Talk:Charles Upham

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attitudes[edit]

Captain Upham was a person who saw things simply in black and whites. He despised anything German as a result of the war and his incarceration, even refusing to allow German-made vehicles on his property. Also, he used to ignore medical advice just as an example to show doctors that he could do anything he wished. Expatkiwi

Most highly decorated British soldier.[edit]

Charles is the only one to receive a double VC, which makes him the most decorated. There are no dual GC winners, and the VC is higher. Wallie (talk) 12:13, 20 October 2008 (UTC)

Let's slow down a bit here. Yes, the only soldier in WWII to receive two VCs, but many other Commonwealth soldiers received numerous high decorations, such as Hughie Edwards with his VC, DSO and DFC. If you want to include a definitive statement such as "most highly decorated" you should have a citation from a reliable source to back it up, no matter how obvious it may seem to you. Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 12:38, 20 October 2008 (UTC)
The VC is the highest award, and you know it. There are many references saying that Upham is the most highly decorated allied soldier of WW2. I did not cite these, as it is an unfair comparison, as I have found out that the MOH as at WW2 could only be awarded once. It is very clear that Upham is the most highly decorated British or Commonwealth solider of WW2. If Hughie Edwards was, he would have received a second VC - but he didn't. We are weighing here a (second) VC against a DSO plus a DFC. Fact. The VC is much much higher. Wallie (talk) 13:16, 20 October 2008 (UTC)
It actually doesn't matter what you or I know, this project sets high standards of citation. If you want to use superlatives, cite them - you've just said there are plenty out there so it shouldn't be an issue to include one or two. Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 13:37, 20 October 2008 (UTC)
OK. Agreed. I will do it. Wallie (talk) 16:06, 20 October 2008 (UTC)
The reference you included does not involve Upham at all; it simply states that the VC and GC are the highest decorations, which is common knowledge. Ian requested a reference on your claim that Upham was the highest decorated soldier in the British and Commonwealth during the Second World War, and that needs to be added for your claim to stand. Personally, I have never read anything that states Upham was the highest decorated, I believe he was probably one of the highest, but I have never seen anything that states he is the highest. Please note the just because he was the only person awarded the VC twice in the Second World War does not necessarily make him the highest decorated. Take Bob Braham for instance, he is noted as the highest decorated airman in the British and Commonwealth during the Second World War, but he was not a recipient of the VC. Cheers, Abraham, B.S. (talk) 04:47, 21 October 2008 (UTC)
Well! This is clearly incorrect. All holders of the VC in the RAF, RAAF, etc., for example Cheshire, are more highly decorated than Bob Braham. Also, Wing Commander Guy Gibson VC, DSO & Bar, DFC & Bar, won the VC in addition to Braham's medals. I cannot see how that Bob Braham is the most highly decorated airman. Can you? Wallie (talk) 17:22, 21 October 2008 (UTC)
Actually, no, they are not. The multitude of Braham's decorations out weigh all others, including Cheshire and Gibson, but, this is beside the point. We are here to discuss your claim that Upham was the highest decorated soldier, and if you cannot provide a relaible reference to support this claim, then your edits will have to be reverted. Cheers, Abraham, B.S. (talk) 05:24, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
O. You mean the number (multitude). the most highly decorated refers to the quality of medals, not the number. A quick search on google will reveal who the most decorated Commonwealth soldier is of WW2. It is Upham. Many state that he is the most decorated Allied soldier, but this is disputable, as the USA could only award one MOH in WW2. The reference is reliable, as it states that the VC is the top award, which you also agree with. The three dual VC winners (Martin-Leake, Chavasse and Upham) are the most decorated Commonwealth soldiers of all time. I hope you will agree with that statement. Wallie (talk) 17:09, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
No, actually, I was refering to the quality. The reference states the VC is the highest award, but nothing whatsoever about Upham. The reference needs to state Upham is the highest decorated for your claim to stand. I also disagree with your statement that Martin-Leake, Chavasse and Upham are the highest decorated British/Commonwealth soldiers of all time. It is well supported that Harry Murray was the highest decorated infantry soldier in the British/Commonwealth during the First World War, and the highest decorated soldier in the British/Commonwealth of the same war is most likely to be Frederick William Lumsden. The decorations of these two men individually exceede all three VC & Bar recipients. Cheers, Abraham, B.S. (talk) 05:24, 23 October 2008 (UTC)
There are no doubt countless others that can be mentioned with ONE VC and a string of other decorations. I think that Bernard Freyberg would rate here too, as he has actually the same medals as Lumsden and a few others besides. However, he is below Chavasse to my mind, as the VC is the "gold medal" and the others are of a lesser colour. Wallie (talk) 09:58, 23 October 2008 (UTC)

I think this discussion in itself illustrates that the measurement of "most decorated", "most highly decorated", etc, is open to interpretation and that citations explicitly supporting any such assertion are always required, as Bryce says. However, given that even reliable sources may disagree on this, my own preference is simply to leave out such assertions and let the bare facts stand. As Wallie has pointed out, you cannot be awarded anything higher than a VC, and to be awarded two is clearly highly notable without the need for further comment. Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 06:29, 23 October 2008 (UTC)

Agreed. Thanks. Wallie (talk) 09:58, 23 October 2008 (UTC)
I apologise to the pair of you for getting carried away from the true matter at hand. What I was trying to say is exactly this: for a claim or fact such as this to stand, or remain in the article, then it needs a reliable reference to actually state that Upham was the highest decorated soldier of the British/Commonwealth in the Second World War. If one cannot be produced, then it is best the edits be reverted as there is nothing to support the claim and it could later be found to be false (highly unlikely, I admit, but still possible). Cheers, Abraham, B.S. (talk) 10:58, 23 October 2008 (UTC)
This is down to logic. As the VC is the highest award, and he is the only one to get two in WW2, this makes him the most decorated British/Commonwealth soldier. There are all sorts of other claims as to this and that person being the most decorated in various services etc. These are all opinins. In Charles Upham's case, it is very clear, as he is the only one for WW2 with this unique top award. Wallie (talk) 15:14, 23 October 2008 (UTC)
This has nothing to do with logic; your claim must be referenced or it will be reverted. I'm sorry, but that's the way it is. Cheers, Abraham, B.S. (talk) 04:51, 24 October 2008 (UTC)
It does. Hans Rudel is recognised as being the most decorated German in WW2, as he has the highest medal, awarded only to him. The same applies to Charles Upham. In WW2 the VC and bar was only awarded to him. That makes him the most decorated in WW2. The reference I gave clearly states that the VC is the top award, and Upham has two. Wallie (talk) 09:17, 24 October 2008 (UTC)
You cannot compare the British and German honours systems of WWII; they were completely different. I'm starting to get sick of repeating myself; you must supply a reliable reference that actually says Upham was the most decorated, or I will revert your edits, it's actually as simple as that. Abraham, B.S. (talk) 10:20, 24 October 2008 (UTC)
Why not compare them? The principle is the same. Also, as you mentioned, it is not just the British system - as you rightly pointed out to me, Upham was not British. You also seem to be getting slightly annoyed. We should all discuss this in a logical way. You have agreed yourself that the VC is the top award. Upham has two! Wallie (talk) 17:19, 24 October 2008 (UTC)
Not really, the Germans used basicly a "build-on" system for their awards (e.g. Knights Cross --> Knights Cross with Oak leaves) and did not have any other honours, while the British did. Yes, Upham wasn't British, but the awards system he used was the British one, as he was a member of a Commonwealth nation under the British Empire. Cheers, Abraham, B.S. (talk) 23:04, 24 October 2008 (UTC)
"Build on" means hierarchy does it not? The VC is the top medal. It has not been superceded to date. I hope you will face facts and recognise that the three VC double medal winners are the most highly decorated. Wallie (talk) 13:55, 25 October 2008 (UTC)
Once again, the German honours system is completely different, and serveral others have been recognised as higher decorated then all three double VC recipients. Abraham, B.S. (talk) 14:05, 25 October 2008 (UTC)
Well, they shouldn't. You could argue that others deserved to get more VCs, like Albert Jacka. Could be. That is another issue! Wallie (talk) 18:38, 25 October 2008 (UTC)
Why not stop debating semantics and refer to Upham as the "most highly decorated" as opposed to the "most decorated". Would that work? Stephenjh (talk) 09:57, 24 October 2008 (UTC)
Thank you for your imput, but what I'm trying to say is that a reference to actually say Upham was the most decorated is required, otherwise it is debateable whether he was. Cheers, Abraham, B.S. (talk) 10:20, 24 October 2008 (UTC)
That's my point too. I think it fairly obvious he was the "most highly decorared" (no reference required - if he was!) but a reference would be needed if it's stated that he is the "most decorated". Stephenjh (talk) 10:30, 24 October 2008 (UTC)
I don't believe it's that clear-cut, and a reference is required regardless. Cheers, Abraham, B.S. (talk) 10:43, 24 October 2008 (UTC)
Good point. I have changed it to "most highly decorated". Thanks, Stephen. It says that for Hans Rudel too. Wallie (talk) 17:09, 24 October 2008 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but it still needs to be referenced. As I have stated, you need a reliable reference to actually say Upham was the "most highly decorated". If you can provide this reference, then I will be satisfied and back off. If not, then your edits will have to be reverted. Cheers, Abraham, B.S. (talk) 23:04, 24 October 2008 (UTC)
I have provided another reference. The FACT that Upham is the most highly decorated British and Commonwealth soldier seems obvious to everyone other than yourself. You keep asking me to provide more and more "evidence". I sincerely hope you are now satisfied. Wallie (talk) 13:49, 25 October 2008 (UTC)
That's all that was asked by both myself and Ian Rose from the start, which was never provided until now. Wikipedia is a place that needs references as conclusive proof for claims such as this. I never stated that Upham was not the highest decorated, just that a reference was needed to support such a claim. Abraham, B.S. (talk) 14:05, 25 October 2008 (UTC)
OK and thanks. :) Wallie (talk) 18:34, 25 October 2008 (UTC)

Images and other VCs & Bar[edit]

Now that we've finally sorted the citation for 'most highly decorated' - which Bryce rightly pursued after my initial query and Wallie has now satisfied - I'm afraid I need to raise a couple of other points. Firstly, the pictures of the VCs surrounding Upham's portrait seem a pretty obvious case of image cruft, merely decoration (if you'll excuse the expression) rather than information. Secondly, the Other Holders of the VC & Bar section is more detail than is necessary in an article on Upham. The others are mentioned and linked, appropriately, in the intro but an entire section logically belongs only in the Victoria Cross article, where it is already. I suggest both these things be removed. Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 12:26, 26 October 2008 (UTC)

Other articles about important decorated war heroes have similar medal pictures, eg, Audie Murphy. I agree with you that the bit on the intro about the 3 double VC winners can be removed, but the section could remain. I have done this. Wallie (talk) 17:10, 26 October 2008 (UTC)

I agree with Ian. The images don't really add much value to the article, not to mention too much dedicated to Martin-Leake and Chavasse. If anything, the brief mention in the lead should remain and the "Other holders of the VC and bar" section should go. These men have an article of their own. This article is ment focus on Upham and his life, not the Victoria Cross & Bar. Cheers, Abraham, B.S. (talk) 05:18, 27 October 2008 (UTC)

The VC and Bar IS the central theme of Upham's life. Also, when people see than someone has more than one VC, they are natually curious as to how many similar awards have been made to other. Martin-Leake and Chavasse are the other two in this category. So they are definitely important. Related info is always important. It is handy to have brief notes in the main article, to my mind. Thanks. Wallie (talk) 10:08, 27 October 2008 (UTC)
Maybe so, however there were other factors to this man's life then his military decorations. The whole purpose of the mention in the lead was to state that only two others have been awarded a VC & Bar, and if someone wanted to read about them it is as simple as clicking on a link. As I stated above, this article is about Upham, not Martin-Leak or Chavasse. Also, this is not the main article related to the VC, and the main article does mention these three men. Cheers, Abraham, B.S. (talk) 10:58, 27 October 2008 (UTC)
Agree, the images add nothing to the article, adn the detail ont he other recipients is excessive. David Underdown (talk) 11:38, 27 October 2008 (UTC)
David. I see that you have removed the second VC from Upham. Now he only has one. The bar is placed on the VC ribbon, not below it, as in this example. [[1]] Wallie (talk) 18:27, 28 October 2008 (UTC)
I'm a little on Wallie's side here. I think either both should be removed or both should be placed in the article. As Wallie correctly pointed out, Upham was a double recipient of the VC, not a single, so I don't think that that single image of the VC is appropiate, but also I just don't think it looks right on its own. Cheers, Abraham, B.S. (talk) 21:00, 28 October 2008 (UTC)
I still advocate dropping the image(s) entirely - this is what we have links for. I know the MOH is in Audie Murphy for instance, but don't think that belongs either. Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 21:05, 28 October 2008 (UTC)
The image shows the bar - he didn't receive two VCs, but the VC and Bar. Showing one is probably unnecessary, showing both is incongruous. David Underdown (talk) 10:09, 29 October 2008 (UTC)

We have reduced this to semantics now, so I'll bring it back to the main point: should we include image(s) of the VC, or not. I say either both or none, but am more in favour of none. Cheers, Abraham, B.S. (talk) 10:23, 29 October 2008 (UTC)

The fact remains that Upham has two VCs and not one. You have mentioned this too. The semantics are not important, as you say. Whether you call it a VC and bar or a double VC, it is the same. The problem is that the some people would be not familiar with the concept of a bar. Wallie (talk) 14:24, 30 October 2008 (UTC)
We're here to educate. He has one VC, and a bar, and doesn't have two medals. Like the majority of other people, I don't see any real necessity for the image to be in the infobox at all, and twice is just pointless and misleading. Best would be for some to go to the NZ Army Museum and get a photo of the complete medal set. David Underdown (talk) 15:00, 30 October 2008 (UTC)
I think a quite clear consensus for the removal of the images has been reached. Of the four people involved in this discussion, three are in favour of removal and there is no strong argument for the images staying. As such, I will remove the images within the next twenty-four hours if there is no strong objection. Cheers, Abraham, B.S. (talk) 05:06, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
I have now removed the VC images from the infobox. Cheers, Abraham, B.S. (talk) 06:33, 1 November 2008 (UTC)

Memorial Attendance[edit]

I doubt it was Bernard Freyberg who attended the memorial in 1995, as he died in the 60's, most likely it was Valerian Freyberg, 3rd Baron Freyberg. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 219.88.197.187 (talk) 01:15, 13 November 2008 (UTC)

Good point, the Times report simply said Lord and Lady Freyberg - I should have checked the dates, rather than assuming. Now corrected, thanks. David Underdown (talk) 09:19, 13 November 2008 (UTC)

Who owns the his medals?[edit]

There is a report in today's London Sunday Telegraph (mainly concerning the purchase by Lord Ashcroft of the VC & bar of Noel Chevasse) that the Imperial War Museum in London has purchased (reportedly for £1m) the medals of Charles Upham but due to export restrictions by the NZ g'ment they are on permament loan to the NZ Army museum... Anybody know the truth?

[[2]] —Preceding unsigned comment added by 217.155.44.8 (talk) 15:25, 22 November 2009 (UTC)

This is already in the article. Also see the minutes ofthe trustees of the IWM http://www.iwm.org.uk/upload/pdf/SumMinBoardTrustNov2006.pdf

Nearly three VCs[edit]

I see Mark of the Lion has been cited here and there - it's many years since I read my father's copy, but I recall that Upham's superiors were, in all seriousness, considering recommending him for a VC for the earlier action at Minqar Qaim as well as Ruweisat, but decided to roll Upham's deeds from the two actions into one since VC* was excessively rare without pushing for VC**. Worth mentioning? Captain Pedant (talk) 06:54, 5 June 2011 (UTC)

Displaying ribbons and medals in infobox[edit]

My recent edits adding graphical ribbons of the medals Upham was awarded have been reverted. Why can't these be added? As they convey more information to the reader. Also what dictates what medals can be displayed in the infobox? After I added his complete set of medals, that was reverted to what it currently shows which is only some of his medals. Rudolph89 (talk) 06:42, 6 July 2012 (UTC)

Adding pictures of the medals or ribbons adds little information about the person the article is about. An infobox is a summary of key information not a compete list of particulars. Campaign and service medals are not key information, every soldier in the Commonwealth got these. GraemeLeggett (talk) 12:47, 6 July 2012 (UTC)