Did my hus­band’s father re­ceive a medal for gal­lantry in WW1?

Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine - - QUESTIONS & ANSWERS -

My hus­band be­lieves his father re­ceived a Ci­ta­tion for Gal­lantry in the First World War. He re­mem­bers it hang­ing on the wall in his par­ents’ home, but then it dis­ap­peared.

The Lon­don Gazette is not an op­tion be­cause he was not an of­fi­cer and has a very com­mon name – John Booth. He was in the Mid­dle­sex Reg­i­ment and his ser­vice num­ber was G/14007. My hus­band is now 83 and it would mean a great deal to him if he could have con­fir­ma­tion that this ci­ta­tion ex­isted. Rose­mary Booth, by email

AYour hus­band may be 83, but there’s noth­ing wrong with his mem­ory! You are slightly wrong, how­ever, about the Lon­don Gazette be­ing only for of­fi­cers. True, it only re­ports on of­fi­cers be­ing com­mis­sioned or pro­moted, but it does men­tion or­di­nary sol­diers who are awarded gal­lantry or good con­duct medals. First, visit www.thegazette.co.uk and go to ‘Awards and Ac­cred­i­ta­tion’. En­ter the sol­dier’s num­ber in the text search box (it works bet­ter with num­bers) and limit the pub­li­ca­tion dates to be­tween 4 Au­gust 1914 and the end of 1922 (it took a long time to catch up with so much First World War gal­lantry). Tick ‘Dec­o­ra­tions and Medals’ then hit ‘Search’. You should find Pri­vate John Booth, Mid­dle­sex Reg­i­ment, 14007, be­ing awarded the Mil­i­tary Medal (MM) on 14 May 1919.

Awards on this date were for gal­lantry on the Western Front from Au­gust to Oc­to­ber 1918. John’s bat­tal­ion, 1st Mid­dle­sex, took part in nu­mer­ous ac­tions dur­ing this time. Un­for­tu­nately, ci­ta­tions weren’t pub­lished for MMs – they were given out with the medal it­self – which is why it was on the wall. The au­thor Howard Wil­liamson has spent years re­search­ing the MM and hopes to pub­lish the best avail­able list of rec­om­men­da­tions and ci­ta­tions in 2016. Phil To­maselli

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