King Edward VIII - Military Cross

Discussion in 'Prewar' started by MyOldDad, Jun 30, 2010.

  1. MyOldDad

    MyOldDad Senior Member

    I heard a casual reference today on the radio that King Edward VIII (later Duke of Windsor) had been awarded the Military Cross in WWI.

    Needless to say I was intrigued to find out a bit more on the subject.

    From wikipedia:

    When the First World War (1914–18) broke out, Edward had reached the minimum age for active service and was keen to participate.[13] He had joined the Grenadier Guards in June 1914, and although Edward was willing to serve on the front lines, Secretary of State for War Lord Kitchener refused to allow it, citing the immense harm that would occur if the heir to the throne was captured.[14]
    Despite this, Edward witnessed trench warfare firsthand and attempted to visit the front line as often as he could, for which he was awarded the Military Cross in 1916. His role in the war, although limited, made him popular among veterans of the conflict.


    I can't help thinking:

    "Edward witnessed trench warfare firsthand and attempted to visit the front line as often as he could, for which he was awarded the Military Cross in 1916"

    sounds a bit weak and demeans the awards to genuine recipients for:

    "an act or acts of exemplary gallantry during active operations against the enemy on land".

    Or am I being a bit mean?

    Does anyone have access to the actual citation?

  2. Vitesse

    Vitesse Senior Member

    Edward Prince of Wales was one of 708 officers awarded the MC in the King's Birthday Honours in June 1916. There are no individual citations in the list published in The Times on June 3rd, which summarises a 45-page London Gazette supplement published the previous day.
    brithm likes this.
  3. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    "When Edward VIII abdicated the throne in December 1936 his desire to marry the American divorcee Wallis Simpson was cited as the main cause but did his sympathy with Nazi Germany also play its part? Today's guest on the podcast author Andrew Lownie believes so and he goes as far as to say that Edward was actively intriguing with the Nazis to engineer his return as king should Britain be defeated. The Duke and Duchess of Windsor had made a well-publicized trip to Nazi Germany in 1937 and even met with Hitler. During the war, Edward was appointed as Governor of the Bahamas in order to keep him as far away as possible from the European theatre and to minimize the risk of him becoming a centre for Nazi intrigue. Andrew has scoured archives across the world and brings new evidence as to how deep the Duke of Windsor's ties with the Third Reich went."
  4. Staffsyeoman

    Staffsyeoman Member

    As initially envisaged the MC could be awarded for services in action or behind the lines. Very few of the latter were given, but the award to the Prince of Wales caused a stink as there were questions as to whether he had merited it, so the practice was discontinued, the Warrant was amended so that future awards were only for gallantry in action. Throughout WW1 awards notified in the New Year's and Birthday Honours were known as "periodic" and did not attract a published citation in the Gazette.
  5. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target Well-Known Member

    I am lightly intrigued by this. Could the list of the 708 officers be displayed on here or at least the ones with surnames beginning with H
    It would be much appreciated.
  6. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member

    If you search the London Gazette for the 1916 Birthday Honours issue you can see the list.

    Uncle Target and Tricky Dicky like this.
  7. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target Well-Known Member

    Gazette seems to be on NA site. I presume that I need to search the London Gazette Archives
    It said access was free then had to sign in haven't been on here for a few years. Got past the new security check but it says the file is not available for download. Am I doing something wrong?
    Also tried London Gazette website cant find the Birthday honours 1916.
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2021
  8. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

  9. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the excellent assistance. Fortunately the man that I had in mind is not on this list. I did a bit more research to find that Col ACW Hobson was for sometime in WW1 Battery Commander A/241 Battery in which he was awarded the MC and bar being mentioned in Despatches on a number of occasions. Whilst Brigade Major RA at GHQ. In Italy April 1918 he shared horses with HRH Prince of Wales who was also on the staff. He retired in 1931 but in 1939 he came back to raise the second line 119th Field Regiment. He was ordered to hand this regiment over to take command of his previous Regiment (Aged 50 ) the 67th Field Regt RA (TA). He was forced into retirement aged 52 after the Axis surrender in Tunisia, moving to the Staff of General Eisenhower in Algiers, completing his service in Allied HQ in Rome at the end of the war.
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2021
  10. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

  11. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target Well-Known Member

    Odd isnt it how soldiers of all ranks have their names changed by popular use. Every mention I have come across, of Lt Col Hobson by his officers and men, called him Cyril . Yet the C in is name is Cecil.
    In the Regiment there were several officers called Gerald so some found their names spelt with a J others with a G and one, who won an MC was Jeff, except for in his official citation.

    Dangerously ill in 1941
    This must have been when he broke his leg in a motorcycle accident in East Anglia. He was replaced by a Regular Lt Col but returned after some time to lead his Regiment to Tunisia, where at the Battle of Guriat el Atach he controlled the Divisional Artillery. The men had great respect for him. After landing in Algiers they marched several miles with full kit from the port to their billets, as their transport had to be off loaded the next day. Many of the men were shattered but he led the way on foot despite his age and having had a serious injury in the previous accident. He retired at 52 but went on to Eisenhower's Staff for the rest of the war and was awarded The American Legion of Merit.
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2021
  12. Staffsyeoman

    Staffsyeoman Member

    Re: Hobson: It's an Army thing. Field Marshal The Lord Harding was christened Allan Francis, but his first CO after he was commissioned from the ranks determined that "Allan" was not a suitable name for an officer and redubbed him "John". Like Sir Charles Portal being known to all as "Peter".

    He signed the Imperial Service commitment 16 December 1912 as a member of 3rd (Worcestershire) Battery TF RFA
    On the War Office wounded list of 26 Nov 17
    Brigade Major RFA TF April 1918; MID for Italy NYH 1919
    He was also a member of a Territorial Army Association board with a TD in the January 1945 Army List (w.e.f. 24 Nov 43) as a Colonel. and was a DL and a JP for Worcestershire.
    He was MID for the Mediterranean 21 June 45

Share This Page