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Wearing an Ancestor's Medals Mega-thread

YYC Retired

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As has been revealed in other threads, Australia permits the wearing of ancestors medals.

Now, more specifically on this topic, the same document says it is not permissible to wear foreign medals if the medals are from a country that was considered "the enemy" at the time the medals was awarded..... This only applies to the uniformed services... FYI.
 

geo

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Well I posted it in the other thread so I might as well make the same comment in this one.

Some people will hold a grudge - no matter what.

I figure that, in Germany, someone with German ancestors could & should be welcome to wear his ancestor's medals on an occasion similar to Rememberance day.  In Japan, someone with Japanese ancestors could & should be welcome to wear his ancestor's medals on an occasion similar to Rememberance day.  In Canada, the UK, Australia & New Zeland (and other Commonwealth countries) descendents of fallen servicemen should be welcome to wear their medals on Remembrance day, on the right side - where there can be no question they are/were his own.

Commonwealth medals in Germany should not be contemplated
German / Nipon medals in Commonwealth countries should not be contemplated.
 

Blackadder1916

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YYC Retired said:
As has been revealed in other threads, Australia permits the wearing of ancestors medals.

Now, more specifically on this topic, the same document says it is not permissible to wear foreign medals if the medals are from a country that was considered "the enemy" at the time the medals was awarded..... This only applies to the uniformed services... FYI.

And where does it say that?  Perhaps you can provide a reference.
 

geo

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Heh... even the Soviets were friendly between '41 & '45
 

YYC Retired

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Blackadder1916 said:
And where does it say that?  Perhaps you can provide a reference.

I'm not in the system anymore so I don't have access to the specific documents, I'll contact some of my mates that are still in and see if they can dig up the references.... Maybe Wes can shed some light as well.
 
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Greymatters said:
Got it...

Thumbs up on wearing of ancestor's medals:
- On 11 November
- On right side
- By direct descendants
- Those wearing uniforms representing a service should have permission from appropriate authority
- Use common sense as to potential offense to local assembly due to originating country of medals

I was under the impression, according to ref below, that wearing any medals/decorations other than those one has earned is not allowed:

http://www.forces.gc.ca/hr/dhr-ddhr/eng/faqs_e.asp#Q9

Quote:

"Question

May I wear a relative's medals?
Answer

Article 419 of the Criminal Code of Canada prohibits the wearing of orders, decorations and medals by anyone other than the individual who was awarded the honour."

Am I missing something in this discussion or the topic is an inside joke I am not privy to...?
 

Michael OLeary

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Soldier1stTradesman2nd said:
Am I missing something in this discussion or the topic is an inside joke I am not privy to...?

Perhaps you missed the entire thread this topic was split from:

Wearing an Ancestor's Medals.
http://forums.army.ca/forums/threads/25589.0.html
 

Michael OLeary

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Soldier1stTradesman2nd said:
OK, seen. Thx. Moot point in Canada I guess.

Unauthorized at the present time, but not necessarily moot, it's a worthy topic for debate.
 

Nfld Sapper

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Michael O'Leary said:
Unauthorized at the present time, but not necessarily moot, it's a worthy topic for debate.

Hence why we have 2 threads going on this topic.
 

Michael OLeary

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the 48th regulator said:
Now I am lost,

Which point is moot?

dileas

tess

He was inferring that because the wearing of ancestors' medals in Canada was unauthorized, that the topic was moot.
 

Gronk

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Here's a story:
                      I am a member of the branch executive committee for the Whitehorse Legion. One day I received a call from a lady whose father died. She said her dad was a WW2 veteran, and the family would like a military funeral for him. Since we do many military funerals for vets, I said I didn't think it would be a problem, and I would get back to her. I immediately phoned Joe, our Service Officer, to make arrangements.
    Now I should explain about Joe. He is a WW2 RCAF veteran, our longest serving member, our Service Officer, Past President about 20 times over, and one who's opinion is highly respected in this branch. Joe knows every senior veteran in the Yukon. In short, he is the branch's Elder Statesman.
    When he heard the name of the lady who called, his words were,"Not at this branch!" and "Not while I'm alive!" I was puzzled until he explained that the man in question was a German soldier, and the Legion does not do these funerals. I had to phone the lady back and respectfully decline our participation.
 

Teflon

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Gronk said:
Here's a story:
                       I am a member of the branch executive committee for the Whitehorse Legion. One day I received a call from a lady whose father died. She said her dad was a WW2 veteran, and the family would like a military funeral for him. Since we do many military funerals for vets, I said I didn't think it would be a problem, and I would get back to her. I immediately phoned Joe, our Service Officer, to make arrangements.
    Now I should explain about Joe. He is a WW2 RCAF veteran, our longest serving member, our Service Officer, Past President about 20 times over, and one who's opinion is highly respected in this branch. Joe knows every senior veteran in the Yukon. In short, he is the branch's Elder Statesman.
    When he heard the name of the lady who called, his words were,"Not at this branch!" and "Not while I'm alive!" I was puzzled until he explained that the man in question was a German soldier, and the Legion does not do these funerals. I had to phone the lady back and respectfully decline our participation.

(The following is certainly not meant as a poke at Whitehorse Legion Gronk)

Back in my home town Legion we have (maybe had now, not sure) several German ex-soldiers who show up occasionally (usually Remembrance day) (my home town having been a POW camp, several of them having decided to immigrate to Canada and settle there) I never witnessed any hostility from or towards them and they tended to mingle quite abit with the WW2 vets we still had left - Made for some interesting conversations after the memorial services. Although I never saw any of them wear their uniforms or medals around the Legion anyways and I never heard of one of them requesting any funeral services from the branch.

Just a different experience I guess - everyone has their own it seems  
 
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Sorry, felt like I was stepping on toes, as in walked in on a conversation half-way. No intent to stop the debate. The wearing/display of or feelings about opposing force medals/honours is very interesting. In my experience emotions are highly charged either way. More so have I come across vets who see other vets from a former enemy nation just as they are, soldiers who were caught in political/ideological struggles. Others have witnessed things that most of us will never likely see and/or understand, thus deep-seated negative feelings yet to this day.

 

Servicepub

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I'm coming to this thread late and have not ploughed through all ten pages of commentary - so please forgive me if my post is repetitive.
As stated, the Criminal Code makes the wearing of medals illegal when worn by anyone to whom they were not presented. Further, the Royal Canadian Legion, by policy, does not support the wearing of unearned military medals, even by direct descendants. As the national Nov 11 ceremony in Ottawa is organized by the RCL and not by DND or any other branch of the government, then at the very least their policy should be respected there.
I am fully in favour of honouring family members' service to Crown and country but why should this mean wearing unearned medals? If the intent is to show that a family member was decorated then have the medals mounted in a shadow-box and carry the box, proudly, to the service. If the intent is to show that you are a direct descendant of a member of Canada's fighting forces then let's get together and design a pin/brassard/crest that can be worn at these events.
With all due respect to Australia and the UK, in my opinion our Monarch presented medals to our fathers- not to us. and they should not be worn on either side of the chest.
 

Michael OLeary

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Servicepub said:
Further, the Royal Canadian Legion, by policy, does not support the wearing of unearned military medals, even by direct descendants. As the national Nov 11 ceremony in Ottawa is organized by the RCL and not by DND or any other branch of the government, then at the very least their policy should be respected there.

Welcome to the discussion servicepub, yes the existing rules and regs have been examined in detail.

It is interesting that you bring forward the Legion as a supposed lead player in this.  While they may not support the wearing of ancestors' medals, they certainly do not hesitate to let their members hang multitudes of Legion produced "medal"-like  trinkets on their chests. I have yet to see a Legion-led public information campaign to ensure that members of the public attending Remembrance Day ceremonies are aware of the difference between medals and Legion awards.

The wearing of ancestor's medals, properly supported by an government coordinated information campaign, would not be a dishonourable thing.

 

Long in the tooth

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The suggestion of a shadow box is an exellent one.  I already have enough medals to wear, my father's WW2 and grandfathers WW1 medals would be a gaudy display indeed!
Fortunately I have three children... that leaves one to carry and display my father-in- law's medals as well.
I think that's the most tasteful way of doing it.
 

Michael OLeary

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Otto Fest said:
The suggestion of a shadow box is an exellent one.  I already have enough medals to wear, my father's WW2 and grandfathers WW1 medals would be a gaudy display indeed!
Fortunately I have three children... that leaves one to carry and display my father-in- law's medals as well.
I think that's the most tasteful way of doing it.

It's not like anyone has suggested that wearing all of your ancestor's medals would be compulsory if such a change was instituted.
 

Fishbone Jones

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Most RCLs nowdays are also run by a majority of Associate members who have never served a day or earned a military decoration in their life.


........and just my 2 cents, but I'd be proud as punch to have my daughter wear my medals on the right, after I'm gone. As proud as, I'm sure, as she'd be of me.
 
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