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Thread: Met Man MBE Not On The LG?

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    Default Met Man MBE Not On The LG?

    Hello All,

    Does anyone know when Flt Lt Herbert Edward Forster, RAFVR Met Branch (140104), got his MBE? He also got a MiD on 1 Jan 45, but I canít get the LG to cough up his MBE (I must admit that I did swear (very quietly) at the LG this morning Ė but it must have heard me!!).

    TIA

    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    FORSTER, Herbert Edward, F/L (number ?, Royal Air Force) - Meteorological Section, Gibraltar - Member, Order of the British Empire - awarded as per London Gazette dated 1 January 1943, with effect from 1 September 1942. Public Record Office Air 2/8871, courtesy of Steve Brew, has citation.

    Flight Lieutenant Forster has served in Gibraltar from November 1935 until August 1942. Throughout he has given energetic and highly satisfactory services in his official capacity and in addition has investigated questions connected with the rainfall at Gibraltar. As an amateur photographer, this officer has undertaken the photography of Military subjects for the purpose of official records. By virtue of his long experience, skill and patience he is held in high esteem as a forecaster by captains of aircraft. Flight Lieutenant Forster’s exceptional zeal and the valuable services he has rendered over a period of seven years are worthy of the highest praise.

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    Hugh, Hi,

    VMT that info - much appreciated! However, you (et al) should be aware that he was not formally Commissioned until 1 Apr 1943 (in The Great Commissioning Of (fit!) Met Officers). So his MBE was probably awarded in the Civil Division of that Order, although presented after he had been Uniformed. And he must have had friends in the Met Office Personnel Branch - not many managed 7 yrs, on the trot, in a good posting like Gib!! Don't know where, at the moment, his Commissioned Service took him? His Service Record would reveal all - but I have so many of these that I would be reduced to penury if I asked for all of them (and I should live so long!).
    BUT - and this is important - another little piece of the jig-saw slotted into place by virtue of the expertise on this Forum! My thanks!

    Yrs Aye
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Sorry, Peter, you are in error. Meteorologists serving overseas were mobilised, if not with the outset of war, very soon after. I can't quote chapter and verse but the relatively large number who supported the BEF and AASF were all mobilised before crossing the Channel. The 1 April 1943 mobilisation was (from AP1134) mainly because the closest possible liaison was needed between meteorological officers (ie forecasters) charged with briefing duties, and the aircrews and other service personnel whom they were briefing, especially for operational flights .

    Forster's MBE was very much a local award as his name appears just once in the Met Office library catalogue, for a 24-page paper on Gibraltar rainfall, published in 1942. I can think of many others who received no recognition for much greater deeds.

    Brian
    Last edited by Lyffe; 26th June 2015 at 16:08.

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    Peter,

    This might interest you:

    https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/35841/page/14

    Col
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 26th June 2015 at 16:55.

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    Brian, not so,

    You are correct in part, but you are in error for the most part. The Forum does not need to know the fine details of the nitty-gritty, so you and I will continue this discussion with you off-Forum! If/when we come to a conclusion then it can be posted - and the experts can pick it over, and decide who is/was right. AP1134 was not always right. The Met Office, and the RAF, chose to ignore some of the Laws Of War, and the various Geneva conventions/protocols, as it suited them! Not the first time this has happened. But, if some of the Queen's Enemies had captured me (in modern times) I could, technically, have been shot as a spy even though I was "in Her Majesty's uniform"! If you want proof of this then just go to the Byzantine discussions that resulted in the current RAFR legislation!

    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Thanks Col. I was actually searching (in my own bumbling way) Forster in the LG, and there seems to be something unusual in respect of his commissioning.

    Under the Reserve of Air Force Officers (RAFO), General Duties Branch in the 20 Jan 1942 edition of the LG there is a Herbert Edward Forster "To be Flt Lt in Class CC, wef 17 December 1941 (https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/...e/349/data.pdf). There are three other names listed alongside his, who later appear in the RAFVR Met Branch, one of whom is a David Glen Harvey. I suspect this might be the same Mr D G Harvey who retired from the Met Office in 1978 (he merited a retirement notice in the Met Mag that year). The other two names were Edmund Luxmore and William James Craxford, all four were meteorologists as they later appear in the RAFVR (Met Branch). In none of the cases is there a service number, but if I remember correctly members of RAFO did not have numbers.

    Moving on to the 1943 LG (https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/.../4727/data.pdf) there is a Herbert Edward Forster being commissioned as a Flt Lt in the RAFVR (Met Branch) with a service number of 140104. I'm 99.999 % sure this is the same man, except he has been transferred to the RAFVR from the RAFO.

    The link you gave Col has him as being an officer in the RAFO (without a service number) when he was awarded the MBE in September 1942, thus he was not RAFVR (Met Branch) at the time..

    Strangely David Glen Harvey's RAFO commission is later cancelled (https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/.../1217/data.pdf) but he reappears as a Flt Lt in the Met Branch, SN 132251 effective 1 November 1942 (https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/...t/934/data.pdf).

    In 1943 Edmund Luxmore appears as a Flt Lt in the RAFVR Met Branch, SN 140643, as does William James Craxford, SN 140652 (https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/.../4183/data.pdf)

    Hope you folks can follow that, but what it boils down to is four men, probably forecasters at Gibraltar, were commissioned (is that the right word) as RAFO officers in the GD Branch, effective December 1941, and later transferred to the RAFVR (Met Branch).

    Thank goodness it is almost tea-time.

    Brian
    Last edited by Lyffe; 27th June 2015 at 09:39. Reason: Added all the names for the 1942 LG entry

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    Brian,
    Thanks that. It is clear (as in my own case) that The Rules for various types of Commission changed as "They" needed people to do various things - and "They" were prepared to "bend" those rules as the case may have been (Ross as alluded to RAFO being directly recruited, rather than having served as REGULAR Commissioned Officers). Later, The Rules were either changed to accommodate the new situation(s), or the personnel were moved from one category of Commission to another. I was in three different categories. I was party to the Byzantine discussions which resulted in the last change (to RAFR), but in no case was I actually informed, in writing, that my Commissioned conditions had changed for any of the changes. This was important as Civil Service Injury Warrant (in the case of CC Commissions, etc) conditions - in the event of Death on Active Service (with consequent NoK payments, etc) - would vary!
    I'm not trying to be a Barrack Room Lawyer but the legal complications were immense - and not fully understood by many!
    These legal complications came to a head when Reserve Meteorological Officers were either (a) posted to/from, or (b) moved within many of the subsequent Small Balkan Wars. I - as MMU SLOPS - had to obtain the permission of the Minister of Defence (in person) for every one of these movements. I can tell you that his Chief Bag Carrier got thoroughly pi$$ed off with the whole procedure (being woken up, in the middle of the night/reception/dinner by an IMMEDIATE signal from MMU HQ requesting permission to move Fg Off Bloggs from one benighted location to another!) This may have had something to do with the RAFR discussions being accelerated!!
    So the Commissioning shennanigens at Gib (early WW2) were not unusual - but need to be aware by historians!
    Rgds
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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