Archive for Merchant Marine

Mine Clearance Service Sleeve Badge

Posted in Medallions & Badges, Spanges, Campaign Shields & Cuff Titles with tags , , , on September 19, 2017 by The Dude

Flag_of_the_United_KingdomI’ve always liked this badge, large size, interesting design that isn’t yet another lion or national symbol. These badges are heavily copied. Look for a crack on the obverse running top left to bottom right, as well as poor detail on the rear of the stamping.

At the end of the Great War, the Admiralty appointed an International Mine Clearance Committee on which 26 countries were represented. The Supreme War Council allotted each Power an area to clear, the largest falling to Great Britain. Some 40,000 square miles of sea needed clearing. In February 1919 a Mine Clearance Service was formed with special rates of pay and conditions of service. Members of the Service wore a specific metal cuff badge and cap tally. By the end of 1919 over 23,000 Allied and 70 German mines had been swept with the loss of half a dozen minesweepers.

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Another WW1 Birchall in the Merchant Navy

Posted in Family Groups & Singles with tags , , , on May 3, 2015 by The Dude

Flag_of_the_United_KingdomThis is a pretty humble medal that has had a hard life. This is the WW1 British War Medal, impressed to Frederick W. Birchall. Because of the lack of a unit or service number I suspected this was a merchant seaman award. 10 minutes on the British Archives and here he is. Frederick was born in 1871 in Liverpool and would therefore have been 43 when war broke out. His medals were forwarded to the Merchant Marine Office in Canning Place, Liverpool. He was also awarded the Merchantile War Medal, since lost to time. The War Medal here has the neck of its suspender broken as well as bad edge knocking and bruising. It probably sat in someones junk drawer for a few decades.

rsz_fwbirchallmedal2 rsz_fwbirchallmedal1FWBirchallMedalCard