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Geoff Reeves

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  1. Good news! I know my luggage will be slightly heavier on the way home from Jacksonville now...
  2. This is a decision I'm having to face right now. My Grandfather served in the British Army from 1906-38, his full group is DCM, 1914 Star trio, and LSGC. He volunteered, at the age of 52, for active service in September of 1939. His health wasn't good (he'd been a POW in the first war for over 4 years - Oct '14-Nov '18) but he was accepted anyway. He was posted to Margate as the RSM of an RASC training depot but died, on active service, in mid-January 1940. My Grandmother remarried a Canadian soldier during the war and came to Canada so my Grandfather's medal entitlement was not checked. I decided to look into it and wrote away to the proper authorities and this past February his WW2 entitlement - a single War Medal, arrived in the post (68 years after he qualified for it)! Now the dilemma I'm facing is whether or not to mount it with his original medals. Had he survived the war this is what he would have done, of course, so I'm leaning towards doing that now. Haven't decided either way yet as there are good arguments on both sides of the issue.
  3. That's an interesting point, Leigh. I'll have to check his service file at home. It does state, however, his medal entitlement, and the 39-45 Star is not listed so someone didn't think he was entitled. If the transit time from Canada to the UK and the UK to Italy did count, it might not have amounted to 20 days (probably didn't) but it would make the story more interesting, in that he missed qualifying for the medal by an even smaller margin.
  4. I have one such "quirky" group. Lyle Orval DUVAL enlisted into the RCAF in early 1943. He was training as flight crew when, for some unknown reason, he remustered into the infantry in late 1944 (volunteered or volun-told?). Duval arrived in England on 9 December 1944 and, after a period of training, was appointed Lance-Corporal and posted to the Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment in Italy. He arrived in Italy on 7 Feb 1945, thus qualifying for the Italy Star and "starting the clock" on his 39-45 Star. At this time the H&PER, along with the rest of the 1st Brigade of the 1st Canadian Division, were readying themselves for the move to Northwest Europe. In fact, the bulk of the regiment left Italy in late February, but Duval remained until the 10th of March, probably as a member of the rear-party. Duval arrived in France on 12 March 1945, qualifying him for the France and Germany Star and he, along with the rest of his regiment, began the long tough fight to liberate Holland. With the war over, Duval was struck of strength of the H&PER in the field on 16 July 1945. He left England on 6 August 45 and arrived back in Canada on the 7th of September. He was discharged from the Army in May 1946. He rejoined in August 1950 and was posted to the 2nd Battalion of The Royal Canadian Regiment. He went over to Korea with them in May 1951, was wounded by gunshot in July - returning to duty after a period of convalesance (2 RCR saw quite a bit of action during their tour, particularly at Chail-li and the Songguk Spur). Duval returned to Canada in May 1952, with the rest of the Battalion, and received his final discharge in August of the that year. Back to the question of his 39-45 Star: Duval arrived in the area of operations on 7 Feb 1945 and left it on 16 July 1945 - a total of 160 days - 20 days short of qualifying!
  5. My Great-Uncle, Lt. Alexander Cunningham STARMER has nearly an identical group. He went over to Africa as a Corporal with the 2/15th Infantry Battalion (9th Division) and was a Sergeant during the siege of Tobruk and an A/WOII at El Alamein. Shortly before the 2/15th returned to Australia to train for New Guinea he was commissioned and won the MC near Finschafen, New Guinea in September of 1943. His medal group comprises the following: Military Cross, 1939/45 Star, Africa Star with 8th Army Clasp, Pacific Star, Defence Medal, War Medal, Australian Service Medal Citation for his Military Cross, from the London Gazette of 2 March 1944: Unfortunately I don't have a photo of the group yet but it is still with his daughter in Queensland. Here's a photo of him shortly after the war:
  6. A very nice medal, indeed, Enzo! While terms such as "rare" and "scarce" are used all too often in our hobby, I think it is safe to say that your MGS with "Egypt" clasp to the Malta Pioneers falls into that category. The latest (7th) edition of British Battles and Medals lists only 6 medals claimed (all with the Egypt clasp as Leigh mentioned earlier). Remember, also, that not all medals from that era have survived through to today - you, potentially, have a unique piece there.
  7. Great bar, CR! I remember when you pulled that one out of your bag at the convention. I'd say, between that and the screwback Wound Badge - you did pretty well for yourself in Houston! Great meeting you too... Geoff
  8. Hi Kevin: Major Thomas' MSC citation can be found here: http://www.gg.ca/honours/search-recherche/...msd&id=3662 In fact, all recipients (both military and civilian) of Canadian Orders and Decorations can be searched from this page. Most listings include the citation. http://www.gg.ca/honours/search-recherche/index_e.asp
  9. Just a note on the Defence Medal - West African service actually DID count towards it. "British Battles and Medals" by Major L.L. Gordon (if you only ever own one book on British campaign medals - this should be the one) states that:"Service in the United Kingdom Forces in West Africa, Palestine, and India would count for the award of this medal...". I'll I'm trying to confirm at the moment is if the RWAFF were considered "United Kingdom Forces" and if so then he certainly qualifies for it. If not then you're right, it was not an are subject to enemy attack.
  10. Some more information we glean from this card (from a source more enlightened on these matters than myself). Under Theatre of War first served in - it says Africa (fairly self-explanatory) and the code 4C. 4 was the code for Africa, but I didn't know that C was the code for Cameroon. So Winward first came to Cameroon on 8 May 1915. Now, Rick, I'm sure you know more about this campaign then I (from the German side anyway ) but I'm told, that at this time, there were still several months of campaigning before this area was secured. Also: it would appear that Winward initially appeared in a Colonial Medal Roll but then was removed from there and entered into the RAOC medal roll (AOC became Royal after the Great War). You can see where it says "deleted from Col/4/4 Correct Entry BW and V roll RAOC 4126" (4126 probably referring to the entry number). See Rick, almost as confusing as those Ranglisten of yours with out the hard-to-read font (just hard-to-read handwriting!).
  11. Rick, here's a copy of Winward's Medal Index Card. The basics of it are fairly self-explanatory. It shows Winward qualifying for the 14-15 Star, BWM, and Victory medals - and it shows where to find his entries on the appropriate medal rolls (and I'm really terrible and decyphring the roll references so I've asked someone to give me a hand with them, I'll post more once I get my answer) As to his medal entitlement, I think we're just about there. Here are the definites in order of precedence: CBE (civil), MBE (military) [worn together because different divisions], 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal, War Medal (for WW2). Here are the maybe's: Defence Medal (WW2 - would be worn between the Victory Medal and War Medal (WW2) and 1937 Coronation Medal (he was invited so you never know - I'll see if there's a way to find out). The definitely nots: Africa General Service Medal and Africa Star. So, we're getting there...you'll have your (accurate) ribbon bar soon enough!
  12. Rick: I couldn't help myself - I just had to know. So, I've downloaded Winward's Medal Index Card and it indicates to me that he was entitled to the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, and the Victory Medal. I believe all 3 will be named to Winward and showing AOC as his unit, but am doing some more checking to be sure. I will post the image of the MIC when I get home from work tonight. At least now, we have a fairly complete view of his medal entitlement. His WW2 entitlement is, at least the War Medal - I will see if he's entitled to the Defence Medal as well - I don't believe he's eligible for the Africa Star, but will double-check that to be sure. Check this space later in the evening...
  13. Hi Rick: Winward would not have qualified as he was a commissioned officer. All of his "acting" ranks were as an officer but he was commissioned to substantive rank (Lt and QM). His time spent as an NCO, I believe, was on attachment so had he served the requisite time, as a ranker, for an LSGC he would have received the British Army LSGC. Hope that makes some sense...
  14. No need to be embarrassed, Chris. The thing of it is - this campaign, while difficult and nasty - did not have an Isandlwana or Rorke's Drift to etch it into the public imagination. There was the Birkenhead disaster, of course, but not many people associate it with the campaign itself.
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