British Army Campaign Medals - why no 1940 Star?

Discussion in '1940' started by Thomas McCall, Feb 23, 2004.

  1. spider

    spider Very Senior Member

    No definate answer then regarding a 1940 France Star?

    As before, Perhaps they were not considered victorious campaigns, therefore no medal and covered under the 39-45(43) Star.
     
  2. Peccavi

    Peccavi Senior Member

    Just read this thread to try to find out why there was no 1939/40 Star.

    Thanks to my son in law in the Coldstream Guards, I am getting all my relatives' medals, re-ribboned and set in a presentation box (free of charge, army style - so I am not asking any questions!)

    With 6 Uncles, 2 Grandfathers, and my father's medals, covering army, navy, raf and marines, I have a huge collection at the moment.

    Being very cynical, I have noticed there is no correlation between the number of medals and amount of nasty fighting done.

    Based on the medal tally, an uncle who spent his time as medic on a hospital ship comes out tops with five medals and two clasps. Unfortunately now deceased and a great bloke who made a fortune after the War but in his own words, he would say " I had a happy war and got to see the world but never saw action"
     
  3. trailertrash

    trailertrash Junior Member

    Just read this thread to try to find out why there was no 1939/40 Star.

    Thanks to my son in law in the Coldstream Guards, I am getting all my relatives' medals, re-ribboned and set in a presentation box (free of charge, army style - so I am not asking any questions!)

    With 6 Uncles, 2 Grandfathers, and my father's medals, covering army, navy, raf and marines, I have a huge collection at the moment.

    Being very cynical, I have noticed there is no correlation between the number of medals and amount of nasty fighting done.

    Based on the medal tally, an uncle who spent his time as medic on a hospital ship comes out tops with five medals and two clasps. Unfortunately now deceased and a great bloke who made a fortune after the War but in his own words, he would say " I had a happy war and got to see the world but never saw action"


    Many naval personnel were marked as entitled to various campaign medals simply by crossing lines of latitude and longitude. Thus entering a number of ' Theaters '. In effect they could amass pretty much all of the campaign medals without ever leaving the ship.
     
  4. spider

    spider Very Senior Member

    Unfair Medals

    It all comes to the eligibility criteria.
     
  5. Wills

    Wills Very Senior Member

    Awarding medals. first I would like to tell of an occasion when I was about 10 or 11, my father was on the armistice parade (as a Special Constable) he had been around - a pre war regular so he had a chestful of medals, one of his colleagues had a couple and I made some comment about that, I can see my fathers displeasure even now, he said 'that man was a London Fireman', he probably saw more action than most of us here, I was certainly put in my place. My books are in storage but I am reasonably sure that Alan Brooke. Alexander and Montgomery made it clear that there would be no clasp or medal for what - Montgomery called a humiliating defeat,if memory serves me - it was another of those times when Montgomery decided to tell the CIGS what he thought of certain generals. Alan Brooke who became the professional head of land forces and Montgomery as probably the best tactician we have ever produced if they said no, I fear that a clasp or medal will not be awarded. Nothing to do with cost the idea was firmly stamped on.
     
  6. Hebridean Chindit

    Hebridean Chindit Lost in review...

    My grandfather was involved in both wars (I am missing some of his medals as a B&W pic I have of him in a book has more colour "bars" than I have medals) but during WWII he got the Atlantic & Burma Stars, the Pacific (bar) and the 39-45 Campaign medal.

    He was with the FSNCo (NZSCo) on the runs to Australia and New Zealand as Bosun on the "Cambridge" (lost) and "Sussex" before, during and after and I am aware he was at Singapore a couple of days before the fall.

    I never did understand why they do not issue a Pacific Star (just the bar)just because he was sailing through Indian waters at the start of the campaign - one of his ships lies at the bottom of the Bass Straits and was sunk in 1940 (first loss in that area during WWII). He had a Burma Star and never set foot in India or Burma...
     
  7. spider

    spider Very Senior Member

    I never did understand why they do not issue a Pacific Star (just the bar)just because he was sailing through Indian waters at the start of the campaign - one of his ships lies at the bottom of the Bass Straits and was sunk in 1940 (first loss in that area during WWII). He had a Burma Star and never set foot in India or Burma...

    Either the Burma or Pacific Star was issued, and either a Pacific or Burma clasp if you served in both operational areas.
     
  8. PA. Dutchman

    PA. Dutchman Senior Member

    Wills,

    It sounds like your father was a very wise person and a good father. That was a great story and a good lesson for a lot of people.

    My grandmother worked in a Mack Trucks plant making trucks for the war. Many women worked in jobs other than aviation.

    I can not say they or any of the others ever received proper thanks.
     
  9. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Medals in the British army are as rare as hens teeth. the 1939/45 Star I presume covers the while period. ?
     
  10. PA. Dutchman

    PA. Dutchman Senior Member

    It appears it is just the opposite for the Russians. Whenever they have a parade or cermony some have rows of medals and ribbons.

    We had a young man speak at our church from Russia.

    His mother played dead in a pile of corpses when their village murdered and burned to the ground by Nazis.

    His mother lived and when on to get married and have 13 children. He was a Missionary to other Russians through our denomination.

    They had nothing, everyone copied their own Hymn books because they could not be printed in Russia.

    Nancy and I wanted to give him something towards his work and he was very grateful.

    I also had an America Map pin, it was a pin, a small one, made in the shape of America and it was our American Flag.

    He was thrilled with this pin and told us how medals such things were so much a part of the Russian culture.


    Medals in the British army are as rare as hens teeth. the 1939/45 Star I presume covers the while period. ?
     
  11. PA. Dutchman

    PA. Dutchman Senior Member

    I remembered reading this when the man died. He had been a American POW of the Germans. He escaped twice and linked up with Russians by going east I think in the second escape.

    For a period of time the Russians allowed him to join their Unit and he fought along side them until wounded.

    Years later while Clinton was President Joseph Beyrle was presented with a Medal from the Russian President for his service in the Russian Army.

    This link pretty much tells the story.

    Joseph Beyrle - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
  12. Wills

    Wills Very Senior Member

    Sapper, I remember seeing orders on the company notice board we had get ourselves down to the Orderly room and sign for our GSM (NI Clasp), over to the tailor shop to get to it court mounted - here the Master Stitch brings you back down to earth. It's just anither wee bitee kit tae get bagged for if you no clean it laddie!


    Right - When I qualified for a General Service Medal with Northern Ireland clasp , this was published on Part two orders, we had to collect it from the Oderly Room (Chief Clerk) once signed for we had to hand it to the tailors shop (regimental tailors we had No2 Dress (Khaki) No 1 Dress(Blues) and Home Service Clothing (Red tunic that you see in London so we had our own tailors) the medal is mounted on a board with the ribbon fixed the medal is not hanging loose. You are quite pleased with yourself - the first medal - The master stitch (tailor) brings you back down to ground, he said it is just another bit of kit to polish and get bagged for (caught) if you do not keep it clean my lad.
     
  13. PA. Dutchman

    PA. Dutchman Senior Member

    Maybe I am not suppose to understand Wills, but what did you just say if I may ask?

    Sapper, I remember seeing orders on the company notice board we had get ourselves down to the Orderly room and sign for our GSM (NI Clasp), over to the tailor shop to get to it court mounted - here the Master Stitch brings you back down to earth. It's just anither wee bitee kit tae get bagged for if you no clean it laddie!
     
  14. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Contemporary reports in the Times about medals and changing criteria can be found in this thread (the articles run backwards, the last being first):
    http://www.ww2talk.com/forum/research-material/22940-distinctions-war-service-1939-1945-a.html

    A quote about the number of decorations available ...
    Questioned about the award of further decorations, Mr. CHURCHILL said:- We must not get our firmament too full. The limits of the human breast also introduce cautionary ideas.

    To go back to the first post on this thread ... it seems there was a star for the earlier war years, it was simply extended rather than issuing a sep. one for the latter years.
    EXTENSION OF 1939-43 STAR
    Approval has been granted for the prolongation of the currency of the 1939-43 Star to May 8, 1945, the date of the end of active hostilities in Europe. The question of the possible prolongation of the currency of this star to the end of the active hostilities in the Pacific will be a matter for consideration. The requirement that the Africa Star and this star should not be awarded to the same individual is withdrawn. Special grants of the 1939-45 Star may be made. Selection will be guided by the principle of responsibility for operational decisions. Senior officers such as the chiefs of staff, commanders-in-chief, and commanders thus qualified may be awarded the star.
     
  15. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Love it Wills.
    My best mate. Jock Mather's was obviously a Scot, a dark curly haired dour mate.... if ever I had one. I got to understand the lingo very well, sadly Jock was killed and is buried in the grounds of what was A Missionary training unit for the "White Brothers" Now defunct. The grounds and buildings are now I believe used for troubles youngsters....Or something like that... Jock is buried ther Bless him.

    Oddly enough the place is called Euvalwegan... Spelling? That when translated becomes Evil Way! Near Maarheeze Holland.
    Cheers
     
  16. spider

    spider Very Senior Member

    Medals in the British army are as rare as hens teeth. the 1939/45 Star I presume covers the while period. ?

    The unsuccessful campaigns/battles anyway.
     
  17. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    I wonder if there wasn't a sense in the UK that prior to Dunkirk the BEF had somehow been a bit of a let-down (at least in terms of prior high expectations of "over with a win for us by Xmas" there) and the higher-ups weren't necessarily going to be handing out medals all around for that. Whereas after Dunkirk the nations spirits rose and that great event was associated more with putting its stamp on events at that time and with a proud Dunkirk spirit of getting a job done - rather than the fighting that was still going on further into France, and continuing rear guards and evacuations elsewhere.

    I'm not sure how the BEF that came back felt but there was certainly a bit of rescued pride for those that could say that they had escaped from Dunkirk.

    I think that the Dunkirk medal has in common-parlance been given a kind of official status for the BEF post the event - whereas the other events that involved the BEF are far less well known now as it's far easier to think that the fighting there ended when the last boat left Dunkirk, and the Battle of Britain began.

    It does feel like something though that one day has to be further addressed and I suppose there's always a chance... especially when anniversaries occur.
     
  18. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member

    Moved this and following 3 posts to original thread, from which a c&p spammer copied text.


    Hi,

    Personnel who served in BEF 1939/40 and were taken prisoner would’ve been awarded the 1939/45 Star plus the War Medal - depending on their length of operational service in theatre some may have been eligible for the Defence Medal.

    Same eligibility for those who served in the Norwegian Campaign April/May 1940.

    Steve
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 16, 2018
    Incredibledisc and Tricky Dicky like this.
  19. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

  20. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Tricky Dicky likes this.

Share This Page