, Genovese, etc) and start thinking as Italians. (In my personal opinion, units with regional or local identities have a higher esprit de corps and perhaps this explained some of Italys poor reputation on the battlefield... But I digress) Due to the above reasons I found it very difficult to find out where my relatives served but I eventually accomplished it, so there's hope for you yet.
  5. I imagine the same. Does anyone know of a medal roll or other way to see which organization he belonged to? Were students of the University of Edinburgh known for any specific civil defence/aid organization? Does anyone have an orbat for RADFORCE or know of a way I could determine which unit Smelt was posted to in Aden?
  6. Hey everyone, I managed to pick up this interesting little group at a local antique market in Toronto this past weekend. It is a group to named to Wing Commander C.M.E.(sic) Smelt RAF (the Defence Medal is unnamed as issued, and the GSM with Radfan Clasp is named). It is paired with miniatures. This is a couple of firsts for me - my first British GSM, my first RAF medals, and my first medals to an officer. Officers, thankfully, are much easier to research. I'd be happy to learn how he earned his Defence Medal and of more details related to his service during the Radfan Campaign (role, unit, location, etc). Here are some photos (click to enlarge): What I have so far: Charles Michael Casterton Smelt was born around 1923. Son of Captain William Anthony Casterton Smelt O.B.E., a first war pilot of the Royal Naval Air Service, Royal Air Force and late Captain of the Essex Regiment. While Charles was growing up, his father William served in high level financial positions with the British North Borneo Company in British Borneo. During the Second World War, Charles attended medical school at the University of Edinburgh, and qualified for the Defence Medal. His father William, interned by the Japanese Occupation of British Borneo, survived and was awarded the Order of the British Empire for services during internment. Charles Smelt graduated in 1946 with a Bachelor in Medicine (M.B.). Smelt was granted an emergency commission into the Royal Army Medical Corps, and on 26 May 1949, was made a Lieutenant on a short service commission. On 8 May 1950 Smelt was promoted Captain. Smelt retired on 28 July 1953, but remained on strength of the Regular Army Reserve of Officers. On 25 Sept 1954, Smelt was appointed to the Royal Air Force Medical Branch, and made a Flight Lieutenant. Smelt by now was also a Bachelor of Surgery (Ch.B.). Smelt was again promoted on 5 July 1955 to Squadron Leader. Seven years later, Smelt, now alson a Doctor of Public Health (D.P.H.) was promoted to Wing Commander on 5 July 1962. In 1964, Smelt served in the Radfan Campaign and the beginning of the Aden Emergency. Upon leaving the military in the late 70's, Smelt emigrated to Ontario, Canada, where he became a staff doctor in the Emergency Department of the Cornwall General Hospital. Smelt also worked as a Civilian Medical Officer in the Canadian Forces and as a physician for a company named Modern Industries. Smelt died in 1999. From to the London Gazette: Appointments to Short Service Commissions. R.A.M.C. From Emerg. Commn. to be Lts: C.M.C. Smelt, M.B. 26 May 1949. - L.G. 1949.06.09 Extract from the RAMC Journal. Royal Army Medical Corps. Promotions. To be Capts. (Short Serv. Commns.): Lt. CMC Smelt M.B. 8 May 1950. - L.G. Extract from the RAMC Journal. Royal Army Medical Corps. Short Service Commission. Capt. CMC SMELT, M.B (402282), retires with a gratuity, 28th July 1953. - L.G.4114 1953.07.28 Royal Army Medical Corps. Regular Army Reserve of Officers. Capt. CMC SMELT, M.B. (402282), ceases to belong to Reg. Army Res. of Offrs., 25th Sept 1954, on appt. to RAF (Medical Branch). - L.G. 696 1955.02.04 Royal Air Force. Medical Branch. Notification amended. 14th Dec 194 (p. 7063, col 2) concerning Charles Michael Casterton SMELT, M.B., Ch. B. (503951) for (Seniority 1st May 1948) read (seniority 5th Apr 1948). - L.G. 1533 1955.03.15 Royal Air Force. Medical Branch. Promotion. Flight Lieutenant to Squadron Leader. CMC SMELT, M.B., Ch.B. (503951). 5th July 1955. - L.G. 4114 1955.07.26 Royal Air Force. Medical Branch. Appointment to commission (Permanent). As Squadron Leader: - Charles Michael Casteron SMELT, M.B, Ch. B. (503951) 5th Apr 1957. - L.G. 3170 1957.05.28 Royal Air Force. Medical Branch. Promotion. Squadron Leader to Wing Commander. CMC SMELT, M.B., Ch.B. (503951). 5th July 1962. - L.G. 5478 1962.07.10 Royal Air Force. Medical Branch. The seniority of Wing Commander C.M.C. SMELT, M.B, Ch.B., D.P.H. (503951), is adjusted to 1st Apr 1962. - L.G. 8809 1962.11.13 And the below information is from the "Deaths" section of the Canadian Medical Association Journal dated 22 February 2000: Smelt, Charles M., Cornwall, Ont.; University of Edinburgh (Scotland), 1946; DPH; Royal Air Force; former staff, Emergency Department, Cornwall General Hospital; civilian medical officer, Canadian Forces; physician, Modern Industries. Died Sept. 23, 1999, aged 76. His obituary, quoting an earlier interview, explained his reasons for moving to Canada: "After retiring from the air force at age 55, I was facing a life of genteel poverty and I thought, 'To heck with that.'"
  7. SemperParatus

    Help finding information of WWII Italian Officer

    This doesn't exactly make sense. If he immigrated to the USA in 1912 then he would have been processed at Ellis Island in 1912, not 5 years later when the US entered the war in 1917. Furthermore he would not have been interned due to the war since he was from an Allied country. Remember, the Kingdom of Italy fought on the Allied side against the Austro-Hungarian Empire and to a lesser extent, the Germans. An American Expeditionary Force was sent to Italy in support and they took part in battles in 1918 together with their Italian allies.
  8. SemperParatus

    Help finding information of WWII Italian Officer

    Hey brother, Not sure if this is your man because it doesnt entirely match up with the story you have so far provided, but it is interesting nonetheless. I found this in a 1912 Bolletion Ufficiale (see post above). Tenente Edoardo BARBERIS of La Morra (Cuneo province), of the 7° Reggimento Fanteria (7th Infantry Regiment) was awarded the Medaglia d'Argento al Valore Militare, the 2nd highest gallantry award, for an action in the Italo-Libyan War of 1911. My Italian is sketchy at best but here is my rough translation of his citation: While withdrawing under enemy fire, was a constant example of courage and fortitude. While wounded, attempted to salvage the equipment of the machine-gun detachment under his command, carrying out one of the pieces on his shoulders while being fired upon by Bedouins. During this glorious action under overwhelming fire, he ultimately laid down his life on the battlefield. Derna, 27 December 1911. I was able to find this thanks to the Istituto del Nastro Azzurro http://decoratialvalormilitare.istitutonastroazzurro.org
  9. When keeping in mind that the George Cross honour was created in 1940, it makes perfect sense for it (and the Defence Medal) to be shinier then the First World War pair. The WW1 miniature pair is not only 20 years older but may have been worn more frequently by the young veteran who may have had a more active social life then when he was older. We can only guess how long the recipient lived after receiving the GC and Defence Medal which may also explain the lack of wear.
  10. SemperParatus

    American (US) Victory Medals

    Not sure how you got that from what I said, I was merely quoting a contemporary book on medals. Thanks for the additional information though.
  11. SemperParatus

    American (US) Victory Medals

    Here is my first US Victory Medal, which I recently won at auction. I wanted one from the Italian Front as it is a particular area of interest for me (unfortunately I also bid on a Vittorio-Veneto/Defensive Sector medal but didn't win). My thanks to previous to johnnymac for the below posts showing who would be entitled to the Italy clasp. As for the Navy/Marine Corps, the regulations for those entitled are: "Italy. - Personnel of the Navy and Marine Corps who sailed from the United States prior to 11 November 1918, regardless of the date of arrival in that country, or the fact that the returned to the United States without disembarking, are eligible for the Service Clasp of that country. (Approved SevNav 5 October 1940)" Source: Decorations, Medals Ribbons, Badges of the United States Navy Marine Corps and Coast Guard (1948). Does any one have a list of which ships and/or Marine Corps units would be entitled? .
  12. But why a KGV DCM? And why a Rosette? Perhaps a bar to the DCM? Pardon my ignorance..
  13. SemperParatus

    Italy / unknown medal / badge

    I thought Hugh was kidding around then I actually looked at the medal..
  14. Sound reasoning Brian, loads of practical explanations for the hat badge on the helmet being used. My examples were merely from Toronto. It looks like William Scully sold these types of hat badges to many Canadian departments. As for the white helmet - I can tell you that Toronto Police practice was to wear white helmets during the summer months.
  15. I'd say based on its length, Canadian. And it would be worn on the Balmoral headdress. I could be wrong as I'm no expert but i was attached to the Black Watch in Montreal in 2005-06
  16. Consistent with the Black Watch
  17. SemperParatus

    Hoarder to Historian

    I'm dying. This is great
  18. What's the Latvian equivalent of Sausage and Sauerkraut?
  19. SemperParatus

    Italian Trumpet Banner

    Well it's a trumpet banner for the 36° Reggimento Artiglieria aka the 36th Artillery Regiment. It bears their insignia. I would search their history for an accurate time frame. It is also laden with insignia of the Italian Royal House of Savoy.
  20. 1928, Patrol Sergeant Scott in Winter Patrol Dress I thought I would share an article here that those who frequent this board may find interesting. It recounts the story of Henry Earl Scott, a Toronto Police officer who won the Military Medal and King's Police and Fire Services Medal for Gallantry - the only Canadian police officer to hold both awards (one Canadian firefighter was also decorated with both). Interestingly both deeds were done without firing a shot and the incidents happened decades apart, though he had long and distinguished service in between. Scott never had children and his memory faded into obscurity until last year when some other research uncovered this interesting man. Here is the link: http://tpsnews.ca/stories/2018/01/remembering-humble-hero/
  21. Left one photo out by mistake, 1934, Mounted Police at the CNE Warrior's Day Parade
  22. I concur that these are cap badges for forage caps (peaked caps). Whereas the custodian helmet (with its larger helmet plate) was in use for general patrol, by the the early 1920's, forage caps were in use for specialized positions such as mounted officers, motorcycle duty, bandsmen, senior officers, and others . By the late 40's early 1950's forage caps were were in widespread use, and continue to be the standard headress for the Toronto Police Service. The helmet plate and the forage cap's badges were the same in design but differed in size (whereas the senior officers wore a different cap badge bearing the City of Toronto's coat of arms). Here are some photos from the City of Toronto Archives: 1920, Three Policemen (The other officers are wearing the winter patrol lambskin hat) 1923, Toronto Police Silver Band at Massey Hall 1924, Inspector Essen Bond (wearing the different cap badge for senior officers) 1926, Motorcycle Division with Chief Draper 1929, Police Promotions - George Smith (the larger helmet plate is apparent) 1949, Police Constables in new Summer Dress
  23. Hi Rob, Can you tell me where you found this picture? Is it from the ICRC Archives? I'm trying to locate photos of 2 interned POW's, Canadians captured at Ypres - Angus Ferguson #28022 15th Battalion CEF and Harry Rainbow #9627 3rd Battalion CEF. Both men were Toronto policemen and the effects of their captivity ruined the rest of their lives (I'm writing a short story that I will eventually link here). I've downloaded some of their documents from the ICRC Archives but I would love some advice on where I can try to find photos of their captivity. What a great thread this is - amazing collections here. Azyeoman thanks for your posts and writeups.