Henry Willasey Downward

Royal Airforce

Personal Details

Born: Henry was born on the 30 November 1877.

Family: The third son of John and Alice Maria Downward of Tilstock, Whitchurch, Shropshire.

Civilian Occupation: Henry was employed as a bank cashier. 

Residence: In 1901 he was living in Ladywood Rd, Edgbaston, Kings Norton. After retirement he moved back to Whitchurch and was living at 24 George Street.

Died: On 2 May 1948 aged 70.

Military Details

Regiment: Royal Air Force (previously Royal Navy)

Rank: Ordinary Seaman

Service Number: F48540 (previously Z/3991)

Date of Enlistment: 27 November 1915

Date of Discharge: 20 April 1920

Reason for Discharge: Demobilisation

Further information: Henry joined the Navy in February 1916 and served on two ships President ll and Daedalus. He transferred to the RAF on 1 April 1918.

Medals and Awards

Henry was awarded the Campaign Medals (British War Medal, and Victory Medal).

Campaign Medals

Great War History Hub Whitchurch Shropshire Medals Front Image

The British War Medal (also known as 'Squeak') was a silver or bronze medal awarded to officers and men of the British and Imperial Forces who either entered a theatre of war or entered service overseas between 5th August 1914 and 11th November 1918 inclusive. This was later extended to services in Russia, Siberia and some other areas in 1919 and 1920. Approximately 6.5 million British War Medals were issued. Approximately 6.4 million of these were the silver versions of this medal. Around 110,000 of a bronze version were issued mainly to Chinese, Maltese and Indian Labour Corps. The front (obv or obverse) of the medal depicts the head of George V. The recipient's service number, rank, name and unit was impressed on the rim.

The Allied Victory Medal (also known as 'Wilfred') was issued by each of the allies. It was decided that each of the allies should each issue their own bronze victory medal with a similar design, similar equivalent wording and identical ribbon. The British medal was designed by W. McMillan. The front depicts a winged classical figure representing victory. Approximately 5.7 million victory medals were issued. Interestingly, eligibility for this medal was more restrictive and not everyone who received the British War Medal ('Squeak') also received the Victory Medal ('Wilfred'). However, in general, all recipients of 'Wilfred' also received 'Squeak' and all recipients of The 1914 Star or The 1914/1915 Star (also known as 'Pip') also received both 'Squeak' and 'Wilfred'. The recipient's service number, rank, name and unit was impressed on the rim.

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