Soldiers Mentioned in Dispatches are now Available Online on TheGenealogist.co.uk

The following announcement was written by the folks at TheGenealogist.co.uk:

For the first time online, leading British genealogy research website TheGenealogist has released over 81,000 records of records of Mentioned in Dispatches from the First World War, linked to citations from the London Gazette.

Find thousands of soldiers and army nurses who had come to the notice of superior officers for an act of gallantry, or meritorious action, in the face of the enemy in these records. The records created, when the recipient’s name appeared in an official report sent to the high command, can now be searched online only at TheGenealogist.

Some soldiers were mentioned in dispatches (MiD), but do not receive a medal for their action, they are nevertheless listed in the records as they were entitled to receive a certificate and wear the Oak Leaf decoration on their dress uniform.

Only one such decoration is ever worn, even when a soldier is mentioned in dispatches more than once, as was the case in the example of one Captain B.L. Montgomery.

Bernard Law Montgomery served in WWI in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment and was mentioned in dispatches on several occasion so that we can find him no less than four times in the MiD records on TheGenealogist, the first of which is in 1915.

With one mouse click on the link to a transcript we can see the date the citation appeared in The London Gazette and note the date and page number for our research.

Another click of a link takes us straight to the website of the London Gazette so that we can then read the various pages that cover our soldier. By using the information from the transcript we can narrow our research right down to the correct page.

Following a third link on TheGenealogist results page gives us an image of the handwritten card record, showing even the military clerks corrections and crossing outs!

Awarded many medals in his time, including the DSO to which his oak leaf is pinned, this officer served between 1915 and 1918 ending the First World War as a Lieutenant Colonel. He was, as history tells us, to go on to become Field Marshall Montgomery and the 1st Viscount Montgomery of Alamein, one of this country’s important Second World War generals.

As a junior officer serving at Méteren near to the Border of France with Belgium he had been shot by a sniper through the right lung in October 1914. With the rich number of military records on TheGenealogist site we can also find him in the casualty lists. One click will then take us to an image of a page from the Times newspaper of October 20th 1914 in which he is listed.

Montgomery was hit once more through the knee and was awarded the DSO for his gallant leadership when he turned the enemy out of their trenches with the bayonet.

Once Captain Montgomery had recovered he went back to the Western Front in 1916 as a general staff officer, taking part in the Battle of Arras in spring 1917 and also the Battle of Passchendaele in the autumn of that year and ending his war as chief of staff of the 47th (2nd London) Division.

In World War II he assumed command of the Eight Army from 1942 in the Western Desert and went up against Romeril’s forces in Africa. This time was to include the Battle of El Alamein which was a turning point of the Western Desert Campaign. “Monty” went on to command the Eight Army in its part in the Allied invasion of Sicily and subsequently Italy.

As the war wound on to its close, during Operation Overlord he was in charge of all Allied ground forces and on the 4th May 1945 he took the German surrender at Lüneburg Heath in north Germany. After the war was over Field Marshal Montgomery became Commander-in-Chief of the British Army of the Rhine and then Chief of the Imperial General Staff. From 1948 until 1951 he was chairman of the permanent defence organisation of the Western European Union and in 1951 deputy commander of the Supreme Headquarters of NATO.

Known for his lack of tact, he had upset the American generals Paton and Bradley during WWII and after the hostilities he criticised many of his war-time colleagues, including General Eisenhower who was by now the President of the United States. Monty was, it is safe to say, a complex but brave man who served in the British Army for 50 years. He died on 24 March 1976.

Mark Bayley, head of Content at TheGenealogist said “For those people searching for ancestors who had served in World War I, Mentioned in Despatches provide a unique addition to the already strong collection of military records that are offered at TheGenealogist”

6 Comments

Awarded many medals in his time, including the DSO to which his oak leaf is pinned
Despite what the record card image says about the DSO, the Oak leaf is shown pinned to the Victory Medal – which is where it should be worn.
The Victory medal was a campaign medal rather than a gallantry medal.
See:
http://www.1914-1918.net/soldiers/gallantry.html
http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/30008636

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The London Gazette can itself be searched for free at https://www.thegazette.co.uk/ where a search for Bernard Law Montgomery came up with 201 notices containing his name.

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not long after WW2 I saw a cinema news reel which showed ‘Monty’ sighing the peace agreement.I was with my mother, who suddenly sprang to her feet in the (almost empty) auditorium and excitedly proclaimed “That’s Frank!’ repeated many times. The Frank in questerion was Monty’s interpreter and my mother’s cousin.

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my uncle John Shallcross was in the 5th Army Cheshire regiment serving as a range-finder approx., 1941 then caught Malaria..and came home. I don’t have his Army number, but would love it if you could find something on him. His place of birth was Little Barrow nr. Chester cheshire.
Many thanks,
Margare Turner ne Shallcross.

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Hi Margaret Turner, here again. I forgot to mention he was mentioned in dispatches in the eighteen months he was in Tobruk
Many thanks.

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hi there
i am trying to find out what my grandfather did in ww2 to be mentioned twice in dispatches between 1939-45, he was killed on the german dutch border in march 45. he was capt adrian needham wilson ( royal welch fusiliers, 53082 ). it is a subject I have been trying to find out about for over thirty years especially as I am named after him.
many thanks
adrian wilson

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