Efficiency Medal named to a member of The Irish Regiment of Canada

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    pylon1357
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    Efficiency Medal named to a member of The Irish Regiment of Canada

    Post by pylon1357 on Tue May 15, 2012 8:02 pm

    As many of you know, I collect primarily to the Irish Regiment of Canada. Unfortuntly for me, there are very few medals attributable to the Regiment. They did not see overseas service as a unit in World War 1, and World War 2 Canadian service medals are not named. Therefore when I come across a named medal, my heart skips a beat and my pocket book usually hates me for a time.

    I was more than pleased when I happened upon this little Efficiency Medal.


    Bell, Andrew Joseph Pte. B-78720

    Andrew was born in Manchester England 21 December 1904 to Olive Bell. His father is unknown at this time, as is much of his personal life. He claims to have attended O’Brien College in Dublin Ireland, leaving school after completing grade 8. I can find no information on O’Brien College, however I did find very limited information about a boarding school in Dublin called the O’Brien Institute. I also find no mention of him on any passenger lists etc. from England to Ireland or return.

    Andrew came to Canada aboard the S.S. Andania which sailed from Southampton on 05 September 1924, arriving at the port of Quebec. When Andrew arrived in Canada he claimed to have 5 pounds sterling in his possession, and that he intended to reside in Winnipeg Manitoba to take up a career in farming. He was employed for 6 years with Massy Harris Co, working at various farm locations around the Brandon Manitoba area. Andrew then moved to Ontario and settled in Toronto, where he was employed for 12 years as a shipper for the Robert Simpson Company of Toronto.
    Andrew served in the militia with the Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada from 28 September 1931 until 04 June 1940. His rank was that of Rifleman and his service number was 1562.

    When Andrew attested to the Irish Regiment of Canada on 20 June 1940, he was described as being 5’ 9” in height with blue eyes, brown hair turning grey and a dark complexion. He served with the Regiment throughout Canada, employed in the Camp Hygiene Department in Camps and billets around the East Coast area of Canada. Andrew sailed with the Regiment to the U.K. on 28 October 1942, arriving in the U.K. on 05 October 1942. During his time in the U.K. he was again employed in the Hygiene Department, and did not go with the Regiment when they sailed for Italy in October of 1943.

    During his time in the U.K. Andrew was in and ou of the hospital system suffering from various veins and complications associated with flat feet. He totaled 150 days hospitalization in total during his time in the U.K. At one point he was assigned to the 4 Canadian Infantry Reinforcement Unit, however, he found unsuitable for a reinforcement candidate due to his ailments.

    Andrew was Struck off Strength from the Canadian Army Overseas effective 24 March 1944 and returned to Canada. He was officially discharged from service effective 01 July 1944.
    Andrew’s father passed away when he was 16 years old, His mother was remarried in 1920 to Edward D’Alton in the U.K. When Andrew was issued the Efficiency Medal, it was sent to his mother for safe keeping at 5 Blackmore Road, London England and received on 25 April 1944.

    He was granted permission to marry by the Canadian Active Service Force, on or after 12 May 1944. On 27 May 1944, he excised that permission and married Iva Helen Burt in Toronto Ontario. Iva Helen Burt was born in the County of Victoria, in the Division of Lindsay on 19 April, 1911 to Helen (Giles) and Charles Burt. Charles was a Molder by trade. He and Helen were married in the city of Boston Massachusetts in 1908.

    As previously noted, Andrew Joseph Bell was discharged on 01 July 1944 in Toronto Ontario Canada citing C.A.R.O. 1029 (12) his services no longer required on being returned to civil employment. His discharge interviewer noted the following appraisal of Andrew; Combined with a grading of P3 for varicose veins, L4 for “flat feet”, and M2 (Mobility) this soldier presents a very apathetic and listless attitude to the service, although his motivation at the outset was undoubtedly reasonably high.

    This man left home in Ireland at an early age and came to work in Canada. His civilian employment was apparently steady. An interest in military training is indicated by over eight years in the N.P.A.M. From promising beginnings in the Army, Bell’s capacity for service has deteriorated. His disabilities restrict him to sedentary employment. In clerical work he has been found to be utterly unsuitable, by reason of lack of experience, lack of interest and slight mental retardation. (Personal note from me, this last point seems a little harsh)Since this man is a poor prospect for Army employment, on physical grounds as well as on grounds of motivation, it seems best to declare him unemployable in the Service.

    In an undated letter received at the Military Secretary Office on 25 January 1945, Bell inquired about his eligibility to receive the 1939-1943 Star (note this is not a misprint). In return letter from A/Director of Records for the Adjutant General dated 02 February 1945, he was informed that his service in the British Iles did not qualify him for the Star.

    In addition to the Efficiency Medal, Andrew was awarded the Canadian Volunteer Service Medal (CVSM) with an Overseas Clasp, silver Canadian issue War Medal and silver Canadian issue Defense Medal, as well as General Service badge # 068089 for his military service. His General Service badge was issued to him on the date he left the Service. It was noted that a duplicate General Service badge, number 465128 was issued to him on 30 November 1945.
    His Efficiency Medal is officially impressed as issued in the following manner, Pte. A.J. Bell IR. R.C. In addition, his service number, B78720 has been engraved at the end of the official naming. This is not official but adds to the medal.

    Andrew’s Campaign Medals were dispatched to him at 16 Donlands Ave. Toronto Ontario on 27 March 1957. It appears his home is no longer present, and that its location is now a Toronto Transit Commission depot.

    Andrew Joseph Bell passed away at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto Ontario 26 June 1966. His obituary is a rather sanitized one, usually associated with being written by an institution. There is no mention of any family or personal information. It simply states; “Bell, Andrew J.---- At Sunnybrook Hospital on Sunday, June 26 1966. Andrew J. Bell in his 63rd year. Resting at the Chapel at Wellington & Johnston, 377 Queen St E. (at Broadview) Service on Wednesday at 2:30 pm. Interment Veterans Plot, Pine Hills Cemetery”.

    To date, I have been unsuccessful in locating any further information about Andrew Joseph Bell.




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    Cliff

    http://www.irishregimentofcanada.ca

    Darrell
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    Re: Efficiency Medal named to a member of The Irish Regiment of Canada

    Post by Darrell on Sat May 19, 2012 9:24 am

    Hi Cliff

    Nice write up. Interesting to see the regimental number added to the EM.

    FYI, according to H. Crawford's EM Roll Bell`s EM was announced in Army General rder #143 on 22 April 1944.

    Thusly: BELL AJ B-78720 PTE IRISH R.C

    Yes, 1939-43 Star was it's first name, later changed to 1939-1945 Star.

    regards
    Darrell

    pylon1357
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    Re: Efficiency Medal named to a member of The Irish Regiment of Canada

    Post by pylon1357 on Sun May 20, 2012 9:49 am

    Thanks for this Darrell. I do have Pte Bell's full service records, with many pages regarding his EM. I just never thought to include these details in the write up.

    My style of write up is changing from more of a factual point form type ( as examples are posted in other topics here) to the above long form style. As these changes are new for me, it is great to get feed back on what should be included.

    As I revisit previous research I have done on soldiers, I am slowly re-writing the information to the long form. I find it makes a much nicer read than my old factual point form style..... My website maintainer is going to just love me. LMAO


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    Cliff

    http://www.irishregimentofcanada.ca

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