Military Awards made to RLC Conductors

Compiled by Mike Comerford, from extractions of Volume III to V of the History of the RAOC with contributions from Ralph Daly from the RAOC Roll of Honour published in the RAOC Gazette. Additions to this list are welcome Email the Webmaster

 Note:  The criteria for inclusion is a simple one- they hold the award and the hold the appointment, the two may not coincide, but as Conductors they held the awards. There may be discrepancies, but at least they are honest ones. Conductors only are listed. 

 Victoria Cross

Miller, James   Conductor, Attached - Bengal Ordnance Department, during the Indian Mutiny.
  Age Approximately 37 years.
  Nationality:  Scottish
  Deed On 28 October 1857 at Futtehpore, Sikra, near Agra, India, Conductor Miller at great personal risk, went to the assistance of a wounded officer and carried him out of action. He himself was subsequently wounded. He later achieved rank of Hon. Lieutenant.
Buckley, John   Conductor, Attached - Bengal Ordnance Department, during the Indian Mutiny
  Age:   43 years.
  Nationality: English
  Deed:     On 11 May 1857 at Delhi, India, Conductor Buckley was one of nine men who defended the Magazine for more than five hours against large numbers of mutineers, until, on the wall being scaled and there being no hope of help, they fired the Magazine. Five of the gallant band died (2 of whom were Conductors) in the explosion and one shortly afterwards, but many of the enemy were killed. Conductor Buckley was later promoted to Lieutenant. John Buckley Links
Glasock, Horace H   Conductor, Driver, Royal Horse artillery, (Latterly, South African Army Service Corps)
  Age: Approximately 20 Years
  Nationality: English
  Deed: “On 31st March 1900, two batteries of the Royal Horse Artillery were retiring towards Bloemfontein, South Africa. The Boers had formed an ambush at Korn Spruit and before it was realised they captured a large portion of the baggage column and five of the six guns of the leading battery. When the alarm was sounded ‘Q’ battery was within 300 yards of the spruit, they at once wheeled about, moving off at a gallop under very heavy fire. A wheel horse was shot, its gun upset, and had to be abandoned, along with another wagon whose horses had been killed. The remainder of the battery came into action close to some unfinished railway buildings, 1150 yards from the Spruit and remained in action until told to retire. Then Major Phipps-Hornby, commanding the battery, ordered the guns and limbers to be run back to safety. This exhausting operation was carried out by Sergeant Parker, Major Phipps-Hornby, Gunner Lodge, and Driver Glasock. When finally all the guns, except one and one limber, had been removed to safety, the battery was reformed.” A provision in the Royal Warrant establishing the VC states that when an entire unit is deemed worthy of the award, the ranks will select someone to receive it on their behalf. Phipps-Hornby was elected by the officers, Parker by the NCOs, and Glasock and Lodge by the privates. Glasock died at the age of 36 in Cape Town. His medals are not publicly held. Horace Glasock Links

George Cross

Cdr Sydney Brazier: The London Gazette of the 7th February 1964 announced that Conductor S. Brazier RAOC, had been awarded the George Medal. On the 12th October 1963, Conductor Brazier was a member of a team from Southern Command assembled to advise the Aldershot authorities regarding the removal and disposal of an unknown quantity of No 74 Grenades (Sticky Bombs), some of which had been discovered on top of a steep grass-covered bank close to a barrack area. A total of 20 grenades were carried singly in a sand-filled box to a demolition area and destroyed. An ingenious sandbag traverse was constructed around a further 34 grenades which were then destroyed in situ. The task of moving these grenades was hazardous and required a technical skill of the highest order. Note: No 74 Grenades were inherently one of the most dangerous weapons ever produced. These grenades had been in the ground for twenty or more years and were in an extremely dangerous condition. The original storage life was only two years and so the chemical stabiliser must have been quite ineffective and the nitro-glycerine content highly sensitive.

Capt (Formerly Cdr) Peter Norton: The Daily telegraph of 8 Nov 2006 reported: Captain Peter Norton lost part of an arm and a leg as he investigated a bomb that exploded, killing four US soldiers in Baghdad last year. Despite his injuries he managed to remain conscious and lucid enough to guide his team away from further bombs before allowing them to give him first aid. He is credited with saving the lives of at least seven soldiers.

1914 - 1919 World War One

 Military Cross (MC)

 Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM)

Military Members of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE)

Decoration Militaire avec Croix de Guerre (Belgian)

Meritorious Service Medal (MSM) Immediate Issue 1916-1928 for Services in the Field.

A short note should be made about this medal. Instituted in 1845 and still on current issue. The MSM is awarded to serving and retired Senior NCO's & Warrant Officers as a reward for 'distinguished or meritorious service' and comes with a life pension.  As such I am sure other Conductors have received it over the years.

However between 1916 and 1928 it was also awarded for 'Services in the Field' which fell short of an award of the MM or DCM or for 'Gallantry not in the face of the enemy' (A total of around 25,000 were awarded during W.W.I) Its use as a gallantry medal was discontinued by the introduction of British Empire Medal (Military Division for Gallantry) which continued till June 1974 and the creation of the Queens Gallantry Medal (QGM)

All names listed are for the Immediate Issue of the award:

Award of the Meritorious Service Medal (non immediate) to Conductors, Ordnance Services.

Contributed by Ralph Daly, a former collector of medals to the RAOC and it's predecessors, and are taken from the
RAOC Roll of Honour published in the RAOC Gazette:

The following Conductors were awarded the Meritorious Service Medal (Non immediate) with gratuity. (Up to 1951 those recommended for the M.S.M had to wait for the medal till a vacancy occurred (due to death) of the previous holder of the Gratuity as they were limited to a certain amount per Regiment or Corps.)

Conductor J. Clooney, AO46/1907 Medal and Gratuity w.e.f. 18.12.1906
Conductor C. Woods, AO28/1908, Medal and Gratuity w.e.f. 19.07.1908
Conductor J. Musquin, AO106/Mar 1915
Conductor J. Gray AO422/Nov 1915
(The above were amongst the first Conductors appointed in 1879)

Conductor J. Bilton AO205/Oct. 1929
Conductor W. Morison AO92/Sep 1948
Conductor G.A. Gedge, AO73/May 1949
Conductor W. Lidgett, AO176/Dec. 1951
Conductor J.W. Lupton, AO176/Dec 1951

After 1951 those recommended were awarded the Medal directly but still had to wait until a vacancy for the gratuity. Unfortunately after 1951 the Appointment was no longer quoted in the relevant Army Orders, only the rank i.e. W.O.1.

The following are recommendations made for the award of the M.S.M to Conductors who died before a vacancy became available: (Source PRO Ref WO101/7)

Conductor H. Harrison
Service 33 8/12 years. Sergeant and W.O. 26 6/12 years. Service abroad 2 8/12 years. No Field service. L. S. + G.C. medal. Clear defaulters sheet.

4253 Conductor Samuel Moore
Born 02.02.1865. Served 20 8/12 years . Sergeant and W.O. 13 1/12 years. Service abroad 14 9/12 years. Burma 1885-87, Medal and clasp. Sikkim 1885, Clasp. Mirnanzai Expeditionary Force 1891, Clasp. Chitral Relief Force 1895 – Medal and clasp. S. Africa 1900 - 1902 Queens S. A. Medal and two clasps, Kings S.A. and two clasps. L.S. + .C. Medal, Clear defaulters sheet.

3207 Conductor John White
Discharged 31.03.1903 . Service 36 3/12 years. Sergeant and W.O. 28 9/12 years. Foreign Service 10 7/12 years. No Field service. Has L.S. + G.C. medal. 8 entries in company defaulters sheet. 30 years clear before discharge.

Conductor T.A. Smye
Born 12.09.1866. Enlisted 12.01.1886. Service 20 2/12 years. Sergeant and W.O.
14 11/12 years.. Service abroad 10 10/12 years. S. Africa 1899-1902. Medal and clasp. L.S. + G.C. medal. Clear company defaulters sheet.

3191 Conductor T. Scrimshaw
Discharged 08.09.1899 Service 40 6/12 years. Sergeant and W.O. 32 years. 6 7/12 years foregin service. S.Africa 1879-80 – Medal. 1 entry in company defaulters sheet in 1870.

4438 Conductor G.C. Oliver
Born 26.11.1866. Service 20 2/12 years. Sergeant andW.O. 15 3/12 years. Service abroad 7 4/12 years. No field service. L. S. + G.C. medal. Clear defaulters sheet.

1939 - 1945 World War Two

Military Medal (MM)

Military Members of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE)

Post War Awards

George Cross for Gallantry

Military Members of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE)

Queens Gallantry Medal

British Empire Medal

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