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Single BWM to Royal Artillery

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Hi all,

Here is one of my last pick-ups - a single British War Medal to a 32091 Sergeant William Joseph Byrne, Royal Artillery.

But checking him out turned this medal something very special...

William lost his mother in young age. 1901 census shows him living with his widower father and older sister in Cork, Ireland. Originally from Kings County (County Offaly now). He must been born around 1887.

1911 census don't show him so he must be serving by then.

He entered into France in August 1914 as a sergeant.

1 January 1916 he was Mentioned in Despatched....

16 May 1916 he received DCM for bravery on the field

A year later he received another DCM (A bar on the first DCM)!!! There were only 492 double DCMs for British forces in the Great War. So, a rare entitlement ndeed!

William was promoted to the rank Battery Sergeant Major. Sadly he died in service 7th April 1920 in India.

He is burried in Rawalpindi War Cemetery.

Sadly I wasn' able to find out cause of his death. Also local Irish newspapers do not mention that brave soldier at all.

Pictures of his medal 


Edited by Noor

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Hi Noor

What a good find.

With great story to boot.

thanks for sharing.....




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You may already be aware of this, but Byrne received his DCM. for an action at Annequin on 9 April 1916 (the original citation indicated he was a Sergeant in C Battery, 174 Brigade but this was"corrected" to D/177 in the London Gazette of 17 September 1917).  Actually this correction was a mistake as the war diary for 174th Brigade on 27 July 1916 indicates that Byrne received his DCM while serving with C/174.  His Bar to the DCM was for an action with D/177 at Kytschaete Ridge on the night of 24/25 June 1917.  If you do not have the citations let me know.


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