Dr Who - 1953 - Medals Question

I watched a Dr Who episode (the new ones) on the cable thingy this evening. It was quite good, set in 1953 on the eve of the Coronation.

Nevertheless, being the spotter I am, I noticed that one of the characters was wearing a row of medals, namely:

1939-45 Star
Burma Star
France and Germany Star
Defence Medal
War Medal 1939-45

Is this likely to have been correct? Both the Burma Star and France and Germany Star? It seems unlikely at first glance from my very basic knowledge of the campaigns, and I hope the researchers have proven me wrong. Are there any experts out there? The medals were not central to the plot by any means, but standards are standards!


maninblack said:
It is possible although recipients of both would be quite rare.
Yes - couldn't see Bill Slim tolerating a talent drain to the West. He was understandably bitter over the lack of recognition for 14th Army.


Lots of army staff officers - and RAF/RN personnel of all types - seem to have been posted back and forth between theatres.

If the BBC wardrobe people went out and bought a complete service dress, or a row of medals, they're likely to be authentic items, as the BBC are surely too lefty and ignorant to put together a set which is anywhere near realistic - they'd be mixing 1914/18 and 1980s GSM, etc.
My uncle, the Gunner one, was wounded in Burma and then repatriated. He finished his war in Northern Germany on the staff of 1st Army. He indeed was the recipient of both Burma Star (1942-1943) and France & Germany Star (1945).

Eligibility for the Burma Star was from 11 December 1941 in Burma and in Bengal or assam from 1 May 1942 to 31 December 1943. From 1 January 1944 service east of the Brahmaputra counted.

The France & Germany Star was awarded for service in France, Belgium, Holland or Germany from 1 june 1944 until 8 May 1945.

Receiving both was highly possible therefore. entry into the operational theatre was sufficient to qualify for one of these geographically bounded campaign stars. The Air Crew europe, Pacific and Atlantic Stars required periods varying by service and location between two and six months.


MoD general classification:

Campaign : Burma
Dates: 11 Dec 1941 - 2 Sep 1945
Star awarded for 1 or more days’ service in Burma between the above dates.

Those serving in Bengal and Assam (in India), China, Hong Kong, Malaya or Sumatra between certain other specified dates will also qualify.
Naval personnel must qualify first for the 1939-45 Star before the Burma Star can be awarded. It is then awarded for service at sea, restricted to the Bay of Bengal within certain specified boundaries.
Certain special conditions apply governing award of the Star for those Naval personnel entering service less than 6 months before the end of the qualifying period.
RAF air crew engaged in operations against the enemy will also qualify provided that at least one operational sortie has been completed.

Campaign : Northwest Europe
Dates : 6 Jun 1944 - 8 May 1945
Location : France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Germany

Star awarded for 1 or more days’ service in France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands or Germany between the above dates.
Naval personnel will qualify for service afloat in the North Sea and English Channel within certain specified boundaries.
RAF air crew, who have not already qualified by service on land, will qualify with one operational sortie over the appropriate land or sea area.

Quite a bit of scope for transfer Burma-UK-NW Europe, or NW Europe-Burma.

The MOD web-site qualification is very broad in its summary. Naval and RAF personnel operating over metropolitan France from Mediterranean bases actually received the Italy Star, not the France & Germany Star.
Pre war regular soldiers were eligible for 'repatriation' after serving six years overseas. Those in that category were shipped to the UK following Imphal. Guess where they ended up?
Some British veterans of the 5th Indian Division's campaigns in North Africa and Burma ended up in NW Europe.
I recall a Royal Engineer LSL Staff Sergeant on the QM's staff at RMAS in the early 1970s wearing the North Africa, Burma and France and Germany Stars.

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