James Ernest Downward

Dorsetshire Regiment

Personal Details

Born: 6 May 1896.

Family: The only child of William and Elizabeth Downward of Whitewell Lane, Iscoyd, Flintshire. James married Elsie Bamford in June 1924 and together they had one child, Margaret.

Education: He attended Whitchurch Grammar School.

Civilian Occupation: When he enlisted in 1915, James worked in a Draper’s shop as a storeman. In 1939 he was a photographer.

Residence: In 1915 he was living at 7 Brooklands, Chester Road, Whitchurch, Shropshire. In 1939 he was at 32 Charteris Road, Wanstead and Woodford, Essex.

Died: He died in June 1970 at Ploughley, Oxfordshire aged 74.

Military Details

Regiment: Dorsetshire Regiment (previously Army Ordnance Corps)

Rank: Private

Service Number: 19930 (previously 09537)

Date of Enlistment: 31 August 1915

Date of Discharge: 9 April 1919

Reason for Discharge: Demobilisation

Medals and Awards

James 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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