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Thread: Time lapse before Mention in Despatches is Gazetted

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    Default Time lapse before Mention in Despatches is Gazetted

    How quickly do acts of gallantry which result in the individual being Mentioned in Despatches get published in the London Gazette?

    My query relates to Acting Flt Lt C T White 46972 Technical Branch included in the Gazette dated 2 June 1943. His family believe this may be linked to action at RAF Bone. Was there a published Despatch regarding the invasion of North West Africa - I cannot find one on the Hyperwar site.

    Charles

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    Charles,

    Below are some bits and pieces about mention in Despatches (MiD).

    As the name suggests, the original arrangement was that a commander wrote a despatch about an operation and mentioned by name, those whose contribution was worthy of note. However, this eventually changed so that in 1843 NCOs could be mentioned and gradually (I can’t find when), the formal despatch and the MiD drifted apart. Hence people could be awarded an MiD during a campaign without there being an accompanying formal despatch.

    The award, which carries no post nominal letters but is gazetted and has a certificate, is denoted by an oak leaf worn on the appropriate campaign medal. The awards of a King/Queens Commendation for Brave Conduct (K/QCBC) and The King/Queens Commendation for Valuable Service in the Air (K/QCVSA) are very similar but might not involve a campaign medal and hence the oak leaf is worn on a piece of neutral cloth or suspended on plain cloth when medals are worn. The revision of gallantry awards, introduced in the 1990s also involve changes to what I have written above.

    It is possible that an MiD can be awarded ‘immediately’ for a specific act or would be part of a regular promulgation of awards for a given period. The MiD might not be awarded for an act of bravery but in recognition of meritorious service but below that for an MBE/BEM. Experience suggests that citations are often downgraded and cynically, this happens the most the further away one is from the action!!!!

    You might find it quite difficult to relate when the MiD in which you are interested, was first nominated and with periodic awards, there may be little relationship between the date of the citation and the date of the award.

    Hope this summary helps. Jim Routledge will put right any errors in what I have written and will also be more knowledgeable than me.

    Colin Cummings

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    Colin,
    Thanks - I thought it would be difficult to link the publication with the reason for it. This same guy was awarded the MBE in the birthday honours list a year later!
    Charles

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    On 2 Aug 1940, HQ Middle East pushed out an edict (ME/21607/P.1 refers) to subordinate formations stating that periodical recommendations were to be received at HQ ME by 1 Feb and 1 Sep - for the Birthday and New Years Honours Lists respectively. Bearing in mind that many recs had to be submitted to Wing and Group HQs before submission to Command HQ, this may give you a rough idea as to how long these things actually took to work their way through the system.
    Rgds
    Jonny
    In fond memory of Corporal James Oakland AGC (RMP), killed in action in Afghanistan on 22 October 2009. Exemplo Ducemus.

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