Czechoslovak Regiments within British Army?

Visiting the Military Museum in Prague, I came across this picture in the WW1 section if memory serves me correctly. It only took my attention as I noticed what looks like a British Military Cross on this Officer. Firstly, I wasn't aware that we issued our medals to non Commonwealth troops, and secondly were we in charge of whole Czech Bns in WW1? I can understand Czechs (if they escaped) coming under us in WW2 to form a Czech Legion. Apologies for the photo being on its side. Don't know why it's done that as it is the right way up on my pc.


Blade Runner, you've posted some really interesting pics so far. Could you please post them the right way up as I am old and feeble and it hurts my neck.

The French Army fighting within France contained a regiment, later brigade of Czechs. A small corps of Czech ex-Austrian Army POWs was formed within Russia and was extracted via Vladivostok with some British help but in neither case was there any direct British command.

An interestting puzzle.

He is a Second Lt. However, whether that is a British of Czech decoration I do not know. Will find out.

He is a Second Lt. However, whether that is a British of Czech decoration I do not know. Will find out.
It is a striking match to the Military Cross, so it is a wonder how he got it if it is.
I've seen a few British WW1 groups with obscure Serbian etc medals tacked on the end. Did we give other nations an allocation of medals in a reciprocal display of alliance solidarity?
It surely has to be something to do with the Czechoslovak Legion and the Siberian Intervention. The link below - about a Czech Legionnaire awarded the DCM - states that "290 such decorations were awarded to Czech Legionnaires" but "no verification has been found for this particular award".

A rare Great War D.C.M. Group to a Czech Legionnaire | eMedals

Will keep searching, but I'll bet now that the chap in the OP won his MC in similar circumstances.
Nothing much interesting from the translated link. It seems his MC was awarded in 1920 when he was a Major whilst serving on the Staff of the Czechoslovak Legion.

Odd that the pic lists him as a 2nd Lt. Is he wearing 2nd Lt. insignia in the above pic? Can't see anything to denote his rank. The link lists him being promoted to Lieutenant in 1917.
Nice one on the find! I did a few google searches on his name but got random links to Vladivostok and Bolshevik atrocities :crash:


Book Reviewer
brit czechs and poles were at tobruk and quite proud of the fact. many escaped through the balkans to join up in north africa, a bunch were left in lebanon after the french surrender - we kind of stole them and made up a battalion with the rest that turned up.

like the poles though most ended up staying here rather than be imprisoned and shot going home.
Lima, the Britisches Freikorps were nothing more than cheap propaganda. They never numbered much more than 30 men, and those were a ragtag bunch of opportunists, criminals and rogues. They spent the entire war sitting around doing little more than disgracing our country. IIRC, two of them may have fought briefly alongside SS-Charlemagne during the fall of Berlin. That is the only combat the BFK ever saw.

The unit and its members have an interesting, if pathetic, history though.
Quite a career this guy had:

01.10.1910 kadet rakousko-uherské branné moci - Officer Cadet, Austro-Hungarian Army.
01.01.1912 praporčík rakousko-uherské branné moci - 2Lt, Austro-Hungarian Army
01.11.1914 poručík rakousko-uherské branné moci - 1Lt, Austro-Hungarian Army
15.07.1916 podporučík srbské armády - 2Lt, Serbian Army
01.02.1917 poručík srbské armády - 1Lt, Serbian Army
10.03.1917 poručík ruské armády - 2Lt, Russian Army
07.02.1918 poručík legií - 2Lt, Czech Legion
12.08.1918 kapitán legií - Captain, Czech Legion
25.10.1918 major legií - Major, Czech Legion
01.11.1920 major pěchoty - Major, Infantry (Czechoslovak Army)
02.12.1921 podplukovník pěchoty - Lt Col, Infantry (Czechoslovak Army)
31.12.1923 plukovník pěchoty - Colonel, Infantry (Czechoslovak Army)
13.07.1933 general - General (Czechoslovak Army)
01.01.1940 výslužba - Retired

My guess is that he would have picked up the MC while serving either with the Serbs or the Russians - there were a number of decent gongs handed out to Allied officers. He seems to have been a Regular officer in the Austro-Hungarian Army who deserted to his Slav brothers in the Serbian Army just as soon as he had the chance and moved on to the Russian Army once Serbia was effectively overrun, from there to the Legion.
Glad its all over, that link says the MC was awarded in 1920. As I said above, he was a Major on the Staff of the Czechoslovak Legion by that point. The first link I posted claimed 290 British decorations were awarded to Czechoslovak Legion soldiers, but that virtually none of them were awarded "officially".

You're right about his career though, some lad. He was a passive member of the Czech resistance during WWII as well.
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