History Buffs - Help pls! WW1 service records

On advice, am re-posting here.

Have tracked down my G. Grandfather's medal roll index card from WW1. Does anyone have any recommendations on how to decipher the various abbreviations and squiggles to work out the medals awarded?

Have attached record in question - he seems to have been a lance corporal in the Hants Regiment, but other than that, am a bit stumped.

All help gratefully received.




Looks like he went over to France with the Hampsters on 1 Nov 1914 and won the 1914 Star (part of Pip Squeak and Wilfred) and which makes him an old contemptible

Also looks like he was commissioned 23 Oct 1916 (probably after all the officers were killed on the Somme)

Retired 11 Feb 1922.

but I may be talking bollox
I think previous posters have practically said it all.

These documents refer only to 'medals' and not to 'service' although they contain some 'service' data.

It is clear that he enlisted in The London Regiment and was allocated the Regimental Number: 1700. (Today soldiers have 'Army Numbers', - irrespective of regiment or corps).

It is almost certain that he went to France on 1 Nov '14 and, as has been said, that made him an 'Old Contemptible' - be proud, be very proud.

He was commissioned on the 23 Oct '16 into the Hampshire Regiment.

I question his 'retirement' or 'discharge' date.

The lower document states that 'OC 4 Hants' applied for the 1914 Star on 11 Dec 17. It further states: 'EF9 retd 11.2.22'. I do not think this is a discharge or retirement date, but is probably the date which the application for the 1914 Star was actioned and the medal awarded.

I may well be wrong.

Google may help with references to The London Regiment and the Hampshire Regiment (not Royal until later).
Just to add that he appears to have been a Territorial, although this wouldn't have affected which campaign medals he wore.
The 16th Londons were, I believe, also known as the Queens Westminster Rifles and are now represented by F Coy 7 RIFLES. There are still some Regimental records in their Davies Street HQ.
The 4th Hampshires were also Territorial and are now represented by 3 PWRR. Their museum is in Winchester but I can tell you that they served in (1/4th) India, Mesopotamia, Northern Persia, (2/4th) India, Egypt, Palestine and France. The 3/4th did not leave England.
Hope this helps.


"Retd" is nothing to do with retirement. It refers to the fact that the medals were returned. This could have been for a variety of reasons - wrong inscription, recipient sent then back as he didn't want them, or as seems likely in this case they had been sent to the wrong address.

If you look more carefully the style and colour of the writing in which the old address is crossed out and the new one written in, is the same as that noting "T/Capt" as the rank at the top and what looks to be a name (Bentinck Franklin?) against this correction. Also the date at the bottom of the lower page (March 22) corresponds with the date given against the medal roll entries for the BWM and VM.

The fact that he had to apply for the 1914 star and that there seems to have been this confusion with getting the medals to him might be because he'd changed Regiments and been commissioned and someone hadn't linked LCpl Soward of The Londons with Capt Soward of the Hampshires?

I can recommend this page as a good start for understanding more about WW1 medals and medal cards. Have you tried getting his service records yet?

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