Territorial Force War Medal WW1

Discussion in 'British Army' started by Bay Horse, Jul 8, 2018.

  1. Bay Horse

    Bay Horse Can be a bit of a dark horse

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    Grandad again.

    My grandfather was born in 1899, and served overseas in WW1. I believe his medals are no longer in the possession of our family.

    The bar from the top of his medals has survived, however. I can see the ribbons of Victory and British War Medals, and also a yellow ribbon with two green stripes which I believe is a Territorial Force War Medal. I haven't come across this one before in family medals, and was wondering how he qualified for that?
     
  2. Daft Bat

    Daft Bat Administrator. Chief cook & bottle washer! Staff Member

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    It was awarded to those who served overseas, but a full explanation can be found courtesy of Wikipedia ;)
    Code:
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Territorial_War_Medal
     
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  3. AnnB

    AnnB Editor in Chief who is Hot off the Press!

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    Take a look at the Wiki page
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    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Territorial_War_Medal
    It's not something I've come across before either.

    Snap Jan :)
     
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  4. Bay Horse

    Bay Horse Can be a bit of a dark horse

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    Thanks, ladies. I already had the Wiki page open but had difficulty getting my head around it, given my grandfather's age at the start of WW1.

    So, even though he was too young at the start of the war, he did eventually see service overseas after joining up which earned him the medal? Wiki states that 'it is the rarest of the five British Great War medals', so why isn't it more widely seen? o_O
     
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  5. Flook

    Flook A True Gentleman

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    My maternal grandfather was awarded one for service in India with the East Surreys. It's rare because it's for non-regular army service abroad and you had to have already been a member of a Territorial battalion before WW1 was declared. One of the bars to his General Service Medal was 'North West Frontier' and he'd seen service in the Khyber Pass which I always thought was rather exotic when I was a lad. My Dad still has his medals - I'll have a good look at them when I see him next.

    (BTW he'd have scoffed at being called a 'hero' just because he wore army uniform. He was just a soldier who drew his pay and did his job - war over, get on with the rest of your life!).
     
  6. Bay Horse

    Bay Horse Can be a bit of a dark horse

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    Thank you, Flook. That's useful.

    Hmm. The ribbon is definitely from the above medal, but the medal has gone, so I can't positively identify it as belonging to my grandad - however, I've been told that it was his, and there is also a handwritten note with it that backs up that claim.

    I have never seen one recorded on medal rolls index cards with other WW1 medals, so... hopefully there might be another collection for them. I'll have to wait until tomorrow now to browse National Archives. Spent an hour on eBay, noted that Territorial Force medals commanded high prices and then got drawn to a sad listing of a British War medal belonging to a chap who died in a POW camp just before the end of the war and whose medals were sent to his mother. It didn't sell.
     
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  7. Bay Horse

    Bay Horse Can be a bit of a dark horse

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    My eyes are starting to burn with the effort of reading and scrolling. As Flook remarked above, 'it's for non-regular army service abroad and you had to have already been a member of a Territorial battalion before WW1 was declared'. As I said in my original post, Grandad would have been too young to have been serving before war was declared - yet it keeps suggesting that was a requirement of this particular medal.

    Starting to wonder.
     
  8. Flook

    Flook A True Gentleman

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    As you had to be 17 years old to join the Territorial Force, logically it would appear that he lied about his age to join up. The Territorial Force was very much a second-rate military organisation (loved by no-one but themselves!) and I suspect it would have been fairly easy to get in as long as you looked about the right age.
     
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  9. Bay Horse

    Bay Horse Can be a bit of a dark horse

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    You may well be right, Flook.

    Thank you for throwing odd bits of info at me - it's all helpful.
     
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  10. Bay Horse

    Bay Horse Can be a bit of a dark horse

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    Still reading.

    After what Flook had said earlier, I had a brief recollection that my mother had once mentioned Grandad going to the Isle of Man. Or did I dream it? I asked her again today if she remembered Grandad being there, and she didn't, at all. :confused:

    Perhaps the IOM had been the base for a territorial army training camp. When you put the words 'Isle of Man' and 'camp' together, 'Knockaloe' immediately comes to mind. So I searched Knockaloe in the hope that it may have been a TA camp prior to WW1 when it was, of course, famously a PoW camp for 'aliens'... and it was, prior to the war, a volunteer and TA camp! I think we're getting there.

    I may also need to get on a boat.
     
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  11. Flook

    Flook A True Gentleman

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    There is this which refers to the possibility of a Territorial summer camp on the IOM. It's more than likely this would have been a Lancashire Territorial Force camp rather than from any other area. It doesn't say, of course, when such a camp may have taken place.
    Except for an occasional brigade or regimental camp of Territorials during a week or two in summer, the Island had scarcely seen a squad of the British Army since the withdrawal in 1896 of the small garrison at Castle-town, consisting of half a company.
    http://www.isle-of-man.com/manxnotebook/fulltext/gw1922/ch02.htm
     
  12. Bay Horse

    Bay Horse Can be a bit of a dark horse

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    Excellent, Flook.
     
  13. Bay Horse

    Bay Horse Can be a bit of a dark horse

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    Well, today I went to the Lancashire infantry museum to consult the experts - wonderful, helpful place.

    All a bit curious. This cannot be my grandfather's medal. My gut feeling was that it wasn't. He was way too young to meet the criteria for that award, and it's not marked on his Medal Rolls index card. So, whose is it?

    Could it have been the property of someone else in the family, and passed on to Grandad? Could it even have come from a junk shop, and therefore have no connection to this family at all, yet assumptions have been made when it has been found in his effects? :confused: I've been mulling it over all the way home.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2018
  14. Bay Horse

    Bay Horse Can be a bit of a dark horse

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    Still digging, but not getting very far yet. I'm not prepared to let this one lie.

    I have found a couple of pages of army records belonging to my grandfather's cousin, which state that his cousin was sixteen on joining up in 1914. He wasn't; he was just fourteen years old. His cousin lived in the same street.
     
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  15. Bay Horse

    Bay Horse Can be a bit of a dark horse

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    Still mulling this one over - weeks later.

    My grandfather may not have come home at the end of the war after all. He must've been back by 1923, as he married my grandmother during the summer - and he wasn't in the army then, going by the marriage certificate. In fact he was back by late 1922, as I have a letter written by my g-grandmother to him in the infirmary, where I believe he was recovering from pneumonia.

    I found a printed article earlier today. And I quote, "It was quite a long while before my father returned to England, for after France he sailed aboard HMS Trent for Turkey and the Dardanelles..."

    This gem was uncovered while having a dust of my bookshelves. It was written by my mother over twenty years ago. I don't recall ever having read it before. Mum is into her 90s, of course, and recently when I asked her about Grandad during the war she couldn't remember much about it, except that he 'fought at Gallipoli'. I, and everyone else, took this to mean 1915.

    His regimental museum suggested he 'may' have been entitled to the above medal if he remained in service after the war, and this looks a little more likely now. Nothing is black and white. I googled 'HMS Trent' and there are ship's logs available, but I couldn't seem to find anything to show that particular vessel had been in the Dardanelles at that time. A bit like floundering around in the dark for ages, finding the light switch and - pop - the bulb goes. :headbang:
     
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