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British Empire Medal - Reason for Award?

Thu Sep 03, 2015 12:09 pm

Hi

I have just discovered that my grandfather Robert William Allsop was awarded the British Empire Medal during World War 2. None of our family have any knowledge as to why he was given this honor, although we have the medal and a letter from the King to accompany it. He was a very private man until his death in 1980, and never spoke about his time in the war.

Is there any way of finding out more about this? I'd love to know the story of why he received this medal, and what his role was in the war effort.

Any help would be much appreciated.

Many thanks

Kevin Sim

Re: British Empire Medal - Reason for Award?

Thu Sep 03, 2015 1:23 pm

Same question about Robert William Allsop and the British Empire Medal was asked on here two years ago by Seagullsim! Perhaps they have been able to find out something more since then.
topic9686.html

Re: British Empire Medal - Reason for Award?

Thu Sep 03, 2015 2:03 pm

I typed in to Google 'British Empire Medal'. Wikipedia has an article which outlines basic reasons for the award which may help a little. I also typed in 'Robert William Allsopp BEM'. His name came up in an entry on forcesreunited.org.uk which provides some information that may help. I do not know, of course, if this post was was from you or someone else.
Have you tried local newspapers from the time? There could be an article about him.

Re: British Empire Medal - Reason for Award?

Thu Sep 03, 2015 3:13 pm

ianbee wrote:Same question about Robert William Allsop and the British Empire Medal was asked on here two years ago by Seagullsim! Perhaps they have been able to find out something more since then.
topic9686.html


Sadly not - we were researching together, but didn't get anywhere.

Re: British Empire Medal - Reason for Award?

Thu Sep 03, 2015 6:30 pm

The major source for how-to's relating to medals is Medals: The Researchers Guide by William Spencer.

This tells you about the award process and in particular, where to find the recommendations for the awards. Normal awards for this era would be in WO 373 but that has been catalogued at the individual level and RWA does not appear.

Based on the data in the other query (which it would have been useful to copy in), RWA was gazetted in the New Year Honours List (NYH) for 1946. "Spencer" indicates that the basic file of recommendations for that list is in PREM 2/120 at Kew. However, he also seems to suggest (and I drown in the volume of options at this point) that the NYH lists for the armed forces were pulled out of that file (or were never in it) and put into WO 373 - and he further says that some of those lists were lost. Guess what - NYH for 1946 is one of those missing.

It would be worth your while getting hold of a copy of "Spencer" and sitting down with it and several cups of coffee - there may be information kept at other points in the process but you need to read it through. I've only had time for a quick look through - I could be missing something and appearing too pessimistic.

Re: British Empire Medal - Reason for Award?

Fri Sep 04, 2015 7:05 am

Have you actually got his service record as advised in the earlier thread two years ago? If you seriously want the answer to the question the service record is a prerequisite.

By the way, the BEM may not have been awarded for any one specific action but for sustained meritorious performance over a long period.
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