Archive for the 1939-1945 Service Medals Category

Commemorative Medal of the 1939-1945 War with Allemagne, Liberation and Engage Voluntaire Bar

Posted in 1939-1945 Service Medals with tags , on December 7, 2019 by The Dude

This is a French medal awarded to all participants in recognised formations, fitted with a range of bars depending on the type and theatre of service. In this case the bars are “Allemagne” for all regular forces involved in the German campaign of 1944-1945, the “Liberation” bar for the French Campaign of 1944 and the “Engage Voluntaire” bar to indicate a voluntary enlistment.

NW Europe and Korea Group to a Birchall

Posted in 1939-1945 Service Medals, 1945 + Medals, Family Groups & Singles with tags , , , , on April 15, 2018 by The Dude

Flag_of_the_United_KingdomIn my never ending quest to find and reunite medals to my family surname, usually it’s months of dross with the occasional excellent find. This group falls into the latter. This group is impressed to W.O. 2nd Class F.Birchall, 5.D.G and Lt. F Birchall, 5.D.G.

Frederick served in N.W. Europe, landing through Normandy with the Regiment in July, 1944. He fought through Belgium, the Roer and into Hamburg in 1945. After returning to the U.K., the Regiment was sent to Korea, where Frederick was awarded an MID as well as a short service commission as Lieutenant.

Commemorative Medal for the Ethiopian Patriots who Resisted the Italian Invasion and Occupation of 1935 to 1941

Posted in 1939-1945 Service Medals with tags , , , , , on October 10, 2016 by The Dude

800px-Flag_of_Ethiopia_(1897-1936;_1941-1974)The last of the Ethiopian medals for the moment, this is a circular dark bronze medal with loop and isosceles trapezium-shaped ribbon bar bearing an Amharic inscription; the face with the heads of two warriors facing right, a flintlock rifle and bugle below, all within a cartridge belt; the reverse plain stippled; on a replaced ribbon in the Ethiopian national colours.

The medal was created after the Ogaden war of 1977-1978 with Somalia to commemorate the Ethiopian patriots who fought against Italian invasion and occupation between 1935 and 1941. It was designed by Colonel Tibebe Desta of the Ethiopian Air Force, a noted artist and imperial portrait painter, who organised the Grand Expo in Addis Ababa after the war with Somalia and was noted for his design of coins and medals both during the Imperial period and the Derg.

This example has the incorrect ribbon and is missing its suspension bar. Still a rare medal in any condition.

Ethiopian 1941 Star of Victory Medal

Posted in 1939-1945 Service Medals with tags , , , , , on September 3, 2016 by The Dude

800px-Flag_of_Ethiopia_(1897-1936;_1941-1974)In 1941, with the help of British and Commonwealth troops attacking from British Somaliland, the Ethiopians were able to defeat and drive the Italian occupying army from their soil. I am interested in the East African campaigns in the Sudan, Somaliland and Ethiopia, especially the Battle of Keren.

The medal was made by Mappin & Webb, in London, and is in the shape of a Coptic Cross, surmounted by an Imperial Crown. The Star of the Trinity is in high relief in the centre. A loop is attached to the top of the medal, with a hanger, and a multi-striped red, yellow and green riband. The inscription in Amharic on the medal reads: “Star of Victory 1933 [Ethiopian calendar]. Unforgettable Achievement” and on the reverse “Star of Victory 1941”.

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Ethiopian men, carrying captured Italian weapons, gather in Addis Adaba, in May 1941, to hear the announcement of the return of the Emperor Haile Selassie.

A Birchall Valour Group from the Hundred Days Offensive

Posted in 1914-1918 Service Medals, 1939-1945 Service Medals, Family Groups & Singles, Rare Medals, Valour Medals with tags , , , , , on December 9, 2015 by The Dude

Flag_of_the_United_KingdomHere’s a great group coming from my never-ending search for medals impressed to my surname. In this case its a WW1 Military Medal group combined with a WW2 service medal group, named to J.E.Birchall 91004, The Kings (Liverpool) Regt.

It came with a little certificate from his commanding General commending his “…skilful use of his Lewis Gun section during operations against Evillers and Mory Copse on the 23rd and 24th of August 1918”.

The village of Evillers was completely destroyed during this offensive. John Eric Birchall later served in WW2, as evidenced by his Defence Medal and War Medal. This service was as a Lieutenant in the Home Guard. Given his age, it was probably his MM that got him that rank.

Memorial Cross for 1940-1945

Posted in 1939-1945 Service Medals with tags , , on October 8, 2015 by The Dude

Flag_of_the_NetherlandsCreated on March 31, 1950 by the Executive Committee of the Dutch Red Cross. It was awarded to volunteers and staff of the Dutch Red Cross in recognition for the Red Cross work performed during the occupation period (May 10, 1940 to May 5, 1945) and the period of insurrection in the the post war Dutch colonies. For the latter there was also established a bar with the inscription “INDONESIA 1945-1950”. Approval to carry the remembrance cross on the military uniform was followed by Army Order no. 137 of May 31, 1950.

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War Commemorative Cross 1945 with Oorlogsdienst-Koopvardij 1940-45 bar

Posted in 1939-1945 Service Medals with tags , on October 8, 2015 by The Dude

Flag_of_the_NetherlandsThis medal, from the Netherlands, was issued with a range of bars depending on the recipients theatre of service. I have quite a few of these now and I picked this one up because it had the Oorlogsdienst-Koopvardij bar which is the last of the standard bars that I didn’t have. This bar is for war services in the fishing fleet.

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Commemorative Medal of the 1939-1945 War with France, Afrique and Liberation Bar

Posted in 1939-1945 Service Medals with tags , on August 24, 2015 by The Dude

Flag_of_FranceThis is a French medal awarded to all participants in recognised formations, fitted with a range of bars depending on the type and theatre of service. In this case the bars are “France” for all regular forces involved in the French Campaign of 1940, the “Liberation” bar for the French Campaign of 1944 and the “Afrique” bar for the North African Campaign of 1941-1943..

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The War Commemorative Cross with Oost-Azië/Zuid-Pacific 1942-1945 Bar, Oorlogsvluchten 1940-1945 Bar and Nederlandsch Indië 1941-1942 Bar

Posted in 1939-1945 Service Medals with tags , on August 24, 2015 by The Dude

Flag_of_the_NetherlandsThis medal, from the Netherlands, was issued with a range of bars depending on the recipients theatre of service. I have quite a few of these now and I picked this one up because it had the Oorlogsvluchten bar (War Flights).

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An Bonn Seirbhise Eigeandala Variant 2

Posted in 1939-1945 Service Medals with tags , on June 3, 2014 by The Dude

Flag_of_IrelandThis is the Emergency Service Medals 1939-1946 issued by the Republic of Ireland. For service with good conduct between 3 September 1939 and 31 March 1946 this medal came in eleven variations depending on the unit or branch of service. I have two of these, this one is for AN CAOMNAORI AITIULA : the Local Security Forces. The other one is here.

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A Birchall Lost in the Battle Over Berlin

Posted in 1939-1945 Service Medals, Family Groups & Singles with tags , , , , , on April 18, 2014 by The Dude

Flag_of_the_United_KingdomThis small group belongs to 1076673 Eric Birchall, Sergeant, RAFVR. Eric flew on Lancasters of 44 Squadron and was killed in action on December 24th 1943. Eric was a Wireless Operator/Air Gunner. He trained in 1654 Heavy Conversion Unit and was posted to 44 Squadron on 12th August 1943. He flew 13 sorties including two to Berlin, two to Hannover and one to Munich. On his 14th sortie, again to Berlin, he was part of group of 379 aircraft, mainly Lancasters. They took off at 0034hrs on the 24th and had a troublefree outer leg due to bad weather. His aircraft was en route home to Dunholme Lodge when it was attacked by a night fighter at 0315 hours and set on fire. It was observed to crash 30 miles NE of Limburg. The entire crew was killed. Eric is buried in the Hannover War Cemetery along with the rest of his crew.

 

 

A Birchall on the Battleship Valiant in the Mediterranean

Posted in 1939-1945 Service Medals, Family Groups & Singles with tags , , , , , , , , on August 14, 2013 by The Dude

Flag_of_the_United_KingdomThis group belongs to Thomas William Burchell. They are unnamed except for the Naval LSGC which is impressed to D/J109394 Petty Officer T.W.Burchell, H.M.S. Valiant. The LSGC was issued on June 12th 1941. I have his papers up until 1929 and can see that when he was made P.O. in May 1941 he was on the Valiant. In this case he would have had an action packed war with convoy runs to Gibraltar, the defeat of the Italian Fleet at Cape Matapan and the Greek Campaign.

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The Arctic Star Medal

Posted in 1939-1945 Service Medals, Fakes & Replicas with tags , , on August 10, 2013 by The Dude

Flag_of_the_United_KingdomThis is an example of the newly issued Arctic Star.

The Arctic Star is a campaign medal of the United Kingdom, awarded for service in World War II. The medal is awarded for any length of service above the Arctic Circle by members of the British Armed Forces and the Merchant Navy. The Arctic Star is a retrospective award, coming nearly seventy years after the end of World War II, being announced in late 2012. The Arctic Star was formally approved by The Queen, and began production in early 2013. There are not many of these out there yet as so few have been issued. Those that are sold through are generally part of a group. This is a reproduction made by a Birmingham company. The indicators are the large ribbon ring as well as the way the VI do not intersect with the raised ring.

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The Trans-Jordan War Service Medal Miniature

Posted in 1939-1945 Service Medals with tags , , , , on August 1, 2013 by The Dude

Flag_of_JordanThis is the miniature medal matching the full size one listed elsewhere here, from the Principality of Transjordan, and issued to all citizens of the mandate who served in WW2. Trans-Jordan later became the Kingdom of Jordan. It’s Arabic name is “Midalat al-Zarari al-Herb al-Iradani Lasanat 1939-1945“.

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Australian 1939-1945 War Service Medal

Posted in 1939-1945 Service Medals with tags , on August 1, 2013 by The Dude

Flag_of_AustraliaThe Australia Service Medal 1939–45 recognises service by Australia’s armed forces, Mercantile Marine and Volunteer Defence Corps during World War II.
Initially, the qualifying period was those members who served overseas for at least 18 months full-time service or three years’ part-time service between 3 September 1939 and 2 September 1945. On 16 August 1996, the qualifying period was reduced to 30 days for full-time service and 90 days for part-time service.

My one is named to Q191735 E.E.G. Finlay. Staff Sergeant Eric Edward George Finlay died on the 15th of March, 1942, aged 29, while serving in the Australian Army, 4 Supply Company AASC. His place of death is recorded as Australia, but a bit more googling reveals more. Eric was the son of Albert Edward and Elizabeth Marie Finlay, of Bardon, Queensland; Husband of Barbara Mary Finlay, of Bardon, Queensland. His grave is in Adelaide River War Cemetery in the Northern Territory. In this cemetery are buried the men who died building the “track” to Darwin during WW2. His death notices, placed by his wife and other family in the Brisbane Courier Mail on the 15th of March 1942, describe him dying in a “burning accident” at Mount Isa. How awful.

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The Italy Star

Posted in 1939-1945 Service Medals with tags , , on August 1, 2013 by The Dude

Flag_of_the_United_KingdomThis is my Italy Star. The Italy Star was a campaign medal of the British Commonwealth, awarded for service in World War II.
The medal was awarded for operational service (on land) in Italy, Greece, Yugoslavia, Pantelleria, the Aegean area and Dodecanese Islands, and Elba at any time between 11 June 1943 and 8 May 1945. Other areas to qualify for the award are:

  • Sicily – between 11 June 1943 – 17 August 1943
  • Sardinia – between 11 June 1943 – 19 September 1943
  • Corsica – between 11 June 1943 – 4 October 1943

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Bahawalpur 1939-1945 Overseas Service Medal

Posted in 1939-1945 Service Medals with tags , , , , on August 1, 2013 by The Dude

Flag_of_PakistanIn 1945 Bahawalpur, while part of the administration of British India, was still nominally independent, run by its Maharajah. In consequence it was never a British possession. After Independence in 1947-48 it became part of Pakistan. It’s rulers produced this Overseas Service Medal medal in 1945.

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The Burma Star

Posted in 1939-1945 Service Medals with tags , , on August 1, 2013 by The Dude

Flag_of_the_United_KingdomThe Burma Star was a campaign medal of the British Commonwealth, awarded for service in World War II.

The medal was awarded for service in the Burma Campaign between 11 December 1941 and 2 September 1945. This medal was also awarded for certain specified service in China, Hong Kong, Malaya and Sumatra:

  • Hong Kong – between 26 December 1941 and 2 September 1945
  • China and Malaya – between 16 February 1942 and 2 September 1945
  • Sumatra – between 24 March 1942 and 2 September 1945
  • Second World War service in China, Hong Kong, Malaya and Sumatra after 8 December 1941 but prior to the above start dates was recognised by the award of the Pacific Star.

British uniform regulations stipulated that the Pacific Star would not be awarded to a prior recipient of the Burma Star. Subsequent entitlement to the Pacific Star was denoted by the award of the Pacific clasp.

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Bahawalpur Victory Medal 1945

Posted in 1939-1945 Service Medals with tags , , , on August 1, 2013 by The Dude

Flag_of_PakistanIn 1945 Bahawalpur, while part of the administration of British India, was still nominally independent, run by its Maharajah. In consequence it was never a British possession. After Independence in 1947-48 it became part of Pakistan. It’s rulers produced this Victory medal in 1945.

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The Africa Star

Posted in 1939-1945 Service Medals with tags , , on August 1, 2013 by The Dude

Flag_of_the_United_KingdomThe Africa Star was a campaign medal of the British Commonwealth, awarded for service in World War II.

The Star was awarded for a minimum one day service in an operational area of North Africa between 10 June 1940 and 12 May 1943.

The whole of the area between the Suez Canal and the Strait of Gibraltar is included, together with Malta, Abyssinia, Kenya, Sudan, The Solmalilands and Eritrea. The areas not bordering the Mediterranean only qualified for the Africa Star from 10 June 1940 to 27 November 1941.
Members of the Australian Imperial Force qualified for the Star for service in Syria from 8 June 1941 and 11 July 1941.

This example has no bar.

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The Kings Medal for Service in the Cause of Freedom

Posted in 1939-1945 Service Medals, Rare Medals with tags , on August 1, 2013 by The Dude

Flag_of_the_United_KingdomThis, along with the companion for courage, is one of my favourite WW2 medals.

From Wikipedia, “The King’s Medal for Service in the Cause of Freedom is a British medal instituted by the The Sovereign, on 23 August 1945. Its was to recognize civilian foreign nationals, mainly of allied countries, who had given meritorious service to further the interests of the British Commonwealth or the Allied cause during World War II. The medal was awarded 2,539 times. Those who helped British military personnel to escape the enemy and escape from occupied areas or for other dangerous work for the British or Allied cause during the war were eligible for the King’s Medal for Courage in the Cause of Freedom.”

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Air Crew Europe Star

Posted in 1939-1945 Service Medals, Rare Medals with tags , , on August 1, 2013 by The Dude

Flag_of_the_United_KingdomThe Air Crew Europe Star is one of the rarest of the Commonwealth WW2 Service Stars. As a consequence it is valuable and heavily faked.

I have two here, one original and one reproduction. In this case the only way to really tell one from the other is that the cypher of King George in the center is slightly rotated in the fake so that the bottom of the V is lined up with the center of the W in crew instead of with the left hand leg of the W. If you look at the right hand foot of the W on the repro, you can see that it doesn’t align with the spine of the lower star point as it should.

And finally, repros usually age to a mid brown colour. The originals retain some colour and age to a red-brown patina, rather like a penny.

Original at left, Repro at right

Original at left, Repro at right

Reproduction

Reproduction

Original

Original

Danish Pro Dania 1940-1945 Miniature Medal

Posted in 1939-1945 Service Medals with tags , , on June 2, 2013 by The Dude

Flag_of_DenmarkThis is the miniature medal for this medal here. What is a little odd is the ribbon. My Danish contact Sune tells me the device is absolutely non-official. As well the ribbon appears to be that used on the Order of Dannebrog.

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The Defaulters Medal

Posted in 1939-1945 Service Medals with tags , , , on May 16, 2013 by The Dude

Flag_of_Belgium_(civil)This medal was instituted on 12 February 1951 and could be awarded on either of three ribbons, depending on the type of defaulting the recipient had performed during the war.

In general the medal was awarded to those who refused forced labour or military service, ordered by the German occupant.

A green ribbon with yellow stripes indicate the recipient refused to perform military duties for the enemy, a green ribbon with white stripes was given to those who refused to do work for the Germans and a green ribbon with red stripes was awarded to those who, having been deported to Germany for forced labour and having returned on leave, refused to go back (before 6 June 1944, day of the Normandy invasion).

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Prisoner of War Medal 1940–1945

Posted in 1939-1945 Service Medals with tags , , on May 16, 2013 by The Dude

Flag_of_Belgium_(civil)This is the “Médaille du Prisonnier de Guerre 1940–1945” awarded to all members of the Belgian armed forces imprisoned by the Axis. I have another example of this medal but this particular one has 5 bars on the ribbon indicating the individual spent 5 years in the German camp system.

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