Help with a box of medals please

Discussion in 'Searching for Someone & Military Genealogy' started by Derek Barton, Mar 8, 2023.

  1. Derek Barton

    Derek Barton Senior Member

    On Monday someone brought in to the Wigan Armed Forces HQ some items they had recovered from a house clearance. The items belonged to either 3 or 4 people possibly all related and included 2 sets of WW2 medals. One of these people was a member of the 18th Regiment, Reconnaissance Corps. I have seen his entry here on the Roll of Honour. We have photocopies of his CWGC page and a newspaper cutting reporting his death. One of the medal sets is possibly his as well. The medals are the War Medal, Defence Medal, 1939-45 Star & Burma Star.
    Is this a possible combination for a member of the 18th? Can anyone give me any further information on the man. He is 3865414 Trooper Richard Foster. When we have found out more about the items donated and the people involved we will make a display of them at the HQ. Any help or information anyone can give me will help make the display more interesting.
    Thank you
  2. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    Not my area but sure others will be able to provide more detail. It appears that 3865414 Trooper Richard Foster was involved with the sinking of the Rakuyo Maru.
    He appears in the casualty lists:
    Casualty list No. 795 dated 11 Apr 42 - Missing 15.2.42
    Casualty list No. 1143 dated 25 May 43 - Previously posted missing now reported POW
    Casualty list No. 1624 dated 8 Dec 44 - At sea, Previously reported POW in Japenese hands - Malaya now reported missing
    Casualty list No. 1953 dated 7 Jan 46- Previously reported missing whilst POW 12.9 44, now presumed KIA 14.9.44


    More info here:

    Foster 1.jpg Foster 2.jpg
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  3. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    Very unlikely the medals can be attributed to Trooper Richard Foster.
    Members of 18th Recce would not have been entitled to the Defence Medal and would have been awarded the Pacific Star not the Burma Star.

  4. Derek Barton

    Derek Barton Senior Member

    Thank you gentlemen, useful information. Tim you have confirmed what I suspected. I now have the problem of finding out who the medals belonged to. The only clue is they were in an official delivery box addressed to the son of Foster's brother in law. I don't think they were the brother in law's as he was in 6 Royal Scots Fusiliers and died of wounds in Holland. Thanks again for the info, every little helps.

    Can anyone tell me the Regiments on enlistment of the following:
    3865414 Trooper R Foster, Reconnaissance Corps
    3455013 Fusilier RJ Thompson 6 Royal Scots Fusiliers. Enlisted April 1940
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  5. bofors

    bofors Senior Member

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  6. Derek Barton

    Derek Barton Senior Member

    Thanks Robert, that's brilliant. The first one I suspected as he was in the 18th Regiment Recce Corps which had formed from a Battalion of the Loyals.
    The second one makes sense as these were both Wigan lads. Someone came in to the Armed Forces HQ Monday and left some items found in a house clearance including 2 sets of medals. One set was in an OHMS box addressed to J Thompson, presumably Fusilier Thompson's son. The medals are the 39-45 Star, War Medal, Defence Medal & Burma Star. I know 6 R Scots Fus didn't serve in the Far East and Thompson was killed in Holland. Now I can check if any Battalion of the Lancs Fus served there.
  7. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    Tying this in with your other thread, service with the 1st Btn Lancashire Fusiliers would fit your medal group. Based in India at the outbreak of war, 360 days in non-operational area would qualify for the Defence Medal. Later fought in Burma qualifying for Burma Star.

  8. Derek Barton

    Derek Barton Senior Member

    Update: I'm wrong again. Foster's brother in law, Fusilier Thompson, enlisted in the Lancashire Fusiliers & transferred to the R Scots Fus later. 3 of the Lancs Fus Battalions served in Burma so the medals are probably his.

    Many thanks for that you have just saved me some time searching. I had discovered that 3 of the Lancs Fus Btns served in Burma at some point. You have saved me having to work out which one would have covered the medal options. Thanks.

  9. 51highland

    51highland Very Senior Member

    Foster was taken prisoner at fall of Singapore, later died,
    Casualties at sea, China Sea: prisoners of war aboard Japanese transport ship Rakuyo Maru, sunk.

    Thompson was wounded 5th November and died of wounds 10 November, during attack on MEIJEL.
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  10. Derek Barton

    Derek Barton Senior Member

    Thanks for that 51highland, just need to discover when Thompson transferred from Lancs Fus to R Scots Fus.
  11. 51highland

    51highland Very Senior Member

    You probably need to get his service records for that.!! Good luck in your search.
  12. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    Unfortunately it's more complicated as it would also be possible for others in the other Battalions to have qualified by way of time spent in the UK. You would need to know a man's date of enlistment, date of the Battalion's deployment and how long they were held in India before entering the operational area of Burma.
    See Defence Medal (United Kingdom) - Wikipedia
    The 1st Battalion would have qualified en-masse others may have qualified as individuals.
  13. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    The Defence Medal entitlement is complicated as it's not just restricted to the services and of course included the Home Guard. My dad was eligible due to pre-call up service as a Police Messenger.
  14. Derek Barton

    Derek Barton Senior Member

    Tim & Rich,
    Thanks for the advice, I see I will have to look into this a lot more carefully. I know his service record would be the way to go but we are researching 4 individuals, all possibly related (2 certainly are). We could not afford to get 4 sets of records nor wait the 12 months plus for them. Foster and Thompson we still have some details to tie down such as the Lancs Fus battalion. The third man we have only a framed photo and a newspaper cutting of his death in Italy in late '44 and the last one, the only survivor, his birth & death certs and his medals. These are the 1939-45 Star, War Medal & France & Germany Star. So you can see we have our work cut out.
    Thanks again for the info and advice, much appreciated

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