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WW2 Medal expert?


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Hi, are there any WW2 Medal experts on here?

I want to assemble a framed group for my great uncle (the originals have been lost within the family over the years), he never married and I want something to honour his memory. Joined up before Sep '39 and fought with the 8th Army in the usual theatre, N.Africa, Italy etc.

I want to know how to tell the difference between genuine and repro medals for that era.

Cheers

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If you send his details to regimental records they can tell you exactly which medals he received, and then you can order copies with his name, regiment and number on.

If you’re looking for issued medals which he received, but not by him, they will have the name, number and regiment of that recipient on their edges. 

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2 hours ago, Scully said:

If you send his details to regimental records they can tell you exactly which medals he received, and then you can order copies with his name, regiment and number on.

If you’re looking for issued medals which he received, but not by him, they will have the name, number and regiment of that recipient on their edges. 

War Medals issued to UK personnel WW2 were not officially named 

 Australian and South African personnel were officially named.

 From the info given possibly 39/45 star africa star italy star (possibly the defence medal) war medal, if he was at dunkirk the unofficial dunkirk medal .

What regiment was he in?

Edited by AULD YIN
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Thank you for the replies so far, I have been in touch with the War Office and they confirm:

39/45 Star; Africa Star; Italy Star; Defence medal; 39/45 War medal

I'm quite annoyed at the branch of the family who have lost his medals, he served and I want him remembered by my own offspring.

I just want to make sure that I use genuine medals.

I often feel that the 8th Army get forgotten in the push toward victory, some people forget how horrific Montecassino was.

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10 minutes ago, vmaxphil said:

Sounds like he was in the same places as my dad, Duke of Cornwall light infantry 

same as my dad after Dunkirk , Grenadier Guards Recon, the only medal out of his group I remember with his name on was the Military Medal . 

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4 hours ago, Ricko said:

Thank you for the replies so far, I have been in touch with the War Office and they confirm:

39/45 Star; Africa Star; Italy Star; Defence medal; 39/45 War medal

I'm quite annoyed at the branch of the family who have lost his medals, he served and I want him remembered by my own offspring.

I just want to make sure that I use genuine medals.

I often feel that the 8th Army get forgotten in the push toward victory, some people forget how horrific Montecassino was.

My dad has these other than the Defence Medal. I thought that was for home guard etc? 

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13 hours ago, Ricko said:

Hi, are there any WW2 Medal experts on here?

I want to assemble a framed group for my great uncle (the originals have been lost within the family over the years), he never married and I want something to honour his memory. Joined up before Sep '39 and fought with the 8th Army in the usual theatre, N.Africa, Italy etc.

I want to know how to tell the difference between genuine and repro medals for that era.

Cheers

There's many sites on the internet that reveal how to tell the difference. Apparently it is to do with the position of the letters and how they align. Even buying from deceased estate at auction isn't now a safeguard. Once you have your medals then you've the decision to make as to if you want them Court mounted or mounted in the standard style.

The Defence Medal was very definitely not just "for the Home Guard" it was for those that had served a set number of days either "in theatre" overseas or a much much longer set number of days in the United Kingdom or in Britain's colonies or in the Dominions...Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Etc.

A serviceman, or servicewoman, didn't of course get to choose where they served. So some such as my late father never served outside the UK or, say Canada, West Africa and so. Even though he'd been in uniform in the Territorial Army since before 1938. These TA units had become Light Anti-Aircraft and/or late searchlight units. And as such most were kept anchored in the UK for airfield defence.

Ground crew for RAF Bomber Command and Army Bomb Disposal unites again mostly didn't serve out of the UK. So although my father got his Mention in Dispatches for disabling a German parachute aerial torpedo and did personally shoot down a German raider he quite correctly was only awarded the War Medal and the Defence Medal.

Edited by enfieldspares
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10 hours ago, AULD YIN said:

War Medals issued to UK personnel WW2 were not officially named 

 Australian and South African personnel were officially named.

 From the info given possibly 39/45 star africa star italy star (possibly the defence medal) war medal, if he was at dunkirk the unofficial dunkirk medal .

What regiment was he in?

Fair enough, but my Dads Service medal from 1945/48 has his details on it as I stated, and I know he didn’t have it done, so just assumed they all had.
Likewise  an Uncles Great War medals are stamped in this manner, as is a South Africa campaign medal I have from the Transvaal and the Relief of Ladysmith. 

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Hi Ricko

These are my fathers WW2 medals, still in the box they were sent in - similar campaigns to your great uncle, the defence medal ribbon is in the picture but the medal is missing. Not sure what the medal on the right is, it's in the box but might be not connected to WW2.

Regards

SD

Medals.jpg

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Thank you for the replies, I've got his service book somewhere, theres a piece of Defence medal ribbon in that.

He was initially in the RA then served in the RASC

I always remember another of my great uncles (again 8th army) found it difficult to return to Italy after the horrors he saw there. Atrocities committed by one Italian on another, it took him 40 years to exorcise that demon.

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1 hour ago, blackbird said:

My grandfather was in France when the first shot was fired he was back in the UK before the 2nd shot was fired 😂

👍

An oldie but goodie! My great great great uncle was killed at the battle of Waterloo; he wasn’t fighting, he was camping in the next field and went over to complain about the noise! 🙂

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4 hours ago, enfieldspares said:

There's many sites on the internet that reveal how to tell the difference. Apparently it is to do with the position of the letters and how they align. Even buying from deceased estate at auction isn't now a safeguard. Once you have your medals then you've the decision to make as to if you want them Court mounted or mounted in the standard style.

The Defence Medal was very definitely not just "for the Home Guard" it was for those that had served a set number of days either "in theatre" overseas or a much much longer set number of days in the United Kingdom or in Britain's colonies or in the Dominions...Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Etc.

A serviceman, or servicewoman, didn't of course get to choose where they served. So some such as my late father never served outside the UK or, say Canada, West Africa and so. Even though he'd been in uniform in the Territorial Army since before 1938. These TA units had become Light Anti-Aircraft and/or late searchlight units. And as such most were kept anchored in the UK for airfield defence.

Ground crew for RAF Bomber Command and Army Bomb Disposal unites again mostly didn't serve out of the UK. So although my father got his Mention in Dispatches for disabling a German parachute aerial torpedo and did personally shoot down a German raider he quite correctly was only awarded the War Medal and the Defence Medal.

Wouldn’t it be unusual though to get specific campaign medals and a defence medal? 
 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defence_Medal_(United_Kingdom)

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When we were kids and probably the same as many young lads at the time, with each war film on TV i asked my Dad what he did in the army. 

His answer was always the same 

"I'll tell you when you get older" 

The problem was i got older and he passed away quite some time after, and when i was old enough to understand that the question was always going to receive the same answer. 

As a kid i was always up to mischief, looking into places i shouldnt have looked, and saw things that should have been left unseen. 

Hundreds of negative Images of vehicles in desert environments, building, people and loads of other  interesting images of war. There was a small thing that was later found to be a camera similar to what 007 would have in his pocket, items that every now and again you would see similar items in these war films. Medals all boxed up, papers that had at the time just read as though it was written in a foreign language making no sense as a kid of about 8 or 9. 

My dad removed all of these items from our house and gone forever, everything, nothing remained apart from a few slides that had been developed kept with slides of his remaining years when he moved down to Capetown for 6 years after the war ended. 

In the past 15-20 or so years my sister started to look into the family history, which obviously started with our parents, knowing that he spent the 1st few years in North Africa she thought she had a good start, but found nothing in the records of him serving their ? His sister (our Aunt) knew nothing either, the answer was the same style as we had as kids. (allot of serving chose to remove all memory if they could) 

After getting some help from a relation of our's, my sister eventually found out why his records had not been held in the usual place, it turns out that because our dad was a bit of wizz with electronics and a very keen photographer, and unknown to us (no surprise) he also spoke pretty good Sudanese, he had been deployed to North Africa just prior to anything kicking off. 

It turns out he was a "Sneaky Beaky" 

A great shame that all those items that he brought back have gone. 

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56 minutes ago, Scully said:

👍

An oldie but goodie! My great great great uncle was killed at the battle of Waterloo; he wasn’t fighting, he was camping in the next field and went over to complain about the noise! 🙂

😂😂😂 nothing like a laugh when you are stuck indoors when it’s ******* down all weekend.

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29 minutes ago, AVB said:

Wouldn’t it be unusual though to get specific campaign medals and a defence medal? 
 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defence_Medal_(United_Kingdom)

  • criteria for the defence medal below
  • 1080 days (3 years) service in the UK between 3 Sep 1939 and 8 May 1945
  • 1080 days (3 years) service in the Home Guard between 14 May 1940 and 31 Dec 1944 (you will also need to fill out and send the Home Guard service questionnaire)
  • 360 days (1 year) non operational service overseas between 3 Sep 1939 and 2 Sep 1945
  • 180 days non operational service in an overseas area deemed to be closely threatened or subject to air attack between 3 September 1939 and 8 May 1945
  • the  phoney war lasted 6 months so would entitle most in france
Edited by AULD YIN
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1 hour ago, enfieldspares said:

Yes. I didn't explain the matter fully. Thank you AULD YIN for following it up. 

not a problem.

As a collector of medals and militeria i wanted replacement for my fathers medals (brother lost them all) so asked MOD army medal service what he was entitled to and the cost of replacements (1980) £36.65pence for the 39/45 star africa star italy star france germany star 39/45 war medal so purchased them ,22 years later i purchased his service record (£25 i think) ,on checking this i found his defence medal was HELD  so had a conversation on the phone with the medal office who declared it was a clerical error and would send the forms for my siblings to sign givng me permission to receive the medal on behalf of my father which i dully received 

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I know relatively little about my father and would like to get his service record but don’t have his service number. Can you get the service record without it?

I tried tracing my ancestors a few years ago but couldn’t find any reference of his birth. I found out relatively recently that he was born out of wedlock so not sure whether that meant his birth wasn’t registered properly. 

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42 minutes ago, AVB said:

I know relatively little about my father and would like to get his service record but don’t have his service number. Can you get the service record without it?

I tried tracing my ancestors a few years ago but couldn’t find any reference of his birth. I found out relatively recently that he was born out of wedlock so not sure whether that meant his birth wasn’t registered properly. 

Yes. It's easy to do if you are a son or daughter. You'll need some proof of that...a Birth Cerificate for you showing your father's name...and then look for the Army or MoD Records Service. They take a while to write back but eventually you'll get a reply. 

Medals

https://www.gov.uk/apply-medal-or-veterans-badge/apply-for-a-medal

Records

https://www.gov.uk/get-copy-military-service-records

Edited by enfieldspares
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Depends on his name ,unless he had a very unusual name ,or an unusual place name he lived, highly unlikely you/they  could  pinpoint his service records ,if he died in service it would be easier with a ww2 soldiers died disc ,you can check name and town  then you can sieve through the names and hopefully come up with the correct name/place, 

Edited by AULD YIN
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A friend of mine who owns a gallery traces peoples ancestors while they have a coffee in his gallery.
Admittedly it isn’t too in depth in the time it takes to drink a coffee and have a cake, but he also does an in-depth procedure for those who want it, for a fee of course. 
He recently traced a mans father who had been invalided out of the army during the Great War, while he and his wife had a coffee! The son didn’t know which regiment his father had served in, nor what his father had been invalided for as he never talked about his past. As it turned out he hadn’t even made it to Flanders, but was injured during training and that was the end of his service. 
My friend specialises in searches of military records, but also searches family of the many Americans who visit my local town in search of their ancestry.

If the OP ( or anyone else ) is interested I can put you in touch. 

Edited by Scully
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