A double success story from Bill.
As I sat down to write this story I almost felt like just saying; ‘here is a list and they are home’. But to do so would be to deny the magnificent input that we receive from the Australian Genealogical Surname Group (AGSG), who pieced together a chain what at first appeared to be random links.
The story of the return of the medals of WR/1757 Writer Mary Ursula Blyth started with a phone call from the Victorian Police. Mary’s medals had been found in a street in Broadmeadows and had been handed.
Shayne from the Victorian Police said to me when we spoke, ‘have chased everywhere, I know her name, date of birth, where she was born, but nothing else, my resources ran out. Can you help?’ And so my search began.
As I worked through the search I started to quickly get a good idea of why Shayne had run out of clues (that’s a pun Glyn).
It was here that Trove and its record of Victorian Newspapers gave me the first link to Mary, it was her Marriage to Max. Then, the same as for Shayne, all avenues dried up. It was here that I then turned to the AGSG.
In short order through the skills of Liz, Kerrie and Jenn I had, not only had the birth and name of a child, but also everywhere Mary and Max had lived from their marriage up until just before their deaths.
Then came the easy part, or so I thought. A wander down to the Electoral Office and look up the son. No problem, right? The problem came when I could not find a phone number for Garth (the son), it turned out later that he, like so many others, have forsaken landlines for mobiles.
It then became a serendipity search through the Internet, mixing parts of Garth’s name and the address that I discovered in the Electoral Rolls. I then got lucky and could call Garth.
While in many ways this has been a pretty straightforward search that led to a successful conclusion, what I could not answer for Garth was what were his mother’s medals doing in Broadmeadows. From his knowledge, no one in the family had ever lived in that area. Another question that will probably never be answered is where they have been since 1994 when his Mary passed away. I cannot also answer the question about where his father Max’s medals are which disappeared at or about the same time. The other thing that caught my eye was the almost perfect condition of the medals.
Regular visitors to this site will be by now will be used to the opening introduction that Glyn and I have to fall back on, namely: ‘As the medals form part of an ongoing investigation we have been requested to not publish any of the details concerning the search’.
The medals of VX96446 Private Kevin Victor James Tonge, fall into this category, all I can say is that after an incredible search that started in June 2016, Kevin’s medals are home with his daughter.
The returned medal tally is now 2124.