- Mark Forsdike
Just before Christmas, I posted of a small archive of papers that I was fortunate enough to procure of two brothers who served in 1 Suffolk.
Jim and Charlie Doggett both served in North West Europe, and after some research, I’ve established that Jim was wounded twice whilst serving with C Company - once at Rips Wood in Holland on 29th September 1944, and again at Hallen-Seckenhausen on 13th April 1945.
The person I had brought the papers from contacted me to say that he had his medals also and was I interested. The answer was yes, as I have always wanted to get an attributable 1st Battalion medal group after completing the book on them, and yesterday they arrived. A bit beaten and with threadbare ribbons, these were a proudly worn set of medals that spoke of numerous parades filled with pride, but were they Jim’s or Charlie’s? The strange thing was that I was expecting a General Service Medal with a Palestine Clasp, but there was none.
A look at the Suffolk medal role for the award showed Jim on the list but not Charlie. Charlie must have been eligible since the photographs of him showed him as being there in his khaki drill uniform. Was it a mistake? Did he qualify for the medal with another unit?
I don’t think so, because his service record card that came with the paperwork listed him as serving from 1941 to 1947 with the Suffolk Regiment and no-one else. Did he not qualify because of leave? Or temporary service elsewhere? Why did he not get it?
Therefore, Army accounting being what it is, I’ve concluded that the medals are Charlie’s, but there’s definitely more scope for research here. Next stop the Regimental Gazettes...