WW2 Medal racks

Discussion in 'Searching for Someone & Military Genealogy' started by dbf, Dec 16, 2013.

  1. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Some forum members are actually entitled to wear them, some of you have groups belonging to family members, and some of us also have examples in our collections.

    How about sharing a photo of them here and giving some brief background into service and thereby entitlement?

    This just might help others who are beginning their research, to understand what is behind the medal, and I don’t mean only the criteria.

    Thanks to Bamboo, Ron & Owen for their ideas.

    For an explanation of the individual Campaign medals click link below -
    WW2 Campaign Stars & Medals info thread
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2020
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  2. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    War Medal 1939-45

    I’ll start off with a single WW2 entitlement - the War Medal 1939-45, the minimum campaign medal issue possible.

    These are my Grandfather’s, who served with 1IG in WW1 and who re-enlisted in October 1939 ending up with the rank of WOII. His entitlement was for service At Home with a Royal Artillery battery in Belfast. He was discharged before the end of hostilities owing to his age and so didn’t serve long enough to qualify for the Defence Medal. (UK - 1080 days service)

    (Of course the group is meant to look like this, so no comments about the wrong order, Reverse, are necessary, thank you. :) )

    Last edited: May 26, 2021
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  3. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    My medal rack, seen below "Court Mounted", is a pretty basic one, consisting of the following ww2 medals & stars:

    The 1939-1945 Star
    The Africa Star
    The Italy Star
    The Defence Medal
    The War Me

    As a background to the above and as an example of the type of service required to qualify for these medals & stars, the following index lists my movements in WW2, the dates, in the main, being confirmed by my Army Records as shown in the Photo Gallery.

    October ’42
    Received my call-up papers the week before and found myself posted to the 53rd Primary Training Wing at Bury St. Edmunds for 6 weeks of Basic Training.

    November ’42
    Moved to Whitby in Yorkshire where I was posted to the 52nd Anti Aircraft Driver Training Regiment, R.A to be trained for 12 weeks as a Driver/Wireless Op.

    February ‘42
    Posted to 112th L.A.A. Regiment in Haltwhistle, Northumberland who were just starting a 2 week’s battle training course.

    March ‘43
    I had just started to make friends in my new unit when we moved down South to Hove in Sussex where my Battery’s Bofor guns were protecting the Hove coastline. Then came my first major surprise… we were taken off the strength of the 112th Rgt. and posted to Congleton in Cheshire where the overseas draft REAYK assembled and I first met Lew (Larry) Fox . We were then posted to Woolwich and sent home on 7 days embarkation leave.

    April ‘43
    On the 10th we moved by train to Liverpool, where we embarked on S.S.Frankonia, the troopship that was to take us to North Africa. On the 21st we landed at Algiers.

    May ‘43
    On May the 13th.the war ended in North Africa and on the 23rd I and other men in the REAYK draft were posted to the 49th Light Anti Aircraft Rgt, then stationed at Tunis. I found myself in 84 Bty. From there we went to Guelma and eventually moved into the Hammamet /Sousse area where the Allied Forces were marshalling for Operation Husky, the invasion of Sicily

    June ’43
    On the 23rd, 10 days after the initial Allies landing in Sicily, we boarded ship and disembarked North of Augusta.

    July ’43
    This was a fairly hectic month, our first real sight of the horrors of modern day warfare and it seemed as if we were always on the move. Adrano, Bronte.

    September ’43
    On the 3rd, our guns supported Operation Baytown, the invasion of Italy, and on the 9th we were shipped over the Messina Straits by TLCs to Reggio di Calabria, then on to mainland Italy, Crotone, Bari, Foggia, Termoli.

    December ’43
    In what was probably the severest winter in Italy we found ourselves cut off and bogged down in the province of Isernia.

    January ' 44
    New Years Day 1944 Snowed in at the mountain village of Carovilli. Cantalupo, Agnone, Riccia, Campo Basso, Bagnolia.

    February ’44
    Ortogna, Mignano, Cassino (Regiment responsible for smoke laying beneath the monastery), Caserta, Afragola, San Vittorio.

    March ’44
    Two weeks in dock in Naples and not a wound to show for it

    April ’ 44
    Vanairo, Vanafro, Ceprano, Lake Trasimeno, Rome.

    June '44
    I had a memorable Day leave in Rome. Baschi, Tiber, Frosinone, Taranto. We were pulled out of the line. 78th Div went to Egypt for a month to re-fit and re-form. The S.S.Empire's Pride being the ship that took us to Egypt.

    July ‘44
    Alexandria, (Egypt), Cairo, Ishmalia, Amiryah. S.S.Homer Lee The American ship that took us back to Italy. Augusta, (Sicily) Assisi (Italy), Vasto, Termoli, Sangro, Pescara, Scarperia, Florence, Firenzuolo.

    October ’44
    Sienna, Tavernelle, Naples, Ancona.

    November '44

    December ’ 44
    The 49th LAA Rgt was disbanded and I was posted to the Royal Armoured Corp Training Depot at Rieti for three month's re-training as a Tank Loader/Operator.

    March’ 45
    Posted to “A” Squadron, 4th Queen’s Own Hussars, as SSM “Busty Thomas’s Loader/Wireless Op. Gubbio, Ravenna, Rocciano, Rimini. My first experience of facing an enemy that was actually firing at me….. personally !

    April’ 45
    Comacchio, Traversare, Ferrara, Lugo, Santerno, Reno.
    2-4th April Operation “Roast”, Ray Jefford gets his MM

    May ’45
    Letter from home tells me that Jack has been killed over Nuremberg.
    War ends in Europe on 8th May. Venice, Ferndorf ,(Austria). Set up a POW camp for SS Cavalry Division, Lienz, Spittal Paternion, Grafenstein, Trieben,Villach

    June ’45
    Austria. Unit involved in rounding up War Criminals

    July ’45
    Velden, Klagenfurt,Salsburg,

    August ’45
    Munich, Ulm in Germany. (One month running staging camp for troops going home on leave under LIAP, LILOP & PYTHON).

    September ’45
    Opicina, Trieste

    October ’45
    Peacekeeping between the Italians & the Yugo-slavs in the Trieste area

    November ’45
    Udine, Milan, Brig, Calais, Folkestone,London, (My first home leave since Apr’43) Folkestone, Calais, Milan, (Italy) Palmanova, Trieste,

    May ’46
    28 Days home leave (LIAP)

    Milan, Calais, Folkestone, London, (My second home leave)
    Trieste, (Italy) Monfalcone. Victory Celebrations, 8th June 1946

    July ’46

    October ’ 46
    Now with rank of full Corporal in charge of “A” Squadron Tech Stores
    Milan, Dieppe, Dover London, Dover, Dieppe, Trieste (Regimental re-union with the Colonel, Winston Churchill in attendance)

    January ’47
    Back to the UK to prepare for Demob. Milan, Calais, Dieppe, London, Barnard Castle (Worst winter in the UK in living memory)

    March ’47
    Received notification of impending release in Group 48.

    April ‘47
    Released from RAC Depot, Barnard Castle, York and finally demobbed at York on 12/4/47 Home is now 16a Manor Rd., London N16

    July ’47
    Transferred to Army Reserve

    August ’53
    Finally taken off Army strength


    Attached Files:

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  4. DPas

    DPas Member

    Great post Diane. These belonged to my Grandad. He volunteered in November 1942 when he was 17 and his entry was postponed until the following January. He did his six weeks in the General Service Corps (GSC) and then was in the Infantry Training Centre (ITC) for the Ox and Bucks Light Infantry. In August 1943 he transferred to the Glider Pilot Regiment. He was held in reserve during the Invasion of Normandy and did not end up going. He took part in Operation Market Garden in the Netherlands where he became a POW. He returned home to England in April 1944 and was discharged the following January - 2 years and 2 days after he began in GSC. His medals were as follows

    The 1939-1945 Star
    The France and Germany Star
    The Defence Medal
    The War Medal 1939-1945

    He had a mini-set of the same,

    Here is a picture of them pinned to his blazer

    Medals pics.jpg

    He also received two commemorative medals from the people of the Netherlands - there is an ongoing discussion about these here http://ww2talk.com/forums/topic/51107-arnhem-commemorative-medal/
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  5. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Thank you both Ron and Dave for adding.

    1939-1945 Star, France and Germany Star, Defence Medal, War Medal 1939-45

    These are my Dad's medals, never actually worn as far as I can tell.

    As he lived in NI he was not subject to conscription but volunteered for service in early 1943 at the age of 18. He joined Irish Guards with a friend from his Home Guard unit, and after training they served in the same platoon in the 3rd Battalion. The battalion landed in Normandy before the end of June 1944 and took part in Operations Goodwood and Market Garden, and then on through to Germany and the end of hostilities. Dad was demobbed in 1947.


    This is Dad in Hamburg, wearing his medal ribbons.
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  6. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    I never really knew about my Grandfather when I was growing up as a young boy. My Nan did not keep his medals or any of his effects from WW2, except for his wallet and four small photographs of his time in India.

    I recall that on every Remembrance weekend the atmosphere in our house was tense and not in a good way. My Nan never re-married and so brought up my Mum and her brother completely on her own from 1942 up until they left home. She was a fantastic woman, a leader in every sense of the word.

    In 1987 she was offered a trip to Burma and to Rangoon War Cemetery in particular by the RBL and the War Widows Association. This was a huge decision for her to take after all those passing years, she returned home a different lady, with a weight finally lifted from her shoulders.

    When Nan left us in 2006, I decided to find out about my grandfather and what had happened to him in 1943.

    The first thing I did was apply for his service records and they told me a great deal. The next thing I did was to reconstruct his medal entitlement for my own needs really, but it seemed the correct thing to do.

    He enlisted into the Army in December 1940 and was posted eventually into the 9th Devons and performed coastal defence with the battalion on the south-east coastlines of Southern England.

    He did this for around 18 months before being posted overseas in mid-1942. On arrival in India and after a short stay at Deolali he joined the 13th King's at their training camp at Saugor in the Central Provinces. From late September 1942 he trained as a Chindit and then entered Burma in February 1943.

    He was captured in May that year and perished as a POW in Rangoon Jail, he was buried in the English Cantonment Cemetery, where he lay until the end of the war. He served in the Burma theatre for 342 days. This meant that he failed to qualify for the Defence Medal by just 23 days. The award of this medal was actually stated in his service records, then I presume the Army Clerk checked his maths and struck it off again in pen.

    So his WW2 entitlement became: 1939-45 Star, Burma Star and War Medal. Seen below is my presentation of his entitlement also including his regimental cap badges, his Chindit flash and snuggled in there is a pebble from the Irrawaddy.

    ALH Medals copy.jpg
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  7. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    Unmounted and still in the box.
    I sent off for the medals after my Fathers death.

    Gunner Idwal Lewis Royal Artillery
    Posted 431st searchlight battery 60th searchlight regiment 16/9/40
    Posted to 11th AA driver training regiment 29/12/41
    Posted 8th AA reserve regiment 21/3/42
    Posted to 116th AA regiment 30/3/42
    Posted to 92nd light AA regiment 20/12/44
    Posted to light AA & coast wing depot 8/1/46
    Posted to 12th light AA holding battalion 24/1/46
    Released to Royal Army reserve 16/4/46

    Attached Files:

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  8. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    That is very interesting Clive, about what year would that have been, if you don't mind me asking.


  9. David Layne

    David Layne Well-Known Member

    Here's my Dad's.

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  10. 3mileSnipper

    3mileSnipper Member

    This is Dad's record in brief for his medals;
    11 Jan 1933 Signed up at Durham RA
    30 Nov 1938 Posted to Reserve
    05 Aug 1939 Mobilized
    24 Sep 1939 2 Med. Regt. RA - Posted B.E.F.
    02 Jun 1940 Evac. Dunkirk
    16 Jun 1942 127 Fd. Regt RA - Posted ME {North Africa}
    07 Jul 1943 Embarked for unknown destination (H) Husky, Sicily
    14 Dec 1943 Awarded Africa Star with 8th. Army Clasp
    30 Nov 1943 Embarked for UK
    03 Jun 1944 Embarked Series? 3013 MT. 5 {for D-Day}
    18 Jun 1944 Evac to UK wounded.
    02 Oct 1944 'Y' List Posted 171 Fd. Regt RA
    05 Dec 1944 Posted 127 Fd. Regt. RA - Europe
    20 Jan 1946 UK Class 'A' Release
    28 Feb 1955 Discharged on completion of engagement.

    Attached 1:The bar of medal ribbons should have a small silver figure '8' but it kept getting lost, I must replace it some day. Dad used to make a new one when it disapeared from a coin, not a British one of course. :)
    The picture has been 'modified' by me to show an '8' Only the Africa Star is mentioned within his MOD service records.

    Attached 2:Dad's medals as worn on many occasions, particularly leading the Gunners on rememberance Sundays.
    Dad pictured after a rememberance day parade talking to Bob Fortune. Bob was an officer, rank unknown, either with RA or H. Div. I am ashamed to say I don't know any details, but a friend of Dad's

    Attached 3:Rememberance parade West Hartlepool c1960's
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  11. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    My medal entitlement follows that of Ron's as having been called up in Dec 1942 to Gibralter Barracks with the Beds & Herts at Bury St Edmunds - then on to Barnard Castle for extensive Tank crew

    training under the eagle eyes of the Horse Guards and RTR - then on to North Africa also on the Franconia - too late for the Clasp of the 1st Army with the 145th RAC - then on to Italy as Heavy Tank

    support to the Canadian 1st Inf Div..and getting in the way of 88mm shells and various nebelwerfer mortars to spend a near luxurious six months in various hospitals from Ancona to Bari and

    Catania, and on return finding the regiment to be broken up for spares and thus "volunteered' to serve with the 16/5th Lancers in 6th Armoured Div in the last push of the war. The last two years

    were spent in ski-ing - swimming and Tattoo things in Austria until they forced me to leave the army in May of 1947 at York demob centre…as I say my medals are the 1939 Star - Africa Star - Italy

    Star - Defence medal and what I call the Victory medal( though we didn't win really ) PLUS one wound stripe…being useless at adding to postings - maybe Diane will oblige with a picky...


    pics edited in by Owen
    A representation of Tom's campaign medal entitlement:
    Screen Shot 2017-11-25 at 12.11.06.png

    From BBC site, a photo:


    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 25, 2017
  12. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    hello Steve

    sent off for them 1979

  13. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    For many of the men and women who served in India and Burma in WW2 the standard entitlement was:

    1939-45 Star
    Burma Star
    Defence Medal
    War Medal

    This is by far the most common grouping I have seen at Burma Star Association gatherings and the like.

    Burma Star def.medal copy.jpg
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  14. DPas

    DPas Member

    I never knew about these! I wonder if Grandad got one or was entitled to one. He lost his right eye. I do not remember seeing or hearing of it though.
  15. Buteman

    Buteman 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA

    My Dad’s journey

    17/7/1940 Called up and posted to 7 Lincolns. Anti-invasion duties on the East Coast.
    1/12/1941 7 Lincolns converted to 102 LAA Regt, Royal Artillery. Posted to 336 Battery.
    13/6/1944 Sailed from Tilbury
    17/6/1944 Disembarked France
    15/10/1944 Arrived in Belgium
    5/11/1944 Arrived in Netherlands
    10/5/1944 Arrived in Germany
    7/8/45 Got married in the Netherlands
    13/1/46 Departed Germany
    31/3/46 Demobbed.

    UK - 4 Years 46 Days
    North West Europe - 1 Year 212 Days
    Total - 5 Years 258 Days Service

    39-45 Star, France & Germany Star, War Medal, Defence Medal.

    Dad's medals, paybook and wedding photo were framed and hung on the wall at home during his lifetime. He never spoke about his time during WW2 and we his children, never thought to ask him.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Nov 25, 2017
  16. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Here's my wife's Grandad's medals .
    Pre-war Royal Sigs, BEF, North Africa & Italy.
    He was in a telegraph operating section, Lines of Communication.
    Father-in-law has full service records & we just have to get up to Kew one day to look at war diaries.
    India General Service Medal , General Service Medal, 39-45 Star, Africa Star, Italy Star , Defence Medal, 39-45 War Medal.

    Attached Files:

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  17. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    POW Entitlements for SE Asia Theatre.

    There is of course no such thing as a standard entitlement for a certain theatre that will cover all service personnel involved. However, in general the medal entitlement shown below (Fig. A) is the most common for men who became prisoners of war to the Japanese after the surrender of Singapore in February 1942.

    A common misconception is that they should have been awarded the Burma Star if they went on to work on the Thailand-Burma Railway (Death Railway). However, this was not the case and the Pacific Star was awarded to cover all those captured in the SE Asia theatre who subsequently fell into enemy hands.

    With some notable exceptions the only men who were both POW's to the Japanese and Burma Star holders were those held in Rangoon Jail. The vast majority of these men were either captured during the retreat in 1942 at places like Sittang Bridge, or during the Chindit and Arakan campaigns in 1943 and 1944.

    Also shown in this post are:

    A standard Australian POW medal group (Fig.D), including their own Australian Service Medal 1939-45.

    A Canadian group (Fig. C) for a POW held after the fall of Hong Kong in December 1941. This group includes the Canadian Volunteer Service Medal.

    Fig. A.JPG


    Fig. C.jpg
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  18. 3mileSnipper

    3mileSnipper Member

    My good friend Ivor, (1st. cousin once removed, but who's counting :lol: ) Served 1st. with the K.O.S.B. and then the Green Howards. He served from 19 years old and for 24yrs. continuous service, resigning in 1968 having served in India, Radfan, Malay, Burma, Palestine, Germany and many more I can't recall.
    These were notes with this picture of his medals which I don't fully understand. KGVI:-General Service "14718820 C/SGT. I. Applegarth. KOSB," QEII:- "14718820 W.O.CL. 1. Name. Green Howards" QEII:-LSGC "14718820 W.O.CL. 2. Name. Green Howards" I shall have to check my Medal Year book for all the details. We studied family history for 15yrs. which he could recall from any direction to the year 1650 he now struggles to remember hours previous. Doesn't seem fair.

    Attached Files:

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  19. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Wonderful and an exceptionally full service group there 3mS. Thanks for showing these.

  20. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    hello Steve

    sent off for them 1979


    Thanks Clive,

    I will get back to you about this by pm.


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