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Help with understanding medal citation from WW2


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Hello army.ca,

While doing family tree research I came across a relative who fought in WW2 (R.C.E. 8 Cdn. Fd. Sqn.) and was awarded the "Military Medal". I'm using quotation marks because I don't know wither this refers to a specific medal, or refers to a medal in the generic sense.

I have attached the citation to this post (and also added it to Imgur: https://imgur.com/a/jyDy9). The citation refers to installing a bridge over the Leopold Canal while under fire. I found some info here: (https://www.canadiansoldiers.com/history/battlehonours/northwesteurope/leopoldcanal.htm) that seems to be related.

Any 'extra' information would be appreciated. I have not had much luck finding info about the medal, and decoding the citation has involved some guesswork regarding the abbreviations (such as guessing RCE = Royal Canadian Engineers???).

Thanks for any pointers for learning more about this.



  • Military Medal Citation.pdf
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I was also able to find the official approval for the recommendation (see attached jpg).


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There's some information on the Military Medal at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_Medal

And yes, RCE refers to the Royal Canadian Engineers.
There's a description of the battle at: https://www.canadiansoldiers.com/history/battlehonours/northwesteurope/leopoldcanal.htm
Thanks for the help. I had heard of the British Military Medal, but I didn't realize that it was awarded to Canadians as well. (I found the King's approval immediately after making my first post).
The Military Medal was awarded to Commonwealth soldiers; post WWII, Canada developed its own system of honours and awards.  I expect Mr O'Leary to join in shortly ,as one of the resident experts on the H&A system - he's a fantastic resource on this site.

You may also want to investigate the histories of the units present: The Royal Montreal Regiment; The Royal Winnipeg Rifles; The Regina Rifle Regiment; and The Canadian Scottish Regiment.

Finally, there is an official history of the RCE.  Most library will have a copy (well, copies, since it's multiple volumes).  I suspect there may be more of the story in there.
Other abbreviations used:

Cdn - Canadain
Arm'd - Armoured
Fd - Field
Sqn - Squadron
Tp - Troop
op - Operation
br - Bridge
Inf - Infantry
Bde - Brigade
O.C. - Officer Commanding
Comd - Commander
Lt-Gen - Lieutenant-General



The Canadian Military Engineers Association has a bibliography at https://cmea-agmc.ca/cme-reading-list-combat-engineering that includes a WWII history of 8 Fd Sqn RCE - "A Souvenir War History: 8th Canadian Field Squadron, RCE".  Not certain where a copy could be found, but it's another resource you may wish to pursue.
Military Medal (MM)

Canadian Army Overseas Honours and Awards Citation Details

Last Name: MacPhail
First Name: Philip
Medal Type: MM
Month Awarded: November
Year Awarded: 1944
Rank at time of award: Sgt
Corp: 2 Cdn
Division: 4 Cdn Armd
Unit: 8 Cdn Fd Sqn
Sub-Unit: RCE

Citation card:

A souvenir war history: 8th Canadian Field Squadron, Royal Canadian Engineers, 1941-1945 / [author, John Kerr]
LAC record entry: http://amicus.collectionscanada.gc.ca/aaweb-bin/aamain/itemdisp?sessionKey=999999999_142&d=2&v=0&lvl=1&itm=17333191&l=0

Research - the Canadian Military Engineer Museum

Second World War (1939-1945) War Diaries (start point at Library and Archives Canada)