Question relating to France/Germany Star

Discussion in 'Service Records' started by RobM, Sep 21, 2020.

  1. RobM

    RobM Member

    This year I have been researching my grandad's time in WW2 which included Royal Artillery and later Royal Engineers in UK (based in Marchwood), Burma and India. I've read the war diaries at Kew but waiting on full military record. We know much of his movements from the war diaries, photos, release book etc.
    My mum applied for his medals earlier this year - 1939-45 Star, Burma Star, Defence and War.

    It has come to our attention that while working in the Royal Engineers in IWT as a barge engineer in 1944 he was regularly in the channel and operating in full support of the troops in France. We are unsure without the full records at this time whether he made the full crossing and spent time in France. My mum saw that the France/Germany Star was also awarded for service in the channel if it rfully elated to the support of ground troops in France. We wanted to know if we get this evidence whether it is seen to be the right thing to even think of applying for that medal given others were awarded this for being in action in this countries. What is the general thought on this ? We would like to honour his memory and service not get into some, get as many as possible charade. So I am of the opinion that unless we can have evidence that he physically served on the continent we should not. Any opinions ? thanks Rob
     
  2. Temujin

    Temujin Member

    If he was entitle to it (met the criteria) I would definitely apply for the medal. This Gov website helps you apply
    Apply for a veterans badge or a medal

    and you can also contact the MOD if you have questions or need help with the application

    email dbs-medals@mod.gov.uk.
     
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  3. Richelieu

    Richelieu Well-Known Member

    I don’t think there is a right or wrong answer - if your grandfather’s service qualifies then I see no difficulty. Remember the Channel remained a hazardous place long after the initial assault phase. e.g. the loss of the Belgium troopship Leopoldville on Christmas eve.

    The warrant provided that the France and Germany Star was available for:

    51. Sea-going Service

    (i) The qualification for army personnel posted for duty in sea-going vessels (para. 7) in direct or close support (i.e., within visual contact) of land operations is “entry into operational service,” as for service on land, e.g., service in Merchant Navy vessels transporting troops, stores, etc., at ports in connection with operations.
    (ii) “Casual entry” into the qualifying sea areas, will not be a qualification.

    So any claim is likely to turn upon the evidence that you can adduce to satisfy the “direct or close support (i.e., within visual contact) of land operation” requirement.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2020
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  4. RobM

    RobM Member

    Great, this is very clear and criteria seems very fair.
    I need to do a little more research before making the decision whether to apply.
    Thanks guys
     
  5. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic

    Not sure what you mean by 'apply'. You stated in your first post that your mum had already applied for his medals so you don't need to apply again. The MOD Medals Office will check his Service Records and decide which medals to award - you apply for his 'medals', not 'medals by name' as that's the MOD's decision. I'm not sure whether there's an appeals process if you question their decision. The MOD will then send any appropriate medals provided, of course, that they haven't been sent before (they can only be awarded/sent once except under very exceptional circumstances).
     
  6. RobM

    RobM Member

    Thanks for the clarification. t I understand it better now. Yes, mum is awaiting the assessment, decision and medals, understandable delays due to COVID.
     
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  7. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic

    Can take a long time anyway (my late father applied for his in mid 1981, he died in December 1981 and the medals arrived in 1983 so too late for him to see them). Hopefully it's a lot quicker now anyway!

    The Defence Medal also might be a grey area - while my dad had the ribbon awarded just post-War (I've still got it and have a photo of dad wearing it), when the medals arrived in 1983 they were missing the Defence Medal. It turns out that only (in his case) Army service is recorded on his Service Records and nothing before/separate to that; that meant that dad didn't quite qualify on the basis of his Service Records (combination of when enlisted and when he went to Normandy) and his prior Auxiliary Fire Service etc records are 'lost/no longer available' as I wouldn't know where/how to look anyway....and hence why he wore the ribbon but didn't receive the Defence Medal from the Army Medal Office. My solution (personal decision based on best way ahead for me) is that I simply bought a replica Defence Medal to 'complete his set'. I suggest you look for a photo of your grandad wearing his immediate post-War uniform as that could also help you if you need to query the MOD's assessment.
     
  8. RobM

    RobM Member

    Thanks for the advice. As luck has it medals turned up today including the Defence Medal fortunately grandad was in ARP (recorded in 1939 register) and Home Guard then Royal Artillery here in UK before the Royal Engineers. The medal office have been very helpful and professional, very reasonable turn around given COVID of less than 5 months and within 3 months of when they wrote and gave mum the reference number. We have queried the no Burma Star as we know he was there and we have proof of his attachment and movements in Burma via the Kew army war diaries. That RE company was seldom documented and they arrived Q1 1945. That's the interesting fact of individual military records I've seen similar records that state deplaned India xx date then depart xx date with no reference to Burma although they were there for quite a while ! We'll see but I am confident we have enough proof and he was actually there for 6 months.
     
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  9. RobM

    RobM Member

    Is a great shame about the loss of some of those records you mentioned. As you say a personal decision and as you are aware he met the eligibility criteria then I agree. His post war suit was stolen from his house soon after being discharged. He took the family on holiday to Kent coast in May 1946 after returning from far east late March and when he got home it had been nicked and to make matters his job had not been kept open. Real sacrifices back then.
     
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  10. Wobbler

    Wobbler Well-Known Member

    Out of curiosity, did the France/Germany Star arrive with the group after all, Rob?
     
  11. RobM

    RobM Member

    No, I think there would not be enough evidence to justify awarding him this. If I find with further research he was definitely due then I will contact the medal office at that point. It would mean I would need concrete evidence of him working in France on the Mulberry rather than at Marchwood or in the channel.
     
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  12. Wobbler

    Wobbler Well-Known Member

    Good luck with the research and with the Burma Star too.
     
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  13. RobM

    RobM Member

    Thank you very much ! Have a great day
     
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  14. Wobbler

    Wobbler Well-Known Member

    You too.
     
  15. RobM

    RobM Member

    I'm pleased to update that the MOD medal office have now informed us that they are awarding the Burma Star to my grandad. Fantastic news.

    It has been an interesting week as I managed to connect with a famous 100 year old WW2 Royal Engineers veteran via Facebook groups and he gave us a much better idea what a barge engineer did and that the majority of the time was likely spent on the motorised vessels. I think it is unlikely I will pin down too much more until I get the full military records from Glasgow as I have cobbled everything else together from old company photos, company names on back of other photos and his release book etc
     
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  16. Wobbler

    Wobbler Well-Known Member

    Marvellous news, Rob, and what a week. I’m chuffed to bits for you!

    Martin
     
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  17. RobM

    RobM Member

    The family are so happy the MOD Medal Office did a great job and e-mailed me the news.
    I phoned my mum and she was so happy she screamed, cried and then said I'm having a sherry (at 11am) haha
    She was at home as a kid when grandad was away in Burma and then India so it means a lot to her.
    Thanks for your message mate ! Rob
     
  18. Wobbler

    Wobbler Well-Known Member

    Hope she enjoyed the sherry.
     
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