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British Empire Medal found in the Sudan


sabrigade
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http://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_09_2008/post-3034-1222614037.jpghttp://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_09_2008/post-3034-1222613997.jpg[attac

hment=140263:Daoud_Khalil4.jpg]

This medal was also purchased in the Omdurman Souk. With some assistance on the British Medal Forum, I was able to confirm the issue of the Medal in the London Gazette.

"SUPPLEMENT TO THE LONDON GAZETTE,1 JANUARY 1941

Khalil Daoud Ikhwais, Kawass to the District Commissioner,Jerusalem District."

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Amazing medal, couldn't be in better hands! Repeat visits pay off!!

For those who don't know what Kawass (or Cavass) men are, they act as combination way clearers or honor escorts/guards employed (or, formerly, owned) by specific authorities from government officials to powerful families, from religious leaders to consular & diplomatic officers. This profession probably originated in pre-Ottoman or Ottoman days, when other methods of clearing paths through narrow, crowded streets were ineffective. Kawassmen used their batons and strength to clear the way.

Kawass work/activity has largely died out ( among the Jerusalem consular corps in the mid 1970s, only the British and French consul generals still used them). The Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalam still has several. It is impressive to see them leading a procession through narrow Old City streets, usually with the Kawassman heading the procession followed by two honor guards then, depending on visitor rank, the guest flanked by either two or four honor guards. Two honor guards follow the guest. For senior guests, a junior Kawassman follows the guard procession. Kawassmen have staffs or batons (the length, up to about two meters, depends on visitor and Kwassman rank) which they hold vertically and slowly wave from side to side in an arc clearing the path. Traditionally, their processions have the right of way over everyone, including police. To honor important people the procession encounters, the lead Kawassman will either stop waving his staff or deviate slightly from the center of the road.

Edited by 922F
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When it comes to non-British names, the correspondence between the name as rendered on the medal and the name in the London Gazette (saying nothing about the real name) seems to be more variable than usual (and that's saying a lot) when it comes to the B.E.M. Almost all of mine, of course, are to Indians -- military, civil, and merchant navy -- and it can be a challenge matching the medal to the gazette entries (whether LG or GoI), though, strangely, the recommendations are usually pretty good for name accuracy.

I picked up in Delhi a BEM to "Ibrehim Kawas Mohammad" and this researched out to "Mohammad Ibrehim Kawas - Surveyor, Department of Surveys Palestine" awarded B.E.M. LG 12 June 1941. The recommendation is elusive, though probably a retirement gift.

Amazing how Palestinian B.E.M.s seem to travel about the globe.

A nice one you snagged there!

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When it comes to non-British names, the correspondence between the name as rendered on the medal and the name in the London Gazette (saying nothing about the real name) seems to be more variable than usual (and that's saying a lot) when it comes to the B.E.M. Almost all of mine, of course, are to Indians -- military, civil, and merchant navy -- and it can be a challenge matching the medal to the gazette entries (whether LG or GoI), though, strangely, the recommendations are usually pretty good for name accuracy.

I picked up in Delhi a BEM to "Ibrehim Kawas Mohammad" and this researched out to "Mohammad Ibrehim Kawas - Surveyor, Department of Surveys Palestine" awarded B.E.M. LG 12 June 1941. The recommendation is elusive, though probably a retirement gift.

Amazing how Palestinian B.E.M.s seem to travel about the globe.

A nice one you snagged there!

All understood. But your man was a surveyor and surveyors do tend to travel. However, from the very full description given above about the occupation of kawas, one does not get the impression that it called for much travel.

The reason for the differences in names in the London Gazette is largely due to those being responsible for that publication at home having little or no knowledge of the outside world. The biggest problems arise when they try to make lists of people according to alphabetical surname, then make all sorts of incorrect assumptions over Muslim and Chinese names. They then convert them back again to full form with further errors. Now, if someone fills in a form with boxes in it for "given name", "surname" and "father's name" then the room for errors by someone who does not know about particular naming formats is almost endless.

Still, the Western world does not seem to have advanced all that much. After the 9th of September the US immigration authorities started carting away numbers of Malaysians because they used "bin" between their own given and fathers' last names.

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The reason for the differences in names in the London Gazette is largely due to those being responsible for that publication at home having little or no knowledge of the outside world. The biggest problems arise when they try to make lists of people according to alphabetical surname, then make all sorts of incorrect assumptions over Muslim and Chinese names. They then convert them back again to full form with further errors. Now, if someone fills in a form with boxes in it for "given name", "surname" and "father's name" then the room for errors by someone who does not know about particular naming formats is almost endless.

So true. Most most outside Europe, it is a challenge to fit into the European conception of naming structure. The gazette-makers and index makers have just contributed to the chaos. Try every possible order and every possible spelling and . . . maybe . . . .

All pat of the puzzle.

Still, the Western world does not seem to have advanced all that much. After the 9th of September the US immigration authorities started carting away numbers of Malaysians because they used "bin" between their own given and fathers' last names.

Frankly, just being turned down for a visa might not be so bad. The harassment inflicted by immigration and "homeland "security" people to anyone who looks to them "odd" is shameful. And then there is the patriotic mob violence such as has been focused, for example, on Sikhs who, like Osama bin Laden, happen to have beards and turbans.

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9th of September? :unsure:

After having worked for nearly five years in the Middle East and the Sudan, it never ceases to amaze me how items and articles travel and move around.

I am not sure if Daoud was Sudanese and hope to find out more about him.

I have even found a French Order of National Merit, in its case, in the Omdurman souk!

As with names in Arabic, the authority I always quote is T.E. Lawrence, (Lawrence of Arabia) , who wrote in the Seven Pillars of Wisdom :

" Arab names will not go into English, exactly, for their vowels are not the same as ours, and their vowels, like ours, vary from district to district. There are scientific systems of transliteration, helpful to people who know enough Arabic not to need helping, but a wash out for the world. I spell my names anyhow, to show what rot the systems are. "

This is also reiterated by my wife who is a graduate of Baghdad University. She is totally fluent in Arabic but has pointed out the differences in the manner in which Arabic is spoken and written in the Sudan.

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Wil & Co.,

To continue the theme I recently in Riyadh obtained a EIIR BEM, Civil, in its case to:

ABDUL KERIM MOURSI ABOU SHOUK

but to date no success in tracking it down! I will have to persevere.

The name to my mind is not Saudi and the medal may well have travelled from afar.

Owain

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