Pte. T. Kennedy, KOSB awarded DCM or not?

Discussion in 'General' started by kenmorrison, Jul 17, 2016.

  1. kenmorrison

    kenmorrison Junior Member

    A bit of a puzzle.
    My local newspaper, the Dumfries and Galloway Standard, on 18 January 1941 reported that two men had been awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal.
    One, James Morgan of the 5th Seaforth Highlanders, I can trace in the London Gazette but the other, Thomas Kennedy of the 5th King's Own Scottish Borderers, I cannot find.
    He had in fact died (of natural causes) on 30 December 1940 and is buried in Dumfries.
    CWGC record him as Private Thomas Kennedy (3188733) 5th KOSB.
    The newspaper reports that he was the son of Mr & Mrs David Kennedy of Springholm and that he was a member of the Dumfries Territorials. (the 5th was a TF Battalion)
    Springholm is a village just to the west of Dumfries and he is named on the village War Memorial.

    My question is, would the award have been withdrawn/not made because of his death?

  2. AndyBaldEagle

    AndyBaldEagle Very Senior Member


    I have a bit of knowledge about gallantry awards. If he was killed in the action for which he was recommended then he would only be eligible for the VC or a Mention in Despatches.
    However if the recommendation had gone through before his death then it is possible he may have been awarded it, as I have seen some documentation where awards have been back dated even though the recipient has been subsequently killed.

    I have done a very quick search on the national Archives search engine using the name Thomas Kennedy and the reference WO 373 (which is the file for gallantry awards) and come up with 5 possibles. Unfortunately none seem to be your man.

    Sorry to not be of much more help

    CL1 likes this.
  3. kenmorrison

    kenmorrison Junior Member

    Thank you, Andy.
  4. amberdog45

    amberdog45 Senior Member

    Hi Ken, you say he died of natural causes. Have you seen his death entry? I did a check on Scotlandspeople and there's no deaths recorded for that name 1940 to 1941 in the Dumfries area. I would have thought with his death date of 30 Dec, his entry would have appeared in 1941. Did he die elsewhere and the body transported home? There are 19 deaths recorded for the same years all over Scotland.

    Edit: I see his CWGC entry doesnt give an age for him either,%20THOMAS
  5. kenmorrison

    kenmorrison Junior Member

    Hi Mate. Thomas Kennedy died of "heart failure" in the Church of Scotland canteen in the High Street, Dunbar, East Lothian at 10.15 pm. on 30 December 1940. Usual Residence Springholm Village.
    He was 20. The death was registered (on 3 January 1941) by his Company Commander - so he was still a serving soldier.

    In a very odd (and so far unexplained) co-incidence, two other KOSB men are named on the same death register page.
    Both died at 4.00 pm on 31 December 1940 of "gunshot wounds of the head" at St. Margarets, Dunbar.
    David James Boyd Thomson of Galashiels and Thomas Robert Johnson of Northumberland.
    I've never been able to get the story of that sad event.

    amberdog45 likes this.
  6. amberdog45

    amberdog45 Senior Member

    Hi Ken, can you post the full page from the register? That's peculiar about the deaths on the 31st.
  7. kenmorrison

    kenmorrison Junior Member

    Sorry Mate but there is a crown copyright issue.
    I could do a transcript but I've already provided the essentials.
  8. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    What crown copyright issue would that be??

  9. amberdog45

    amberdog45 Senior Member

    Hi Ken, see when you select the entry at Scotlandspeople, the line where you choose whether to open it or saving it, is there a line below mentioning 'RCE'? If so, that would indicate there is Procurator Fiscal entries attached to the entries. If 'RCE' is there it costs another two credits to see his notes. I was just curious whether the incidents on the 31st had called for his intervention.

    But then again, with it being military, perhaps the military conducted their own investigation during the war years. I'm not to certain of the protocol during the war.
  10. kenmorrison

    kenmorrison Junior Member

    TD - From the web site:
    "Copyright Conditions
    All indexes and digital images included on this website are covered by Crown copyright and can only be reproduced with the written permission of the National Records of Scotland (NRS)
    For the avoidance of doubt, no permission is given for the transfer of any of this material this material to an open internet site."

    Amber - There is an RCE for Thomas Kennedy's entry. The only material difference is that his "Usual Residence" has been changed from Bowmont House, Bowmont Terrace, Dunbar to Springholm Village, Castle Douglas.
    There is no indication that the Fiscal required any other investigation and there no notes against the other two entries.

    To explain a little, there is no Coroner in the Scottish legal system, so no inquest.
    There is a Procurator Fiscal who can instigate an investigation into a sudden/suspicious/unexplained death but only if he/she considers it necessary. During war time (in my experience) such investigations were rare.

    For the other men the details are that on 31 December 1940 at 4hr. 0m. P.M. at St Margarets, Dunbar, due to gunshot wounds of head, seen after death by A. Burness, MB. Ch.B.

    David James Boyd Thomson, Designer and Private KOSB, age 23. Father: James Boyd Thomson, Baker. Mother: Isabella Robertson Thomson, M.S. Cossar. Death registered by the father of 17 Stanley Street, Galashiels, on 1 January 1941 in Dunbar.

    Thomas Robert Johnson, Coal Miner and Private KOSB, age 23. Father: George William Johnson, Coal Miner. Mother: Lily Jane Johnson, M.S. Dawson. Death registered by father of 20 Dean Road, Sheepwash, Choppington, Northumberland, on 2 January 1941 in Dunbar.

    Thomson Pte.3193075 and Johnson Pte.3192468 5th KOSB

  11. amberdog45

    amberdog45 Senior Member

    Thanks Ken, I thought that might be the case, especially during the war years.

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