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    Unidentified WWI-era Major-General's coat

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    Hello GMIC,


    I recently acquired a lovely WWI-era Major-General's lightweight summer or tropical tunic. Photos are enclosed. I'm hoping to identify its original owner.


    The thing that's given me trouble is the ribbon bar, which would be the key to identifying who this belonged to. So far, this is what I've figured out:

    Ribbon 1: Either Victoria Cross or Order of the Bath.

    Ribbon 2: Order of St. Michael and St. George?

    Ribbon 3: Queen's South Africa Medal

    Ribbon 4: 1914-1915 Star

    Ribbon 5: Unknown. Looks like the Order of the Crown of Italy?


    It's curious that there is no British War Medal or Victory Medal here. This suggests to me that the tunic was last in wear in between the introduction of the 1914-1915 Star in December of 1918 and the introduction of the War Medal in July of 1919, a relatively short period, although please let me know if I'm wrong to think that. I was not able to find the Army List for the first quarter of 1919 online anywhere, unfortunately, but if anyone knows where to find a version that is searchable by text (rather than by name) please advise. Although the combination of VC/GCB/KCB/CB, GCMG/DCMG/CMG and his campaign medals is probably not terribly unique, I am hopeful I will be able to identify him thanks to the unusual (foreign?) decoration at the end of his bar.


    Can anyone assist me in figuring out what the ribbons are exactly and who wore them?


    Thanks so much,








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    • 3 weeks later...



    Thanks for the information. I think I have all the puzzle pieces now. I've given some thought to the final ribbon and decided it is almost certainly the Order of the Crown of Italy. Sir Ernest Shackleton's ribbons, which were mounted around the same time, have a ribbon that looks about the same from that decoration (ref http://www.christies.com/features/From-the-Land-of-the-Mist-and-Snow-Sir-Ernest-Shackletons-medals-6483-1.aspx). Now time to slowly work through the Army List for the second quarter of 1919 (http://deriv.nls.uk/dcn23/8809/88091116.23.pdf) and see who fits the puzzle!


    More soon, I hope!




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    • 2 years later...

    Why there isn't BWM and VM ribbon? Last ribbon is Canada General Service or Italian Order of the Crown? Anyway, next to the 1914 or 1914-15 Star ribbon there should be British War medal ribbon and Victory medal ribbon and not this one. 

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    This uniform likely has the 1914-1915 Star ribbons but not the other standard Great War ribbons because the ribbons were put on between December 1918 when that medal was awarded and July 1919 when the British War Medal was awarded. The Victory Medal was not awarded until September 1919.




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    • 1 month later...

    It is worth pointing out that it could equally be the ribbon for the 1914 Star, as it is identical to that of the 1914-15 Star (and quite likely a better contender given the officers previous military service and high rank).

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    T S Allen wrote: "The Victory Medal was not awarded until September 1919."

    Can you please give a reference to support this statement. I have examined the documents at The National Archives relative to the design, manufacturing and issuance of the Great War Victory Medal (WO 32/4961 and WO 32/8987) and these indicate that a specimen Victory Medal was transmitted to the War Office on 14 April 1920 and the King approved the award on 16 April 1920.  Due to numerous design problems the first Victory Medals were awarded on 25 May 1920 to the King and eight officers: Lieut. Generals Macready, Clarke, Macdonoch, Wilson, and DuCane, Major General Harrington, Lt. Col. Childs and Maj. Frith.  Please see my three articles on the WWI Victory Medal in the Journal of the Orders and Medals Research Society.

    Obviously the ribbon was available earlier.


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    Hello , the last ribbon could be that of the Italian Order of the Crown . it was awarded to foreigners too . regarding to the owner of the tunic is reasonable to think in a Major General destinated in the British component of the Italian Expeditionary Force sent to Italy after the Defeat of Caporetto. five British Divisions at the peak

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