More family medals and awards

My sister has correctly informed me that her son Sam (see Military Cross for Marine who charged at Taliban) and our great uncle Norman Birtwistle (Lieut. ;119th ‘Queen Alexandra’s Own Royal’ Hussars) are not only members of the family to win MC. Norman’s brother Albert E. Birtwistle 1894 – 1973 was also awarded MC but I can’t find reference. His other brother (Major) William aka ‘Bertie’ (210th Brigade Royal Field Artillery) was awarded the DSO. Our great uncle (Lieut.) Cyril Marwood (301st Bty., B.F.A.) was also awarded MC in WW1. He’s the brother of our mother’s mother.

She’d also found some Kirby’s who had been decorated, but I’m sure how we are related: we seem to be the only Kirby branch left as far as male descendants of George Goldsmith Kirby are concerned and although we haven’t had it confirmed yet is only other sibling was a sister.

I found out that George Goldsmith Kirby’s son (Lieutenant) Montagu Alexander Kirby (78th Foot – 2nd Seaforth Highlanders) and died of wounds in The Indian Mutiny 25th September 1857:

The Indian Mutiny – 1857 DEATHS
Lieutenant Montagu Alexander Kirby – died of wounds – 25th September 1857 – 78th Foot – 2nd Seaforth Highlanders

One of George Goldsmith Kirby’s other sons was a Lieutenant in R.N., but it doesn’t seem like he died in active service despite dieing relatively young:

The Times, Saturday, Aug 25, 1960 DEATHS
On the 24th inst., at Richmond, Lieut. Edward Goldsmith Kirby, R.N., eldest surviving son of George Goldsmith Kirby, Esq., of 33 Great Cumberland Place, Hyde-Park.

A number of George Goldsmith Kirby grandson’s fought and died in WW1.

Cadet Ernest Seymour Kirby was son of Augustus George Kirby and was a gunner in 14th Field Artillery Bde., Australian Field Artillery. He died of disease on 2 February 1918, and it seems like he must have been in Australia at same time as our grandfather George Henry Kirby:

Ernest Seymour KIRBY
Station Manager
Gundaline, Hay, New South Wales

Enlisted: 1 Nov 1915, Age 30, Single
9932, Gunner, Field Artillery Brigade 1, Reinforcement 13
Unit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales,
on board HMAT A35 Berrima on 17 Dec 1915

Died of disease 2 February 1918
Sergeant, 14th Field Artillery Brigade
Edinburgh (Seafield) Cemetery (Row B, Grave No. 626), Scotland
Australian Imperial Force Project Database

Ernest’s brother Rev. Robert Dorrien Kirby must of been a Naval or Military Chaplain because he died of wounds in Yule, Illama, New Guinea on April 29, 1916, although I didn’t realise there was a front in New Guinea though:

The Times, Saturday, May 6, 1916 DEATHS
KIRBY – On the 29th April, died from wounds received when in the gallant execution of his duty, Robert Dorrien, second son of the Reverand A. G. and Mrs. Kirby, of South Weald.

ROLL of the sons and daughters of the Anglican Church Clergy throughout the world, and of the Naval and Military Chaplains of the same, who gave their lives in the Great War 1914-1918.

Rev. Robert Dorrien Kirby,
son of Rev. Augustus George Kirby, Vicar of South Weald,
Died at Yule, Illama, New Guinea, April 29, 1916.

Richard Ussher, Vicar of Westbury,
Brackley, Northants

Their brother Eric Dorrien Kirby was a Second Lieutenant in the 16th (County of London) Battalion, The London Regiment (Queen’s Westminster Rifles). Not sure if he was decorated though.

Both of Arthur Raymmond Kirby’s sons for in WW1:

The Times, Monday, Apr 2, 1917 DEATHS
KIRBY – On the 29th March, on active service, in a hospital abroad, Captain Alister Graham Kirby, London Regiment (Staff Captain, Divisional Artillery), the dearly-loved younger son of the late A. R. Kirby, and Mrs. Kirby, 81 Cromwell-road, S.W.

Alister Graham Kirby also has a different kind of medal having won a Gold at the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm for Men’s eights.

His brother Claude Arthur Kirby had an O.B.E. He was commander in RNVR in WWI and Lt. Col in RAF during WWII. He didn’t marry.

Our great grandfather George Henry Kirby was only surviving son of Alfred Octavius Kirby. While in Ceylon, he served for 9 years in the Ceylon Volunteer Rifles; resigned on leaving Ceylon, and sailed to Sydney, Australia. When war broke out in 1914, He enlisted in September of that year, and served in the 1st Light Horse Regiment. He saw service in Egypt, Gallipoli, and the Western Front. He was discharged on 14 October 1918. I’m guessing he only got campaign medals but having fought at both Galipoli and on the Western Front then from where I’m sitting he should probably been awarded the box set. His sister Mollie was awarded an MBE though:

The Times, Friday, Jul 30, 1965 DEATHS
KIRBY – On July 29th. 1965, Marion Ellen Kirby, M.B.E., 35 Buckingham Palace Mansions, S.W.1, elder daughter of Alfred and Alice Kirby, and for over 60 years the devoted friend of Irene Thomson, 40 North Audley Street, W.1. Service at Golders Green August 2nd at 12:45 p.m. Flowers to J. H. Kenyon, Edgware Road.

George Henry Kirby seems to be the only male descendant of George Goldsmith Kirby to have offspring. Our grandfather Claude was too young for WWI and too old for active service in WWII but did serve in RAF.

His brother Roddy was a Captain, Royal Corps of Signals. He died in on June 22, 1941, but am not sure whether this was on active service or not. I’m assuming it must have been as he is on Roll of Honour:

The Times, Thursday, Jun 26, 1941 DEATHS
KIRBY – On June 22, 1941, Roderick George Maitland Kirby, Captain, Royal Corps of Signals, son of Major G. Kirby and Mrs. Kirby, now of 13 Rowland Gardens, Old Brompton Road, London, S.W. Funeral at Whaddon Church, Bletchley, Bucks, at 2:30 p.m. today (Thursday).

His sister Valda died in Japanese POW camp:

The Times, Tuesday, Aug 14, 1945 DEATHS

GODLEY – On June 6, 1944, at Sumatra P.O.W. Camp, Valda, the beloved wife of Col. A. S. Godley, The Royal Scots.

Our father was only child and was officer in RN serving in Korea. The next generation of soft shandy drinkers haven’t seen military service, but at least one of my brother’s was in Army or Navy Corps at Ampleforth and I have a medal for completing London to Brighton cycle ride ;-)



One thought on “More family medals and awards

  1. My g grandfather Fred birtwistle also won the DCM and bar in the first vworld war. He died in 1920 in winchester.

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