MC for Meritorious Service?

man_in_blue

Old-Salt
Hello all.

I'm currently assembling a small exhibition in a small museum that I volunteer with and where my small knowledge of matters military has seen me handed this small project.

It's about a local man who started WW1 as a Trooper in the local Territorial cavalry unit and was subsequently commissioned into the local infantry regiment and thence attached to the Machine Gun Corps. On the SD tunic I'll be mounting there are ribbons for MC, British War Medal, and the Allied Victory Medal. The last two are fairly self explanatory for labelling purposes but with the MC I've run into a couple of barriers.

The MC is listed in the Gazette as being part of the birthday honours list for 1919 which my research suggests was an award for meritorious service rather than for an action in combat and as such there isn't going to be a citation for it. I realise that this is maybe a bit of a stretch but were MCs awarded for meritorious service a common thing and if so what was likely to lead to an award?

Thanks for helping a light blue chap out!
 
Sounds like a catch-up award for the 'Peace Gazette'. I doubt very much if you'll find a citation for the award.

If you pass me his name and details, I can have a check for you.
 

RP578

LE
Book Reviewer
The MC is listed in the Gazette as being part of the birthday honours list for 1919 which my research suggests was an award for meritorious service rather than for an action in combat and as such there isn't going to be a citation for it. I realise that this is maybe a bit of a stretch but were MCs awarded for meritorious service a common thing and if so what was likely to lead to an award?

The Gazette back then may have used a phrase such as, "For distinguished service in connection with military operations in ..." or sometimes, " For valuable services rendered in connection with military operations in ...". I am not sure that they are a great indicator of the nature of the award beyond which theatre of operations it was awarded in.

A number of MCs in both World Wars were of the 'came up with the rations' variety, Edward VIII's for instance so this could be the case with your subject too. If you care to share the details of the recipient (name, number, unit), we could try to pin it down a particular action.
 
The original Royal arrant for the MC stated that:

Whereas We have taken into Our Royal consideration the distinguished services in time of War of Officers of certain ranks in Our Army; And whereas We are desirous of signifying Our appreciation of such services by a mark of Our Royal favour We do by these Presents for Us Our heirs and successors institute and create a Cross to be awarded to Officers whose distinguished and meritorious services have been brought to Our notice.​
The Warrant was amended in 1916 to allow for the award of bars where appropriate - in November 1920, the original warrant was further amended, and the criteria for awards became:
The Military Cross shall be awarded... for gallant and distinguished services in action​
The wording of the 1914 Warrant suggests that the MC was intended to be the equivalent of the DSO for Captains and Lieutenants, covering both gallantry and meritorious service, before being awarded only for acts of gallantry after 1920.
 
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The original Royal arrant for the MC stated that:

Whereas We have taken into Our Royal consideration the distinguished services in time of War of Officers of certain ranks in Our Army; And whereas We are desirous of signifying Our appreciation of such services by a mark of Our Royal favour We do by these Presents for Us Our heirs and successors institute and create a Cross to be awarded to Officers whose distinguished and meritorious services have been brought to Our notice.​
The Warrant was amended in 1916 to allow for the award of bars where appropriate - in November 1920, the original warrant was further amended, and the criteria for awards became:
The Military Cross shall be awarded... for gallant and distinguished services in action​
The wording of the 1914 Warrant suggests that the MC was intended to be the equivalent of the DSO for Captains and Lieutenants, covering both gallantry and meritorious service, before being awarded only for acts of gallantry after 1920.


Looks like you've hit the nail on the head there!
 

man_in_blue

Old-Salt
Thank you all for your replies, I'd been working with the 1920 criteria for the MC in mind and I'd been unaware of the somewhat broader possibilities for an award prior to that.

The notice of award of the MC is in an edition of the London Gazette dated 30th May 1919 and reads thus:

"Lt. (A./Capt.) Frederick Mills, 10th Bn., R.
Scot®, T.F., seed., 36th Bn., M.G. -Corps"

The list that he's part of is just titled Awarded the Military Cross under the overall heading:

"The KING lias been graciously pleased, on
the occasion of His Majesty's Birthday, to approve
of the undermentioned rewards for dis-
' tinguished service in connection with Military
Operations in France and Flanders. Dated
3rd jUne, 1919: —"

So from this it's reasonable to conclude that it was an award for general good work/sustained bravery on ops but not in a single act that could be written up?


Thanks again chaps!
 
Thank you all for your replies, I'd been working with the 1920 criteria for the MC in mind and I'd been unaware of the somewhat broader possibilities for an award prior to that.

The notice of award of the MC is in an edition of the London Gazette dated 30th May 1919 and reads thus:

"Lt. (A./Capt.) Frederick Mills, 10th Bn., R.
Scot®, T.F., seed., 36th Bn., M.G. -Corps"

The list that he's part of is just titled Awarded the Military Cross under the overall heading:

"The KING lias been graciously pleased, on
the occasion of His Majesty's Birthday, to approve
of the undermentioned rewards for dis-
' tinguished service in connection with Military
Operations in France and Flanders. Dated
3rd jUne, 1919: —"

So from this it's reasonable to conclude that it was an award for general good work/sustained bravery on ops but not in a single act that could be written up?


Thanks again chaps!

Would a home address in Alnwick ring a bell?
 

man_in_blue

Old-Salt
Would a home address in Alnwick ring a bell?

That's the fella! I've managed to get a digital copy of his medal index card which has the address on the back. Otherwise the only address details we have so far are that of the relative who donated the uniform items.
 
The original Royal arrant for the MC stated that:

Whereas We have taken into Our Royal consideration the distinguished services in time of War of Officers of certain ranks in Our Army; And whereas We are desirous of signifying Our appreciation of such services by a mark of Our Royal favour We do by these Presents for Us Our heirs and successors institute and create a Cross to be awarded to Officers whose distinguished and meritorious services have been brought to Our notice.​
The Warrant was amended in 1916 to allow for the award of bars where appropriate - in November 1920, the original warrant was further amended, and the criteria for awards became:
The Military Cross shall be awarded... for gallant and distinguished services in action​
The wording of the 1914 Warrant suggests that the MC was intended to be the equivalent of the DSO for Captains and Lieutenants, covering both gallantry and meritorious service, before being awarded only for acts of gallantry after 1920.

When did Warrant Officers become eligible for the award? From its inception?
 
Thanks for the info 40C.
I take it then the successor to the DCM - the CGC is also now open to all ranks?
Are 'ORs' eligible for the DSO now?
 
Thanks for the info 40C.
I take it then the successor to the DCM - the CGC is also now open to all ranks?
Are 'ORs' eligible for the DSO now?

CGC is open to all ranks; it is used as the 'replacement' for the DSO to recognise acts of gallantry by officers. In illustrative terms, Paddy Mayne and Willie Tait would have had four CGCs rather than their four DSOs.

ORs can't receive the DSO - edit: Apologies; that’s ambiguous and too cynical a response ...

ORs are eligible, but for the reason explained in Alfred’s post below, it seems almost certain that a CGC would be awarded, as meeting the criteria in the warrant for the DSO is exceptionally difficult for an OR to achieve without ticking all the metaphorical boxes for the award CGC and quite possibly getting into the territory where a VC might be considered.
 
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CGC is open to all ranks; it is used as the 'replacement' for the DSO to recognise acts of gallantry by officers. In illustrative terms, Paddy Mayne and Willie Tait would have had four CGCs rather than their four DSOs.

ORs can't receive the DSO.

Thanks Archi.
I know of one young lad from my old regiment, a corporal, who was awarded the CGC in Iraq for an outstanding act of bravery., have any officers been awarded the CGC?
 
Thank you all for your replies, I'd been working with the 1920 criteria for the MC in mind and I'd been unaware of the somewhat broader possibilities for an award prior to that.

The notice of award of the MC is in an edition of the London Gazette dated 30th May 1919 and reads thus:

"Lt. (A./Capt.) Frederick Mills, 10th Bn., R.
Scot®, T.F., seed., 36th Bn., M.G. -Corps"

The list that he's part of is just titled Awarded the Military Cross under the overall heading:

"The KING lias been graciously pleased, on
the occasion of His Majesty's Birthday, to approve
of the undermentioned rewards for dis-
' tinguished service in connection with Military
Operations in France and Flanders. Dated
3rd jUne, 1919: —"

So from this it's reasonable to conclude that it was an award for general good work/sustained bravery on ops but not in a single act that could be written up?


Thanks again chaps!
Didn't Leonard Cheshire's VC come into a similar category?
 

napier

LE
Moderator
Kit Reviewer
I'm pretty sure its orders, then gallantry awards
 

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