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Wearing an Ancestor's Medals Mega-thread

1feral1

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If you have no success with our trustworthy government, find out exactly what ones he had, and if you go to collectors shows and antique shows etc, or certain coin shops etc, you can sometimes find original medals which are unnamed, or really good quality reproduction ones too (suitable for framing).

Cheers,

Wes
 

Jonny Boy

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Wesley H. Allen said:
If you have no success with our trustworthy government, find out exactly what ones he had, and if you go to collectors shows and antique shows etc, or certain coin shops etc, you can sometimes find original medals which are unnamed, or really good quality reproduction ones too (suitable for framing).

Cheers,

Wes


i know they are out there but it is almost impossible to find ww1 medals unnamed. and if you do find them they will cost a fourtune
 

1feral1

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Actually unnamed medals are worth less than named ones.

Cheers,

Wes
 

armygurl_557

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No, I dont think that they Should be able to wear these medals because, you didnt earn those medals so you shouldnt have the pride of wearing them. Its like saying you had cancer just to get some sympathy.
 

Jonny Boy

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armygurl_557 said:
No, I don't think that they Should be able to wear these medals because, you didn't earn those medals so you shouldn't have the pride of wearing them. Its like saying you had cancer just to get some sympathy.

first of all you should be able to wear them on November 11. and you should always be proud of your families  medals and proud to wear them on remembrance day.

secondly it is nothing like saying you have cancer to get sympathy because i don't think that someone will think that a 45 year old man wearing the medals of his father or grandfather will think they were his. it is impossible for them to be his because they are most likely from the 2 world wars. so the only way it could be the same as claiming to have cancer to get sympathy would be a 82 year old wearing a bunch of medals that never were awarded to him.
 

redleafjumper

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Remembrance Day or not, no one should be wearing medals or decorations that they have not earned.  The proper place for such items is  in a display that shows proper respect for the person that earned the awards.  I recognize that the intent of what many have stated, Wes among others, is to show respect for the fallen veteran and maintain that connection, however it is a thin line from that sort of wearing to putting them up when they have not been awarded to you.  I have personally encountered both circumstances and I always advise people of the Canadian Criminal Code in that area (see below).  The Legion has debated this issue at the convention and in my experience it usually comes down to "Who am I to wear my grandfather's medals?"  (Insert appropriate relative).  This law is not new in Canada, as I understand it it dates from the Great War and was put there at the request of the veterans as there were some who sought to receive the recognition that the veterans deserved.  My grandfather's old general service pin from WW1 says on the reverse: "Penalty for misuse $500 dollar fine or six months imprisonment."  Even today there are some who wear medals that they have not been awarded to imply that they have, I caught one violator myself on a Remembrance Day three years ago.  If you want to show your connection with your related veteran, then display their medals in a frame with a picture and other mementos as others have done. 

Wear a poppy, not their medals. 

The criminal code states:

419.  Unlawful use of military uniforms or certificates - Every one who without lawful authority, the proof of which lies on him,
         
        (a) wears a uniform of the Canadian Forces or any other naval, army or air force or a uniform that is so similiar to the uniform of any of those forces that it is likely to be mistaken therefor,

        (b)  wears a distinctive mark relating to wounds received or service performed in war, or a military medal, ribbon, badge, chevron, or any decoration or order that is awarded for war services, or any imitation thereof, or any mark or device or thing that is likely to be mistaken for any such mark, medal, ribbon, badge, chevron, decoration or order,

        (c) has in his possession a certificate of discharge, certificate of release, statement of service or identity card from the Canadian Forces or any other naval, army or air force that has not been issued and does not belong to him, or

        (d) has in his possession a commission or warrant or a certificate of discharge, certificate of release, statement of service or identity card issued to an officer or a person in or who has been in the Canadian Forces or any other naval, army or air force, that contains any alteration that is not verified by the initials of the officer who issued it, or by the initials of an officer thereto lawfully authorized,

is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.


Lest we forget.

<Edited to remove the ellipsis on the Criminal Code sections and include full wording to avoid confusion.>
Redleafjumper
 

1feral1

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Rant on:

IGNORANCE (like the cancer sympathy quote - thats way way out of line) and LACK of EDUCATION seems to be a big problem with this topic. Wearing medals on the LEFT or RIGHT is TWO different issues and has TWO entirely different definitions. Remember that. Thats TWO different issues RIGHT and LEFT. Right for wearing in remberance of a family member, and left for being awarded to you, no one else, but you!

Those who wear them on the LEFT have truly earned them, and anyone wearing such on the left when not awarded them is a fake wannabee poser and should be ashamed of themselves, and if caught wearing them, they should be charged accordingly.

Too bad the 'nosayers' for not only cadets and family members of those who have since passed on, can't see things outside the square.

Its lawful to wear them here on the RIGHT one day a year here (of a relative only). Those who don't want to don't have to ( and I respect this too), but those who wish to HONOUR and REMEMBER the plight of the relatives this way (we are all different and remember in our own private ways, and this should be respected), good on them for doing so.

These people should not be condemmed for doing so either. If anyone came up to me and shat on me for wearing my Great Uncle's WW1 medals on the right, along my my EARNED ones on the left, they'd get a dressing down they would remember til the day they died. However thats unlikely to happen here, as the Australian culture is a 180 degree difference from Canada in this fashion.

We are extremely proud of our ANZAC heritage (not that Canadians are not - I reckon we express it differently) and our Military Forces in general. The population supports the wearing on the right overwhelmingly, where as the Canadians see things a little different I guess. even school children are educated about ANZAC and its humble beginnings on the craggy cliffs of Gallipoli 90 years ago this coming 25 April.

Just because of you personally think its wrong does not mean thats right. If you have an opinion not to wear them, good, but don't go passing on your morals and self imposed judgement onto others who think different.

So, to those who wish to keep their families memories alive wear them with PRIDE on the RIGHT side.

For the misinformed, prejudged narrow minded ignorant and uneducated with this topic out there I suggest before shooting off at the hip over the issue, have a deep think about the entire isssue before you go passing judgement. Like I said, if you don't wanna come to the party with medals on the RIGHT, don't.

HONOURING and IMPERSONATION are two different things. I hope one day after I am long gone one of my relatives will wear my medals (on the right) on ANZAC Day and march in my Corps Association to remember me, and my generation of Sons and Grandsons of ANZAC who have indeed served their country proud.

As for the Criminal Code of Canada, there must be criminal intent, and if the medals are worn on the right, and the circumstances behind it, it would be a cold day in hell if anyone was charged.

If thats the case I guess every person who even wears any surplus kit of any kind of CF issue stuff is gulity. Not likely to happen, but if someone is dressed up, and impersonated a CF member, thats an other story isn't it. Charge the bastard! Throw the book at him. The same goes with poserS with medals, wound stripes, fake CF certificates and the like.

Hey Redleaf, was the bloke you 'caught' wearing them on the left? If he was he is a fraud and is a disgrace, and good on ya for having a go at him. I would have too. but if he was wearing thim on the right as a token of remberance, and you had a go at him for that, well quite frankly maybe its you who should be ashamed of yourself irregardless of the criminal code and all that other red tap crap.

Rant off:

EDITED for clarification ;)

Regards,

Wes
 

the 48th regulator

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Wesley mate,

Australia has got it bang on!!

As for the other comments, I will only draw from one ( not centering out anyone in particular);

No, I don't think that they Should be able to wear these medals because, you didn't earn those medals so you shouldn't have the pride of wearing them. Its like saying you had cancer just to get some sympathy.

And we say that the civvies are ignorant.   I think this attitude fuels it.   Lets not be proud of our history, let's hide our medals (ours as in Canadians) and profess that as long as I remember is all that counts....then complain when a civvy has no clue about our history.

Would you think that by wearing them one day of the year, you can show your pride by telling someone a story about the person who earned them.   I think they would remember that over that fact that someone was only showing off or glorifying anything.

Geez, we Canadians just love to beat ourselves up, and then stand there with our transplanted stiff upper lips...


 

Jonny Boy

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Wes man. wow. i wish all Canadians thought the way you did. i completely agree with you.

i for one once in a while on remembrance day services by request of several people and my own will wear a Korean war Canadian uniform full with webbing gas mask small pack everything they are ww2 though. i also have some people that ONCE dressed in ww2 uniforms which my dad had collected. one of them had medals which i removed before any one wore the uniform. i did this so that younger and older people could see what the uniforms looked like. the one i wore was unissued and had no rank.

if people have a problem with that than i guess you have a serious problem with Re-enactors. it is pretty much the same thing. they go around showing uniforms of the past.
 

redleafjumper

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I believe all of us agree that there must be proper respect shown to those who have fallen.  As I see it, we disagree on how that respect is properly demonstrated.  I am not interested in a flame war with anyone over this issue when certainly we all have the intention to show respect how we believe it should be best demonstrated.  Fair enough?

In response to Wes's (and I did expect some aspects of his response) post, I have thought this through carefully.  I have been an active member of my Legion for 21 years and served twice as president.  Nuances of left and right are only of value to those who know the difference.  Wearing on the right is not sufficient to show that they are not your medals.  I well remember one woman pointing out someone wearing a WW2 and Korea set on the right side at a service in Vancouver, and saying to me, "That fellow certainly has a lot of medals for someone so young." 

It might be the norm down under, but it is not the way in Canada.  Incidentally, the person I caught was female and the medal worn was on the left side in form as if had been earned and clearly with that intent.  As I was familiar with the impostor and the medal, I called her on it at once.  She left the room like a bird with her tail feathers on fire, there was no doubt that she knew.  From time to time I have encountered persons who incorrectly wear their relatives medals.  One fellow carries them inside his coat.  When they are displayed on the jacket, I tactfully advise them of the law.  I agree that intent is a big part of this  issue and most of those few who do wear those medals do not intend to pretend that they earned them.  The problem I have, and it is likely less a problem in Australia, is that the perception can be that those medals were earned by the wearer.

By the way, the rest of those omitted criminal code sections on uniforms and the like very much revolve around pretending to be something that one is not.  They are not aimed at re-enactors, but rather at persons fraudulently wearing current issue uniforms.  I can post the rest of those sections if you like, but the use of the ellipsis " ... " indicates words omitted.  I omitted those words as they are not relevant to the topic at hand, that is wearing of medals.  I feel that it is helpful to post the section under discussion so that the reference is clear.

Redleafjumper

 

1feral1

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redleafjumper said:
I well remember one woman pointing out someone wearing a WW2 and Korea set on the right side at a service in Vancouver, and saying to me, "That fellow certainly has a lot of medals for someone so young."  

It might be the norm down under, but it is not the way in Canada.      The problem I have, and it is likely less a problem in Australia, is that the perception can be that those medals were earned by the wearer.

Your first quote - My answer is simple. Education (through the Legion - add in the Legion magazine for example or local papers, Legion websites etc, Regimental Associations too). It aint that hard. Regulate it, be positive.

Information passed on through the appropiate channels on wearing them on the RIGHT for remberance, just for ONE day a year. 11 Nov. Thats not asking too much is it. That woman was clueless in the first place as the majority of civilians are in the wearing of medals.

Your second   quote - Whats diferent between us and Canada is attitude towards Defence and some minor cultural differences. BCW war medals are medals WW1, WW2, Korea etc.  

Example if I saw anyone under the age of 80 yrs old wearing WW2 medals on the left, that would be suspicious, same goes with a 40yr old wearing Viet Nam service medals. Seeing a 30yr old woman wearing VietNam medals on the right on ANZAC Day, well thats obvious. So I don't buy your second quote for a second. Sorry, thats pretty limp.

You won't support such a lawful decision in the first place, so your opinion is biased at the get go. I do respect that however, and thats just how you think, and thats fair.

I think its sad that the government will not come   'on line' with this, but I do beleive with enough public pressure that things can change. There was a time not too long ago it was the same here, but in the light of our vets dying off, the act was changed to preserve their service by commorating them through the wearing on their medals on the right on ANZAC Day, and there is NOT one thing wrong with that.

For those that want an ammendment, please contact your local MP and get as many as you can to do the same. Use Australia as a base example.

Cheers,

Wes
 

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We worry about misinterpretation, and people posing as something they are not, so therefore hide the medals of Fathers, uncles, grandfathers, at home.  

Hmmm what a great way to honor those who earned them.   Once Again, thank you Wes.....You are convincing me to move to Australia with every post (not too mention the warm weather, but not at those housing prices....)

redleafjumper;

So you just let the woman leave eh?   Why did you not stop her an ask for to stay.   You seem to assume that she wanted to be a war vet?   You know discussion, as I said in my previous post, encourages the civvy, and military minded people to get to know our History.   Don't we bash our nation for being so ignorant??  

tess

That's it for me I don't want to get fired up today...

 

redleafjumper

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48th Regulator, without going into the specific details, the person was known to me, she was trying to pretend to be something she wasn't, and when confronted she fled.  Appropriate action was taken, and to my knowledge the posing hasn't been repeated.   

While sympathetic to the intent of Wes's points, I am still unconvinced by the arguments presented for wearing the medals of others.  Like I said earlier, wear a poppy, not their medals. 

 

Michael Dorosh

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I agree with redleafjumper.  However, when we opened a permanent exhibit at our regimental museum devoted to the Japanese-Canadians who served in our unit in the First World War, at least one descendant was present - in a suit and tie - wearing his predecessor's MM and service ribbons on the right side.  At the time, I thought it appropriate, if not a little odd.  I had heard of the practice, but never seen it done.

If we did revive such a practice in Canada, there should be the proviso that not only would it only be done on Rememberance Day (as Wes points out), but also only in civilian clothes.  I don't think uniformed personnel (or even those in the "uniform" of the Royal Canadian Legion, consisiting of headdress and blazer) should be permitted to do this.  I would include cadets, policemen, fireman and any others in an official uniform in such a ban, lest they be mistaken for their own medals.
 

1feral1

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In due process over time I believe the Canadian governemt will change its presidence in this matter. Should the decision be made for 'civilian clothes only' as CPL Doresh suggests, fair enough, as thats the first step in the right direction, and we can call that comprimise.

As for Redleaf, he won't budge period, and thats his opinion although I disagree 100%. I find his refusing to see things through a little different completly unrefreshing and very sad.

As I stated in the previous post, those who feel strongly about an ammendement should send in writing to their MP and maybe Vets Affairs, Legion Command HQ, and for those who are members of Associations to their presidents, etc.

Meanwhile in Australia, relatives will continue to honour their Dads, Grandfathers, Brothers, Sons and Uncles (and the female equivilant) in this fine tradition of honour and remberance (without hinderance or harassment with their medals, poppies, and springs of Rosemary on the RIGHT) for ANZAC Days to come.

Not everyone has to do this, its optional, and many don't but at least othesr can if they want too. Thats called freedom and respect. The ANZAC tradition has indeed been passed to the next generation of Australians with complete success.

Again write your MPs.


Cheers,

Wes
 

the 48th regulator

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redleafjumper,

Right on good on ya, I hope you sorted her out then.   Use the red poppy to remember...ok will do..

MD,

Only in civvies, as long as they have their Right foot up in the air, 6 inches from the ground.   Left foot must be encased in a red and white sock, where upon the right arm wrapped in a time observing device made in Canada, but not stamped as such....Head bearing cover only material approved of by set group appointed by the government and members of the "War museum for life" club...

dang it folks....it's about remembering not posing, I hope my grand kids pins my gongs on his/her chest one day!!   At least they will know who earned them and for what country....

oh well.   Wes save a seat at the legion in Sydney...oh ya yer moving...well give me the direction to the new place...

tess
 

rmc_wannabe

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I've heard of some people that just wear the undress ribbons, or failing that, just wearing the medals under their tunic. Is this not also a possible solution, because a) the medals are not shown to the public, thus tailing off any public misconception
                               
                                b)the person wearing them still has the memory of the person that serves.

                                c)the person wearing the medals is not liable to face charges for wearing decorations not earned


The only problem with this is that the medals are not on display thus allowing others to learn about the medas. What do you think about this 
 

bossdog

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As far as I know, and I'm not certain about the cadets, you can wear immediate family medals on the right side of your tunic for rememberance day parades only.
 

redleafjumper

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Kings Town Jimmy,
You really should have a look at the earlier posts as they make it clear that in Canada it is not legal to wear anyone else's medals, ribbons or other awards at anytime.  Not on the right on Remembrance Day nor anywhere else at anytime.  See the Canadian Criminal Code section referred to earlier, please.
 

gunner56

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I have my dad's medals(WWII War Medal,CVSM w/Overseas Bar).I'm very proud of his service(RCAF).However,I didn't earn 'em,I won't wear 'em.
 
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