merchant navy medals eligibility - Ships Nostalgia
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merchant navy medals eligibility

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  #1  
Old 22nd December 2012, 15:48
martinsugarman martinsugarman is offline  
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merchant navy medals eligibility

Does anyone know to whom I apply for medals for a deceased relative?He was my cousin, killed Sept 1941 M T Barbro, a Norwegian ship. He was South African. I have written to the Norwegian Embassy, the South African MoD but who do I contact in UK to find he if he was eligible for UK campaign medals and whether they were ever sent to his family?
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  #2  
Old 22nd December 2012, 18:11
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Hugh MacLean Hugh MacLean is offline  
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Hello and welcome,

He would only be entitled to medals if he was serving on British registered ships. I have checked the UK National Archives for the only South African known killed on the BARBRO and there is no mention of him. That doesn't mean he was not entitled it just means there is no record of medals being issued or claimed.

If there is no medal entitlement for him it will be up to his next of kin to prove that entitlement and provide evidence to the Registry of Shipping and Seamen.

So contact them in the first instance:

The Registry of Shipping and Seamen
P.O. Box 420
Cardiff
CF24 5XR
Tel: 029 20 44 88 00
Fax: 029 20 44 88 20
Email:[email protected]
Regards
Hugh
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  #3  
Old 22nd December 2012, 19:41
martinsugarman martinsugarman is offline  
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Thanks Hugh; he is commemorated by the CWGC and on one list which I saw on a website called 'mercantile marine' he is there but named as Kruajer and it has been corrected to Kruyer, his true name. The correspondents who wrote about him were called Billy McGee and Roy V Martin and Ray Buck, who also listed his ship record - M. T. 'O A Knudsen' (signed on Cape Town 24/8/40, arrived Avonmouth 27/3/41, then New York 14/4/41 thne to sea 30/4/41; then to MT 'Barbro' 6/8/41 to Swansea 8/8/41, then New York 28/8/41; then sailed to UK 5/9/41 and lost at sea 19/9/41 by U552). How much of this do i need to prove as this was on an e mail!!
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  #4  
Old 22nd December 2012, 20:29
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Hello Martin,

Although Simon Isaac Kruyer is commemorated in the South African Book of Remembrance database, as I understand it he is not fully commemorated by the CWGC. I remember the correspondence on the MM website as I am also part of the admin team over there. Billy is presently trying to get at least 60 odd British Merchant seamen who were lost on Norwegian ships commemorated by the CWGC but it is not an easy process I am afraid.

The problem for you at the moment is that what you have provided so far are the names of Norwegian ships not British registered ships but I will make some more enquiries on this.

Regards
Hugh
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  #5  
Old 22nd December 2012, 21:28
martinsugarman martinsugarman is offline  
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Hi Hugh

I had a letter from the Director of the CWGC 2 weeks ago saying Simon is now commemorated due to proof provided by my homework with contacts in South Africa , and is on the CWGC web site (I checked again today and he is there); as a Commonwealth citizen on an Allied ship, I guess that is why they agreed. But now I wish to get his medals. The Director also told me that ALL the Commonwealth men lost on the Bambro are now commemorated so maybe this is now achieved?

Please do what you can and stay in touch

Martin
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  #6  
Old 23rd December 2012, 14:50
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Hugh MacLean Hugh MacLean is offline  
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Hello Martin,

Firstly, regarding medal entitlement, if Simon Isaac Kruyer only served on Norwegian ships he would be entitled to the same medals as those Norwegian seamen who served on Nortraships. The details of the medals are here: http://www.warsailors.com/oddswar/warmedals.html I have consulted with my friend Billy McGee and that is both our understanding.

Regarding the commemoration of seamen on BARBRO by the CWGC, I am afraid the information you have been given is not correct. I can tell you that the following are commemorated only.

Simon Isaac Kruyer - http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/ca...0ISAAC%20SIMON - note first and middle name wrong way round.

Canadian - Andrew Parsons - http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/ca...SONS,%20ANDREW

Canadian - Albert Melville - http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/ca...ILLE,%20ALBERT

Canadian - Ranceford Weatherbee - http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/ca...E,%20RANCEFORD

Canadian - Michael McIsaac - http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/ca...%20MICHAEL%20J

There are also 3 British and 1 South African who died on this ship and are not yet commemorated by the CWGC.

Regards
Hugh
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  #7  
Old 23rd December 2012, 16:24
martinsugarman martinsugarman is offline  
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Thanks for this Hugh and Billy too. I will await replies to my enquiries and see what transpires; I will let you know of course.

Do you think the Norwegians will require photocopies of ships records proving Simon Kruyer was actually on these ships, before giving the family his medals? And if the Norwegian ships were sailing for the Allies, why would those men, like Simon, not be eligible for UK medals? How did Billy and the others on the MM webiste get hold of the info on which ships Simon had served? Can I get copies from them? Am happy to pay any copying and post costs

Martin
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  #8  
Old 23rd December 2012, 17:57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martinsugarman View Post
Do you think the Norwegians will require photocopies of ships records proving Simon Kruyer was actually on these ships, before giving the family his medals? And if the Norwegian ships were sailing for the Allies, why would those men, like Simon, not be eligible for UK medals? How did Billy and the others on the MM webiste get hold of the info on which ships Simon had served? Can I get copies from them? Am happy to pay any copying and post costs

Martin
Not sure Martin but I would expect so. I am used to dealing with the requirements for British Merchant Navy medal entitlements which do require evidence of service from official records including the movement cards of the ships in question. Why don't you get in contact again with the Norwegians and ask them. The British campaign medals are not allied ones they were awarded to those who served on British registered ships. The Norwegian MN came under the control of Nortraship.

After the invasion of Norway, the Norwegian Shipping and Trade Mission (Nortraship) was established in London in April 1940 to administer the Norwegian merchant fleet outside German-controlled areas. Nortraship operated some 1,000 vessels and was the largest shipping company in the world.

Between us we have access to various MN records but the forum is down at the moment. Will see what I can do.

Regards
Hugh
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  #9  
Old 23rd December 2012, 20:45
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Dear Hugh

I have read this forum with great interest and must commend you on your excellent work. It may interest you to know that my book, SHIPPING COMPANY LOSSES OF WORLD WAR II, has been accepted by the History Press and is due to appear in July, 2013. It deals with the losses of 53 British shipping companies, but gives brief details of all ships lost in the relevant convoys which, I must add, does not include Convoy SC.44 in which the Barbro was sunk. This website is listed in the lengthy bibliography, and I have specifically mentioned both you and Billy McGee.

Best wishes

Ian
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  #10  
Old 24th December 2012, 17:11
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Thanks Ian. Look forward to it when it comes out.
Best wishes
Hugh
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  #11  
Old 24th December 2012, 20:44
martinsugarman martinsugarman is offline  
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Dear Hugh - I look forward to any help you can give re these documents for Simon Kruyer, but I have already asked the Norwegians - posted it to the Military Attache at the Embassy in London, and one to the King in Oslo!! You never know!!

Seasons greetings

Martin
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  #12  
Old 24th December 2012, 21:21
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Have you had any kind of reply from them Martin.

Seasons greetings.

Hugh
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  #13  
Old 24th December 2012, 23:06
Bernard McIver Bernard McIver is offline  
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Hugh,
Re: Your posting #8 "The British campaign medals are not allied ones they were awarded to those who served on British registered ships".
This may be misleading as in my case all my medals were awarded for service on Dutch registered ships. Furthermore three of the medals were for service on a ship under direct American control. Perhaps your comment was referring to none British seamen?
Regards,
Bernard
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  #14  
Old 25th December 2012, 00:30
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Hello Bernard,
My choice of words has let me down - sorry.
British seaman serving on foreign ships were of course entitled to British campaign medals. So in the case of a British seaman serving on a Norwegian ship he would be entitled to British campaign medals even if he served throughout the war on Norwegian or other foreign vessels. However, a foreign seaman, in this case a South African national, would not be entitled to British campaign medals for serving on a Norwegian ship. He would be entitled to the same campaign medals as other Norwegian seamen were entitled to but he would need to apply to the Norwegians to obtain them.

Regards
Hugh
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  #15  
Old 25th December 2012, 01:24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hugh MacLean View Post
Hello Bernard,
My choice of words has let me down - sorry.
British seaman serving on foreign ships were of course entitled to British campaign medals. So in the case of a British seaman serving on a Norwegian ship he would be entitled to British campaign medals even if he served throughout the war on Norwegian or other foreign vessels. However, a foreign seaman, in this case a South African national, would not be entitled to British campaign medals for serving on a Norwegian ship. He would be entitled to the same campaign medals as other Norwegian seamen were entitled to but he would need to apply to the Norwegians to obtain them.

Regards
Hugh
South African citizens were not foreigners in 1940, but members of the British Commonwealth, and as such were entitled to, and did, receive the same medals awarded to HM Forces raised in the United Kingdom. I would suspect that seamen of other nationalities, manning Norwegian ships in those wartime days, would very likely be entitled to Norwegian awards also, but have nothing official to back that up.
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Old 25th December 2012, 07:54
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  #17  
Old 25th December 2012, 09:49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samsette View Post
South African citizens were not foreigners in 1940, but members of the British Commonwealth, and as such were entitled to, and did, receive the same medals awarded to HM Forces raised in the United Kingdom. I would suspect that seamen of other nationalities, manning Norwegian ships in those wartime days, would very likely be entitled to Norwegian awards also, but have nothing official to back that up.
OK - point taken, I have already said that my choice of words was wrong - my apologies again for that.

I have already explained that South African MN personnel who sailed in Norwegian ships were entitled to the same medals as those Norwegian seamen. Lets not deviate from the original request of this thread. Martin's original question was about obtaining British campaign medals but as far as I can gather his cousin only served in Norwegian ships.

I have already given Martin the contact for the Registry of Shipping and Seamen - they repeat, only they, will advise on MN medals. I can assure you that obtaining British MN medals is quite a complex process - having done it and advised on it for long enough. Martin is certainly welcome to write, telephone or email the RSS in Cardiff, that's why I gave him the address.

Seasons greetings to all.

Regards
Hugh
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Last edited by Hugh MacLean; 25th December 2012 at 12:39..
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  #18  
Old 16th January 2013, 17:45
Michael one Michael one is offline  
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Medals

My Father was a Estonian, and by 1940 was classd as a state less aliegn.
The Pool (Cardiff) set him to Swedish ships' as they don't speak english that well'
At the end of the war he received 3 medals
1939-45 Star
1939-45 Medal
Atlantic Star
after a month he was requested to hand the Atlantic Star back, which he did.
He was near the end of the war on British ships, but mostlt round UK and Iceland.

The thing was he was realy miffed to hand the medal back, I did ask if he could receive the Atlantic Star for the six convoys he was on (three to Halifax and three back to UK), but they said no as no on a British ship...
Not fair in my mind as they all had to be exposed to the sea and other perils

Mick
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Old 16th January 2013, 18:50
trotterdotpom trotterdotpom is offline  
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Mick, he should have just told them he'd lost it when they asked for it back.

John T
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Old 17th January 2013, 06:59
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Michael one,
If as you say your father was sent to the ships by the Pool. I would have thought that would have would back his eligibility for the Atlantic Star.
This country is packed with people eligible for awards who have been denied them.
I spent a happy six months getting my fathers 'Canal Zone' Bar and General Service Medal, he was unaware of his entitlement.
I would have chat with the British Legion or the like they will point you in the right direction, have a go at your local MP find out when his surgery is and pay him a visit.

Yours aye,

slick
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  #21  
Old 17th January 2013, 17:57
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Do you wish to give your father's name and date of birth?

I would say that if he was employed by the Pool and had a Discharge No then of course he was entitled to the medals he has received. With regard to the Atlantic Star, as long as he met the time and area qualification then the Star should have remained with him.

Awarded after the Battle of the Atlantic for service between 3 September 1939 and 8 May 1945 and if the service period was terminated by their death or disability due to service. The qualifying service period for the Atlantic Star could only begin after the 1939-1945 Star had been earned by six months' service. A merchant seaman had to serve in the Atlantic, home waters, North Russia Convoys or South Atlantic waters. The Atlantic Star was also awarded to those awarded a gallantry medal, with no minimum qualifying period.

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Hugh
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  #22  
Old 10th September 2014, 22:48
Michael one Michael one is offline  
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Fathers medal

Hi Hugh

Sorry for the long delay (BT broadband etc).

His name - Peeter Meras, born 10th May 1908 Kihnu, Estonia.
Registerd with the pool from april 1942 (drafted to Swedish ship Scotia, Southend; sunk the next day by magnetic mine.

I think the Swedish ship that he went to Iceland on was the Mauritz.

Back in 2000 I went to London Guild Hall Library and checked the vougue record cards. The records gave certain dates to when the vessel was on a different charter (might be classed as OHMS or naval/military auxillary/store ship). I think it was this time, if added to over 6 weeks (?), that would give him a chance for the Atlantic Star Total of 73 days on OHMS


Quote:
Originally Posted by Hugh MacLean View Post
Do you wish to give your father's name and date of birth?

I would say that if he was employed by the Pool and had a Discharge No then of course he was entitled to the medals he has received. With regard to the Atlantic Star, as long as he met the time and area qualification then the Star should have remained with him.

Awarded after the Battle of the Atlantic for service between 3 September 1939 and 8 May 1945 and if the service period was terminated by their death or disability due to service. The qualifying service period for the Atlantic Star could only begin after the 1939-1945 Star had been earned by six months' service. A merchant seaman had to serve in the Atlantic, home waters, North Russia Convoys or South Atlantic waters. The Atlantic Star was also awarded to those awarded a gallantry medal, with no minimum qualifying period.

Regards
Hugh
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  #23  
Old 10th September 2014, 23:28
Michael one Michael one is offline  
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His Pool number was R252144 and as 2nd Mateb on Swedish Mauritz 22.04.43 to 17.12.43 (off ship as when inspecting lifeboats fell onto quay at port of Ipswich hospital in ipswich/felixstowe.
Pool send him for one month on Swedish Frey then back to Mauritz 11.03.44 to 24.09.45 All OHMS was between 07.06.43 to 17.05.45 = 73 days but with war ending on the 8th May 1945 this would give 64 days OHMS

regards Michael Meras
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Old 11th September 2014, 11:45
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Hugh MacLean Hugh MacLean is offline  
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Hello Michael,
Firstly, have you downloaded the medal file for your father held at Kew in
BT 395/1/66458 If you have I would like to see a copy please?

He also has a Seaman's Pouch at Kew in BT 372/438/135 Do you have this?

Most importantly do you have his CRS 10 which is his service record from Jan, 1941, if it has survived it should be held at Kew in BT 382/1213

The issue, as I see it, is that he already has a medal entitlement that has been issued so the burden of proof now lies with you to prove he was entitled to the Atlantic Star. This will mean getting into a dialogue with the Registry of Shipping and Seamen in Cardiff.

But first things first, I need to know what records from the above that you already have.

Regards
Hugh
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