War Medals Ready in 1948
Over Three Million To be Distributed
Ottawa Citizen, 7 November 1947 By Frank Swanson, Citizen Parliamentary Writer
Canadians who won campaign medals in the last war likely won't get them before late in 1948, according to the Department of Veterans' Affairs which has taken over the huge task of distributing the awards.
There are 11 stars and medals to be awarded and the total number to be handed out when the time comes will run around the staggering figure of 3,356,000, the department reported.
Although thousands are now being stamped out at the Royal Canadian Mint in Ottawa, only 537,450 of the medals so far have been made. Production on two of the 11 has not yet been started because the Mint is still awaiting official dies from Britain. Production of four of the medals has been completed.
Will Get Set
There will be no distribution of any of the medals until all are completed, the department said. At that time, each recipient will receive a complete set of the medals to which he or she is entitled, all at the same time.
There have been no arrangements yet as to the system that will be used for the medal distribution, but its expected that each veteran will be asked to apply in writing when the time comes, giving his or her present address. Otherwise, it was stated, a great many of the packages will go astray.
Meanwhile DVA and service headquarters united to ask veterans not to write requests for medals or stars yet. They say it will create a huge amount of needless work which will only complicate the eventual distribution of the awards.
Meanwhile, a new card index system bearing the complete war records of all servicemen is being compiled at DVA. This will be used as the basis of awarding the stars and medals. When the applications are finally called for quick reference to the system, it is hoped, will establish whether ot not the serviceman or woman is entitled to the various awards. This will eliminate the necessity of drawing out an otherwise bulky file from the immense collection in possession of the three services.
As for gallantry awards, Canada has nothing to do with them. All the decorations are made in Britain and supplies are sent to Canada as soon as they are available. They are considerably behind at present owing to the shortage of supplies in Britain.