24 June 2011

Duplicate, Replacement and Replica Medals - Post Update

I've updated the post on duplicate, replacement and replica medals to include some photos of examples of medals marked 'D' for duplicate and to explain some recent policy changes for applying for replacement medals.

23 June 2011

Thomas Anglesey

A bit of luck and a calculated guess helped solve this search. The WA RSL sent me the WWII group of five medals awarded to WX9592 Thomas Anglesey but I kept running in to dead ends. There are only four soldiers with this surname on the WWII nominal roll so I followed a hunch that some might be related.
To my surprise I found that Thomas' service record had been digitised and was on the National Archives web site, here. This gave me his next of kin name and address. I noticed that the records to the other soldiers with the same surname were also digitised so I went through them and worked out that WX4158 David James Anglesey was Thomas' brother. From all this I was pretty sure that Thomas never married. However, I knew that David did marry.
I found David's funeral notice at this link which gave me his son's name, being Sam. I then took a punt based on names and geographic locations and ended up speaking to Sam's son. So the person I found is Thomas' great nephew.
The returned medal tally is now 933.

22 June 2011

Colin Ellis

I've had some medals come to me is a very ordinary condition but this pair is probably the worst I've seen. This contemporary pair of the Australian Service Medal and the Defence Force Service Medal were stolen from CPO Ellis and seem to have spent a lot of time in the elements to end up looking like they do.
The returned medal tally is now 928.

21 June 2011

Cyril Gersback

The search for the family of NX114985 Cyril Gersback has been a difficult one. I received the medals in 2006 and quickly found his date of birth and death but not much else. In different records his name is spelt a variety of ways which made the whole search very frustrating.
On a whim I searched for Cyril Gersbach and got a hit on the 2/15th Battalion news letter with the following report from Paul Bacon:
'Brett Lovett who is my nephew took part in his first Anzac Day march this year, and we were able to march
together in the ranks of Descendants WW2 and Post WW2. Brett marched for his great uncle Cyril Gersbach
who served in the 2/1st Militia battalion in New Guinea. Cyril is one my uncles and brother to Jack Gersbach
who served in the 2/15th.'
Soon after reading this I spoke to Paul and have arranged to return his uncle's medals to him in the near future.
This link is to company photo with Cyril.
Thanks to Ron of Revesby for sending these medals to me. The returned medal tally is now 926.

George Foster

This 1914-15 Star was awarded to 164 George Foster who served with the 2nd Battalion AIF. This unit was raised in late August 1914. George enlisted on which reflects his very low regimental number.
This search was finalised by Morris who tacked down the family in England.
The returned medal tally is now 922.

Leslie Castle

The low regimental number for 511 Leslie Raymond Castle indicates that he was an early enlistee to 19th Battalion, AIF. Leslie enlisted in February 1915 but the battalion was raised in NSW in March of that year as part of the expansion of the AIF.
This medal was sent to me by the Boulder RSL (thanks Darrel) and a well connected family history network put me in touch with Leslie's grand daughter. The returned medal tally is now 921.

20 June 2011

Post update

The post about the medals awarded to Frank Arbon has been updated.

18 June 2011

Evelyn Bessie Spradbery - searcing for the family

I've had an Imperial Service Medal awarded to Mrs Evelyn Bessie Spradbery for some time. Finding her family has evaded us, so Morris recently obtained her death certificate. What we know is she died on 28 Jul 91 at the Kendal Green Hospital, Kendal. Her husband's name was Reginald John Spradbery and they lived at 74 Hall Park, Burneside, Kendal, Cumbria, UK. Reginald died in 1996.
I'm hopeful that by putting all these details together in one post we might eventually get a hit from someone who is doing some research on this family.

13 June 2011

Lost medal returned by a different method

While my main focus is returning medals that have been found and then donated to me, I often get asked to look for medals that a family no longer has. I used to maintain a list of these medals on our website but this became very difficult to administer and distracted from the main purpose of Lost Medals Australia.
I still get many people ask me to look for medals so I keep their details in my records in case they ever come my way. However, the pages that we did publish with the looking for list are still cached on the web and people often come across them.
This happened recently when I was contacted by Mick of Brisbane who won a militaria lot at an auction and one of the items was the WWII War Medal awarded to QX42659 R Farley. When researching this name Mick got a hit on our website because Farley's son had contacted me in the past and his details were listed.
Mick has just let me know that he has been in contact with the Farley family and come to an arrangement to return the medal to them. Well done to Mick for seeing this through to the end. The returned medal tally is now 920.

09 June 2011

Frank Arbon

Two days ago I was contacted by WO1 Paul Herbig who had a set of WWII medals that had been found on Anzac Day 2010 at Circular Quay. Paul had used his network to search for the family of the veteran. One of his contacts pointed Paul in my direction and I'm very pleased to report that this afternoon I spoke to the son of WX3993 Frank Arbon who did misplace this medals.
Hopefully, I'll have some photos to add to this post in the future. Well done to Paul for persisting with his search to locate Frank's family.
The returned medal tally is now 919.

Update 20 June 2011
I received the following from WO1 Herbig today:

'I had the great pleasure today 20 Jun 2011 to hand back the medals  to their rightful owner - Roy Arbon.
Roy came to Randwick Barracks and was handed the medals by the member who actually found them and was then asked by the Mess members to stay for Morning Tea. This made the event a bit more formal and was well received by the members present, as well as Roy.'

This photos shows WO1 Dave Hutton, who found the medals, and WO1 Paul Herbig returning Frank Arbon's medals to his son Roy Arbon at the Randwick Barracks Sergeant's Mess.

05 June 2011

Henry Jackson

The medals awarded to NX174263 Henry Sydney Jackson are also in as issued condition. They are still wrapped in the original tissue paper they were issued in.
The medals are from the NSW RSL box and the returned medal tally is now 913.

Arthur Ross

The medals awarded to WX2741 Arthur Angus Ross were stolen on Christmas Day 1992 from his niece's residence where Arthur was living at the time. Since then they have been in the custody of the WA Police, the WA RSL and then sent to us.As can be seen in the photos the medals are in as issued condition and have never been mounted for wearing.
The returned medal tally is now 910.

Arthur Finch

This WWI Victory Medal was awarded to 3376 Arthur James Finch. This is what we know from the family: 

Arthur Finch was one of the many young men who established the ANZAC legend, and who always considered him self lucky, in having come through the War. This from a man who added 5 years to his age when claimed on enlistment that he was 21.
Was wounded twice, was critically ill with pneumonia, and contracting influenza in 1919 during the great European Pandemic.
On his discharge Arthur, ever the incurable optimist, claimed to have suffered no ill affects from his service. However, as his daughter Pauline commented, "he did slow down a bit as he got older"

Arthur was a member of the 45th Battalion, AIF.
This medals come from the NSW RSL box and take the returned medal tally to 905.


Joseph Hughes

The four WWI medals awarded to NX194200 Joseph Desmond Hughes are in as issued condition.
These are from the NSW RSL box and brings the returned medal tally to 904.

The 900th returned medal - Leslie Check

The Australia Service Medal 1939-1945 awarded to NX176364 Leslie Herbert Check is being returned to his daughter. Of note this medal is an official duplicate as donated by the 'D' after the name which can be seen in the pictures. Thanks go to Mike from the Byron Bay RSL Sub Branch for sending this medal to me.
The number of medals that have now been returned by Lost Medals Australia is 900.
Well done to all those who have assisted me. My thanks particularly goes to Bill for his tremendous efforts, especially while I was deployed.

Jack Donnelly

N210678 Jack Edward Donnelly's medals were sent to me by the NSW RSL. These will be retruned to his wife.
The medal returned tally is now 899.

Reginald Dickie

WX15244 Reginald McLaren Dickie's 1939-45 Star was sent to me by the WA RSL and will now be returned to Reginald's son. I find the naming on this medal interesting as the middle initial is given as 'McL' with a superscript c rather then just 'M'.
The returned medal tally is now 895.

04 June 2011

Ernest Phillips

NX6009 Ernest Lawrence Phillips was an early enlistee from NSW signing up on 3 Nov 39. The search for his family was rather complex and is best told using the Australian Surname Group thread.
We also know this from the family:

Ernest  who was captured in Crete, spent most of his 4 years as a POW working in the German Salt mines in Silesia.
As the POWs were being forced marched back into Germany to prevent them being liberated by the Russians, Ernest escaped. Ernest later said escaping saved his life as he doubted if he would have survived the march from Poland to Germany, a march that took place in the middle of winter.

These medals were sent to me from Frances of the Phoenix Society and the returned medal tally is now 894
The family have also been good enough to provide us with a photo of Ernest (on the right) with the notation on the back that it was taken while he was a POW.

John Cooke

NX32195 John William Cooke lived a life that made finding his family very difficult. He married young but the marriage didn't last. During WWII he was a POW at Changi and married again when he returned to Australia. Unfortunately, his second wife died in 1954. He married again to a widow who had several children of her own. John never fully recovered from his experiences in Changi and  was never able to eat a whole meal right up until his death.
These medals are from the NSW RSL box and the returned medal tally is now 889.

Post update

The following post has been updated:
Allan Barton

Bertram Houston

The search for the family of 3121 Bertram John Houston was quite difficult and stretched Bill's research skills. However, Bill persisted and has located Houston's nephew. The search was complicated by Houston's use of different names during his life. At various times he went by Bert, John or Bill. Houston served with the 16th Bn, AIF.
From the research it is apparent that after the war Houston and his family lost contact. From his service record we know that in 1955 he applied for a duplicated set of medals and at the time he was living in Innisfail, North Queensland. 
The British War Medal we are returning to the family is the original one awarded to Houston. Thanks to Brian for sending it to me in the first place. The returned medal tally is now 886.

Selwyn Ogg - 11th LHR

The Internet made the search for the family of 57257 Selwyn Robert Alexander Ogg reasonably easy. I came across a mention about him on a family history web site and was able to eventualy find the family through Face book.
Selwyn was a member of the 11th Light Horse Regiment which, as part of the 4th Light Horse Brigade, participated at the Charge of Beersheba. However, Selwyn didn't going the AIF until 11 April 1918 so did not participate in the charge.
His WWI service record shows that his only medal entitlement was the British War Medal which is pictured. Selwyn also served during WWII.
From the family I understand that Selwyn was married to Barbara and known as Uncle Buller. Selwyn and Barbara didn't have any children of their own.
This medal was sent to me by Daniel and takes the returned medal tally to 885.