Can I apply for a replacement set of my great uncle's medals?

#1
Hi all. My great uncle was killed when his ship was torpedoed in the Med in 1941. He was married but had no children and no one in the family has any idea what happened to his medals. For all we know he may have had them on board ship. By the time of his death he had been awarded the DSO, DSC * and the RD. From what I can work out he would also have qualified for the 39-45 Star, Atlantic Star, Africa Star and the 39-45 War Medal. Is there any way I can I find out if they were ever issued by the medal office, and if not can I apply for them, or a replacement set?
 
#2
Your assumption about WWII qualification is probably correct (caveat: not knowing what ship/ships he served on). Given that he had DSO, DSC* and RD, I'm assuming WWI service also? If so, and those decorations plus WWI awards are also missing, then I'm afraid you've had it for any further issue.

As to WWII, have a go at this link:

Ministry of Defence medal form

It's possible that his WWII awards were issued to his widow and have since been lost.

However, if she had no wish to be reminded of his death, then it is possible that they were never issued. Even if they were, you could always try and blag some freebies :cool:

. . . if that fails, then the awards you mentioned will cost you less than £100 to buy online, which is acceptable as British issues were not named.

Good luck, chap!
 
#3
Thanks mate. Useful info. I'll try the medals office direct but thought I'd see what light the Arrse hive mind could shed on things. He was my grandfather's younger brother and I think he was born in 1905 so had no WW1 service. He joined the RNR in 1925 and all his decorations were awarded between April 1940 and January 1942. The last being the bar to his DSC which was awarded for the evacuation of Crete but was gazetted after his death.
 
#4
If the medals were never issued then the next of kin can apply to be issued with the medals.

If the medal office has evidence that they were issued then, they will only provide replacements if it can be proved (crime recorded) that they had been stolen and then there is a charge.

It is possible that the DSO and the DSC were issued as they would have been presented at Buckingham Place.

All of his medals would have been unnamed, so it would be possible to have a replica medal group made up using copies. (see Worcester Medals) Worcester Medals.

The medal office can also provide details of his medal entitlement

Archie
 
#5
Bloody hell! That was an intense 20 months!

Sadly, of course, neither his DSO nor his DSC were named though the year of issue was engraved on the DSC: annoying, that, as any ne'er do well could cobble such a group together and punt it out to auction for a few quid, even without supporting documentation-'attributed to' always hides a multitude of sins.

. . . and the original group would have been a thing of beauty: DSO, DSC* and RD to RNR? Not bad, given that there were only just over 600 second award bars to DSC.
 
#6
Bloody hell! That was an intense 20 months!
Quite! DSO April 1940 for anti-submarine operations in home waters (HM Trawler Blackfly). Then he was involved in the Dunkirk evacuation. August 1940 awarded RD and given command of corvette HMS Salvia. Transferred to Med. DSC June '41 for evacuation of Greece. Killed Christmas Eve 1941 when his ship was torpedoed and sunk with all hands. Bar to DSC for evacuation of Crete gazetted January '42. I've got his brother's medals (my grandfather Indian Army WW1 and NW Frontier), and I'd love to put together my great uncle's.
 
#7
Quite! DSO April 1940 for anti-submarine operations in home waters (HM Trawler Blackfly). Then he was involved in the Dunkirk evacuation. August 1940 awarded RD and given command of corvette HMS Salvia. Transferred to Med. DSC June '41 for evacuation of Greece. Killed Christmas Eve 1941 when his ship was torpedoed and sunk with all hands. Bar to DSC for evacuation of Crete gazetted January '42. I've got his brother's medals (my grandfather Indian Army WW1 and NW Frontier), and I'd love to put together my great uncle's.
I've carried out a quick search of Dix Noonan and Webb medal auctions: at least there's no mention of either his DSO, DSC or RD coming up for sale.
 
#8
Thanks mate. I've just done a quick tally of Worcester Medals. £400 before mounting! Half of that is the DSO. Expensive brave bastard!
 
#10
That I will! Haven't bought them yet though. I need to get confirmation from the medal office as to what he was eligible for, and whether I can get replacements or not.
 

overopensights

ADC
Book Reviewer
#11
If the medals were never issued then the next of kin can apply to be issued with the medals.

If the medal office has evidence that they were issued then, they will only provide replacements if it can be proved (crime recorded) that they had been stolen and then there is a charge.

It is possible that the DSO and the DSC were issued as they would have been presented at Buckingham Place.

All of his medals would have been unnamed, so it would be possible to have a replica medal group made up using copies. (see Worcester Medals) Worcester Medals.

The medal office can also provide details of his medal entitlement

Archie
That's Sound advice!
 
#14
You need to honour your Great Uncle and his Shipmates, please name him and his ship.
Lt Cdr John Isdale Miller (known as Jack) DSO, DSC*, RD, RNR, HMS Salvia. Torpedoed and lost with all hands 24th December 1941 approx 100 miles East of Tobruk West of Alexandria. She was also carrying the master and nearly 100 survivors from the SS Shuntien which had been sunk the previous day. They were mostly German POWs, and guards from the Durham Light Infantry.

Edited for accuracy.
 
Last edited:
#15
Indeed a very brave man.
Check the Medals office, in the case of DSCs and DSOs there will be a good paper trail as both are significant gallantry awards. You might well be able to get a replacement set, but there should be records as to when and who they were awarded. Next of kin are most likely so be prepared to discover they are in the family somewhere. If not be prepared to assemble a copy set as original DSO/DSCs will set you back a few Thousand!
Fantastic history and a very proud heritage.
1549615311882.png
 
#16
The Scottish Military Research Group - Commemorations Project :: View topic - DUNBARNEY, RHYND & DRON
All details from the Scottish Military research site. And he is commemorated on the war memorial in Bridge of Earn, Perthshire.

MILLER, JOHN ISDALE
Initials: J I
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Lieut-Commander
Regiment/Service: Royal Naval Reserve
Unit Text: H.M.S. Salvia.
Age: 39
Date of Death: 24/12/1941
Awards: D S O, D S C, R D
Additional information: Husband of Margaret M. Miller, of Bridge of Earn, Perthshire.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 60, Column 1.
Memorial: PORTSMOUTH NAVAL MEMORIAL

This man was highly decorated for an RNR officer. He was in command of the Flower class corvette HMS 'Salvia' in the Mediterranean when his ship was torpedoed and sank within minutes with the loss of all 58 hands.
A very callous act by U-568 because the 'Salvia' was picking up Axis prisoners of war after the sinking of their transport ship the SS 'Shuntien' by the U-559 earlier that night. The master of the 'Shuntien', William L. Shinn, 47 crew members and an unknown number of gunners and prisoners had been picked up by HMS 'Salvia' and they were all lost when the Salvia was sunk.

In total about 800 souls from the two ships lost their lives that night. Sailors, DEMS gunners, guards from 1st Bn Durham Light Infantry and PoWs
 
#17
Indeed a very brave man.
Check the Medals office, in the case of DSCs and DSOs there will be a good paper trail as both are significant gallantry awards. You might well be able to get a replacement set, but there should be records as to when and who they were awarded. Next of kin are most likely so be prepared to discover they are in the family somewhere. If not be prepared to assemble a copy set as original DSO/DSCs will set you back a few Thousand!
Fantastic history and a very proud heritage.
View attachment 376680
That's the memorial in Bridge of Earn which is where his mother was from. I think he's also commemorated in Portsmouth though he was actually born in Calcutta.
 
#18
That's the memorial in Bridge of Earn which is where his mother was from. I think he's also commemorated in Portsmouth though he was actually born in Calcutta.
Yes he is, along with 15000 others lost at sea from WW2 on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial - It's the Naval version of Thiepval or The Menin Gate to the lost of WW1.
 
#19
Lt Cdr John Isdale Miller DSO, DSC*, RD, RNR, HMS Salvia. Torpedoed and lost with all hands 24th December 1941 approx 100 miles East of Tobruk. She was also carrying the master and nearly 100 survivors from the SS Shuntien which had been sunk the previous day. They were mostly German POWs and guards from the Durham Light Infantry.
To the Officers and crew of HMS SALVIA, the Officers, crew and passengers of SS SHUNTIEN.
REST IN PEACE.

LEST WE FORGET.
 

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