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Wearing an Ancestor's Medals Mega-thread

IntlBr

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My grandfather was a Captain (A/Major I believe) in the BCDs, so I'm not concerned.. but what if your ancestor fought for the .. ahem.. "losing" side of either war?  What if Grandpa was a Major in the SS?  We had an awful lot of former Axis people immigrate into Canada following the war.  I'm willing to wager they had children, who had children, who will have children.
 

Michael OLeary

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Corps of Guides said:
My grandfather was a Captain (A/Major I believe) in the BCDs, so I'm not concerned.. but what if your ancestor fought for the .. ahem.. "losing" side of either war?  What if Grandpa was a Major in the SS?  We had an awful lot of former Axis people immigrate into Canada following the war.  I'm willing to wager they had children, who had children, who will have children.

I would suggest that only someone in that position could answer that question.  Do we refuse to let the descendants of German servicemen attend Remembrance Day ceremonies if they choose to do so as Canadians?

What if it was a Wehrmacht soldier on compulsory service, and neither a member of an SS unit or a Nazi by political affiliation?  Would that be different?

You have offered a red herring argument that does not affect the central question being debated.
 

geo

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From a personal perspective, if they are in Germany on Remembrance day and wish to pull out their dad of granddad's decorations AND the German government has no problem with it... I have no problem with it....

My granddad served in the militia leading up to 1914.  He served through the 1st war & brought back the 22e Bn CEF from Europe.  Throughout WW2 - he served in Ottawa for the 6 years of war - before going back to his civy career....  My dad was a Troop commander with the Three River tanks - served Canada as best he could and returned to his civy career after 6 years of war.

I have served my country.... and my son turns 16 next month..... we'll see how that turns out.
 

mariomike

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geo said:
Soo.... with 35+ years of service (and counting)... I guess I fall under that catgory too ?

I wish this wasn't a pissing contest.
I have 37+ years of service ( and counting ). But, it's with Toronto Emergency Services. So, we will always follow you in the D-Day, Remembrance Day, and Warrior's Day marchpasts. And all the other memorials we attend every year.
My brief time in the militia was enough to let my wife and me buy into the National Military Cemetery. Perhaps we will be your neighbours for eternity?

 

riggermade

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I did 25 years and when I pass I will be leaving my medals to my son...if he chooses to wear them in memory of me and what I did in my military career then he should have the right
 

Michael OLeary

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mariomike said:
I wish this wasn't a pissing contest.
I have 37+ years of service ( and counting ). But, it's with Toronto Emergency Services. So, we will always follow you in the D-Day, Remembrance Day, and Warrior's Day marchpasts. And all the other memorials we attend every year.
My brief time in the militia was enough to let my wife and me buy into the National Military Cemetery. Perhaps we will be your neighbours for eternity?

Well, it had been a discussion except for certain people who refused to even consider the theoretical possibilities of change.  And then you decided to be the self-appointed spokesman for generations of departed veterans.

Other options do work in other countries.  There's nothing that says that it couldn't work here if change was proposed.  I certainly don't expect to see change being immediate, or any time soon.  I rather doubt that anyone is even pursuing this on any official level, so it's really only a consideration of theoretical possibilities, which is certainty not aided by outright denial of the options.  By all means, join the discussion and if you don't agree, then offer reasoned counter-arguments against the wearing of ancestor's medals.
 

mariomike

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Michael O'Leary said:
And then you decided to be the self-appointed spokesman for generations of departed veterans.

I type only for myself. The law was passed, I believe, before I was born.
Thanks for reading my posts. I'm off to bed. Ontario Family Day is just another day on the job.
 

Michael OLeary

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mariomike said:
I type only for myself.

Then I must have misunderstood your meaning in this post:

mariomike said:
If that is what they had wanted, Canadian veterans and next of kin would have had the law written to say it is ok to wear orders, decorations and medals you did not earn on the right.
That is not what they wanted. Out of respect for them, what they wanted was written into the Criminal Code of Canada.
 

Kat Stevens

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::) While we're at it, let's stop the RCMP, Fire, and EMS services from participating in Remembrance Day at all.  I mean, I'm pretty sure those guys didn't go up Vimy Ridge with "Jeez, thank God the cops are on the job back home"  as their last thought.    Jeez man, this is getting silly  ::)
 

ModlrMike

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mariomike said:
It is beneath contempt to wear an order, decoration or medal you did not earn. 
Because some people have no shame, this had to be written into law.
This law was written at a time when our World War veterans were plentiful. As well as the next of kin of those who went to war and never came back. They are the ones who demanded this be written into law.
Who are we to say they were wrong?

Actually, the law was enacted because of the large numbers of impostors and frauds trying to access benefits following WWI.

As much as I personally disagree with the practise, I don't discourage it. Who am I to tell someone else how to mourn their loss? Who is any one for that matter? As for being beneath contempt... well...
 

1feral1

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mariomike said:
I wish this wasn't a pissing contest.

No, you are just being NARROW minded.

Plain and simple, you refusing to think outside the circle, and for what its worth I have +33 yrs in two Armies of the British Commonwealth, and I am a Veteran of the campaign in Iraq. The policies put forth by ANZAC are excellent and lead by example in rememberance and honour in the highest form. I guess you have to experience it to see it. Those that have been to ANZAC Days or Long Tan Days, or 11 Nov here in ANZAC can understand the national pride exhibited by our citizens, which  is both unique and inspiring.

In time, I beleive Canada will join the fold with other Commonwealth countries in this form of rememberance and honour, with the KEY being medals are worn on the right, and only on special occasions as directed. The sacrifices of ANZAC from Gallipoli to Baghdad, and the pride of Digger past will always be remembered.

Sure, we too have our share of shamless imposters, they wear their medals on the left impersonating Veterans for selfish personal reasons and many also play the game of stealing benifits from those of us who have been in harms way. Losers of this calibre will always be around. When caught they are publically named/shamed in the media.

Anyways pal, time to come out of the dark ages, and again think outside the circle and think in the future.

May I suggest you research this topic, and perhaps educate yourself, that is if you really GAF in the first place.

OWDU
 

mariomike

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Kat Stevens said:
While we're at it, let's stop the RCMP, Fire, and EMS services from participating in Remembrance Day at all.  I mean, I'm pretty sure those guys didn't go up Vimy Ridge with "Jeez, thank God the cops are on the job back home"  as their last thought.   

We always march at the end of parades we are invited to as a mark of respect. 
Our military people, old or young, are always in front, and always will be.
I've never met anyone on my job who didn't treat our sick and injured veterans with as much love as they would their own mother or father. Or since Afganistan, our own sons and daughters.


 

1feral1

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Mario,

Thanks for not having the COMMON courtesy for not responding to my post. If you want to hide your head in the sand about this important issue, well I guess thats your business. :brickwall:
 

mariomike

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Overwatch Downunder said:
Mario,

Thanks for not having the COMMON courtesy for not responding to my post. If you want to hide your head in the sand about this important issue, well I guess thats your business. :brickwall:

Sorry for not answering sooner, Overwatch. I bent the rules a little bit at work earlier today to keep up.
Even if they de-criminalised it, which I don't see happening in my lifetime, and even if I wanted to wear someone else's medals, which I don't, I do not have permission from any of the recipients to wear them. I never saw my father wear his father's.
He used to let me wear his, but I was still in short pants.  It never occurred to me to ask as an adult, and it's too late now.  I couldn't ask my Uncle Bill, because they ( the entire 7 man crew ) were shot down by a night fighter and are buried in France.  Nobody even had time to jump. I have personal momentos ( watches and rings ) of them that I can, and do, wear whenever I want.  I really am the keeper of their flames,  I just do it differently than you.
I apologize if I caused offence. 
 

Fishbone Jones

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mariomike said:
How the hell do I know?
Because it has been that way for as long as Canada has had "vererans".

Sorry. Not buying what you're smokin'. Your opinion doesn't equate to speaking for ANYONE but yourself. You have your's, others have their's. It's not for you to say who is right or wrong. You can put forward a case strong enough to change someone's view........or not, but you are far from the final authority on the subject so just simmer down.

Milnet.ca Staff
 

1feral1

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mariomike said:
He used to let me wear his, but I was still in short pants. 

You are completely missing the point. You are not looking outside the circle.

There is nothing to de-criminalise, its still and will always be an offence to wear them as if you earned them that means on the left, even here. That will never change.

An ammendment has to be made to be worn on the right, this along with the provisons of such an ammendment. I guess you haev not researched this topic, thats bloody obvious.

As for not having permission to wear them, how silly!

Read this: (its from a post on here from 2004)

You know with 11 Nov fast approaching, and with me being in the field for the next 3 wks, I won't be able to be on line unless I sneak into town.

I thought I'd start this thread as a memorial of those we know, or knew. My story is about one man, who's tragic loss affected so many, and who's loss inspired me to join the Militia back in 1976, and I joined up with a Unit, the Regina Rifles, who prepetuated the 28th Battalion of which Robert served and died with.

Who was he? Well he was my Great Uncle. His name was Robert Allen, and was known as Bob to all who knew him. He was born on 05 May 1895 in Marlbank, Ontario, and came out west to Saskatchewan with his family about 1910. They all settled in the Quill Lake district,and began to farm.

Bob had many interests, and had a passsion for fastball, and played on the local team throughout the spring and summers, competing against other towns such as Watson, and Wadena. He was also active socially within the community, and was overall well liked.

On 19th January 1916, he and others travelled about 30km by horse and cutter to nearby Wadena to enlist in the Army, as the local lads felt it was time to do their bit. Bob's Mum was heartbroken and truly reluctant in letting him go, but his Dad was proud that his son was off to do good for King and Empire, but like all parents was genuinely concerned about the fate of his son.

Bob had written to his cousin in Peel, Ontario, who was eager to join too, saying he'd be in before Bob. Both had actually enlisted a day apart. His name was Richard Marlin (775646 PTE, late of the 38th Ottawa Batt'n), who was later to be KIA at Vimy Ridge on 09 Apr 1917.

The local lads signed up with the 214th Batt'n Wadena Wildcats, and soon ended up at Camp Hughs, near where CFB Shilo now is. Bob made it home many times for leave before ending up in England in the spring of 1917, but when home, he charmed the local girls, and left for England a single 20 yr old man, with many of the locals he signed on with.

He left for the UK from Halifax, never to see his beloved Canada again. Before leaving he gave to his Mum, a few momentos, such as some hatbadges, and a .303 drill rd.

After enduring the boring training in England, 267104 PTE R.F. Allen was TOS'd by the 28th (Saskatchewan) Batt'n in Jul 1917, and ended up in France.

From 'somewhere in the field' Bob wrote many letters home, and sent postcards to many of his friends and family. Over the years, these momentos have been treasured and passed from one generation to the other. Bob was gutted to learn about the death of his close childhood friend and cousin, and mentioned this in a letter home.

Finally, the 28th Batt'n was to be involved in a big show in the Third Battle of Ypres, know as the battle of Passchendaele.The offensive began on Halloween, and the 28th Batt'n after rehursing were finally 'into the line' on the evening of the 5th, and advanced on the fringe of the village of Passchenadele before dawn on the morning of the 6th of Nov 1917.

The morning was cool and wet, but by mid day it was about 13C. Sometime early in the advance Bob was struck down by emeny fire (reports say SW and/or GSW), but either way he was hit badly in both legs and left arm. The septic soil of Belguim farmland had been forced into the wounds.

Bob was concious (I spoke to an old Vet in 1979 who was there with him when he was evac'd) as he layed on the stretcher, covered with mud soak bandages, and with MG08 and wizz bangs going off all around, he kept up his humour, joking about going home, and saying 'you can have your war lads, I am going home'. The enemy fire was fierce, and Bob was finally evac'd out of the line and ended up at No. 3 CCS, near Rouen, where he had both legs and left arm amputated, and was given morphia to settle him.

Bob sadly died of his wounds the next morning, and most likely succomed to an infection from the soil. He was buried near Poperinghe, at the Lijssenthoek Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery, Plot XXII, Grave IIA.

It should be known that Bob's Unit reached their objective before 0900, and HELD it until later releived.

His family soon heard the news, and was lost in grief as one would expect. So taken by the loss of his brother, my Grandfather, Alexander, named his first born son after him, and when my Uncle married, named his first born son after him also. Today Bob is remembered in stone at a memorial in front of the Quill Lake Legion, along with others who fell in both wars.

Bob was just 21 when he died. He never married, and had the chance to grow up, farm and have kids. He along with over 60,000 other Canadians were killed in the First World War, and out of that 60,000 men, over 11,000 have no known grave at all, and still rest where they fell.

Over 60,000 lives lost with over 60,000 individual stories,and grief striken families. Thats one helll of alot of lives and families, given the population of a very young Canada at the time. With losses so high, we cannot even phathom this, as look how we feel as a nation with recent losses of our soldiers in currrent conflicts. One life lost is to many.

Take the time to remember. Take the time to think about what ws going on, not so long ago.

Love your freedom? Thank at Vet, WW2 Vets are in their 80's now, and fought for something most of us take for granted. Its called Freedom. As of yesterday, Australia has only 5 survivors of the First World War.

Lest We Forget!

Yes Mario, I have worn his on the right with mine on the left ( I have 5 gongs for what its worth) at specific occasions, and I am not alone, many thousands in the hordes ANZAC Day goers do the same, all generations from children to the aged.

OWDU
 

mariomike

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Overwatch, you asked me to think outside the box.
At the Cenotaph I will think of it the way you explained it.
I agree with the Australian way. Sorry for being so hardheaded. 
 

1feral1

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mariomike said:
Overwatch, you asked me to think outside the box.
It's important to let people grieve in their own way.

At the Cenotaph I will think of it the way you explained it.
I agree with the Australian way. Sorry for being so hardheaded. 

Incidentally, my grandfather was badly wounded at Pachendale in Nov 1917. He was in Number 1 Construction Battalion CEF. I got to know him pretty well in his old age. 

I beleive it not about grieving, its about rememberance with honour, and pride of our relitives who are no longer with us. Their acts in wars past, those killed, wounded and the ones that carry the trauma they experienced to this day, or to the end of their days, crossing over as old men, a chance many thousands never got to reach.

I am happy you can see things thru Australian eyes, adn I hope this spreads to Canada.

Regards,

OWDU
 

1feral1

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Interesting photograph, read on....

This is Mrs C.S. Woods, who lost eight (8}, yes eight Sons in the Great War. This photo was taken in 1936 at the unvailing of the Vimy Memorial in France.

Mrs Woods represented the Silver Star Mothers of Canada, and was a part of the grand Vimy Pilgrimage, in which many Canadians and their families returned to the Ridge.

You will notice she is wearing the medals of her Sons, and worn on the RIGHT (not the left), so seems back then there was already some type of protocol. After just 18 yrs after the war's end this was accepted by Canadians the time. No one was complaining then.

Anyways, just a point to ponder.

OWDU
 

1feral1

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Can't edit, so I have no idea how the 'cool' icon got in there. Any Mods around to delete the little wanker?

Also the medal she is wearing on the left is the Vimy Pilgrimage Medal and the round button to the left of it is an Vimy Pilgrimage identifier button as to which group/mod she belonged to for that day's events.

Regards,

OWDU
 
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