Australian Awards Tribunal


Supplied by John Bradford


Appendix 1 - Timeline

5 May 1919 - Army Order policy in regards to attempted escaped POWs ‘will be eligible for gallantry decorations as are normally reserved for service under fire.’

October 1942 - War Office Policy on awards for escaped prisoners of war.

10 November 1943 – Memo from Directorate of POWs regarding recognition of POWs to be passed to the Dominions. POWs are ‘eligible for consideration ...’.

24 November 1943 – High Commissioner’s office to Secretary of the Dept of Army in Australia through PMs Dept - re recognition of POWs as ‘eligible for consideration’ for the award of posthumous MID.

31 January 1944 - Memorandum to Secretary, Department of Defence noting that the Commander in Chief had approved the Memo of November 1943.

12 February 1944 – British Memo to the Australian Defence Committee for consideration of posthumous awards for POWs killed while trying to escape.

15 February 1944 – Minute regarding Australian Defence Committee recommending approval.

16 February 1944 – Australian Defence Committee consideration of British policy was agreed and would be adopted.

21 February 1944 – Cablegram to High Commission London seeking advice on procedure.

7 March 1944 – Memorandum from Department of Defence to Departments Army, Navy and Air that escaped prisoners of war who had been killed would be eligible for consideration for the MID.

19 March 1944 – PM Department to Australian High Commissioner in London. The Department was advised that all recommendations would be retained at the War Office and considered when the individual was repatriated or rejoined.

20 March 1944 - Cablegram from Prime Minister’s Department to the High Commission London setting out the requirements for the MID.

21 March 1944 – Secretary of the Dept Army to Secretary PM’s Dept quoting Memo 13531 of 24 Nov 1943 that Australia will adopt the same policy.

10 June 1945 – Minute from the Military Secretary to Commander in Chief, further MID consideration and enclosing the nominal roll Deceased P.W. Escapees, regarding 18 men’s escape and execution.

21 June 1945 – The nominal roll of 10 June 1945 certified correct.

25 July 1945 – The Minute of 10 June 1945 was placed ‘on hold’.

20 February 1946 – Three further men’s escape and execution certified as correct.

3 November 1950 – Letter from the Minister of the Army to a member of the public regarding no further action to be taken with respect to review of 1939-1945 awards.

1952 – His Majesty King George VI announced there would be no further consideration of awards made for the war of 1939-1945. This decision was reiterated by the Sovereign in 1965, 1983 and finally, in 1992.

3 October 1979 – British Ministry of Defence letter to the Australian Defence Staff, London. No further review of awards for the 1939-1945 War to be undertaken.

8 July 1983 – Governor-General to Department of the Special Minister of State. No further awards for WW II service post the King’s 1952 decision to be considered.

5 October 1992 – Prime Minister Keating announces that Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is of the view that Australians should be recognised ‘exclusively by the Australian system of honours’. Consideration of further British or Imperial awards therefore ceased.


Next Part - Appendix 2


“We will remember them”




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