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Great War medal bar question?


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I recently acquired this medal bar from a local antique shop but am puzzled by the last ribbon on this professionally made Great War bar.

I believe that the bar consists of the OBE (Military), 1914 Star, War medal, Victory medal, 1939-45 Star, Defence medal and the mystery ribbon on the end.

It has clearly had something attached to it at some stage and the material used is of a rough cross weave khaki colour. The stitching to the rear of the mystery ribbon is black whereas the rest are affixed with khaki cotton.

Any ideas Gentlemen please?

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Interesting.

-- No WWII war medal. Makes one wonder if the 1939-45 Star was self-awarded? A possible, but unlikely set.

-- The final uniform-coloured ribbon would have been used to hold a mention-in-despatches device or, as seems more likely given the group, a King's Commendation for Brave Conduct (rather a rare beast), though this would often have been added onto the Defence Medal.

Nice. :jumping:

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Thanks Ed, I also thought the lack of the 39-45 war medal was odd. Am I right in thinking that the Defence and 39-45 War medal should be awarded together?

Unfortunately the shop owner couldn't remember anything other than the fact that he believed that the bar came from a local family...oh for a surname! :speechless:

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A single Defence Medal is common (Home Guard and such), a 1939-45 Star, DM, and War Medal trio is quite common, a DM and WM pair is quite common, a 39-45 and DM is distinctly odd. But this is possible, given the complexities of the WWII medals which were far greater than the regulations reflect (and those creating the regulations at the time knew this even as they wrote the rules).

And, in some ways, this would be less confusing if the Order of the British Empire (no way to know which class, but the width suggests to me a CBE) were civil rather than military.

Chronologically, I think the DM came along AFTER the WM (I'm talking decisions, not formal Army Orders), so it doesn't seem to be a matter of chronology. If it were only the 1939-43 (later 1939-45) Star and a ribbonless MiD, we could easily give ths ribbons a date.

These ribbons, I think, tell a very interesting tale! :jumping: And I do love puzzles, even if :banger: !

Edited by Ed_Haynes
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The War Medal was instituted AFTER the Defence medal - The Army Orders of 1945 makes no mention of a War Medal only the stars and Defence medal. It is possible that it is a bar constructed just after the AO announcement and prior to the institution of the war medal.

Also MiDs awarded in WW2 - I have a letter sent during the war to a recipient (Military) which. amongst others state :

The enclosed Bronze Oak leaf Emblem is issued by command of the King for wear by those who have been awarded a Mention in Despatch or a Military Commendation which has bneen published in the Lnndon Gazette for Brave Conduct during the war.

The emblem is to be worn on the uniform coat, jacket, blouse etc immediatley AFTER medal ribbons. It will NOT be worn on the ribbon of any exisiting decoration but will be attached directly to the coat etc in the position in which a single ribbon would be worn, or in the position in which a ribbon would be placed immediately after those already worn.

I think that hte move of the MiD Emblem to the War medal came with the institution of that Medal.

Ralph

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As to the order of wearing, it seems possible, perhaps even likely, that the wearer of the ribbons mounted them himself (khaki ribbon) or had someone mount them to his specifications (the other medals) in the order in which he preferred them. Unless he stayed in the forces after 1945, there would be no one who could compel him to mount them "the right way" and I certainly know of members of the Royal Canadian Legion, both WWII vets and former UN peacekeepers who say "Stuff the regs, this is how I'm wearing them!" many of them also wear Legion awards, and not always on the right breast either.

Many years ago I owned a lovely group to a senior Viceroy's Commissioned Officer in the Indian Army cavalry. he had served on the NW Frontier (1 medal, 2 bars) and in WWI in Syria (3 medals). He had also represented his regiment at the Diamond Jubilee celebrations in London in 1895, for which he was awarded the Royal Victorian Medal. In at least 2 photos he is shown, still a serving officer, wearing the RVM in last place!

While the RVM is technically an 'order' by Her Majesty in person(as part of the RV Order) a 'been there' medal from the Queen Empress, possiibly bestowed by Her Majesty in person, was less important than his campaign medals.

My tuppence worth

Peter

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Prior to 1983 the Order of precedence was that the RVM was worn AFTER Campaign/Coronation Medals. It was then changed that it took precedence before the BEM (and consequently Campaign/LS/Coronation medals).

Groups worn before 1983 are thus correct showing the RVM at the end of the ribbon bar.

Ralph

Edited by Ralph
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Prior to 1983 the Order of precedence was that the RVM was worn AFTER Campaign/Coronation Medals. It was then changed that it took precedence before the BEM (and consequently Campaign/LS/Coronation medals).

Groups worn before 1983 are thus correct showing the RVM at the end of the ribbon bar.

Ralph

Absolutely!

It is always sad (or worse) to see groups or ribbon bars forced into an order of wearing (or, for that matter, style of wearing) that was not in use during the period. While it is scarcely from from problems, Tuson's Medals will be Worn should live close at hand.

Edited by Ed_Haynes
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What is wrong with the mounting order untill the issue of the 1939/45 war medal the MiD placement is quite correct.

John

Actually, I don't see anything wrong with the order of the ribbon bar, just the curious absence of the War Medal (on which I accept Ralph's theory).

The whole order of wearing issue was, I thinbk, just wandering :off topic: (but fun).

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The 39/45 Star and Defense PAIR was also, as dim memory serves, authorized for members of civil defense etc (Defense) who had taken part even as civilians, for 1 day in the Dunkirk evacuation (39/45 Star).

In these sew ons, the same little pair was given to me when I was a child by a teacher's father who had taken his small boat back and forth across the Channel evacuating troops in 1940. He was an air raid warden before and afterwards.

So I'd offer as a possibility that your bar was an old Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) type who'd done the same thing with his motor launch. Home Guard maybe? Did they get the War Medal?

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I do not think that Civilians qualified for the award of the 1939-45 (or any other star) for service during the Dunkirk Evacuation. One Day's service qualified for service in France 10 .05.1940 - 19.6.40 but only if part of or attached to a miltary formation for duty.

Members of certain Civilian Organisations were eligible for Campaign Stars but it was a condition without exception that memebrs of these Civilian Organisations were full time workers, were in Uniform and satisified the conditons appropriate to military personnel.

Ralph

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I only have the 4th edition of "British Battles & Medals" (because I am ancient) but the Merchant Navy brief version specifies that "Service performed during the evacuation of Dunkirk also qualified." That is left dangling as if the 6 months afloat ALSO had to be met, but I have distinct childhood memories that such did NOT apply to the valiant Little Navy and for those civilian heroes only the "one voyage through an operational area" was needed.

I think CIVILIAN regulations are not found in the MILITARY rules. I seem to recall people wearing nothing BUT the 1939/45 Star-- which certainly looks odd. (Same might be said for the US WW2 Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal which was given, as well as to the obvious military recipients, to ALL civilian internees-- including BABIES born in a Japanese prison camp.)

The same source also says that a 39/45 star was granted immediately and without any further considerations of service to anyone who had received any decoration, MID, or King's Commendation. That also goes along with the uniform color "non ribbon" on the officer's bar starting this thread.

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The 1939/43 Star was awarded to boat crews who went to Dunkirk.Several from my old hometown(Burnham-on-Crouch,Essex) who went over as crews on Seasalter,Vanguard and Jolie were awarded.

If I remember correctly they had to sign RN Articles coming under RN command at Ramsgate before making the trip.

John

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The 1939/43 Star was awarded to boat crews who went to Dunkirk.Several from my old hometown(Burnham-on-Crouch,Essex) who went over as crews on Seasalter,Vanguard and Ma Joie were awarded.

If I remember correctly they had to sign RN Articles coming under RN command at Ramsgate before making the trip.

Going on memories Len Salmon skipper of Seasalter could have received the DM for service with the AFS,Dick Cooke in the Home Guard.Walter Amos on Ma Joie with the RN River Patrol as a full time senior rate could also received the WM

John

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  • 2 weeks later...

I think Ralph is right on! The 1939-1945 War Medal was awarded to all full-time armed forces personnel who served for more than 28 days and the 1939-1945 Star was awarded only to military personnel who served (with a few exceptions) for a period of at least six-months in an area of active operations. This would appear to indicate that it would be impossible for a civilian to have either of these awards or for a bar with a 1939-1945 Star to not have a 1939-1945 War Medal. Gunner 1

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