Africa Star medal why would my dad have this?

Discussion in 'North Africa & the Med' started by pamloganpowney, Nov 1, 2006.

  1. pamloganpowney

    pamloganpowney Junior Member

    My father served in the Royal Horse Artillery in ww2
    l remember he had some medals but the Africa Star stands out in my memory
    Can anyone tell me why he would have this medal and where and when he would have been serving in africa?
  2. Brian C

    Brian C Member

    Hello Pam,
    Check out the website below, it gives a brief description of the Africa star and the criteria for the award.
  3. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

  4. Gerry Chester

    Gerry Chester WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Hi Pam,

    Welcome to the Forum. If you have your Dad's ribbons the Africa Star will have either a silver 1 or 8 on it. This signifies service in 1st or 8th Army and will help narroiw the search for the information you are looking for.

    With best wishes,

  5. 52nd Airborne

    52nd Airborne Green Jacket Brat

    The Africa Star was awarded for entry into an operational area in North Africa between 10th June 1940 and 12th May 1943, but service in Ethiopia, Somaliland, Eritrea and Malta also qualified for the award.
  6. pamloganpowney

    pamloganpowney Junior Member

    Thanks to all who answered my post
    l will look on the sites maybe l can come accross something that rings a bell from bits l picked up from my dad.
    l don't have his medals or war ribbon though l do remember them. My mum made him put them away after finding my brother trying to put them on and pricking himself.
    All l can remember is my dad had very bad feet after them being burned by hot sand.Wether that was from Africa or being in lndia in peacetime on the border l don't know. l would assume Africa as surely he would'nt have been accepted back when war broke out.
    Dad did say he was with the Ghurkas (hope that is the way to spell it) Does that mean anything to anyone?
    He also spoke of having to slaughter his own horse so the Germans would'nt have food. They were supposed to eat them but dad went very hungry for a while as he couldn't do it.
    l don't know what became of his medals. When mum died earlier this year they were nowhere to be found.
    Thank you all so much for all your help l really appreciate it.
    Kind regards
  7. James Harvey

    James Harvey Senior Member

    Hi Pam,

    If you write to the MOD they will send you back a list of what medals your father received, they won't be able to replace them as you do not have a police report/ incident number, but at least it will give you a head start in the research field


  8. Natalie

    Natalie Junior Member

    Hi Pam,

    I have been researching about what my grandfather did in ww2. I sent to the New Zealand war museum for his records and they supplied me with information on the Africa Star.

    In the army is was "entry as part of an establishment into an operational command in North Africa between the 10th of June 1940 and 12th of May, 1943." There is also a clasp that may appear on the africa star - an 8th army clasp - signifying service with the 8th army between 23 October 1942 and 12 May 1943.

    The museaums web site is

    I wish you well in your research and ask which country did your father serve under? I wonder if he may know my grandfather whose name is Stanley Underwood. He served in Egypt and Italy as part of the eight army under commander Montgomery.

    Thanks Natalie.
  9. pamloganpowney

    pamloganpowney Junior Member

    Hi James
    l will try that maybe then l can plot a course of where and when my father went during the war.
    Thanks again
  10. pamloganpowney

    pamloganpowney Junior Member

    Hi Natalie
    Thanks for the help
    My father was from liverpool. England. He joined up there.
    My dad died in 1992 so am sorry cannot ask him about your grandfather
    l would imagine soldiers from all over mixed together at some point but the only ones l remember my dad mentioning were the Ghurka's and what a fierce fighting lot they were.
    Sorry bout that but hope someone will recognise your grandfathers names.
    Best wishes
    Chris C likes this.
  11. frederick gearing

    frederick gearing Junior Member

    interesting to read these comments, i have had my dads army book for a long time and found he received 2 africa stars, not knowing what they represented until i looked up this site. i have only learnt to use the computer the last 6 months, so i have a long way to go. my dad never spoke about the war, and never knew he enlisted in 1927 to 1945. he was with 2nd battalion in the argyll and s. h. and in the tank corp. i have a photo of him and 4 tank crew with their tank.
  12. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Hi Pam, Frederick & all others on this thread

    Welcome Aboard !
    have had my dads army book for a long time and found he received 2 africa stars

    Extremely unlikely, I'm afraid :(

    If we do nothing else on this forum, it is to give authentic info on medals such as the Africa Star and I for one have never heard of this before.

    It always helps us to see scans of records or photos showing the wearing of ribbons. I can also recommend Peter G's website on Medals & Ribbons:
    British Gallantry, Orders, and Campaign ribbons.

    Good luck to both of you !

  13. Wills

    Wills Very Senior Member

    My Late father has North Africa 1942.1943 clasp as did others of the desert air forces - a sliver rosette worn on the ribbon.
  14. Wills

    Wills Very Senior Member

    'CWGC Africa Star' site might be helpful.
  15. mattfelkin

    mattfelkin New Member

    Hi all ! my grandad was awarded the Africa star , but his doesn't have an 8 or 1 on it ? any idea why ? .. he was in the Raoc delivering amunition to the front when he had his knee shot off ,but that's all the information i have
  16. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    I hope this will explain ......

    This might help you to understand how entitlement to a Africa Star was based purely on the date when a serviceman/woman was in a particular area of combat.
    Notice the dates highlit in red.

    Back in the early days of the BBC WW2 website there was a thread running to do with the entitlement of a clasp to the Africa Star, either of the 1st or the 8th Army type.

    I had already posted a photo of my medals to accompany an article and someone spotted (see BBC - WW2 People's War - Stick it in your Army.....Album! <>)
    that my medals lacked the 1st Army Clasp despite the fact that I had written about arriving in Algeria on the 23rd of April 1943 well before the campaign finished on the 12th of May of the same year.

    I was being pestered by other site members with would-be helpful hints of the "you should have received a clasp" variety and so to settle the matter I wrote to the relevant MOD department and received the following reply:

    Dear Sir
    Thank you for your letter received 7 September enquiry as to the progress in your application for the supplementary award of the clasp ' 1st Army" to the Africa Star.
    To qualify for the clasp 'Ist Army" personnel are required to have served between 8 November I942 and 12 May 1943 on the posted strength of. or attached for duty to. a formation or unit which appeared on the Order of Battle of the First Army. I can confirm that 49 Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment (49 LAA Regt) appears on the relevant Order of Battle and so earns the clasp. However, available official documents show that on disembarkation in North Africa you were placed into the unposted reinforcement pool and remained so until being posted to 49 LAA Regt on 22 May 1943.
    You will appreciate that as you only performed service on the strength of an operational unit after the final qualifying date, you are not entitled to the clasp ' 1st Army.
    I am sorry to forward such a disappointing reply
    Yours faithfully
    Officer in charge Division 3

    Although I had realised from day one that I was not entitled to the 1st Army clasp I was still amused to think that although we were subjected to air raids during our stay in Algiers (awaiting posting to our various Regiments) had we been killed our heirs would have been entitled to our medals but sans the appropriate clasp

    Good luck with your research !

    Last edited: Dec 10, 2017
  17. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    I have waited ten years to read the classic - "My Grandfather served in 8th Army - did you know him"…so many thanks Natalie for

    fulfilling my long held assumption….

    Pamloganpowney - just about ALL of the RHA regiments served in Africa and Italy - so choose the one which served with 4th Indian Div
    and delve into that one as they had Ghurkas - or better still apply for his service records from Glasgow and cut out all arguments

  18. mapshooter

    mapshooter Senior Member

    Natalie, RHA only existed in the British Army.

    I assume that the absence of an Army number (1 or 8) would mean belonging to a unit that was not part of these armies. In other words 'theatre troops', this seem quite likely for RAOC, eg a Base Depot of some sort, but would not preclude elements being deployed forward but not under an army command.

    I assume that 'RHA' meant just that and not one of the TA regts that were RHA. If you look at the linked site above you'll note that 5 of the 6 RHA regts served in N Africa, most then went to Italy, one to NW Europe and one to both Sicily and NW Europe, although if I understand the medalling policy they would only have go two campaign medal not the three. Three of them also served in France in 1940. But only 5 RHA were in all four theatres, and one other their batteries earned an Honour Title (as did a battery of 3 RHA, and three other RA batteries). The 'four theatres' units are a very small and select club, apart from 5 RHA I can only identify 3 bns of DLI and an RA regt. However, 1 RHA is probably in the club but their 4 theatres included Syria.

    None of these RHA regts were served in an Indian Division, which is where Gurkhas were in both N Africa and Italy. However, in Italy 1 RHA was part of the independent 9 Armoured Brigade and this bde may have been assigned to support an Indian division for a specific operation.
  19. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Not worth replying to Natalie as she not been here for years.
    Last Active Dec 02 2006 07:11 AM
  20. My dad served in Malta from 1939 throughout the siege before fighting with the Royal Artillery up through Italy. He was awarded the Africa Star and the Italy Star amongst others.
    He was given/awarded a cloth Maltese Cross.
    Does anyone know the reason for this and if it was official can it be sewn onto hisAfricaa Star medal ribbon?



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