Author Topic: The 1939/45 Star to the Manchesters  (Read 10052 times)

Offline Bob.NB

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The 1939/45 Star to the Manchesters
« on: June 02, 2016, 04:03:45 PM »
I am researching 3524557 Pte Reginald Cartmell who was awarded the India General Service Medal (Clasp Burma 1930-32) with the 2nd Battalion and the General Service Medal (clasp Palestine) with the 1st Battalion prior to WWII. His medal group also includes the 1939/45 Star, the France and Germany Star, Defence medal and 1939/45 War Medal even though he was captured during the retreat to Dunkirk and spent the rest of the war as a PoW in Stalag XXA at Thorn in Poland.
Given his WWII record I would expect him only to have the 1939/45 Star and 1939/45 War Medal for WWII. His medals are mounted as worn and so I have assumed that he probably awarded himself the F&G Star and Defence Medal - after all he had spent a lot of time in Germany.
However, the photograph of 3525495 Pte G W Thurstance from the regimental image archive (MR01922) clearly shows Pte Thurstance in uniform with his medal ribbon bar showing that he had been awarded the General Service Medal (clasp Palestine and, later, Malaya), the 1939/45 Star, the F&G Star and the 1939/45 War medal even though he had also been taken PoW during the retreat to Dunkirk and held at Stalag XXA for the rest of the war (he would later be awarded a LSGC). Surely he wouldn't have been allowed to wear a France and Germany ribbon on his uniform if he was not entitled to it! His medal group now does not include the F&G Star but the groupt is mounted for display - so someone has probably removed the F&G Star?
So my questions are:
1) I had always believed that being a PoW in Germany did not give an entitlement to the F&G Star - did the authorities turn a blind eye to the practice of PoWs "awarding" themselves this medal?
2) Were most of the Manchesters captured during the retreat to Dunkirk held at Stalag XXA?
I'm confused.
Any information most gratefully received.
Many thanks.
Bob B
 

Offline mack

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Re: The 1939/45 Star to the Manchesters
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2016, 01:18:21 PM »
your correct bob,the star was for service between 6th june 1944 and 8th may 1945

mack ;D

Offline Bob.NB

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Re: The 1939/45 Star to the Manchesters
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2016, 02:54:26 PM »
Thanks mack, but why would Pte Thurstance be allowed to wear the F&G ribbon on his army tunic when everyone would have known that he had been a PoW and would not have been entitled to the medal?
Bob B ???

Offline Robert Bonner

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Re: The 1939/45 Star to the Manchesters
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2016, 11:07:14 AM »
Bob.
I remember Pte Thurstance very well. My only explanation is that, in my opinion, he was a rather strange individual - in HQ Company. 
Robert

Offline rafboy

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Re: The 1939/45 Star to the Manchesters
« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2016, 12:27:19 PM »
I assume that with both men having the clasp for Palestine they returned to UK probably expecting to be demobed when the 1st Bn moved to Singapore.  They both joined a little earlier than my father (3525679).
Cliff
 
Cliff P Son of 3525679 Sgt Arthur Phillips 1st Bn Manchester Regiment and RAPC

Offline Bob.NB

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Re: The France and Germany Star to the Manchesters
« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2016, 12:53:35 PM »
Robert,
Thank you for that - that may well be the reason.

Rafboy,
Pte Cartmell had originally joined the 1st Battalion, then moved to the 2nd Battalion in 1931 (just in time to get his IGS), he then moved back to the 1st Battalion in 1934 (and got his "Palestine") but then he was moved back to the 2nd Battalion again in 1938, probably, as you suggest, in anticipation of his discharge after 12 years with the Colours but of course WWII interrupted his plans!
I don't know Pte Thurstance's movements yet.

Thank you both.
Best wishes.
Bob B

Offline george.theshed197

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Re: The 1939/45 Star to the Manchesters
« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2016, 05:45:29 PM »
I also can remember Pte. Thurstance and as Bob with whom  I had served  in B Company  with him from Wuppertal right through to Malaya has said, he was a very strange and very private person to the extent that despite knowing of him I cannot really say that  " if the truth were really known" - he was a very strange character indeed.
George
« Last Edit: June 05, 2016, 10:05:22 AM by george.theshed197 »

Offline Bob.NB

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Re: The 1939/45 Star to the Manchesters
« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2016, 09:11:46 AM »
George,
Many thanks for this - seems like he was a strange guy.
As they say "There's nowt so queer as folk!"
Best wishes.
Bob B

Offline artyhughes

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Re: The 1939/45 Star to the Manchesters Pte G Thurstance
« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2016, 07:10:24 PM »
Posts by George and Robert Bonner have stirred a few brain cells,George Thurstance was indeed in HQ Coy,his friend that I know of was HQ coy storeman L/Cpl Stevenson who was also or had been a POW along with George,what eventually happened to L/Cpl Stevenson I do not know.George Thurstance was in Berlin and I also believe Malaya and was repatriated to the UK on python.Pte George Thurstance was of a tubby build and was often picked on by the RSM when on parade(slow arms drill and the likes)I remember once when on parade Pte Thurstance was told by the RSM that he was the wrong shape for a soldier and lose some weight.

Offline Bob.NB

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Re: The 1939/45 Star to the Manchesters
« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2016, 07:17:33 PM »
Arty,
Many thanks - looks like a lot of people remember George.
Yes Thurstance was in Malaya.
Not being a military man - I thought that the RSM picked on everyone!
thanks again and best wishes.
Bob B

Offline Bob.NB

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Re: The France and Germany Star to the Manchesters
« Reply #10 on: July 04, 2016, 06:14:44 PM »
The plot thickens.
Since my last post on the award of the France and Germany Star to WWII PoWs in Germany, I have received a copy of George Thurstance’s service papers and there, under the date of 15/3/1946, it clearly states “Awarded France and Germany Star. Authy:- AF B2070”.
Later on in his papers someone has put a question mark in pencil next to “Medals and Decorations, clasps and Annuities … France and Germany Star (BAOR. 02E 1MAN II/30/46) …” but it has not been crossed out. 
I have raised this matter with a couple of other collectors and one, who has a WWII MC, F&G Star group to a Dunkirk PoW, believes that some PoWs were put on light duties as soon as they had been liberated (perhaps guarding German PoWs in a barbed wire box) for a few days before being repatriated to the UK. Army qualification for the F&G Star only requires “… participation in any operation on land …” so this may be the reason for its award to Pte Thurstance.
Just for the record – Thurstance was the arms storeman in HQ Company. 
Bob B

Offline Bob.NB

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Re: The 1939/45 Star to the Manchesters
« Reply #11 on: July 04, 2016, 06:19:33 PM »
PS
Army Form B2070, was the form for applications for all WWII campaign stars.
Bob B