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Thread: Rank at time of death

  1. #1
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    Default Rank at time of death

    If an airman / officer was in the rank of XX (on probation) at the time of death, did the temporary rank apply and therefore get inscribed on his headstone, or did the previous permanent rank get used. I am asking the question as some headstones appear to be inconsistent with the ORB / LG rank.

    Regards

    PeteT
    Last edited by PeteT; 22nd February 2021 at 14:53.
    Main areas of research:

    - CA Butler and the loss of Lancaster ME334 (http://rafww2butler.wordpress.com/ )
    - Aircrew Training (Basic / Trade / Operational / Continuation / Conversion)
    - The History of No. 35 Squadron (1916 - 1982) (https://35squadron.wordpress.com/)

    [Always looking for copies of original documents / photographs etc relating to these subjects]

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Rank at time of death

    Pete: I recently just learned that aircrew in the RCAF were raised one rank at the time of their death. Evidently it had something to do with pensions, and yes, it was inscribed on their headstones. That was news to me. I would like to verify this.

    Jim

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    Default Re: Rank at time of death

    I am just trying to establish the correct rank to include in a Roll of Honour, where the ORB is out of step with the CWGC / IBCC record. The Canadian aspect is an interesting twist
    Main areas of research:

    - CA Butler and the loss of Lancaster ME334 (http://rafww2butler.wordpress.com/ )
    - Aircrew Training (Basic / Trade / Operational / Continuation / Conversion)
    - The History of No. 35 Squadron (1916 - 1982) (https://35squadron.wordpress.com/)

    [Always looking for copies of original documents / photographs etc relating to these subjects]

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Rank at time of death

    I suspect that this is one of those knotty questions to which there isn't a definitive answer. A few thoughts that may/may not help but might add to the discussion!

    I have only seen 'on probation' used in the context of a newly-commissioned P/O, in which case they would be buried as such (happy to be corrected on that)
    War Substantive rank would be taken as the casualty's rank on death
    The Gazette often lagged quite considerably from the actual date of promotion
    My understanding is that you were 'officially' promoted when it appeared in a Personnel Occurrence Report appended to Station Routine Orders. Where this would get really complicated is when it comes to Acting rank, particularly Paid or Unpaid. I think Acting, Paid rank was taken as the casualty's rank on death, less sure about Unpaid - and then there were also Local promotions ('Cpl Jim Spriggs promoted Acting Sgt, Local, Unpaid, w.e.f. date') which I don't think would be counted.
    ORBs tend to be only as accurate as the person making them up. It's not unusual to find rank errors, even if someone is well-established as, e.g., a F/O. I would expect the CWGC to be as close to definitive as anyone

    Over to those in the know!

    Jeff

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    Default Re: Rank at time of death

    Another record comes to mind. When I was researching my father's op to Pforzheim, "Captain Swales" who was posthumously awarded the VC, is listed on the South African sites as "Major Swales" The ORB record is for Captain Swales. I wonder if this is another example of a posthumous rise in rank.

    Jim

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    Default Re: Rank at time of death


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