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First World War Medal Index Cards

#1
Hi, do any of you good chaps out there have any experience deciphering First World War Medal Index Cards? I have a copy of my Great Granddads and I have no idea how to read it, next to the Medal Entitlement Section it shows J/1/103BB and I don't have a clue what it means also, the Theatre served in section is blank, he wasn't entitled to any 'Stars' either, which I thought a bit strange. He was in the South Lancashire Regiment if that helps. TIA.
 
#4
The references on the card are to the the Medal Roll books which record the details of the soldier, his unit, the award etc. May also contain details ofwhere the soldier served.
You can use the National Archives website to search for 'Medal Rolls' or you can click on the 'Discovery' tab and enter WO 329/1 which will give you details of the Medal Rolls for 1914 to 1920. If you register, which is free, you can download a pdf of this file....again, for free and then look up the info on the index card. It might bit time consuming, but the info is there. Edited to add that I had a look and itseems a bit difficult to collate your Index card data with the mass of emtries in the Roll, butI am pretty certain that the info on your index card refers to actual journal in which the details are stored.
 
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#5
Hi, do any of you good chaps out there have any experience deciphering First World War Medal Index Cards? I have a copy of my Great Granddads and I have no idea how to read it, next to the Medal Entitlement Section it shows J/1/103BB and I don't have a clue what it means also, the Theatre served in section is blank, he wasn't entitled to any 'Stars' either, which I thought a bit strange. He was in the South Lancashire Regiment if that helps. TIA.
Presumably he didn't serve in a theatre of war within the qualifying dates for the 1914 or 1914/15 Star and thus wasn't awarded one?
 
#8
Yes bogstandard post 1916 mic

The medal roll may hold more details

On ancestry search using name and number

It should list which battalion he was with

If I get time will look later

Regards

James


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Trilby

Clanker
Book Reviewer
#9
The letter J at the start of the Roll Code indicates that your ancestor's medals were issued from the Shrewsbury Infantry record office, which would be correct for a soldier who last served with the South Lancs, and the majority of the rest of the code is their specific Regimental Code (J/1/103/B). I think the next figure is actually 13, which I believe refers to the actual volume of the roll, and then the number shows page within the roll.

Medal Roll entry :

Name: George Riley
Military Year: 1914-1920
Rank: Private
Medal Awarded: British War Medal and Victory Medal
Regiment or Corps: Prince of Wales's Volunteers (South Lancashire) Regiment
Regimental Number: 32580
Previous Units: 1/5th S Lan R 32580 Pte
 
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#10
@postiebear and @Trilby have nailed it.

. . . and (for the vast majority of) MICs with further details such as forwarding address, etc would be for Officers, as they were obliged to claim their medals and, thus, would need to supply a return address for posting. ORs, with medals being issued as a matter of course, would not have an address recorded.

For those deceased, the named NoK would have the medals forwarded to them at the address noted on their Service records.
 
#11
@postiebear and @Trilby have nailed it.

. . . and (for the vast majority of) MICs with further details such as forwarding address, etc would be for Officers, as they were obliged to claim their medals and, thus, would need to supply a return address for posting. ORs, with medals being issued as a matter of course, would not have an address recorded.

For those deceased, the named NoK would have the medals forwarded to them at the address noted on their Service records.
Ahh, I now understand the officer/OR distinction. Thanks for that.
 
#13
As a bit of trivia, the MiC for Victor McLaglen (professional Oirishman to John Wayne) records his address as 'The Savoy, London' and that for Douglas Fairbanks says (as far as I can remember) simply 'Hollywood, USA'.
McLaglen, boy soldier with the Life Guards, WWI Provost Marshal of Baghdad.
Somebody once described listening to him as listening in effect to the voice of Kipling's Tommy (although I've no doubt totally misquoted that).
"Gunga Din" was on TV again at the weekend, McLaglan, Flynn and an Archibald Leach starting as three sergeants.
 
#14
The letter J at the start of the Roll Code indicates that your ancestor's medals were issued from the Shrewsbury Infantry record office, which would be correct for a soldier who last served with the South Lancs, and the majority of the rest of the code is their specific Regimental Code (J/1/103/B). I think the next figure is actually 13, which I believe refers to the actual volume of the roll, and then the number shows page within the roll.

Medal Roll entry :

Name: George Riley
Military Year: 1914-1920
Rank: Private
Medal Awarded: British War Medal and Victory Medal
Regiment or Corps: Prince of Wales's Volunteers (South Lancashire) Regiment
Regimental Number: 32580
Previous Units: 1/5th S Lan R 32580 Pte
Thank you so much for the info.
I've just found this pic on Long,Long,Trail and the chap 2nd to last on the right is the spitting image of My Father and my Son, the likeness is uncanny.
 

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Trilby

Clanker
Book Reviewer
#15
Thank you so much for the info.
I've just found this pic on Long,Long,Trail and the chap 2nd to last on the right is the spitting image of My Father and my Son, the likeness is uncanny.

My pleasure. I'll have a look around on some of the websites I am on later & see if any more information exists on his service.
 

Trilby

Clanker
Book Reviewer
#17
On that topic:

Fortunately, his pensions records survive:

British Army Service Records 1914-1920 Transcription


First name(s)George
Last nameRiley
Age18
Birth year1898
Birth townHapton
Birth countyLancashire
Birth countryEngland
Service number32580
RegimentSouth Lancashire Regiment
Year1917
SeriesWO 364
Series description
Wo 364 - First World War Pension Claims

Pte Riley was discharged in November 1919. He applied for a pension for Debility/Disordered Action of the Heart (aka Soldier's Heart, which I have seen some sources consider a manifestation of Shell Shock). His pension was turned down after examination in 1920, but the records helpfully survive and enable us to start to piece together his service.

From the two pages of his pension documents which survive, we can see that he enlisted at Burnley on 30 October 1916 aged 18 years 2 days but went through the Recruiting Medical Board on 26 April 1917, which would seem to suggest that he was in the Army Reserve in the intervening period. His first posting was to the East Lancashire Regiment under the service number 37251. He was later transferred, prior to disembarking in a theatre of war and given the regimental number 32580 which you see on his medal index card. There is a record of a dental extraction dated 15 September 1917; I have an inkling that this sort of work was done prior to sending men overseas and if I am right that gives us a pointer of the earliest likely date for his overseas service to start. October 1917 seems as good a guess for that as any other. He was transferred to the Army Z Reserve on demobilisation, meaning he was liable for immediate recall in the event that Germany repudiated the Armistice.
 

Trilby

Clanker
Book Reviewer
#19
Trilby that is absolutely fantastic, thank you very much, any more?;)
I enjoy this sort of thing, so it's no trouble. There isn't anything more that's certain, unfortunately. His service record proper hasn't survived, which would have told you a lot, including posting and transfer dates, embarkation dates, etc. I also looked to see if he appeared on one of the War Office daily or weekly casualty lists, or in the representative selection of WW1 hospital records preserved by the Wellcome Trust but no (good news for him, of course). If I can pull a few service records from men with adjacent numbers then I could probably make a more informed guess about his active service. The other options are a trawl of the British Newspaper Archive (I'm not a subscriber, unfortunately) or - a real work of devotion - you could try reading the battalion war diary to see if you find a mention of him, but as an Other Rank the chances are not high!
 

oldbaldy

LE
Moderator
#20
Here is a copy of page 2528 mentioned on his card
 

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