• Thanks for stopping by. Logging in to a registered account will remove all generic ads. Please reach out with any questions or concerns.

Wearing an Ancestor's Medals Mega-thread

1feral1

Banned
Banned
Reaction score
0
Points
0
The book I drew this infor from claims 8 sons (Canadians At War - Jim lotz), but this source claims 5, and it looks like 5 is correct. Crikey, 1 is enough. I cannot fathom such a great loss for one mother alone.

Read the article in its entirety. http://www.hellfire-corner.demon.co.uk/ceris.htm

Mrs Wood (not Woods from my first source) was presented to the King, wearing the 5 sets of medals that her sons earned.

OWDU
 

mariomike

Moderator
Staff member
Directing Staff
Subscriber
Mentor
Reaction score
330
Points
1,130
Mrs Wood was reportedly the first recipient of the Memorial Cross.
http://www.cwgc.org/education/imp_pop/family_can.htm
 

Michael OLeary

Army.ca Fixture
Subscriber
Donor
Reaction score
1
Points
410
AJFitzpatrick said:
Just to throw something into the discussion. What if your ancestors fought on the "wrong" side?

That's a red herring, and a separate issue.
 

the 48th regulator

Army.ca Fixture
Reaction score
0
Points
410
I thought this to be a brilliant question to ask here, so I split this off and wanted to see a good discussion.

November eleventh, 2009.  You show up to the local Remembrance day memorial.  You recognize a few of the local veterans, some current serving in uniform, and families.

You move forward for a better spot, and you bump into someone wearing medals.  You politely ask where they served, and they respond that the medals are the ones earned by a family member.  This peaks your interest, and you strike up a conversation.  You find out that the medals belonged to her Grandfather, who fought in Italy.  You offer your respects to her and her grandfather.  She states that her Grandad was a paratrooper and served in places such as Ortona, and told stories of how well his unit fought.

After all this you say thank you, but you are curious.  The medals look different from the others that the Vets are wearing.  You turn back and ask about them.  She tells you that her Grandfather served with the German Army, in the German 1st Parachute Division.....

What is the feeling?

dileas

tess
 

George Wallace

Army.ca Dinosaur
Reaction score
4
Points
410
I wonder how many "hold a grudge" for a lifetime?  What would they say if they saw a Armour Crewman standing in front of his Leopard tank?  Or the service member who has a German, Italian or Japanese wife?  What are their feelings towards touring Germany, Italy and Japan?  At what level do they differentiate?
 

Yrys

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
0
Points
410
George Wallace said:
I wonder how many "hold a grudge" for a lifetime? 

Well, I don't know how many hold such a grudge, but if you think at the cancellation of
the "reconstitution of the Plains of Abraham", some Québécers seem so enraged
250 years past, that they don't want to remember, when they usually say :
"Je me souviens" ! 
 

George Wallace

Army.ca Dinosaur
Reaction score
4
Points
410
Yrys said:
.........some Québécers seem so enraged
250 years past, that they don't want to remember, when they usually say :
"Je me souviens" !


;D


I always laugh at Quebec Lic plates since they changed to that.  I always think that they forgot the "rien" at the end of the sentence.
 

Yrys

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
0
Points
410
Good point  :D !

I was a bit enraged when some separatists made the cancellation happens.
For me , it is the 'geste' of ignorants people that want to keep others people
ignorants, and the result ain't a "victory for the nationalists"!
 

FormerHorseGuard

Sr. Member
Reaction score
31
Points
280
My grandfather was in the RCAF during WW2. he flew supply  and other missions  in various areas of operations.
Africa, Burma, India,  and east and west coasts of Canada.
When he died there was a gentleman sitting ast his funeral , older man  witha  strange acent, I had never met him, but turned out he was a former German Airforce pilot, who flew for the other side in Africa. He was a Nazi Officer, card carrying member . He and my  grandfather became friends many  years later. He came to my  grandfather's funeral out of respect for another flier who had past on.  So I guess old grudges do die and new found respect does happen.

I always wondered how hard it would be for the other side to hold  a Memorial Day or Remembrance Service knowing the past losses and the course of history.  I think some honours and respect are lost for the losers  of a  war,  and that  tanishes the memory of the fallen of that  side. Winners are heros, losers are chumps.
I feel for losers on both sides, The losers are the fallen and they are buried in strange lands far away  from their families, some have no graves, no markers just  a location in the vast  oceans of the world.

My  grandfather was E.J. Sparks , Captain Retired Canadian Forces
RCOC, RCAF, RCNR,. When he died I got his metals, no exciting ones, just the Burma Star, Africa star and clasp,  various UN metals,  CD with clasp, and the I was there metals, I would never consider wearing them, I would never let anyone else wear them. They  now mine,  and going to be put ina  shadow box frame with his service record and picture someday.
 

Blackadder1916

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
406
Points
1,030
the 48th regulator said:
. . . November eleventh, 2009.  You show up to the local Remembrance day memorial. . . .

The operative word is "Remembrance Day", not celebration of victory over the other guy day.  There have been occasions when former enemies have had joint ceremonies to commemorate their shared hardships and fallen comrades/Kameraden (and the only thing killed were a lot of brain cells . . . ).  It is not unusual to have foreign military attaches (including from our former enemy) be a part of Remembrance Day ceremonies in Ottawa including laying a wreath at the Cenotaph; at one time in years long past it would have been not uncommon for such an attache to have had served on "the other side" and to have worn medals recognizing that service at the ceremony (even though Germans do not hold Nov 11 in the same honoured memory).

But then there is always that elephant in the room; the particularly offensive ideology of the regime in power in that country at that time.  There will always be some who will equate wearing any symbols of service for that period with trying to celebrate that ideology, rather than what (according to your scenario) it most likely is; someone wishing to remember and honour a passed loved one.  That the passed loved one may have been proud of and cherished the memory of his time in battle should make little difference.  Though unusual, there have been instances of former German soldiers attending Remembrance Day services without skulking in the background or trying to hide who/what they were.  They were there for the same reason many former Canadian soldiers were, to publically remember their friends who were no longer there.
 

axeman

Full Member
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Michael O'Leary said:
That's a red herring, and a separate issue.

Why is it considered as a red herring and seperate issue ?  We are trying to talk about ancestors medals . My ancestors fought on both sides .  WWII to the Boer War I've got relatives from far and wide. Medals from all of them . mom dad grampa  great grampa greatgreat gramp etc...aunts uncles all are direct blood type relatives. All are important to me .IMHO its all germane to the subject at hand relatives ARE relatives no matter what side the fought on .
 

Michael OLeary

Army.ca Fixture
Subscriber
Donor
Reaction score
1
Points
410
axeman said:
Why is it considered as a red herring and seperate issue ?  We are trying to talk about ancestors medals . My ancestors fought on both sides .  WWII to the Boer War I've got relatives from far and wide. Medals from all of them . mom dad grampa  great grampa greatgreat gramp etc...aunts uncles all are direct blood type relatives. All are important to me .IMHO its all germane to the subject at hand relatives ARE relatives no matter what side the fought on .

It's a red herring if people focus on the issue of "ancestors from the other side" and declare that they would support the wearing of ancestors' medals "but never if a single German/Japanese/et. al. medal was worn".  It potentially brings into the discussion an extra emotional layer that removes the focus from whether the wearing of medals is a worthwhile act of remembrance (which is separate from the topic of what nation the ancestor belonged to at the time they were awarded).

 

Greymatters

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Michael O'Leary said:
It's a red herring if people focus on the issue of "ancestors from the other side" and declare that they would support the wearing of ancestors' medals "but never if a single German/Japanese/et. al. medal was worn".  It potentially brings into the discussion an extra emotional layer that removes the focus from whether the wearing of medals is a worthwhile act of remembrance (which is separate from the topic of what nation the ancestor belonged to at the time they were awarded). 

Hmmm, it actually is a valid point - no one would likely object to the wearing of a German ancestor's medals, but there would be objections to the wearing of any Nazi-related ones. 

I was going to say that I cant imagine anyone being dumb enough to do so, but I think there will always be someone who would...
 

geo

Army.ca Legend
Reaction score
0
Points
0
I would contend that, if in Germany - the wearing of your ancestor's German medals would be appropriate.  In Japan, it would be appropriate to wear your ancestor's Japanese medals.  In Canada/UK/Australia/New Zeland/et all, it would be appropriate to wear your ancestor's Canadian/Commonwealth medals.
 

geo

Army.ca Legend
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Graymatters,
If your family got Gassed @ Ypres - those Imperial German medals would be persona non grata, as much as those Nazi era medals & gongs.
If your family member participated in the death march to Bataan - Japanese medals wouldn't be too welcome either. 
However, that being said, Allied air medals worn in Danzig, Hamburg or Dresden probably wouldn't be all that happily received.
IMHO
 

Greymatters

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
0
Points
0
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
 

mariomike

Moderator
Staff member
Directing Staff
Subscriber
Mentor
Reaction score
330
Points
1,130
the 48th regulator said:
She tells you that her Grandfather served with the German Army, in the German 1st Parachute Division.....
What is the feeling?

I tell her that my Uncle served with the RCAF, in Bomber Command....
He's still in France with his crewmates.
What would be the feeling if I wore his Aircrew Europe Star in Germany?



 
Top