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Found my grandad's medal from world war 1.

(144 Posts)
charlietangoteakettlebarbeque Thu 14-Aug-14 21:43:00

Hello

we found his medal from world war 1. It says the following:

4870
Pte d white
R. Muns. Fusi

he was from Ireland. I know that Fusi is short for fusilier (I think)

I've Googled everything that's on the medal but nothing is coming up

I told my irish family I would investigate, find out what it was he did in the war etc. He did survive, albeit less one eye, but that's all I know.

I'm at a loss as to where to go from here!

Can anyone shed any light or help at all? Here are pics

CaptChaos Thu 14-Aug-14 21:44:52

I would imagine that he was in the Royal Munster Fusiliers.

You could either contact the MoD medals office, who are incredibly helpful, or the equivalent in Eire.

I can try and see if I can find out what the medal is for, if you like?

CaptChaos Thu 14-Aug-14 21:46:22

It looks like a 1914-15 star, if that helps at all?

CaptChaos Thu 14-Aug-14 21:47:38

The ribbon would have looked like this.

charlietangoteakettlebarbeque Thu 14-Aug-14 21:49:10

Wow thank you CaptChaos. I wasn't expecting any response, never mind so quickly!

Yes Royal Munster Fusiliers makes perfect sense. So obvious, why didn't I think of that hmm

I think his name was donat white

I would love for you to find out. I would be very grateful indeed. flowers

CaptChaos Thu 14-Aug-14 21:49:38

Oh god... multiple posts a go-go.

PM me if you'd like any further help.

<slinks back to FWR>

charlietangoteakettlebarbeque Thu 14-Aug-14 21:51:20

Ooh look that's a lovely shiny one!

So do you mean he was given that medal between 1914 to 1915? Sorry, probably a hugely ignorant question. I really know nothing about it.

FTMK Thu 14-Aug-14 21:53:12

Royal Munster Fusiliers

Pte is Private - presumably D White was his name and the number is possibly his serial number.

Googled their Wiki page en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Munster_Fusiliers
A quick skim shows if he was in the regiment during WW1 he was lucky to survive as they were in the thick of it.

It was part of the British Army until disbandment in 1822 so the National Archives may be able to help as I think they hold British Service records.

If you google there is a regimental association who may also be able to help. Good luck.

FTMK Thu 14-Aug-14 21:54:40

1922 even - when the Irish Free State was established.

Also sorry for xposts.

FTMK Thu 14-Aug-14 21:57:03

www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/pathways/firstworldwar/service_records/sr_soldiers.htm

Available links to WW1 records from National Archives

CaptChaos Thu 14-Aug-14 21:57:07

The star was a campaign medal, given to everyone who had served in a theatre of war between 5/8/14 and 31/12/15 but who didn't qualify for the 1914 star. It was awarded in 1918 at the end of the war, along with the Victory Medal and the British War Medal.

It was always given as one of three, so somewhere about are his other 2 medals.

Because it's a campaign medal, he would have automatically been eligible for it after he had served a certain number of days in the theatre of war. (Presently it's 28 days for an OSM).

charlietangoteakettlebarbeque Thu 14-Aug-14 21:58:47

Thank you for posting. I am going to look into it properly tomorrow when I'm not so tired! Very helpful stuff, will give me something to go on

I haven't considered world war 1 since secondary school but it is fascinating especially now I want to find out about my great grandad (sorry, it was my great grandad, forgot the 'great'. I'm so tired)

FTMK Thu 14-Aug-14 21:59:14
charlietangoteakettlebarbeque Thu 14-Aug-14 21:59:47

Thank you again. Really appreciate the info. X

charlietangoteakettlebarbeque Thu 14-Aug-14 22:00:18

Oh my god!!!Looking now! I've woken up suddenly haha

dubdurbs Thu 14-Aug-14 22:00:20

You'll need to register to search the army records, however, a quick Google search has turned up a blog( armyservicenumbers.blogspot.ie/2009/10/royal-munster-fusiliers-1st-2nd.html?m=1 ) that has some service numbers listed from the first and second battalions. Going by the numbers listed, it's likely that your grandfather enlisted between January 1892, and July 1893, most likely spring of 1892. That will narrow down your search of the army records, as there seems to be a lot of Smith's listed.

Best of luck!

dubdurbs Thu 14-Aug-14 22:04:47

Forgot to mention, if you have a few scraps of information, there are plenty of historical chat boards where people will look up your relative just out of interest in the subject-my sister found our great great grandafter and his two brothers-who we knew nothing of-by posting on a few, and some very kind souls did the rest!

charlietangoteakettlebarbeque Thu 14-Aug-14 22:10:40

dubdurbs, wow. Do you know any specific chat boards? There is also a step brother my mum would like to track down, we believe he is still alive?

Also do you think my great grandads photo would be anywhere on the Internet?

CaptChaos Thu 14-Aug-14 22:16:03

For any photos, especially of him in uniform, you would probably be best off going through his regimental association. They are (ime) always happy to help you research, especially this year.

Good luck, and do come back and let us know what you've discovered!

charlietangoteakettlebarbeque Thu 14-Aug-14 22:24:27

Wonder

charlietangoteakettlebarbeque Thu 14-Aug-14 22:24:51

Wonderful stuff. Thank you and I will have a proper dig tomorrow xx

dubdurbs Thu 14-Aug-14 22:29:47

Sorry Charlie, my big sis is the family historian! I'm just a bit of a Google stalker haha! There is a Facebook page dedicated to the Royal Munster Fusiliers, and one of my Google hits was for a forum called rootschat.com, someone there had a similar issue as your good self and one of the members halped them out a bit!!

RedToothBrush Thu 14-Aug-14 23:18:05

Ancestry.co.uk currently have WWI medal cards free to view until the end of the year (if you create an account with them) - it saves you paying £3.30 with the national archives.

His medal card can be found on there if you search for Donat White.

It doesn't say a great deal though to be honest. He was awarded the Victory, British and 1915 Star medals. He first landed in France on 17th December 1915 which is why he qualified for the 1915 Star which is rarer than some of the other WWI medals.

More interestingly and useful to you though, is I have found he was also awarded the Silver Badge in 1917. This was given to men who were wounded in action.

It states the following:
First name(s)Donat
Last nameWhite
Service number8/1970
RankPrivate
Badge number140349
Enlistment date03-May-1915
Discharge date04-Jul-1916
Unit from which dischargedThe Royal Munster Fusiliers
Cause of dischargeWounds, 392 (xvi) King's Regulation
Whether served overseasYes
Badge date of issue07-Mar-1917

(An explaination for the cause of his discharge can be found www.forrestdale.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/KingsRegs1912/Para392Introduction.html)

I haven't found a service record for him (yet). Its possible it was destroyed in WWII so no longer exists (many WWI records were destroyed). If you have a year of birth or a place of birth, that would be very helpful, because if his record exists, I think it will be listed under D White rather than Donat, which is a bit of a nightmare to search through one by one.

I strongly suspect he was part of the 8th (Service) Battalion as the date on his medal card for landing in Europe is only a day out as the date official given for the battalion landing there (this isn't uncommon). They are listed as 18 December 1915 : landed at Le Havre.

The battalion diary is available to buy at the National Archives here: discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/Details?uri=C7352859 for £3.30. These diaries rarely mention the names of individual soliders but they do give a fairly detailed report of the day to day actions of the battalion - giving descriptions of what the battle orders were and descriptions of the day. They vary in detail - some are more in depth that others, and is entirely down to the officer who was making the records. They can be very insightful about the conditions though. It certainly would tell you what battles he was involved in.

The 8th Battalion received a reinforcement of 200 men on 30 May 1916 and Donat was discharged from service on the 4 July 1916. I would strongly suspect that Donat was actually injured before this reinforcement... Men usually took a while to be officially discharged (being repatriated back to England commonly took upwards of a month). I think he would have served in the Loos Salient area.

1914-1918.invisionzone.com is a very good source of information and they have a good forum which is both worth search or posting on.

I may have done a little bit of similar research with my family wink

SurelyYoureJokingMrFeynman Thu 14-Aug-14 23:28:47

Oh my goodness, I haven't seen a 1914-15 star before. How amazing to have it.

As someone said, the other two of "Pip, Squeak and Wilfred" will be around somewhere.

I second the 1914-1918.invisionzone.com mentioned above, and The Long, Long Trail which links from it ( www.1914-1918.net ).

RedToothBrush Thu 14-Aug-14 23:40:22

BTW, you might want to look more generally at the treatment of Irishmen following WWI in Ireland, as they were often 'blacklisted' following the Easter Rising. It made it very difficult for many of them to return to Ireland if they had enlisted there. Instead of being greeted as heros they were treated with contempt.

From what I can google about the 8th Battalion it looks like most of them did enlist in Ireland rather than being Irishmen who enlisted in England, so it must have been very difficult for them to return to civilian life.

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