John Charles Ralphs

Royal Field Artillery

Personal Details

Born: 26 March 1897.

Family: The first son of Arthur and Eliza Ralphs of 2 Edgeley Road, Whitchurch, Shropshire. John married Nellie Brassey in 1924; our research suggests they had a child together – John A.

Civilian Occupation: By the age of 14 he was a cowman and working at Edgeley Farm and continued until at least 1939 as a cowman.

Residence: In 1939 the family were living at 2 Ash Grange Cottage, Wem, Shropshire.

Died: In December 1981 aged 84.


Military Details

Regiment: Royal Field Artillery

Rank: Driver

Service Number: 131571

Date of Enlistment: 17 April 1916

Date of Discharge: 12 November 1919

Reason for Discharge: Demobilisation

Other Information: He served in Salonika and Alexandria. 

Medals and Awards

John 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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