No Africa Star - Why? Update: Help with Records received

Discussion in 'Service Records' started by alimason, Jan 19, 2011.

  1. alimason

    alimason Junior Member

    My grandfather was in 8th Army during WW2.

    I have his medals and also small collection of photo's he took in various places such Italy, Egypt and Beirut. His was awarded the following but no Africa Star ?? Why was this ??

    1939-1945 Star
    Italy Star
    Defence Medal
    1939-1945 Medal

    Ali
     
  2. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

  3. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    My grandfather was in 8th Army during WW2.

    I have his medals and also small collection of photo's he took in various places such Italy, Egypt and Beirut. His was awarded the following but no Africa Star ?? Why was this ??

    1939-1945 Star
    Italy Star
    Defence Medal
    1939-1945 Medal

    Ali

    He may not have been in North Africa when there was fighting there.
    Here's a link to what criteria needed being awarded the Africa Star.
    Ministry of Defence | Defence For... | Veterans | Medals | Africa Star
     
  4. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Alimason -
    all depends on when he was there --- in Monty's command !
    Cheers
     
  5. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Hello Ali and welcome to the forum.

    I've moved you thread from the 1940 section to Africa so it gets seen by the chaps interested in the African Campaign.

    Like Tom says you would need a copy of his service records first to confirm if he fits the criteria.

    The criteria I believe is within this thread:

    Distinctions for War Service (1939 - 1945)

    Good luck

    Regards
    Andy
     
  6. Phaethon

    Phaethon Historian

    Hi Ali, Do you know who your Grandfather served with? Or have any uniform photographs for identification purpopses. That might provide us with some information to answer your question.
     
  7. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    Ali

    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! <http://www.bbc.co.uk/ww2peopleswar/stories/67/a2612567.shtml>)
    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 !

    Ron
     
  8. spider

    spider Very Senior Member

    The Africa Star was granted for operational service in North Africa from the date of the entry of Italy into the war on 10 June 1940, up to the date of the cessation of operations against the enemy in North Africa on 12 May 1943.

    This medal is awarded for a minimum of one days operational service in North Africa, west of the Suez Canal between 10 June 1940 and 12 May 1943 and in Syria between 8 June 1941 and 11 July 1941.

    The Italy Star was granted for operational service on land in Sicily or Italy at any time during the campaign from the capture of Pantellaria on 11 June 1943 until 8 May 1945, the date of the end of active hostilities in Europe.

    There was a 1 (one) month gap between the North African and Italy campaigns as far as medal eligibility goes.
     
  9. alimason

    alimason Junior Member

    Thanks very much guys for all the feedback. I am currently awaiting his service record from Glasgow which I'm told can take up to 8 months...it's been 5 months already so fingers crossed I should hear back soon.

    I do have some photos that Grandpa took during the War and I will scan and post them on this forum asap. There is one picture which we never asked him where it was taken but it was couple of photos of a very young Crown Prince who my Grandpa was tasked with guarding in his royal Palace.

    Thanks

    Ali
     
  10. alimason

    alimason Junior Member

    Hi

    Just wondered if anyone could advise on this..last year I applied for my Grandfather's service record from WW2. Sent all the necessary forms and fees to Glasgow, recieved a letter dated 20 September 2010 saying it could take up to 8 months.

    Anyone had similar ? Or is it likely to take 8 years!!?

    Thanks

    Ali
     
  11. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Ali
    That's pretty much the norm.

    Remember that they are not only dealing with historical applications, but also those from current service personnel and sadly in all too many cases from their families. These take precedence over any other matters.

    This is why it is advisable to apply as soon as research is begun. Not to get your hopes up too high, but sometimes records can arrive sooner than expected.
     
  12. RJL

    RJL Senior Member

    I applied for a relative's service record in January and was told that it could be 12 months before I hear anything
     
  13. ramacal

    ramacal 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA Patron

    I applied for a relative's service record in January and was told that it could be 12 months before I hear anything

    I've had that quoted to me as well.
     
  14. alimason

    alimason Junior Member

    Ok I will have to be patient...

    I don't suppose they are of any interest but have posted couple more photo's from his album..one taken in Egypt and the other in uniform was taken in Beirut. The group shot was in Italy

    Ali
     

    Attached Files:

    dbf likes this.
  15. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    Thank you for sharing the photographs.

    Glad to see you have a result for the photo identification.

    Regards
    Tom
     
  16. paulcheall

    paulcheall Son of a Green Howard

    My Dad was awarded the Africa Star with 8th Army clasp. If anyone wants to see apic of it click here. Dad was in N Africa with the 6 Green Howards and knew several East Yorkers because he sailed with them on the Queen Mary. I've been trying to work out whether a pal of his, John Bousefield, should have got the clasp too because they fought at Wadi Akarit on 6 April 1943. John was killed by friendly fire. His actual medal is here - no clasp. Looks like it should have been awarded.

    The Africa Star was granted for operational service in North Africa from the date of the entry of Italy into the war on 10 June 1940, up to the date of the cessation of operations against the enemy in North Africa on 12 May 1943.

    This medal is awarded for a minimum of one days operational service in North Africa, west of the Suez Canal between 10 June 1940 and 12 May 1943 and in Syria between 8 June 1941 and 11 July 1941.
     
  17. Oldman

    Oldman Very Senior Member

    It could have possibly come with a clasp and got lost, the only way to tell would be to contact the people who issue the medals they would have it on record.

    I am sure a member of the forum can point you in the right direction
     
  18. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    Ali

    Have a look at Peter G's excellent site: British Gallantry, Orders, and Campaign ribbons.

    As others have pointed out a serviceman/woman's record sheet will show the dates that matter, i.e. wh,en he was first posted to the Middle East and then one simply follows the criteria set out by the authorities.

    It should be fairly simple to purchase a reproduction 8th Army clasp.

    Ron
     
  19. Cracker1

    Cracker1 Junior Member

    My father was intitled to the Africa Star, he served in the East Africa
    campaigns. My late father in law also was awarded the Africa Star. Don't know where he served. He was in the BSAP. British South Africa Police.
     
  20. alimason

    alimason Junior Member

    Hi guys

    Update!!

    I have received Grandpa's service records (at last) and his campaign medals were listed as follows :

    Defence Medal (which I have)
    Italy Star (which I have)
    1939-1945 Star (which I have)
    War Medal (which I have)

    Africa Star with 8th Army Clasp (I don't have)
    France Star (I don't have)
    Germany Star (I don't have)

    I am keen to obtain copies of these (possible??), also the servide records take some reading, I'm sure there must be a list of abbreviations somewhere!

    Any help gratefully received

    Ali
     

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