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Military Cross Mystery?

Ladies and gentlemen,

I while ago I mentioned an issue with an MC which was in my family's possession but which was not one of the MCs which we knew could be attributed to a family member. I have tried the family name (and similars) against the Gazette and come up with nothing.

Can any of you out there come up with another avenue for investigation, please?

The rear of the MC is inscribed with "7th June 1917 MESSINES", I know this is unusual since official dating didn't come into effect until 1937 (and that was only the year of award).
Have you tried the medal roll in the National Archive? Alternatively if you found out which regiments were there you could look in their battle notes also at National Archive a bit laborious and a long shot but might get a result

Happy hunting!
If you have the service number, it's better to search the Gazette with that rather than a name....

That's generally my view, but it's not always the best way. This page from Nov 1917 is mostly a list of people awarded the MC, and does not contain service numbers. Also the Gazette search engine doesn't always find things even if you have the right information.
Thanks for the replies.

Slightly more information has come forward that it might be awarded to an Australian...
On the southern end of the attack, 3rd Australian Division under Major General John Monash had a hard time coming up through Ploegsteert Wood coming under a heavy gas barrage and losing about 500 casualties.

They arrived at the front line just as the mines at Trenches 122 and 127 detonated and found themselves having to go straight into the attack. Opposition was minimal as those Germans encountered, were by and large shocked and bewildered beyond the capacity to resist.

On their left the New Zealand Division made rapid progress up towards Mesen village.
Messines Ridge - 7th June 1917

Men of the Fourth Australian Division assembled in the area taken by the New Zealand Division in the morning. They were supported on the south by the Third Australian Division. There was a serious hitch in the plan when the British, who were to advance north of the Australians, were late arriving at the start line. Captain Arthur Maxwell in charge of the Australian left flank company ordered his men to occupy the whole of the British objective in the Oosttaverne Line which fortunately the Germans had abandoned. The extension of the Fourth Division’s left flank opened a gap in the centre and the Oosttaverne Line was not completely taken until after four days and nights of fighting.

The Battle Messines was a ‘stunning success’. It removed the German salient south of Ypres and paved the way for the main offensive to commence on 31 July 1917. However, the two Australian Divisions suffered nearly 6800 casualties.
The Battle of Messines 7 June 1917
On using the number as a means to finding a soldier, the advice already given is generally sound, but a point to note is that due to the amounts of troops involved, numbers were often duplicated from regiment to regiment. There could feasibly be two soldiers who had the same number, and occasionally name but served with two different units. All very confusing to the researcher. If this chap was a regular prior to the outbreak of war, he may well have had a four digit number originally. These were later changed to six, because of the confusion caused by the old numbering system. That said, the updated system still had numbers duplicated as above, but was much better overall. If you can establish if he was a regular prior to the war, and which regiment he served with that will definitely help in your search as you will have two references to go by...Good luck!

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