A Canadian Military Medal for Action at Battle of Pozières 1916
Military Medal for Action at Battle of Pozières 1916 - Private Frederick W. Mayes, 36th Infantry Battalion, 1st Infantry Battalion, (406950 PTE. F. MAYES. 1-CAN.INF.). Naming is privately engraved. Cleaned, pitted, bruised, near very fine. Accompanied by a CD containing forty pages with copies of his Index Cards, Attestation Paper, Service Records, Medical Records, Discharge Certificate and Military Medal Citation. Footnote: Frederick William Mayes was born on April 9, 1880 in Folkestone, Kent, England. He signed his Attestation Paper with the 36th Infantry Battalion on May 11, 1915 in Hamilton, Ontario, naming his next-of-kin as Mrs. Julie Mayes (later determined to be his wife) of Hornell, New York, stating that he had six years' previous military service with the 77th (East Middlesex) Regiment in England and was coming off two weeks service with the 44th Welland Regiment, which he had previously enlisted with on March 27, 1915, that he was not married and that his trade was that of Marine Fireman (he is also documented in his medical records as a Locomotive Fireman). While training, he was docked one days' pay for being absent without leave on May 21, 1915 at Hamilton and again punished for drunkenness while at Camp Niagara on June 10th. The Battalion was raised and mobilized in Hamilton under the authority of G.O. 86, July 1, 1915 and sailed June 19, 1915 under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel E.C. Ashton with a strength of 39 officers and 1,004 other ranks, including Private Mayes, arriving in England on June 28th. Mayes was to begin a streak of unprofessional conduct and misbehaviour that would follow him throughout the war, a direct contrast to the person that would later be described in his Military Medal citation. While in England, he was Absent Without Leave from August 25 to 26, 1915 and forfeited 2 days' pay, then was AWOL again on September 9, 1915 and sentenced to 10 days' Field Punishment No. 2 and forfeited 8 days' pay. He was at the Canadian Base Depot when he was drafted for service with the 1st Canadian Infantry Battalion in France on September 26, 1915, joining them in the field on October 2nd. He was again AWOL, in addition to losing his rifle on November 16, 1915, from 7:45 PM until he was arrested at 9:30 PM and sentenced to 14 days Field Punishment No. 1. His was sentenced to 28 days Field Punishment No. 1 on January 13, 1916, "when in active service, breaking arrest, in confinement awaiting trail 22-12-15 to 5-1-16 and 11-16 to 11-2-16", was "tried and convicted by J.G.C.M. of when on active service drunkenness 22-12-15 and sentenced to suffer 90 days F.P. No. 1" by Brigadier General G.B. Hughes. The unexpired portion of his sentence of 90 days was rewritten for Good Conduct in the field. Mayes was wounded in June 1916, when a shell exploded, throwing him up against the side of a dugout, eventually invalided to England, to Moore Barracks General Hospital from August 15 to 23, 1916, with injuries to his nose and hip. However, in a later documented medical report, he states that hospitalization was never required. Mayes was awarded his Military Medal, as cited in the London Gazette 29854 on December 9, 1916, "For his coolness and splendid example to the men of his section during the whole tour in the trenches from 31st, August 1916, especially during the bombardment which took place daily at the inter-section of the trench, with the Pozieres/Bapaume Road. This man's conduct has always been the best when in the trenches or under fire at any time." A.F.W. 3121. Ironically, the next day, he was taken on strength of the Canadian Casualty Assembly Centre on December 10, 1916 and admitted to King George Hospital, Stamford St., London S.E., the initial diagnosis as "N.Y.D." (not yet determined). As his hospitalization continued, he was viewed with "Shakes - Lost his voice in the street.", incurring Laryngitis. He had been gassed at Telegraph Hill in April, and while on leave, he fainted in the street and was admitted to hospital. He did regain his voice on the 14th and was transferred to the Canadian Convalescent Hospital at Bromley, Kent on December 18th, remaining there until he was discharged on January 6, 1917, after five weeks hospitalization. He was placed with the Canadian Convalescent Depot on January 9th, later to be struck off strength on transfer to the Western Ontario Regimental Depot at Hastings on March 10, 1917. He was again admitted to hospital, this time to Court Farm Military Hospital at Warlingham from April 12 to June 21, 1917 with "V.D.G." (Venereal Disease Gonorrhea). In a Court of Enquiry held at Warlingham Military Hospital, he was discharged for illegally absenting himself on May 28, 1917. He ceased to be attached to the 2nd CCD on return to the Western Ontario Regimental Depot at Hastings on June 22nd. He was later admitted to No. 2 Canadian General Hospital at Bramshott from July 17 to October 20, 1917 but it is not clear as to why. In November 1917, a District Court Martial was convened and Mayes was charged with three violations: deserting His Majesty's Service from May 28 to July 7, 1917, for being AWOL from August 18 to 24, 1917, and for being AWOL from August 27 to September 24, 1917. He was found guilty of all three violations and was "sentenced to undergo imprisonment for one year with HARD LABOUR and to FORFEIT Military Medal, 21.11.17. Sentenced confirmed 23.11.17. In arrest 11.9.17. Forfeits 57 days' pay by R.W.", on November 21, 1917, with a total forfeiture of 492 pays' pay. It was later commuted to one week of detention only. One week later he ceased to be attached to the 2nd CCD on proceeding to Bramshott Detention Barracks at Wandsworth on November 28th. In the new year, he ceased to be shown in detention, struck off strength and posted to the 4th Reserve Battalion, Category "A" at Bramshott on January 18, 1918. He was taken on strength by the 4th but was shown as in detention ay Wandsworth with effect from January 18th. He was to return to the French theatre a second time, as he was struck off strength of the 4th Reserve Battalion on having proceeded overseas with the 1st Battalion on March 16, 1918. As he proceeded overseas with the 1st Battalion, the balance of his sentence of detention was remitted and arrived in Boulogne on March 24th. However, his imperfect behaviour brought him before the authorities once again, as he was sentenced to 21 days Field Punishment No. 2, "for when on active service absent without leave" from March 18 to 21, 1918 and forfeited 4 days' pay. He joined the 1st Battalion in the field on April 9th. He continued to run afoul of the Army hierarchy, while with the 1st Battalion, he was sentenced to 21 days Field Punishment No. 1 for being AWOL from 7:00 AM April 11 to 3:30 PM April 12 and forfeited 2 days' pay on May 2, 1918. In addition, a stoppage was place on his pay, until the Army could determine value of equipment missing that was assigned to Mayes, which included rifle, bayonet, scabbard, haversack, pack, shoulder straps, water bottle, mess tin, waist belt, ammunition pouch, helmet, great coat, among other items (the value later assessed at ten pounds, eight shillings and one pence). He was again AWOL, this time from Tattoo at Mingovan on June 3 to 4 for 21 hours, sentenced to Field Punishment No. 1 and forfeited 2 days' pay and sent to the First Division Field Punishment Station to undergo his sentence of 90 days on July 20, 1918. His services were need in the field, his sentenced shortened, when he returned to the 1st Battalion and suffered a gun shot wound (shrapnel) to his right knee on August 10, 1918. He was admitted to No. 1 Australian General Hospital at Rouen, transferred to No. 74 General Hospital at Trouville on the 15th and transferred again, to No. 13 Convalescent Depot at Trouville on the 21st. He was discharged to reinforcements at Etaples on the 28th, one day after he was sentenced to 4 days Field Punishment No. 1 and forfeited 2 days' pay on August 27, 1918 for three violations: AWOL from Tattoo from August 23 to 25 until he was apprehended by the Military Police, being in a café during prohibited hours and being in town without a pass. He couldn't stay out of trouble, as he was again declared AWOL from August 29 to September 10, 1918, a total of 12 days and sentenced to 28 days Field Punishment No. 1 and forfeiting 13 days' pay on October 3, 1918. He rejoined his unit on October 11th but only briefly, as his habitual habit of going AWOL took place again, from December 16, 1918 to January 11, 1919, a total of 27 days. The Army had had enough, as he was declared to be illegally absent by a Court of Enquiry and struck off strength as a Deserter on January 11, 1919. Five weeks after that disgrace, he was admitted on February 13, 1919 to No. 7 Canadian General Hospital at Etaples, his knee causing him obvious problems. He was invalided and transferred to No. 16 Canadian General Hospital at Orpington on the 17th, then transferred to No. 4 London General Hospital, Denmark Hill for his "right knee and amnesia" on March 29th. Although he was discharged on April 22nd, he was re-admitted to hospital, this time to the Military Hospital at Ripon from May 3 to 17, 1919, then transferred to "S" Wing on May 17th, to "O" Wing on July 7th until August 11th, when he was struck off strength to the Western Ontario Regimental Depot on proceeding to detention at Wandsworth on August 14th. In his Medical History of an Invalid, dated August 19, 1919 at Wardsworth, it documents the condition of his knee: "He walks with a perceptible limp and can walk 2 miles before he has to rest. Complains of stiff ess in the knee joint. Pain sharp piercing in character originating internal condyle - radiating across knee joint. Weakness of knee after walking. On Aug. 1, 1918. Wounded in right knee with shrapnel consequently invalided to England and the present disability resulting." It was estimated that in eight months, he would recover, but that he could not resume his former occupation as a Fireman, "due to (the) loss of function of (his) right knee." Following his discharge from hospital, he was taken on strength at CDD Buxton on September 12, 1919 but just couldn't behave himself, as he was awarded 28 days Detention on October 20, 1919, for being AWOL from September 8 to 9 in England, breaking arrest and remaining absent from October 17 to 19, before he returned to Canada on October 22 aboard the S.S. Royal George. He was taken on strength at No. 1 District Depot in London, Ontario and posted to the Casualty Company on November 5th. In his Medical History of an Invalid, dated November 6, 1919 at London, it documents his two battle incurred injuries. First, the shell explosion while in France in June 1916, where he suffered a broken nose, his condition stated as "Nose depressed in centre and bridge considerably widened, causing deformity", with his disability listed as "permanent". The second, the shrapnel wound in France to his right knee on August 10, 1918 while in France, noting the swelling to his right knee, making it noticeably larger than his left knee, with "Movements of knee joint normal tho' painful on extension of flexion", with one to two months rehabilitation estimated. It also describes in detail his two injuries: "On June 13th 1916 was blown by shell explosion up against the side of (a) dugout, and nose was badly fractured. Was not admitted to hospital. On Aug. 11th 1918 was wounded in right knee by shrapnel. Operated on at Rouen to remove foreign body about 14-8-18. rejoined Unit about Sept. 15th, 18. On Dec. 18th, 18 went sick with knee paining and swollen. Invalided to England Feb. 16, 19. Invalided to Canada Oct. 20th. 1919.", as well as two other hospitalizations: "Was gassed at Telegraph Hill in April, whilst on leave in 1916, fainted in street and was admitted to hospital for 5 weeks. Good recovery. Had bronchitis in June 1915, in hospital 8 days. Good recovery." He is documented as "to be discharged in Canada for Misconduct Under KR&O 392 Sec. XI" but his Discharge Certificate states that he was discharged upon demobilization as "Medically unfit for general service" at No. 1 District Depot in London, Ontario on November 8th. He stated that his proposed residence after discharge was Hornell, New York, his address later changed to Toronto, Ontario. In addition to his Military Medal, he was awarded the 1914-15 Star and the British War Medal, and was entitled to wear a War Service Badge, Class "A". However, his conduct during the Great War necessitated that he return his original Military Medal, 1914-15 Star and British War Medal, as requested by the government, and were so received by them on May 26, 1941. The medal offered here, is very likely one that Mayes had engraved privately afterwards for wear.