Medal application for deceased relative

BrunoNoMedals

LE
Kit Reviewer
Well it's the first time I've logged into ARRSE for a good few years and despite the many changes I see some familiar names knocking about!

Reason I'm here: I'm helping my gran do some digging on her uncle (my great-great-uncle, I guess), who was a prisoner at Java POW camp and died in the Suez Maru incident. I've looked at the gov.uk information and think I know what I'm doing, but I wanted to check I've got all my facts and plans together regarding my gran's hopes that she can apply for his medals.

Gran believes she's NoK as he had no children and his now-deceased wife remarried (to his best mate) a few years after his death. I've already told her to get confirmation, so that should be underway, but having looked at the application forms it seems that NoK is self-declared with no proof necessary. Is this the case or would we be expected to submit some form of paperwork for that?

NoK details aside, the medal application form seems pretty straightforward but implies you know which medals you're applying for - which we don't. We have a service number, but no service record, so I'm assuming the first step is to pay the £30 and apply for a copy of that. Once we get confirmation of campaign medals from the record, we complete the medal application form and off it goes.

Alternatively we could tap up the CWGC and see if this have his details, but I know gran would appreciate an official copy of his record. Does you actually get anything tangible when you apply for the record in this way, or is it simply an email listing the key details? If the latter, CWGC would be as effective and obviously free.

Have I got everything covered or is there more to it than that? Any advice would be much appreciated!

Cheers,

BNM
 
That's essentially what I did for my late father. I had to provide a copy of the death certificate. My Mum still alive was NoK so she signed the form. Once I had the service record (it stated the medals awarded) which I then applied for and received.
 

Union Jack

Old-Salt
NoK details aside, the medal application form seems pretty straightforward but implies you know which medals you're applying for - which we don't. We have a service number, but no service record, so I'm assuming the first step is to pay the £30 and apply for a copy of that. Once we get confirmation of campaign medals from the record, we complete the medal application form and off it goes.

Alternatively we could tap up the CWGC and see if this have his details, but I know gran would appreciate an official copy of his record. Does you actually get anything tangible when you apply for the record in this way, or is it simply an email listing the key details? If the latter, CWGC would be as effective and obviously free.

Have I got everything covered or is there more to it than that? Any advice would be much appreciated!

Cheers,

BNM
From may experience of helping other families, I can confirm that you can apply regarding medals at no cost and quite separately from applying for the full service record concerned, which could in any case take some time. Just provide all the information you can and the MOD Medal Office should be able to do the rest, recalling in any case that not all WWII personnel had service or official numbers.

Good hunting!

Jack
 

BrunoNoMedals

LE
Kit Reviewer
Thanks chaps. As he died in service a death certificate isn't required, so that's one hurdle avoided.

@Union Jack can the Medal Office determine which medals should be awarded? Point of the service record was to understand what we're applying for, as I'm assuming the MO only work to a clear request. Is it legitimate to go in with "we want his medals but you'll have to tell us which he got" as the ask?
 

slick

LE
I don`t think you need the service record, as long as you can fill in the medal application form with enough information, the medal office should be able to do the necessary.
 

historicus

Clanker
The Medal Office should call his service record as part of the process themselves to confirm entitlement for campaign medals (and to check they haven't been issued already). For most people determining entitlements against what can be confusing criteria in some instances would be well beyond them hence the medal office should do it on the requesters behalf. As long as you give MODMO enough details to confirm that they have the right serviceman they should take care of the rest. Having said that, it's always worth having an idea of what you think they should be getting medals wise to ensure that is what you do actually get.
 

Union Jack

Old-Salt
Thanks chaps. As he died in service a death certificate isn't required, so that's one hurdle avoided.

@Union Jack can the Medal Office determine which medals should be awarded? Point of the service record was to understand what we're applying for, as I'm assuming the MO only work to a clear request. Is it legitimate to go in with "we want his medals but you'll have to tell us which he got" as the ask?
Yes indeed, precisely as I did most recently for a 100 year old veteran last year, and endorsed by Slick and Historicus. In the case to which I refer, the medals concerned were delivered to the veteran within less than three weeks of the application being made, without any accompanying guesstimate of their prospective entitlement.

I'm sure that you will appreciate that it might take a little longer under present conditions, so the sooner you apply the better!

Jack
 
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I'd never heard of the Suez Maru incident before your post. I can't imagine the utter horror of it.

 

Cutaway

LE
Kit Reviewer
Having said that, it's always worth having an idea of what you think they should be getting medals wise to ensure that is what you do actually get.
One of the gong fundis will pitch before long, and with some gen via pm they'll see you right.
 

BrunoNoMedals

LE
Kit Reviewer
Once again, thank you all. I knew the ARRSE hive mind was the place to go

We're obviously pretty sure he'd have a Pacific Star and 39-45 War Medal so we'll start with that and see if MODMO dig up anything else. He was mid 30s when captured in late '41 so could easily have joined up at the start and seen some other theatres before the Pacific.

I'll update when we hear more. The Suez Maru was a new one on me as well, and it's a hell of a story. A descendant of a victim has written a book on the subject and kindly sent my gran a copy with a letter during her initial investigations. You can tell he's really not happy with the government's approach to justice on the matter.
 
Cuts PM'd me and asked that I pop in and have a look.

That done, there's nothing for me to do as others have given good advice.

As to entitlement: well (again, as already advised) his group would be a minimum of 39-45 Star, Pacific Star and War Medal.

There's a possibility that, prior to capture, he may have an entitlement to a Defence Medal, depending when he arrived in theatre*.

Also (whilst not wishing to piss on anyone's strawberries) there's the chance that, post War, his widow applied for his medals as NOK. MoD records should show if that was the case.

Having said that, as WWII medals were issued unnamed, you can put together his entitlement for less than a £100 if you shop around.

Good luck!

ETA: was he a pre-war Regular? If he was RA there's a chance that a Tracer Card exists for him.

*the qualification criteria for the DM is a thing of bureaucratic beauty and one I'm not going to burden this thread with-all to do with which areas were subject to the threat of air attack, etc :rolleyes:
 
Hi All
I'm doing same as BrunoNoMedals for my dad and in process of printing off and completing the Service Record and Medal application forms for mother to sign. A bit like BNM we want Service Record just to fill in some gaps, dad passed away 12 years ago.
I'm doing this for myself to put together what I have of dad's service and ultimately to pass to my nephew as my own daughters aren't interested in that aspect of history. So want to get it right.
I keep reading the .gov.uk website and fairly sure dad should have 39-45 Star, Burma Star, and War medal. For some reason, I have 39-45 Star and 2(?) War Medals so would only be applying for Burma Star.
My issue is with Defence Medal (the Orange and Green ribbon one) which is essentially for non operational service including civilians. I have mounted ribbon but no medal and want to know if he was entitled.
Dad joined late, 1944 at 171/2 was posted after basic to India and was there when war ended. According to .gov.uk he didn't do enough time in UK or non operational overseas to qualify. No problem. There is one reference in Wiki that if you had a campaign Star you could also have Defence Medal.
Most pics of medal groups include Defence Medal when 'Stars' suggest they couldn't have been non operational in UK for requisite time as they would be operational elsewhere.
 
Hi All
I'm doing same as BrunoNoMedals for my dad and in process of printing off and completing the Service Record and Medal application forms for mother to sign. A bit like BNM we want Service Record just to fill in some gaps, dad passed away 12 years ago.
I'm doing this for myself to put together what I have of dad's service and ultimately to pass to my nephew as my own daughters aren't interested in that aspect of history. So want to get it right.
I keep reading the .gov.uk website and fairly sure dad should have 39-45 Star, Burma Star, and War medal. For some reason, I have 39-45 Star and 2(?) War Medals so would only be applying for Burma Star.
My issue is with Defence Medal (the Orange and Green ribbon one) which is essentially for non operational service including civilians. I have mounted ribbon but no medal and want to know if he was entitled.
Dad joined late, 1944 at 171/2 was posted after basic to India and was there when war ended. According to .gov.uk he didn't do enough time in UK or non operational overseas to qualify. No problem. There is one reference in Wiki that if you had a campaign Star you could also have Defence Medal.
Most pics of medal groups include Defence Medal when 'Stars' suggest they couldn't have been non operational in UK for requisite time as they would be operational elsewhere.
*in a small voice* for the love of god, here we go again . . .

Dependent on when and where the chap served, almost any combination is possible. For those who went into the bag during the Fall of France, they received a 39-45 Star and War Medal for 5 years behind the wire. For them that got back but never went overseas to an operational theatre, it was 39-45 Star, Defence Medal and War Medal.

The criteria for the DM is a thing of beauty and much too long and complicated for this post: suffice to say (for Military folk) much was dependent on whether the area in which they served was directly under air attack or threat of air attack.

That's the simple version. Thus, if a chap was already serving in Malaya, Singapore or Hong Kong when the Japs hove into view (and up to the surrenders in those 3 areas) they would have qualified for 39-45, Pacific Star, DM and WM.

If, however, they were a part of diverted reinforcements to those areas, then they din't have enough time in theatre to qualify for the DM.

Clear so far? :cool:

When you say that you have ' . . . mounted ribbon . . ' is that on a uniform ribbon bar? If such is the case, then don't fret, it means that he was still serving when the first of the WWII medals and ribbons were announced-curiously, the WM was instituted much later than rest, hence why there is no WM ribbon.

Much depends on whether Dad applied for his medals at war's end (and the individual had to apply): many of those who had a rough time of it, such as ex-POWs, did not bother, simply wishing to put it all behind them.

Once you have sight of his Service Records, then all will become clearer.

Good luck and let's know what happens.
 

Cutaway

LE
Kit Reviewer
Hi All
I'm doing same as BrunoNoMedals for my dad and in process of printing off and completing the Service Record and Medal application forms for mother to sign. A bit like BNM we want Service Record just to fill in some gaps, dad passed away 12 years ago.
I'm doing this for myself to put together what I have of dad's service and ultimately to pass to my nephew as my own daughters aren't interested in that aspect of history. So want to get it right.
I keep reading the .gov.uk website and fairly sure dad should have 39-45 Star, Burma Star, and War medal. For some reason, I have 39-45 Star and 2(?) War Medals so would only be applying for Burma Star.
My issue is with Defence Medal (the Orange and Green ribbon one) which is essentially for non operational service including civilians. I have mounted ribbon but no medal and want to know if he was entitled.
Dad joined late, 1944 at 171/2 was posted after basic to India and was there when war ended. According to .gov.uk he didn't do enough time in UK or non operational overseas to qualify. No problem. There is one reference in Wiki that if you had a campaign Star you could also have Defence Medal.
Most pics of medal groups include Defence Medal when 'Stars' suggest they couldn't have been non operational in UK for requisite time as they would be operational elsewhere.
The reference I saw was the "official published statement on the WW2 stars and the Defence medal" as at May '45:

The Defence Medal

12. (iii) Those qualified for any one of the Campaign Stars may be granted this award in addition, and subsequent award of one of the Campaign Stars will not supersede a previous grant of the Defence Medal.
It doesn't say the DM will be granted, only that it may.
Hopefully one of the gong wizards will make it all clear soon.

Edit:
No sooner said than done.
Forget all I wrote and follow the advice in #015.
 
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FourZeroCharlie

Thanks and apologies for " *in a small voice* for the love of god, here we go again . . " but maybe necessary because "almost any combination is possible" .
I'm trying to put together a presentation case with a couple of photos, Service Record and mounted medals. Don't want to bling it up but neither do I want to sell the old man short. Was convinced DM was not entitled but seeing other veterans medal groups, your comments, and Cutaway's reference, is that he may be . So it'll have to be Service Record and hope MODMO come up trumps. The curiosity is I that I have 2 War Medals, maybe he bought one thinking it was DM, but no Burma Star which he definitely is entitled to.
 

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