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Wounded soldiers should be awarded British Purple Hearts


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Hi Guys,

Came acros this whilst surfing the net, thought it might be of interest......

SOLDIERS wounded in conflict zones such as Afghanistan and Iraq ought to be awarded a Purple Heart-style medal to recognise their sacrifice in battle, according to an official report.

The plan, presented to armed forces chiefs last week, is one recommendation in a review commissioned by Gordon Brown to find ways of boosting respect and recognition for serving soldiers.

The review, headed by Quentin Davies, a former Tory MP who defected to Labour, will also recommend that there should be public award ceremonies for all those receiving military medals, including those for bravery. They would be expected to wear their dress uniforms and a military band would play.

The American Purple Heart medal dates back to 1917. In Britain ?wound stripes?, sewn onto a soldier?s uniform, were awarded in the two world wars but the practice has fallen into disuse.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article3511911.ece

What do you guys think? Personally I think its a good idea, but the problems this will create are endless. One being how far back are they going to issue it from? Unless they just limit it to the `War on Terror`, maybe?

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The British Military had a "Wound Stripe" circa WW1 which was, I believe faded out circa WW2

from general issue, perhaps it would be an idea to reinstate a similar award in cloth or like the

original in metal and clipped to the lower forearm or sleeve.

There should be some form of recognition for wounds received in the service of ones country,

and it does not have to be in the shape of a "medal".

Kevin in Deva :cheers:

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The US Purple Heart as it now exists was "re-created" in 1932, not 1917.

This idea seems to arise from time to time over there and never goes anywhere. :banger:

Given the CRAP handed out as medals these days, joining most nations of the world in making another crappy low bidder designed by talentless clods wound medal really should not be put off any longer. Stripes and uniform insignia are all very nice but cannot be worn in civilian clothes by retired veterans.

There seems to be some sort of cultural impediment, summarized as "but nobody gets wounded voluntarily, so we shouldn't make a fuss about something that just happens, old pip" but-- nobody "decides" to be BRAVE either, until put on the spot in immediate mortal peril. Recognize the result already.

For us, Birthday Party/Anniversary Gongs seem much (much) less worthy-- and yet have long historical tradition.

Even a distinctive emblem on the ribbon of each relevant campaign medal would be SOMETHING VISIBLE.

Just get off the pot and DO it, Britannia!!!!!!!!

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I certainly agree with some form of recognition, but, as BigJar says, it can get a little tricky. "What is a wound?" It's usually pretty obvious, but I remember a guy in Viet Nam getting a Purple Heart when he hit his head on a supporting timber while running into the bunker while under rocket attack. It's probably not a war story he tells often down at the pub.

Some of us joked about them as "Inefficiency Medals" - being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Not trying to detract from anyone's contribution; just making the distinction between bravery (Bronze / Silver Star or Military Cross) and bad luck.

So, recognition, yes, but maybe not another cheap-screw gumball machine medal.

I'm sure I'll get feedback.

Hugh

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I agree with Kev, if they're going to issue something it should be along the lines of the wounded stripe. There's no need to copy any kind of medal from another country. Canada reinstated the wounded stripe so if we're going to copy someone, let it be them.

Robin, the SWB or Silver War Badge was mainly issued to anyone discharged under King's regs. for illness or wounds, I believe the majority were issued to men leaving due to sickness. My g grandad received one for pneumonia during the Great War and also the cheaper made non silver version during WWII, only I don't know the reason for his discharge the second time.

Tony

Edited by Tony
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Hi Guys thanks for all your replies. I was reading Soldier mag (August), it appears that this medal has been authorised, but it is only going to be awarded to soldiers who get killed, there will be nothing for the wounded. It remains to be seen what this medal looks like whether it`ll be named or not. I just hope that they do it justice, and don`t have some crappy thing that is an insult to the family members who`ll recieve it.....

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A medal or similar re those killed seems a reasonable idea, & has precedent eg the Canadian "Mothers Cross", the WWI death plaque, & the one the one the UN awards (& which is too difficult for me to remember).

A medal for the wounded? A badge seems a better idea to me, like the old German wound badges, or an emblem for a medal ribbon.

Would they be back dated? Would I get one for the stitches I got to my bonce in 'Derry in 1974?

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Yes, I agree a badge is a better idea, a medal seems more like a prize for doing something good; I also think about 3 more things, that shouldn?t be awarded for stupid things like the one I read about a guy who hit his head, they also should have a date or the campaign name where it was and also other versions depending on the severity of the wounds.

have a nice day friends...

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The British resurrected their wound stripe for wear on the left cuff for WWII, it just seems strange that it was knocked on the head only a few years after WWI.

Indian wound stripes - worn on the right breast due to the absence of long sleeves on some orders of dress?

What would the dislike of wearing them on the right breast be down to?

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Indian wound stripes - worn on the right breast due to the absence of long sleeves on some orders of dress?

What would the dislike of wearing them on the right breast be down to?

Exactly. Almost all orders of dress worn during the war were short-sleeved. No place to put them.

The right breast business was just seen as silliness, something else to bother with, and I have never seen any evidence or heard any accounts that it was even done. The order was just ignored. (Though people got their wound stripes.)

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Speaking as a former soldier, I would prefer not to advertise that I didn't duck fast enough! Never really been in favour of "enemy marksmanship awards" although I can see why some nations/people like to mark that someone put themselves in harm's way to the extent of being, er, harmed.

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  • 2 weeks later...

bit off topic but interesting from my family's point of view,my great grand dad was a regular at the start off ww1 and at the end of 1914 had is left leg blown of by a mortar shell(he said this was the best thing that ever happened to him!) but until the British army issued those wounded pins he kept having women handing him white feathers!!! one incident though was amusing, while in Blackpool a women handed my great grand dad a white feather but this time his wife was with him and from what i heard about her you did NOT mess with her and ended up chasing the other women down the street while hitting her with her hand bag!! :lol::lol: :beer:

Edited by paddywhack
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Speaking as a former soldier, I would prefer not to advertise that I didn't duck fast enough! Never really been in favour of "enemy marksmanship awards" although I can see why some nations/people like to mark that someone put themselves in harm's way to the extent of being, er, harmed.

Perhaps in some armies they need to distinguish between wounds received in action against the enemy, from wounds received from their own side!

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Perhaps in some armies they need to distinguish between wounds received in action against the enemy, from wounds received from their own side!

Hallo James :beer:

While "Blue on Blue" situations do occur, and thankfully are rare, I find the above comment not to have been carefully

too well thought out.

Point 1: Can you imagine a Department of Defence / War Office authorizing for wear the issue of a medal or insignia

for a tragic mistake made by their Armed Forces?

If such event was to occur in training or at home, statistics show its a very low number per Anum,

so the cost of producing the "award" in such low numbers would no doubt be a factor against it.

If the wounded service member, through his or her negligence was the cause of the accident would they be entitled to receive it? If no, then this still lowers the statistics per anum of those eligible.

Would military personnel involved on a military exercise who were involved in a non-weapons related accident be eligible for the award, (i.e. vehicles over turn, crashes occur, etc..etc..) if so the n a different ribbon to denote wound (injuries) from accident on exercise or home service.

Point 2: We have seen in modern times soldiers of various nations joined together on campaigns, including service with the United Nations, would such and injury / wound received while in U.N. service (basicaly Peace-keeping) be considered for the award, particularly if it was caused by members of another countries military?

With some of the tragic occurrences in Iraq, Afghanistan etc..etc.. do you really think it would foster good relations between the various military personnel if soldiers were sporting a:

"I was wounded by ____________ (fill in blank country as applicable) Medal?

Personally I think not.

Also, would there be a retro award of the medal to past serving members of the military going back to, lets say WW2, Korea, Malaysia, Vietnam, Aden for example.

"Blue on Blue" accidents, especially in the "Fog of War" are part and parcel of the game played by the "Sons of Mars".

Kevin in Deva. :beer:

Edited by Kev in Deva
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Kev,

If awards for 'blue on blue' injuries are not going to be made, the effect is going to be obvious to anyone who meets a soldier with injuries. Those with an injury and wearing a medal = enemy action. Those sporting wounds and no medal = blue on blue.

One has to ask oneself, is the purpose of the award to recognise the injury undergone or to recognise who was doing the shooting?

Cheers,

James

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Kev,

If awards for 'blue on blue' injuries are not going to be made, the effect is going to be obvious to anyone who meets a soldier with injuries. Those with an injury and wearing a medal = enemy action. Those sporting wounds and no medal = blue on blue.

One has to ask oneself, is the purpose of the award to recognise the injury undergone or to recognise who was doing the shooting?

Cheers,

James

Sorry James, :beer:

but I totally disagree, the purpose of an wound medal is to identify the soldier as being wounded,

it has not the purpose to point the finger of blame.

Wound and no medal = civil accident, work related accident, sports accident.

The way the Civil Service work with regards cost, would also ensure it will never happen as there is just not enough

blue on blue incidents to warrant it.

If the soldiers wounds are so severe they would be medically discharged.

Kevin in Deva. :beer:

Edited by Kev in Deva
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