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Thread: London Gazette - Permission to wear decorations

  1. #1
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    Default London Gazette - Permission to wear decorations

    According to the London Gazette, Issue 37758, 11 Oct. 1946 a number of officers is granted permission to wear decorations conferred by different heads of state.

    Among them are

    "CONFERRED BY HIS MAJESTY THE KING OF DENMARK
    King Christian X Liberty Medal.
    Flying Officer.
    Ernst SCHALBURG (115513), R.A.F.V.R."

    The fact that the King grants permission to a person to wear a decoration, would that be indicative of this person being a British subject at the time or could it just be because of the fact, that this person was still in British service (as indeed he was being in charge of recruiting 2.500 Danish for British service).

    The reason for the question is, that I know for a fact that this officer was born and raised in Denmark, but moved to United Kingdom in 1911. He is interviewed for a Danish newspaper in 1968, and - still living in England - he speaks of himself as Danish. This has lead me to the conclusion that he was still a Danish citizen, but the LG entry could suggest otherwise.

    For more information on the man: http://www.danishww2pilots.dk/profiles.php?id=82

    In hope of a LG expert answer.

    Mikkel Plannthin
    Last edited by Mikkel Plannthin; 29th May 2008 at 12:23.
    Britain's Victory, Denmark's Freedom. Danish Volunteers in Allied Air Forces During the Second World War
    fb.me/britainsvictorydenmarksfreedom
    danishww2pilots.dk - a resource on Danish aircrew during the Second World War

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    Default LG and Foreign Decorations

    The London Gazette announced awards to persons who were (as you correctly note), "still in British service". Citizenship was irrelevant. I think the best way to illustrate this is by reference to awards to Americans. Up to mid- or late 1940, Amricans enrolled in the RAF or RCAF had to swear allegience to the King - and in doing so lost American citizenship. However, the oath was changed to an "oath of obedience" which did not entail forfeiture of citizenship. This enabled persons who had joined the RAF or RCAF to retain American citizenship and, as members of the RAF or RCAF, to receive decorations which were then reported in the London Gazette.

    This situation changed if an American member of the RAF or RCAF transferred in mid-war to the USAAF. His citizenship had remained unchanged but his status as a member of the British and Commonwelth forces had changed. A striking instance of this was Archibald A. Harrington, an American citizen, who joind the RCAF and went overseas where he joined No.410 Squadron. In 1943 he transferred to the USAAF but continued to fly with No.410 Squadron - but wearing an American uniform and drawing his pay from American sources. Harrington was awarded a Commonwealth DSO and a Commonwealth DFC - but as they had been recommended after his switch to the USAAF, they were not announced in the London Gazette.

    The result of these procedures is that when a member of RAF or Commonwealth forces (regardless of citizenship) received a decoration (whether Britiish or non-British, such as a Legion of Merit), it was reported in the London Gazette. If a British or Commonwealth award was bestowed on a person who was a member of a foreign force, it was NOT gazetted.

    This situation presented a problem to me some years ago when I was writing "Not in the Face of the Enemy" (re the Air Force Cross). I encountered at least two recommendations for the AFC, written by RCAF officers on behalf of USAAF officers serving in Canada. I never did find out the final outcome of these submissions. Even if approved, they would not have been gazetted in either the London Gazette or Canada Gazette (because the officers were USAAF when recommended), although such approval would appear in some American source. Unfortunately, I have never made myself an expert on American awards and awards procedures. They seem to have no centralized means of announcing awards comparable to the London or Canada Gazette.

    Have I clarified the matter ? Or made it as clear as mud ?

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    Hugh,
    Nice to read your measured prose - and explanation. It clarified it for me. There are a number of occasions when our non-English native speaking colleagues can put some of us (including me!) to shame!
    Thank you
    Peter Davies

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    Hugh,
    Thank you. It is a very clear, and at the same time educative answer.

    Mikkel
    Britain's Victory, Denmark's Freedom. Danish Volunteers in Allied Air Forces During the Second World War
    fb.me/britainsvictorydenmarksfreedom
    danishww2pilots.dk - a resource on Danish aircrew during the Second World War

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