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peter monahan

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Posts posted by peter monahan

  1. " It was interesting to see that the GSW to the head was actually to the Eye as stated in another document....." 

    I spent considerable time reading Great War personnel records for a writing project I did a couple of years ago and 'GSW' seems to have been a  generic notation on first injury reports - those done by the SBs or Medical Officer when casualties were first treated.  It looks as if it was often used simply to separate 'penetrating wounds' from other types of injury and, in a number of cases I looked at was later amended to indicate whether the damage was done by shrapnel, a bullet or in some other manner. 

    Also, not uncommonly, first diagnoses simply record 'head', 'leg', 'back' and so on, with more specific anatomical notes - 'left thigh' for example, in subsequent treatment notes.


  2. Marcon

    I phrased that badly.  You are correct: a medal awarded to civilians - which is what this is named as - would still technically count as a military award.  I simply had the stray thought that some list compilers would turn up their noses at such an award and not list it.  But perhaps that's fuzzy thinking.  It is indeed a puzzle.

    Still searching and I did find a long list of medals and awards by some of the 'stans' which existed under apartheid.  You can find the listy here and look through it. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_Merit_Medal_(South_Africa)



  3. On 09/03/2020 at 22:42, Bayern said:

    My pleasure, WW1 Indian Army is a special matter of interest for me and is hard to find data about it

    Oh, absolutely.  Many many years ago a friend and I here in Canada formed the 'Indian Military Collector's Society'.  Our first newsletter included hand drawn pictures of badges with 'does anybody know...' queries.  We dropped out early on - careers and families, you know - but the Indian Military History Society is going strong and I think now has 500 or so members, with members drawn from serving and retired IA plus a few British Gurkha officers and lots of interested types like myself. 

    In the old days we had a number of Honorary Members, a status awarded to anyone who had served with the British Indian Army in WWII.  A very knowledgeable group [not me, I'm a dabbler] including General Sir John Chapple, Cliff Parrett and others. It was always my privilege to get the benefit of their knowledge and their generosity with their time, especially in the days when it involved paper, envelopes and stamps!  I assume you know about the IMHS and the The South Asian Military Heritage Group on Facebook, of which Captain Ashok Nath is a mainstay, occasionally has some interesting stuff.


  4. On 06/03/2020 at 20:31, Bayern said:

    Hello Peter ,The use of badges on the pugaree was standard pre WW1 but i suspect that these use was discontinued when the pugaree changed to khaki colour for the field 

    Certainly the paintings and prints of the time suggest that was the case when not on active service.  I'm afraid my views have been coloured now by my fascination with the Great War.  The photos of Indian troops for that period, especially the relatively few taken in the trenches, suggest that wearing shiny metal on the head or shoulders was not encouraged.  Thank you for the correction. :)

  5. "I don't think that this was a Regimental school (for the training of boy soldiers) but, rather, a school for children of the Regiment. "  Oh, I agree.  As you say, by the late if not mid Victorian era, universal schooling - trained workers for the economy - was very much seen as a 'good thing'.  I haven't looked closely at the various Education Acts, though as a retired teacher I probably should.  The essay I mentioned makes it clear that girls were schooled too and suggests that they were given at least a few 'skills' - needlework, for example - as well as the 'three Rs'.

    And I suspect that there were at least a few sons of soldiers who, on reaching enlistment age, said 'Not on a bet!' and opted for civvy street, so they too would have had to have been educated to some acceptable [to local authorities?] standard.

    Fascinating topic.

  6. Hi David

    I'm not sure what help you need.  Not my area at all but if you're looking for an ID, the hammer and sickle obviously say 'Communist' and what I take to be a rising sun at the bottom should be a clue as well.  Chinese?  My hunch, and that's all it is, is Asia rather than Europe.

    That said, it is very crudely made, so it may be a copy of something rather than an original, but I don't know.  Can we see the back as well?  Maybe that will give somebody a clue.  Thanks.


  7. " I want also to comment that the wear of collar badges by troopers or NCOs in the Indian Army wasnt and isnt current, the shoulder title is normal instead .the today "

    That doesn't surprise me, though I didn't know it.  IA uniforms, pre-1947 teneded, if I can generalize, to have far fewer shoulder or collar badges than their British equivalents and even the wearing of badges on the paggris seems to have been largely a post Great War thing.  Many period photos and paintings show sepoys and sowars who are essentially 'unbadged' by modern standards. 

    Shoulder titles were introduced in time for or during WWI and seem to have fallen out of favour again fairly quickly, so I'm not surprised that the Modern IA makes little use of them.  

  8. "Women? In the Royal Marines?"  Puff, pant, red in the face... ;)

    Seriously, that is a great piece of history.  I know that the regiments had regimental schools but in my middle-aged male mind it'as always been ' for the boys... until old enough to enlist'.  But of course there were girls too.  I wonder if their curriculum was different and went beyond basic literacy and numeracy? 

    Seek and yea shall find.  Apparently, the 3Rs plus religious instruction and 'needlework for the girls and younger boys, according to this exhaustive treatise: THE ARMY SCHOOLMASTER AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF ELEMENTARY EDUCATION IN THE ARMY, 1812-1920



  9. "I would almost wager that it was not a Royal regiment, but rather a privately sponsored entity with or without official endorsement."

    As Colonel Havok says, it looks a lot like a Pattern 1881 tunic and Sgt Major [no 'WO1] would make sense.  The painted 'RBR' etc is a classic British Army marking style, from the use of white paint to the shape of the letters/numbers used. 

    I can't solve the 'RBR' mystery but I can't see any reason NOT to think it's British Army issue. :)

  10. The Military Order of  Hospitallers of St Lazarus was founded in 1910 by the Vatican for Greek Orthodox Catholics [principally] and is based on or descended from [you choose] the Crusader era group of similar name.  

    There is an 'Order of the Turtle' which was basically a drinking club for WWII era US fighter pilots.  I suspect the Order of the Tortoise is a descendant or offshoot group. :)


  11. Finally, you will never find the term "Police Constable" mentioned in any UK Act of Parliament. You will find "Constable", but it is never proceeded with the word "Police".


    Personally, I've always considered PC or 'Police Constable' an unnecessary  redundancy. But then I'm an English teacher.  Are there other kinds of 'Constables'?  Not as far as I know.  It's a bit like saying 'RAF Airman' or 'RN Petty Officer'.  

    That said, it seems, as I've always believed [from my reading of British crime novels] that 'Detective Sergeant' was what the army calls an  appointment, as opposed to a RANK.  A Sergeant is no less a Sergeant, but also no more than a Sergeant in rank and service for being appointed Commissary Sergeant or something similar.  But, many such appointees see it as a mark of official approval, which it is, and so wish the full title used.  Human Nature.


  12. On 15/02/2020 at 03:18, lone wolf said:

    Researching OR is very difficult, unless your gentlemen was into a big action which is well documented for civilians.

    Double strikes are indeed clerical errors and these kind of medals turn up time to time in India 

    My thoughts in both cases, especially if both of the 'double issue' are named.  Two lists may equal two medals.  Researching more modern medals is always a challenge and in many places virtually impossible unless, as Lone Wolf says, there is a decoration attached or the action/campaign was a famous one.  Rather discouraging for beginners, as the older more searchable medals are more expensive. :( 

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