Sister Alice Ross-King ARRC, MM (MID)
Australian Army Nursing Service (AANS) WW1
Major, Senior Assistant Controller, Aust5 March, 2022 15:39rary/Update.lbi" -->

This file last updated 5 August, 2021 17:42

Introduction


Sister Alice Ross-King ARRC, MM

The following general description was extracted from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alice_Ross-King on 1 Mar 2022.

Alys Ross King ARRC MM (5 August 1887 – 17 August 1968), known as Alice Ross-King (later Alice Appleford) was an Australian civilian and military nurse who took part in both World Wars. She has been described as Australia's most decorated woman. During the First World War she served in hospitals in Egypt and France and was one of only seven Australian nurses decorated with the Military Medal for gallantry. In the Second World War she held a senior post within the Australian Army Medical Women's Service. In 1949 she was awarded the Florence Nightingale Medal, the highest award made by the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Shortly after the outbreak of the war Ross-King enlisted in the Australian Army Nursing Service (AANS) and it was at this time that she changed her surname from Ross King to the hyphenated Ross-King to distinguish her from another AANS nurse called Alice King as well as simplify the spelling of her forename to the more common spelling of Alice.


Major Alice Ross Appleford RRC, MM
Australian War Memorial Photograph
Public Domain

In November 1914 Sister Ross-King was posted overseas to serve with 1st Australian General Hospital (1st AGH) in Egypt. 1st AGH was based at Heliopolis near Cairo and after service there, Ross-King was posted to an outstation at Suez established as a clearing station for casualties from the Gallipoli Campaign. Towards the end of 1915 Ross-King returned to Australia as a nurse to wounded troops returning home.

Returning to 1st AGH Sister Ross-King and was part of the unit when 1st AGH moved to France in April 1916. 1st AGH was settled at Rouen and Ross-King nursed there throughout 1916 including the Somme Campaign and into 1917. In June 1917 she was posted to 10th Stationary Hospital at St Omer but after only a few weeks she was posted again, this time to 2nd Casualty Clearing Station (2nd CCS) near Trois Arbres. Arriving at 2nd CCS on 17 July, Ross-King had only been at the hospital for five days when it was bombed on the night of 22 July 1917. Four men were killed in the bombing and 15 others injured. Ross-King who was just finishing a shift returned to the wards and continued to care for the patients in the ward despite the fact that the canvas tents had collapsed on top of her and the casualties.

Her actions during the raid and the immediate aftermath resulted in Ross-King being awarded the Military Medal (MM), one of only seven AANS nurses to receive the MM during the war. Of the other six Military Medal awards, three were awarded to her colleagues at 2nd CCS for conduct during the same raid; these were Sisters Dorothy Cawood and Clare Deacon, and Staff Nurse Mary Derrer. All four awards were published in the London Gazette on 25 September 1917 and presentation of the medals was made by General William Birdwood, General Officer Commanding I ANZAC Corps.


Diploma of the Florence Nightingale Medal
Australian War Memorial Photograph

Ross-King returned to 1st AGH in November 1917 and remained with the hospital until the end of the war. In May 1918 Ross-King was made an Associate of the Royal Red Cross and had also been mentioned in despatches (MID). 1st AGH moved to England in January 1919 and embarked to return to Australia the same month. Ross-King was discharged from the AANS in September 1919.

During the war Ross-King met and became engaged to Harry Moffitt, an officer in the 53rd battalion AIF, but he was killed during the Battle of Fromelles in July 1916. During the voyage to Australia in 1919 Ross-King met Dr Sydney Theodore Appleford and they married in August 1919, settling in Lang Lang, Victoria where they raised their four children.

Between the wars Alice Ross King has become involved in the training of Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD) personnel in Victoria. With the outbreak of the Second World War Ross-King enlisted into the VAD and when, in 1942, the Australian Army Medical Women's Service (AAMWS) was formed Ross King was commissioned with the rank of major and appointed senior assistant controller for Victoria responsible for all AAMWS in the state of Victoria.

Ross King continued to serve in the AAMWS until 1951. During her service Ross-King was nominated for the Florence Nightingale Medal and was one of two Australian nurses to receive the medal in 1949. The citation for the medal concluded:
No one who came into contact with Major Appleford could fail to recognize her as a leader of women. Her sense of duty, her sterling solidarity of character, her humanity, sincerity, and kindliness of heart set for others a very high example.

Alice's husband, Sydney Theodore Appleford enlisted as a Medical Officer in 1916 as a medical officer and again in 1941. I believe that VF151551 Alice Marion Appleford DOB 17 Aug 1924 POB RICHMOND VIC, NOK APPLEFORD SYDNEY is the child of Sydney and Alice Appleford, but am unable to verify it due to privacy restrictions on the release of Births, Deaths and Marriages data, and the fact that neither of these two WW2 records has yet been digitised.

A portion of Alice Appleford's WW2 record was sealed and was not to be opened until 1992. It has not yet been digitised.

See

This record prepared by Clive Mitchell-Taylor in Feb/Mar 2022 in preparation for the ANZAC Day 2022 Service where Alice Ross-King is to be the Seachange Arundel Village 'Honoured ANZAC'. The WW2 record is extremely sparse - that part of the record which was not to be opened before 1992 has not yet been digitised.


Enlistment

[The following typewritten duplicate of her enlistment application is Certified as a True Copy by a Lieutenant in charge of Records, the original still in the file having been mutilated by being torn in half]

C.M.F. FORM 107

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

6.

7.

8.

9.

10.

11.



What is your name?
In what country and in what city or town were you born?
What is your age?
Are you single, married or a widow?
Are you a member of a Sisterhood or Society?

State the hospital at which you were trained and duration of training
What certificates of efficiency in medical and surgical nursing do you hold?
Do you possesss a recommendation from the Matron of the Civil Hospital at which you were trained?
What is your experience in hospital supervision?

Have you ever undertaken the duties of Superintendant?

What is your experience in the execution of medical orders?

Are you willing to be enrolled in the Australian Army Nursing Service, in accordance with the Regulations?

ALICE ROSS-KING
BALLARAT, VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA
27 years - August 5th [1887]
SINGLE
Member of Royal Victorian Train - Vict [sic]
[Royal Victorian Trained Nurses Association]
ALFRED HOSPITAL - 3 [Years]

GENERAL CERTIFICATE

YES

WARD SISTER AT ALFRED HOSPITAL .. 15 months
NIGHT SISTER AUSTIN HOSPITAL .. 22 months
ACTING MATRON AUSTIN HOSPITAL ..
CHARGE OF DR O'HARA'S PRIVATE HOSPITAL
AS NURSE IN MILDURA HOSPITAL, WENTWORTH ALFRED HOSPITAL, - period covering 9 years
YES


Signature of Candidate . . . ALICE ROSS KING     Witness . . . N. HARRIS. J.P.

DECLARATION TO BE MADE BY A CANDIDATE FOR ENROLEMENT AS A NURSING SISTER
IN THE AUSTRALIAN ARMY NURSING SERVICE

I, ALICE ROSS KING do solemnly and sincerely declare that, to the best of my knowledge and belief the above answers to the forgoing questions, made and signed by me, are true; and that I am will to be enrolled in the Australian Army Nursing Service, in accordance with the regulations laid down.

Signature of Candidate . . . ALICE ROSS KING   Signature of Witness . . . N. HARRIS J.P Melbourne

(Date) 5th November 1914


The following Certificates in original must accompany the Declaration Form when signed:

  1. An extract from the register of her birth, or, if this is not obtainable, a declaration made before a Magistrate, giving the date
            of her birth.
  2. Certificate of efficency in Medical and Surgical Nursing from the Medical Officer under whom she has served.
  3. A recommendation from the Matron of the Civil Hospital at which she was trained.
  4. A certificate from a duly qualified Medical Practitioner registered in the Commonwealth of Australia that she is in good
            health and physically fit for Active Service in the Australian Army Nursing Service.

Colonel
A.A.M. Corps
P.M.O 3rd Military District

(original mutilated)


Date
Reported

Received
From

Chronological Events

Medical     Other     Disciplinary

Date

Remarks

5 Nov 1914

Enlisted

MELBOURNE, VIC

Nov 1915

Embarked for EGYPT with 1st Division, On arrival appointed to 1st Australian General Hospital, HELIOPOLIS Later transferred to casualty Clearing Station near SUEZ, processing caualties from GALLIPOLI.

13 Jan 1915

1 A.G.H.

Typewritten document notes date of joining A.N.S. as 13 Jan 1915
Handwritten note adds experience as
"Ward sister at Alfred Hospital 15 months
Night Superintendant Austin Hospital 22 months
Acting Matron Austin Hospital 1 month
Charge of Dr O'Hara's Private Hospital 8 months"

[No entry]

[No entry]

[Undated]

[No entry]

Typewritten slip notes Next of Kin as Mother
Mrs. C.H. King c/o Miss Hood, Ormond College, PARKEVILLE

[No entry]

[No entry]

5 Jul 1915

[No entry]

Returns to Australia with Gallipoli casualties as Nursing Staff on Hospital Transport BALLARAT. Date of return to EGYPT not recorded.

[No entry]

[No entry]

6 Apr 1916

OC Salia

Embarked ALEXANDRIA to join BEF
Disembarked 6 Apr 1916, MARSEILLES.

6 Apr 1916

FRANCE

22 Apr 1916

OC 1st Sty Hosp

Reporting to No 1 A.G.H. for duty

20 Apr 1916

FRANCE

24 Apr 1916

No 1 A.G.H.

Reported for duty ex 1st Stat Hosp.

20 Apr 1916

ROUEN

[15 Jan 1917]

1 AGH

Matron in Chief 1 Jan 1917

Egypt

24 Feb 1917

OC 1st A.G.H.

Proceeded on Leave

18 Feb 1917

ROUEN

17 Mar 1917

OC 1st A.G.H.

Rejoined from Leave

12 Mar 1917

ROUEN

19 Jun 1917

OC 1st A.G.H.

Detached to No 10 Staty Hospital

7 Jun 1917

ROUEN

17 Jul 1917

2nd ACCS

Attached for duty No 10 Staty Hosp 1 A.G.H.

17 Jul 1917

FRANCE

28 Sep 1917

[Illegible] List 240

Awarded Military Medal for bravery in the Field.

7 Nov 1917

Mentioned in Sir Douglas Haig's Despatches of 7 Nov 1917

France

18 Nov 1917

2nd ACCS

Proceeded to 1st A.G.H.

18 Nov 1917

France

24 Nov 1917

OC 1 A.G.H.

Reported for Duty

18 Nov 1917

FRANCE

1 Jan 1918

A.I.F. List 379 Supp 30,488

Mentioned in Sir Douglas Haig's Despatches of 7 Nov 1917 for Distinguished and Galland Service in the Field between the periods 26 Feb 1917 M/N to M/N 26 Sep 1917

FRANCE

9 Feb 1918

1st A.G.H.

On leave to PARIS

7 Feb 1918

ROUEN

16 Feb 1918

1st A.G.H.

Rejd unit from leave

11 Feb 1918

ROUEN

13 Sep 1918

1/AGH

Sister

14 Sep 1918

Marseilles

14 Sep 1918

1/AGH

T/H/Sister

Marseilles

5 Feb 1918

Major Officer i/c Base Records

Cable to mother, Mrs C .H. King re Award of the Military Medal, as follows:
Dear Madam,
I have much pleasure in forwarding hereunder copy of extract from Ninth Supplement No. 30312 to the London Gazette, dated 25th September, 1917, relating to conspicuous services rendered by your daughter Sister A. Ross-King, 1st Australian General Hospital.

------ AWARDED THE MILITARY MEDAL-----
----------------

" HIS MAJESTY THE KING has been graciously pleased to award the Military Medal for bravery in the field to the under-mentioned Lady :-

Nursing Sister ALICE ROSS-KING ."

The above has been promulgated in Commonwealth of Australia Gazette, No. 9 of 24th of January 1918.

25 Sep 1917

MELBOURNE

4 Jun 1918

AIF List 340

Awarded the Royal Red Cross 2nd Class

4 Jun 1918

FRANCE

29 Jun 1918

1 AGH

To sick leave Etretat

27 Jun 1918

ROUEN

27 Jun 1918

1 USA Pres Gen Hosp

Debility - Admitted Sisters Conv Home

27 Jun 1918

Etretat

7 Jul 1918

1 USA Pres Gen Hosp

Debility - Discharged to Duty

7 Jul 1918

Etretat

13 Jul 1918

1 A.G.H.

Rej'd X Sick Leave Etretat

7 Jul 1918

ROUEN

13 Sep 1918

AIF List 382

Sister to be Temp Head Sister (at No1 AGH)

14 Sep 1918

France

28 Sep 1918

1 AGH

To UK on Leave

28 Sep 1918

FRANCE

12 Oct 1918

1 AGH

Rejd unit from leave

12 Oct 1918

ROUEN

25 Nov 1918

Major Officer i/c Base Records

Cable to mother, Mrs C .H. King re Award of Royal Red Cross, as follows:
Dear Madam,
I have much pleasure in forwarding hereunder copy of extract from Second Supplement No. 30716 to the London Gazette, dated 3rd June, 1918, relating to conspicuous services rendered by your daughter Sister A. Ross-King, M.M. 1st Australian General Hospital.

------ AWARDED THE ROYAL RED CROSS DECORATION -----
-------- 2nd CLASS --------

" HIS MAJESTY THE KING has been graciously pleased, on the occasion of His Majesty's birthday, to award the Royal Red Cross Decoration to the under-mentioned lady of the Nursing Services in recognition of her valuable services with the Armies in France and Flanders :-

Nursing Sister ALICE ROSS-KING M.M."

The above has been promulgated in Commonwealth of Australia Gazette, No 173 dated 7th of November, 1918.

7 Nov 1918

MELBOURNE

21 Dec 1918

1 AGH

T/H/S Proc overseas to SUTTON VERY ex FRANCE

19 Dec 1918

ROUEN

21 Dec 1918

ESO SOUTHAMPTON

Disembarked at SOUTHAMPTON from FRANCE & proceeding to SUTTON VERY

21 Dec 1918

SOUTHAMPTON

10 Jan 1919

Detached to 2nd AAH for duty ex No 1 A Hosp S Very

10 Jan 1919

Sister - Detached from attached duty with 1 AGH Sutton Very & Info to AIF HQ London.

10 Jan 1919

England

Det from attached duty with 2 AAH for R.T.A.

15 Jan 1919

England

14 Jan 1919

Sister Retd to Aust from Eng per "CITY OF YORK" 1914 leave to Aust

21 Jan 1919

England

No date is provided for Termination of Authority (Date of Discharge), however Wikipedia gives Sep 1919 as the time of her discharge from the AANS.

30 Apr 1920

Sister A. Ross-King signs receipt for 1914-15 Star.

[The Service Record also notes the issue of the British War Medal, Victory Medal, Military Medal, Royal Red Cross and Mentioned in Despatches Certificate that she later requests.]

8 Oct 1920

Sister Ross signs receipt for one large and one small oak leaf emblems [Mentioned in Despatches]

29 Mar 1924

File note states:

Particulars furnished, in connection with the award of the M.M. to the Director, Australian War Memorial, Home and Territories Dept., Box 214, Melbourne in response to verbal request.

21 Aug 1924

COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

HOME AND TERRITORY DEPARTMENT,
AUSTRALIAN WAR MUSEUM MEMORIAL
EXHIBITION BUILDINGS,
MELBOURNE, 21 Aug 1924

MEMORANDUM for -
Officer i/c Base Records,
Victoria Barracks,
Melbourne

On various occasions you have kindly obliged this office by furnishing the last known addresses of certain ex-officers and ex-nurses of the A.I.F. with whom we desired to gain touch. During the course of the ensuing correspondence a few corrections in these addresses have had to be made. These I subpend, considering that probably you will be glad to note the alterations in your records:-

Lt.-Col H.T.C. Layh, Epsom Street
Caulfield

Lt.-Col R.A. Rafferty,
Wivenhoe,
Via Burney,
Tasmania

Sister M.J. Derrer, now Mrs. M.J. Gallagher,
2nd A.C.C.C.S               Sydney St.
                                       Mackay,
                                       North Q'land

Sister A. Ross King, now Mrs. Appleyard,
2nd A.C.C.C.S                 Lang Lang
                                         Sth Gippsland.,

[Illegible] Acting Director

21 Aug 1924

Sister's address - see corres., dated 21 Aug 1924 Now Mrs. Appleyard, Lang Lang, Sth Gippsland.

Cable from Officer i/c Base Records

27 Aug 1924

The Director,
Australian War Memorial,
Home & Territories Department,
Exhibition Buildings
Melbourne

I desire to acknowledge the receipt of your communication - 18/1/1 - of the 21st AUgust, and thank you for your courtesy in kindly advising this office of alterations to addresses, of certain ex-members of the AUstralian Imperial Force, which have been duly noted on the records of all concerned.

Captain
Officer i/c Base Records

255 Buckley St.
Essendon, Victoria
25 Nov 1941

To the Officer in Charge
Base Records
Canberra

Re Para in the Herald 7 Nov 1941

Dear Sir,

Will you tell me if there are two "Mention in Despatches" Certificates with the unclaimed ones. Also if I may have a copy of my Termination of Appointment. This may help me in some war work I am enlisting for.

With Thanks,
Yours faithfully (Mrs) Alice Ross Appleford

T/H SISTER ALICE ROSS-KING
1st A.G.H.
A.A.N.S.
(Please do not allow publicity) A.R.A.

27 Nov 1941

Letter from OIC Base records:

Dear Madam,

In reply to your enquiry of the 25th November, I have to advise that no Mentioned in Despatches Certificates are held in your favour.

With regard to a copy of your service it is requested that you complete the enclosed form of decoration and return it to this office, when a Statement of Service in lieu of your last discharge will be forwarded to you, through the District Records Office, Southern Command, 3 M.D., 339 Swanson Street, Melbourne.
Yours faithfully

A.J. BOWMAN
A/Officer i/c Base Records

Mrs. A. R. Appleford,
255 Buckley Street,
ESSENDON, VIC.


World War II Service

AUSTRALIAN MILITARY FORCES

MOBILIZATION ATTESTATION FORM

To be filled in for all Persons at the Place of Assembly when called out under Parts III. or IV of the Defence Act, or when voluntarily enlisted.

Army No

V700007   V5001478

Surname

APPLEFORD

Christian Names

ALICE ROSS

Unit

V.A.D.

Enlisted for war service at

V.A.D. HEADQUARTERS LONSDALE ST C

(Place)

VICTORIA

(State)

19 Nov 1941

(Date)


1.


2.


3.

4.


5.(a)
   (b)

6.(a)
   (b)

7.(a.)


   (b)

8.





9.


10.



11.








12.

What is your name?


Where were you born?


Are you a British Subject?

What is your age and date of birth?


What is your normal trade or occupation? Grade if any?
Present Occupation?

Are you married, single, or widower?
If married, date of marriage?

Have you had previous naval, military or Air Force service either in peace or war? If so, where and in what arm?
What was the reason for your discharge?

Who is your actual next of kin? (Order of relationship.  wife, eldest son, eldest daughter, father, mother, eldest brother, eldest sister, eldest half-brother, eldest half-sister)


What is your permanent address?


What is your religious denomination? (This question need not be ansewered if the man has a conscientious objection to doing so)

Which, if any of the following Educational Qualifications do you possess?







Have you ever been convicted by a Civil Court?
If so —(a) What Court?
           (b) for what offence?

1.


2.


3.

4.


5.(a)
   (b)

6.(a)
   (b)

7.(a)


   (b)


8.




9.


10.



1.

2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.

12.

Surname
Other names

In or near the town of
in the state or country of



Age
Date of Birth













Name
Address

Relationship








Certificate for entry to Secondary School
Intermediate
Leaving
Leaving Honours
Technical
University Degree
Other Diplomas


APPLEFORD
ALICE ROSS

Ballarat
Victoria

Yes

50 yrs
5 Aug 1891

Trained Nurse. Home Duties V.A.D. Voluntry Side

Married
20 Aug 1919

A.A.N.S. A.I.F.


Termination of Appointment


S.T. Appleford
255 Buckley St
Essendon
Husband

255 Buckley St
Essendon

Presbyterian












No

Date
Reported

Received
From

Chronological Events

Medical     Other     Disciplinary

Date

Remarks

2 Apr 1941

Assistant Controller
[This is somewhat at odds with the above enlistment date of 19 Nov 1941 and the official appointment below.]

28 Aug 1942

Vic L of C H.Q.

Taken on Strength & posted Assistant Controller Staff Duties HQ Vic L of C Med Services

2 Sep 1941

HQ VIC L of C

28 Feb 1943

A.G

To be Acting Major

28 Feb 1943

26 Feb 1943

Attended No 1 Cse LHQ Adm [S?] Officers

9 Apr 1947

Discharged [But continued to serve in the AAMWS in a voluntary capacity until 1951]


Honours and Awards

Florence Nightingale Medal (1949), Associate Royal Red Cross, Military Medal, 1914/15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal, Mentioned in Despatches, 1939-1945 Star, Australia Service Medal 1939-1945


Florence Nightingale Medal


Obverse, Florence Nightingale Medal


Ribbon, Florence Nightingale Medal

Originally intended to be awarded to six nurses annually, the first 42 awards were made in 1922 due to the disruption of the 1st World War. The medal was restricted to female nurses until 1991.

The vesica piscis shaped medal is compose of gold and silver gilt and bears an image of Florence Nightingale surrounded by the works Ad memoriam Florence Nightingale 1920-1910. On the reverse is engraved with the name of the recipient surrounded by the enscription Pro vera misericordia et cara humanitate perennis decor universalis ("True and loving humanitarianism - a lasting general propriety".

THe medal is attached to a white and red ribbon by a clasp featuring a red enamel cross encircled by a green laurel crown. Recipients are also presented with a parchment diploma of the award, and from 1927 a miniature version of the medal that could be more easily worn. The medal and dipoloma are usually persented by the head of state at a ceremony in their own country, which is required to have a "formal character, in keeping with the founders' wishes".


Royal Red Cross



Royal Red Cross (Gold)  Obverse and Reverse

   Associate Red Cross (Formerly '2nd Class') is in Silver

Foundation

The Royal Red Cross RRC) is a military decoration awarded in the United Kingdom and Commonwealth Countries for exceptional services in military nursing.

The award was established on 23 April 1883 by Queen Victoria, with a single class of Member and first awarded to the founder of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale. A second and lower class, Associate, was added during World War I in November 1915.

The award is made to a fully trained nurse of an officially recognised nursing service, military or civilian, who has shown exceptional devotion and competence in the performance of nursing duties, over a continuous and long period, or who has performed an exceptional act of bravery and devotion at her or his post of duty. It is conferred on members of the nursing services regardless of rank. Holders of the second class who receive a further award are promoted to the first class, although an initial award can also be made in the first class. Holders of the first class who receive a further award are awarded a bar.

The decoration was conferred exclusively on women until 1976, when men became eligible, with posthumous awards permitted from 1979.

Recipients of the Royal Red Cross are entitled to use the post-nominal letters "RRC" or "ARRC" for Members and Associates respectively.

Description


Military Medal

[Extracts from Ribbons and Medals: Naval, Military, Air Force and Civil, Captain H. Taprell Dorling, DSO RN,
George Philip & Son, 33 Fleet Street, London EC4, 1940 & British Gallantry Awards, P.E. Abbott and J.M.A. Tamplin, Guiness Superlatives, Middlesex, 1971]

On 25 March 1916, King George V. instituted by Royal Warrant a new medal to be awarded to warrant officers,non-commissioned officers and men of the Army for individual or associated acts of bravery brought to notice be the recommendation of a Commander-in-Chief in the field.

The medal, which is silver, is designated "The Military Medal" and bears on the obverse, the words "For Bravery in the Field" encircled by a wreath and surmounted by the Royal Cypher and Crown. The medal is 1.42 inches in diameter and is mounted on an ornate scroll suspender.

The medal is worn on the left breast immediately before war medals and the 1¼ inch ribbon is dark blue, having in the centre three white and two crimson ⅛ inch alternating stripes.

The award may be made to men and women for devotion to duty under fire, and bars may be awarded for further services. Recipients are allowed to use the letters MM after their names.

The Military Medal is a level 3 award, positioned after the Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM) and above the Mentioned in Despatched (MID), and was the soldiers' equivalent of the Military Cross for officers.

As a level 3 award, The Military Medal was superceded by the Medal for Gallantry in the Australian Honours system, after the Imperial Honours System was closed to Australian Service Personnel. The highest award for gallantry in the field under the Australian system is the Victoria Cross for Australia (VC), followed, in order, by the Star of Gallantry (SG), the Medal for Gallantry (MG) and the Commendation for Gallantry.


1914-15 Star

[Extract from Ribbons and Medals: Naval, Military, Air Force and Civil, Captain H. Taprell Dorling, DSO RN,
George Philip & Son, 33 Fleet Street, London EC4, 1940]
1914-15 Star

The decoration consists of a four-pointed star in bright bronze as shown, with the date 1914-15 on the central scroll. The reverse is plain, and is stamped with the name and unit of the recipient. The ribbon is red, white and blue, shaded and watered, worn with the red nearest the centre of the breast. It is atached to the medal through a ring.

It is similar in shape and description to the 1914 Star, to which few, if any, Australians were entitled.

The decoration, sanctioned in 1918, was issued "to all officers, warrant officers, non-commissioned officers and men of the British, Dominion, Colonial and Indian Forces, including civilian medical practitioners, nursing sisters, nurses and others eployed with military hospitals, who actually served on the establishment of a unit in a theatre of war as defined in Appendix 'A'. Individuals in possession of the 1914 Star will not be eligible for the award of this decoration."

Appendix 'A' included the Western, Eastern, Egyptian, African, Asiatic and Australasian Theatres of war, with commencement dates individual to countries and campaigns.


British War Medal 1914-20

[Extract from Ribbons and Medals: Naval, Military, Air Force and Civil, Captain H. Taprell Dorling, DSO RN,
George Philip & Son, 33 Fleet Street, London EC4, 1940]
British War Medal

This medal was approved by King George V in 1919 to record the bringing of the war to a successful conclusion and the arduous services rendered by His Majesty's Forces.

The medal, which is supended from its ribbon by means of a straight clasp, without swivel, bears on the obverse the effigy of His Majesty - exactly similar to that on a half-crown - with the legend 'Georgivus V : Omn : Rex et Ind : Imp'.

The reverse bears a design which represents St George on horseback, trampling underfoot the eagle shield of the central powers and a skull and crossbones, the emblems of death. Overhead is the risen sun of victory. The male figure, rather than a symbolical female one, was chosen because man had borne the brunt of the fighting. The figure was mounted on horseback as symbolical of man's mind controlling force (represented by the horse) of far greater strength than his own. The design is thus also symbolical of the mechanical and scientific appliances which helped so largely to win the war.

The ribbon has a orange watered centre with stripes of white and black at each side and with borders of royal blue. It is stated that the colours have no particular signification.


Mentioned in Despatches (MID)

[Australian War Memorial - based on
https://www.awm.gov.au/articles/encyclopedia/mention-despatches,
extracted 11 Dec 2021

One of the oldest Imperial forms of recognition for bravery or distinguished service is when a service man or woman was Mentioned in Despatches.

A despatch is an official report, written by a senior commander in the field to pass on information about the progress of military operations. Commanders would include in their despatches the names of those deserving attention to their services. Mentions may be for a specific act of bravery or for a period of outstanding service. During the Boer War it became common practice to list the names at the end of a despatch.

If your name appeared in these lists you were said to have been "Mentioned in Despatches". The despatches were usually published in The London Gazette so a mention equated to a public commendation.

This, and the Victoria Cross were the only forms of recognition for gallantry or distinguished service in action which could be made posthumously

Prior to 1919 those Mentioned in Despatches did not receive any form of recognition other than having their names published in The London Gazzette. In 1919 a certificate was introduced to acknowledge those who received mention.

The following year an emblem of bronze oak leaves was issued to individuals who had been mentioned. The device was worn at a low angle in the centre of the Victory Medal and only one device was awarded per person, even if an individual was mentioned more than once.

After World War 1 the emblem was changed to a single bronze oak leaf. Emblems granted for mentions during the Second World War were worn in the centre of the 1939-45 War Medal. For those Mentioned in Despatches between the two world wars, or after the cessation of hostilities in the Second World War, the emblem was worn on the ribbon of the appropriate general service medal.

While the award of Mentioned in Despatches is abbreviated as MID, the letters are not to be used as post-nominals.

The Australian Honours system has replaced the MID with the awards of the Commendation for Gallantry, the Commendation for Distinguished Service and for civilians, the Commendation for Bravery as level four awards. They are mounted with service medals and have a backing of appropriate colour and a bronze emblem to denote the type of award. Post-nominal letters are not used.

Victory Medal

[Extract from Ribbons and Medals: Naval, Military, Air Force and Civil, Captain H. Taprell Dorling, DSO RN,
George Philip & Son, 33 Fleet Street, London EC4, 1940]

This medal, of bronze, bears on the obverse a winged figure of Victory, full length in the middle of the medal and full face; the borders and the backgound plain, without either incription or date. On the reverse is an inscription. "The Great War for Civilization." and either the names of the different Allied and Associated Powers, or their coats of arms.

The rim is plain, and the medal hangs from a ring. The ribbon is red in the centre, with green and violet on either side shaded to form the colours of two rainbows.

It has also been approved that any officer or man who has been "mentioned in despatches" shall wear a small bronze oak leaf on the ribbon of this medal. Only one oak leaf is so worn, no matter how many "mentions" the wearer may have received.

The medal is designed to obviate the exchange of Allied Commemorative war medals, and is issued only to those who actually served on the establishment of a unit or ship in a theatre of war. [This is an important distinction, as those Australians who served only in Australia, or only in Australia and England, were not entitled to the award.]


1939-1945 Star

1929-1945 Star

The 1939-45 Star is awarded for service between 3 September 1939 and 2 September&nbvsp;1945 for:

  • a period of six months (180 days) operational service for RAN and Army personnel and RAAF non-air crew personnel;
  • a period of two months operational service for air crew personnel; and/or
  • a period of six months service at sea for Merchant Navy provided at least one voyage was made through one of the specified areas of active operations;

The 1939-45 Star is awarded to Australian Civilian Personnel who served afloat with the United States Army Small Ships Section between 8 December 1941 and 2 September 1945. Eligibility is the same as that for Merchant Navy personnel. See required evidence to support a claim.

Design

The six–pointed star is yellow copper zinc alloy. The obverse has a central design of the Royal and Imperial cypher, surmounted by a crown. The cypher is surrounded by a circlet containing the words ‘The 1939-45 Star’.

Stars issued to Australian personnel have recipient names engraved on the plain reverse.

Ribbon

The ribbon has three vertical stripes of dark blue, red and light blue. The dark blue stripe represents the Naval Forces and the Merchant Navy, the red stripe the Armies and the light blue stripe the Air Forces.

Clasps

The ‘BATTLE OF BRITAIN’ clasp was awarded to eligible air crew involved in the Battle of Britain.

The ‘BOMBER COMMAND’ clasp was introduced in 2012 and is awarded to eligible Bomber Command aircrew.

When the ribbon is worn alone the standard silver rosette ribbon emblem is worn to denote the award of a clasp. The silver rosette emblem is not supplied by the Directorate of Honours and Awards.


Australia Service Medal 1939-1945

Australia Service Medal 1939-1945

The Australia Service Medal 1939-1945 was instituted in 1949 to recognise the service of members of the Australian Armed Forces and the Australian Mercantile Marine during World War II.

The medal was originally awarded to those who served at home or overseas for at least 18 months full-time service, or three years part-time service, between 3 September 1939 and 2 September 1945. Members of the Australian Mercantile Marine must have served the qualifying time at sea.

In 1996 the qualifying time was reduced to 30 days full-time or 90 days part-time service. To be eligible for the medal a serviceman or woman must have been honourably discharged from the Australian Armed Forces.

Design

The medal is nickel silver with the crowned effigy of King George VI on the obverse. The reverse has the Australian coat of arms, placed centrally, surrounded by the words ‘THE AUSTRALIA SERVICE MEDAL 1939-1945’.

Ribbon

The ribbon has a wide khaki central stripe, flanked by two narrow red stripes, which are in turn flanked by two outer stripes, one of dark blue and the other of light blue. The khaki represents the Australian Army, and the red, dark blue and light blue represent the Merchant Navy, Royal Australian Navy and the Royal Australian Air Force respectively.

Attribution

The above information is from the Defence Honours site at http://www.defence.gov.au/Medals/Imperial/WWII/Australia-Service-Medal-1939-1945.asp, taken on 19 Jun 2019.