MoD ignore WW2 PoWs

#21
I'm sure my GrandDad would have said the same Joshua.

However that does not excuse the Defense Services Secretary from doing a proper job.
Risk: Death rate All "British" Forces 1939-45 - 7.7% (includes PoWs)
PoWs 1939-45 - 4.6%
Vigour: Most PoWs marched 600-1100 miles on virtually no food and lived for 5 years on about 600Cal/day.
PoWs captured in 1940 and released in 1945 had mostly lost 50% of their body-mass. They had mostly
been employed 12 hour/day down Pit, in Quarries and other manual labour.
 
#22
Most PoWs marched 600-1100 miles on virtually no food and lived for 5 years on about 600Cal/day.
To be frank, I (and I'm quite sure a significant number of this site's denizens) could do with that sort of diet and phys.
 
#23
My Grandfather was in the BEF too but was not captured. He received the same medal as your grandfather did for his war service , the War Medal.
 
#24
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#25
I'm sure my GrandDad would have said the same Joshua.

However that does not excuse the Defense Services Secretary from doing a proper job.
Risk: Death rate All "British" Forces 1939-45 - 7.7% (includes PoWs)
PoWs 1939-45 - 4.6%
Vigour: Most PoWs marched 600-1100 miles on virtually no food and lived for 5 years on about 600Cal/day.
PoWs captured in 1940 and released in 1945 had mostly lost 50% of their body-mass. They had mostly
been employed 12 hour/day down Pit, in Quarries and other manual labour.
Your GF would have been awarded the 1939-45 Star and the War Medal. For the Army, a period of (usually) 6 months service in an operational area was required for the award of the 1939-45 Star.

However
From the 'COMMITTEE ON THE GRANT OF HONOURS DECORATIONS AND MEDALS IN TIME OF WAR' dated 1945:

(iii) Exclusion of time spent as prisoner of war

(a) Although time spent as a prisoner of war in consequence of capture in operations may be counted towards the qualifying period for the 1939-45 Star, such time will not be counted towards the period of six or two months operational service which must be completed before the grant of one of the new Stars may be authorised.

(b) An individual who, at the time of his capture, has completed the six or two months operational service required for the award of the 1939-45 Star may, however, count time spent as a prisoner of war towards the period of six or two months service required for the award of the Atlantic Star or the Air Crew Europe Star. The candidate must have begun to earn one of these Stars and, in the case of the Merchant Navy, one or more voyages must have been made in the " defined area " after completion of service required for the award of the 1939-45 Star.

Thus, your GF's service was recognised.
 
#26
Trouble is, the 2012 Sir John Holmes Review (at the behest of Pink Cheeked Dave) opened a can of worms that should (probably) have been best left closed.

The review decided, amongst other things, that those who served on Arctic Convoys and in Bomber Command deserved some retrospective medallic recognition: thus we now have the Arctic Star and clasp 'BOMBER COMMAND' for the 39-45 Star.

1939–1945 Star - Wikipedia

Arctic Star - Wikipedia

The issue of the Bomber Command clasp instantly fired up those surviving Bomber veterans as they perceived that their efforts and sacrifices were of less value than those on the convoys.

I sincerely hope that the higher echelons of the CS continually advise against such retrospective awards, else they find themselves in the ridiculous state whereby single-issue focus groups in Australia have pressured Governments for (particularly relating to the Vietnam War) unit and individual recognition. Thus, you now have Aus Army units receiving 'backdated' awards issued on behalf a foreign government that has not existed since 1975!

1RAR recognised for Vietnam service | Australian Army
Good to se that John Holmes has been knighted.
 
#28
#30
I'm sure my GrandDad would have said the same Joshua.

However that does not excuse the Defense Services Secretary from doing a proper job.
Risk: Death rate All "British" Forces 1939-45 - 7.7% (includes PoWs)
PoWs 1939-45 - 4.6%
Vigour: Most PoWs marched 600-1100 miles on virtually no food and lived for 5 years on about 600Cal/day.
PoWs captured in 1940 and released in 1945 had mostly lost 50% of their body-mass. They had mostly
been employed 12 hour/day down Pit, in Quarries and other manual labour.
By 'doing a proper job', what do you mean exactly?
 

Joshua Slocum

LE
Book Reviewer
#31
I'm sure my GrandDad would have said the same Joshua.

However that does not excuse the Defense Services Secretary from doing a proper job.
Risk: Death rate All "British" Forces 1939-45 - 7.7% (includes PoWs)
PoWs 1939-45 - 4.6%
Vigour: Most PoWs marched 600-1100 miles on virtually no food and lived for 5 years on about 600Cal/day.
PoWs captured in 1940 and released in 1945 had mostly lost 50% of their body-mass. They had mostly
been employed 12 hour/day down Pit, in Quarries and other manual labour.
he came back, which is more than many did
at wars end the Country was nearly bankrupt, everything was run down, we owed millions in loans, and war bonds, I guess after 5 years of war people just wanted to get back to normal, many did not worry about awards
my Paternal Grandfather came back in 1919, chucked his awards in a box and left them , never opened it again, many years after he died my aunt was clearing some paperwork from his desk, there it all was discharge cert, his brothers death cert, his medals, sealed up tight untouched since then, he never even went to a remembrance parade, just sat in the corner very quite on that day

The Forgotten Army, Bill Slims lot faced the same lack of recognition
they all gone now
 
#32
Your GF would have been awarded the 1939-45 Star and the War Medal. For the Army, a period of (usually) 6 months service in an operational area was required for the award of the 1939-45 Star.

However
From the 'COMMITTEE ON THE GRANT OF HONOURS DECORATIONS AND MEDALS IN TIME OF WAR' dated 1945:

(iii) Exclusion of time spent as prisoner of war

(a) Although time spent as a prisoner of war in consequence of capture in operations may be counted towards the qualifying period for the 1939-45 Star, such time will not be counted towards the period of six or two months operational service which must be completed before the grant of one of the new Stars may be authorised.

(b) An individual who, at the time of his capture, has completed the six or two months operational service required for the award of the 1939-45 Star may, however, count time spent as a prisoner of war towards the period of six or two months service required for the award of the Atlantic Star or the Air Crew Europe Star. The candidate must have begun to earn one of these Stars and, in the case of the Merchant Navy, onayed in a base camp in Africa, Burma,, France e or more voyages must have been made in the " defined area " after completion of service required for the award of the 1939-45 Star.

Thus, your GF's service was recognised.
In my GF's case he was at Calais. He only spent 5 days fighting overseas: 5 days fighting off tanks with a rifle (they had mortars but only smoke bombs), with virtually no food or water so he did not qualify for anything other than the '39-'45 medal. Had he spent that long sat behind a desk on Iceland, or in a supply base in Africa, Burma, Italy, post D-Day France or Germany or the Pacific he would have been entitled to the appropriate medal. Instead he and his fellow Kriegies suffered for nearly 5 years, tying up some 26,000 guards. The only recognition he got for his service was to have the nominal wages that the Germans did not pay him deducted from his back-pay AFTER he had been taxed for it.
 
#33
he came back, which is more than many did
at wars end the Country was nearly bankrupt, everything was run down, we owed millions in loans, and war bonds, I guess after 5 years of war people just wanted to get back to normal, many did not worry about awards
my Paternal Grandfather came back in 1919, chucked his awards in a box and left them , never opened it again, many years after he died my aunt was clearing some paperwork from his desk, there it all was discharge cert, his brothers death cert, his medals, sealed up tight untouched since then, he never even went to a remembrance parade, just sat in the corner very quite on that day

The Forgotten Army, Bill Slims lot faced the same lack of recognition
they all gone now
No - they got the Burma Star, and their wages.
 
#34
My father began WW2 in 2 R.U.R, serving in France and Belgium.
Returning to unit after a week's leave in France, his group were stopped by " movers" as their units had been cut off by advancing German troops.
The group were sent as reinforcements to 51 Div, with which he fought until wounded and taken prisoner.

Then followed the trek to Poland,Torun, Stalag XXb, iirc, and then being employed on various farms and forestry tracts, until freed by advancing Soviet forces, in 1945.
The Soviets hung onto these POWs as bargaining chips over defining new borders, with the POWs fighting as part of the Soviet forces, until finally handing them to US forces near Dresden.
The US then casevaced them by bomber to Brussels, whence they were returned to UK.

My father, an Ulsterman, ended up fighting in a Scots regiment for the French army, got wounded and captured by Germans, later fought as part of the Soviet army, before getting home 6 years after he left.
A grateful British government rewarded him by a posting to Palestine, followed by Jamaica and Malaya.
He retired from the army in 1948, probably fed up with travelling.
 
#35
In my GF's case he was at Calais. He only spent 5 days fighting overseas: 5 days fighting off tanks with a rifle (they had mortars but only smoke bombs), with virtually no food or water so he did not qualify for anything other than the '39-'45 medal. Had he spent that long sat behind a desk on Iceland, or in a supply base in Africa, Burma, Italy, post D-Day France or Germany or the Pacific he would have been entitled to the appropriate medal. Instead he and his fellow Kriegies suffered for nearly 5 years, tying up some 26,000 guards. The only recognition he got for his service was to have the nominal wages that the Germans did not pay him deducted from his back-pay AFTER he had been taxed for it.
The families of men killed had a shilling deducted from their final payment to cover the cost of the blanket they were buried in. At least your GF got some money.
 
#36
In my GF's case he was at Calais. He only spent 5 days fighting overseas: 5 days fighting off tanks with a rifle (they had mortars but only smoke bombs), with virtually no food or water so he did not qualify for anything other than the '39-'45 medal. Had he spent that long sat behind a desk on Iceland, or in a supply base in Africa, Burma, Italy, post D-Day France or Germany or the Pacific he would have been entitled to the appropriate medal. Instead he and his fellow Kriegies suffered for nearly 5 years, tying up some 26,000 guards. The only recognition he got for his service was to have the nominal wages that the Germans did not pay him deducted from his back-pay AFTER he had been taxed for it.
God if there's one thing I can't stand, its virtue signalling by people.

Give it a break for gods sake.
 
#37
The families of men killed had a shilling deducted from their final payment to cover the cost of the blanket they were buried in.
That myth has been around for many wars.
However, despite the impracticalities of such accounting when on a war footing, and the lack of any documentary evidence, people will be adamant that it happened
 
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#39
I don’t think the OP deserves ridicule or overmuch negativity and I think his / her grandfather would be gratified at their obvious pride in his contribution to the war effort.
But I wonder how many of the ex-PWs are campaigning for this? My guess would be very few.

Life is harsh, those guys who went in the bag early on would have been professional soldiers and the blow to their pride at war’s end more keenly felt. But they would also, I suspect, have been realistic enough to recognise that however unpleasant their captivity had been, they were alive, in one piece and, apart from some discomfiture on Remembrance Parades, to regard that as a good trade for a couple more gongs.

It is pointless making comparisons with guys who were miles away from danger, yet still qualified for a chestful of medals- there will always be those and they are surely a salutary lesson in the folly of setting too much store by how much tin one has on display?
 

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