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Canadian Merchant seamen in WW2


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Thanks James. I recall hearing somewhere that the canadian merchants where somewhat overlooked compared to other branches, even though their task was every bit as dangerous and important as those in combatant roles. Regards, Chris B.

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  • 5 years later...

This medal was picked up on ebay from a canadian seller - cant be sure the Merchant Navy recipient was Canadian too though

Here's his medal record at National Archives (U.K.) http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documentsonline/details-result.asp?Edoc_Id=4511198&queryType=1&resultcount=1

Only 17 when the war ended.

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That looks like U.K. Boots naming.

I believe only the War Medal was named, and name only (it's been years since I had one, but I think they were engraved, or at least very lightly impressed). I seem to recall that the M.N. was retroactively made eligible for the C.V.S.M.

In 1995 the Government of Canada belatedly allowed all Canadian merchant mariners the right to wear the Canadian Voluntary Service Medal

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In 1995 the Government of Canada belatedly allowed all Canadian merchant mariners the right to wear the Canadian Voluntary Service Medal

By which time many of them were dead! Made the whole issue of pensions moot [and therefore cheap] from the government's perspective. A great shame, as many of the men on the Murmansk run, for example, had as hard a war as any of the PBI and many air and naval crews.

My father-in-law was a radio operator on a tramp steamer, in Aden when the war began, and torpedoed in the Bay of Biscay, one day short of England. he took that as a sign and came home to Canada, where he joined the Air Transport Corps, later `Ferry Command`, and flew back and forth across the Atlantic and as far as India.

Though he was in fact an employee, not a serviceman, he qualified for the 1939-45 Star, CVSM and War Medal. What I`m not sure is whether that eligibility dated from the war years or later, as he only applied for them many years later ^- at my urging, in fact.

Edited by peter monahan
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