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eMedals-A Fine Canadian Military Medal for Operations against Fresnoy 1917

Consignment #4

Item: C3337

A Fine Canadian Military Medal for Operations against Fresnoy 1917 Consignment #4

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A Fine Canadian Military Medal for Operations against Fresnoy 1917 Consignment #4

A Fine Canadian Military Medal for Operations against Fresnoy 1917 - Military Medal (150110 Pte G.H. HAWKES. 1/Coy CAN: M.G.C.); British War Medal (150110 A. CPL. G.H. HAWKES. C.M.G. BDE.); and Victory Medal (150110 A. CPL. G.H. HAWKES. C.M.G. BDE.). Naming is officially impressed. Un-mounted, original ribbons, dark patinas on the silver medals, light contact, near extremely fine. Accompanied by copies of his Index Cards, Attestation Paper, Service Records, Medical Records, Discharge Certificates and Military Medal Citation. Footnote: George Herbert Hawkes was born on June 25, 1888 in McLean, Saskatchewan. He signed his Attestation Paper with the 79th Infantry Battalion "Manitoba Battalion", on July 21, 1915, in Brandon, Manitoba, at the age of 27, naming his next-of-kin as James B. Hawkes of Regina, Saskatchewan, stating that he had no previous military service, that he was not married and that his trade was that of Fireman (with other documentation also stating that he was a Framer as well). He did the bulk of his training at Brandon, Manitoba and was briefly hospitalized there with a "Cold" on September 14 and 15, 1915. The Battalion was raised in Manitoba and mobilized at Brandon, Manitoba under the authority of G.O. 103A, August 15, 1915. Hawkes left for England on September 25, 1915, arriving on October 5th. Upon arrival, he was transferred to the 4th Company, 12th Reserve Battalion, then taken on strength of the 11th Reserve Battalion on November 2nd and trained with them at St. Martin Plains, Shorncliffe. Hawkes was transferred to the 1st Brigade, Canadian Machine Gun Company on March 8, 1916, for service in the French theatre, taken on strength at the Canadian Base Depot at Le Havre on the 9th, joining his new unit on the 24th. Late that Fall, he reported from base to hospital on November 8, 1916, his medical records stating his condition as "N.Y.D." (Not Yet Determined), and returned to duty on the 10th. Private Hawkes was awarded the Military Medal, his citation R.O. 3029 from Macdonnell, dated June 19, 1917: "During the operations against FRESNOY, on May 3rd and 4th, 1917, this man, with an utter disregard of heavy shell and machine gun fire led his crew to an advanced position. Early in the afternoon of the 3rd he was wounded by machine gun fire, but he continued to keep on guard, and at dusk went back to Section Hqrs, to guide a relief to his position. By this time Pte. Hawkes, was in a state of exhaustion and, although he was unable to get back to a dressing station for 36 hours he maintained very commendable courage and cheerfulness, which had a marked effect on the rest of the section." (A.F.W.3121 of May 21, 1917). The announcement for the award appeared in the Second Supplement to the London Gazette 30188 of Tuesday, July 17, 1917, on Wednesday, July 18, 1917, page 7290. The actions taken at Fresnoy were part of the defence of Vimy Ridge, which had been taken in the second week of April. Thirty-six hours after he was wounded, he reported to the field dressing station with a gun shot wound to his right arm. Hawkes was subsequently sent down the line to No. 2 Australian General Hospital at Boulogne and after three days, he was invalided to England and admitted to Queen's Canadian Military Hospital at Beachborough Park, West Sandling (Shorncliffe) on May 7th. After one week at Queen's, he was transferred to the Convalescent Military Hospital at Shorncliffe on the 15th, then discharged on the 21st and posted to the Canadian Convalescent Depot, where he was to remain for two months, before returning to the Machine Gun Depot on July 26th and placed with the Canadian Machine Gun Pool. Hawkes returned to France on November 7, 1917 and was taken on strength at Camiers the following day. He was transferred to the 1st Brigade, Canadian Machine Gun Company on November 19th, joining his unit on the 20th. He served with them until mid-February 1918, when he was posted to No. 1 Canadian Discharge Depot at Buxton on the 15th, and placed on furlough to Canada on the 27th "on Compassionate Grounds". His leave was to end on May 9, 1918 but was extended to June 9th. Upon his return to England, he was employed as an Instructor on Machine Guns and would continue in this roll until December 1918. Hawkes was promoted to Acting Corporal on October 21, 1918 and was struck off strength to Canada on December 12th. Upon his arrival at Military District No. 12 District Depot, in Regina, Saskatchewan, on January 10, 1919, his medical condition was reassessed and the rehabilitation on his arm continued, the bullet fragment remaining in his arm. In his Medical History of an Invalid, dated March 29, 1919 at Regina, the Assistant Director of Medical Services discussed the progress that Hawkes was making with his right arm: "Hand grip is normal, but for sustained effort is weak (man claims) as in carrying a heavy suit case 100 yards, he notices that (the) arm and hand becomes weak, and heavy ache up and down the arm follows. Hand cramps in writing, he has to rest it during writing of (an) ordinary letter", also noting that Hawkes had stated that he felt he was improving. Hawkes was discharged on April 2, 1919, at Military District No. 12 District Depot, in Regina, officially declared "Physically Unfit:- Wounds" due to the gun shot wound he sustained to his right arm and noting that he was experiencing a "slight weakness". He was credited with having served seventeen months with the Canadian Machine Gun Company, entitled to wear the War Service Badges: Class "A", Number 66528 and Class "B", Number 45744, along with being entitled to wear one Gold Casualty Stripe (effective May 5, 1917) and four blue Service Chevrons. For his First World War service, he was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. (C:4)  
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