14 September 2008

400th medals returned

Lost Medals Australia has reached a significant mile stone. This week I returned the 400th medal to a veteran or a member of their family.
This return was of the WWII war medal awarded to NX84054 Jack Rogers. His grand daughter contacted me after stumbling across his name which I had posted on the web.
I am very excited about this particular return.

13 September 2008

Another world wide search

Earlier this year I received a WWII group of four medals awarded to John McCallum, RN. They came in their box of issue and the sailor's name and address was on the box. Since British WWII medals were not engraved the name and postal address were the only clue.
I tracked down a relative who is unfortunately deceased but his son is a well know actor who currently resides in the US. So I wrote to him and I have received a positive reply. I'll forward the medals to him in the near future.
The trail for this group is as follows. A British serviceman's medals were sent to me in Australia. The closest relative I can find is in the US and there are still family in Scotland.
This brings the returned medal count to 399.

13 July 2008

Lost Medals Australia goes global

This story is one of a world wide search. The soldier at the center of this search was John Wellesley Flood. Flood served as a Medical Officer with the Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force.
The request for Lost Medals Australia assistance came from Bob D who lives in Portsmouth, Virginia, USA. Flood's BWM had come in to Bob's Grand Father's possession when he won it in a Poker game. The family kept the medal until Bob contacted us. The search turned out to be very involved and Bill had to recruit authors, web site owners and an assortment of other contacts to eventually locate a nephew of Flood's wife Rose, Richard. As it turns out Richard lives in France. So a BWM issued to an Australian Doctor ends up in the USA and is returned to a family member in France.

11 June 2008

A long search has now ended

One medal that has haunted me for some time has been the BWM awarded to 1856 PTE James Barrington -Kersland, Camel Corps. B-K intrigued me because of his service during WWI and WWII, his life as a journalist and some of the correspondence that is in his service record. The medal itself was also interesting because a medal to a Camel Corps member is pretty rare. I also know it's value and I've had several offers to buy it off me.
I had come to a dead end some time ago and the leads ran out at the Fawkner Cemetery in Melbourne. I went as far as to visit the grave site of B-K and his wife Lizzie in the hope that there was a grave stone that might give a clue to other family members. Unfortunately, the grave sites are bare plots with only the plot number visible after some cleaning. I was even tempted to bury the medal at the plot.
Once again Bill has come through with the contact details for a family member. This brings the medals returned count to 386.

24 May 2008

WWII RAN group on the way home

I received this group of six awarded to 22085 John Stanley Irving, RAN last year and we have been chipping away at the research. Bill recently put all the clues of a very complicated search together and located relatives in NSW. I'll be sending the medals back to then in the near future. The returned medal count is now 384.


A couple of posts down I have shown the Dodds medal that arrived recently. The medal is in pretty poor condition but there is enough information visible on the rim to identify the soldier. I'm happy to report that the family have been located and the medal is on the way home. This brings the medal count to 378.
Before this blog was established I located the son of PTE Kelwyn Egan and sent a Vietnam War pair to him. Yesterday I received this photo of Kelwyn being reunited with his medal. Also pictured is his son Kelly.

WWII group of 5 returned

Earlier this year Bill received a group of 5 WWII medals awarded to VX 23560 George Frederick Oldham. George was a POW and died on the Burma-Siam Railroad. These pictures are of the the medals and George's niece and nephew. The family are very grateful to get these medals back and are also quite emotional.

19 May 2008

Another surprise arrived in the mail today

Today I received the Long Service and Good Conduct (Military) Medal with clasp Australia. It is the first one I've come across and this one was awarded to 1699 WOII Robert Balfour Anderson. Anderson was in the Australian Instructional Corps. He was given permission to serve in the AIF in 1918 and enlisted as 60636 SGT R.B. Anderson 7 Bn, AIF. I'm not sure what happened in the inter war years however, during WWII he again enlisted, this time as VX10141 WOI R.B. Anderson . The only lead I have is that he enlisted for WWI in Ararat in Victoria. I have a reference that indicates that only 288 of these medals were issued. Also in package was Anderson's BWM.

Another WWI pair is on the way home

In 2003 the QLD RSL forwarded to me a WWI pair awarded to 11204 SGT John Gordon Harris. The medal indicates he was in the Divisional Supply Column however, his service record says Div Motor Transport Company. This pair makes 379 medals that have been returned. Pictures of the rims are below. Also the Lost Medals Australia web site has recently been updated.

15 May 2008

It always amazes me what turns up in the mail

Yesterday a medal arrived in the mail that has had a real hard life. It was provided by a gent who has had it for many years. I have previously done some research for him which saw a medal returned to a veteran, so now it is time to look into this one.
The medal, a BWM, has several large dings where it has been dropped and it has lost its suspender. Even worse, it is obvious that at some point someone has tried to remove the name. There are flat spots on the rim and at several points the details are almost gone. Luckily there are enough details to identify the soldier as 2629 Errol Wilson Dobbs .

11 May 2008

WWI medals to brothers

For some time I've been researching the BWM and Victory Medals awarded to 3808 PTE John Peel and 3452 PTE Robert Peel, both who served in 1st Bn, AIF. Once again again Bill joined all the dots and we have now located the great nephew of the Peel brothers. The medals will be returned to the family in the near future. This photo shows the rim of all four medals named to the Peel brothers. The medals returned count now stands at 376.

16 April 2008

This time it's a dog tag

Over the years I've been sent several dog tags that people would like returned. Today Bill tracked down the Great Great Nephew of 3625 John Alfred Nelson who was KIA on 17 Aug 1916. I'll put this dog tag in the mail tomorrow and it should be back with the family by Anzac Day.

10 April 2008

Three more medals are going home

I have had a hectic couple of days at Lost Medals Australia. Here are photos and short stories of the three medals that are on their way home.
The first medal arrived in the post yesterday afternoon. It is a WWI Victory Medal awarded to 52650 A-CPL John Munt, 11th LH. The sure name is unusual and there were clues about his children in the service record. This provided more leads on the Internet and following an educated guess I phoned Munt's grand daughter. The total time it took me to locate the family was about 15 hours.

The second medal that is going home this week is also a WWI Victory Medal. This one was awarded to 36526 Dvr R.G. Maiden, AFA. I've had this one for some time and it medal has seen better days. This return is a direct result of the family searching the family history and coming across a listing on the main web site.

The final medal in this lot is a WWI BWM that was awarded to 3620 PTE Thomas Essam, 47th Bn, AIF. This medal has had a hard life and the first letter of the surname is almost worn off the rim.

The total number of returned medals now stands at 371.

05 April 2008

Four more medals are about to be returned

It has been a quite month for Lost Medals Australia however, in the last few days we have located four families and I'll be sending their medals to them in the near future.
The first medal is a Royal Navy Reserve Long Service and Good Conduct Medal awarded to B1940 AB Ernest Victor Greenhalgh, RNVR. Greenhalgh's grand daughter contacted me having come across his entry on the main website.

The second medal is a WWI Victory Medal awarded to 2729 Roy Condon Bird who served with 14th LHR and the Camel Corps. I would like to thank Luke Keioskie of the The Coffs Coast Advocate who took a letter to the editor that I wrote and turned it into a story. As a result Bird's grandson contacted me.

The third medal is British War Medal awarded to 5763 PTE Leo Campbell Dempsey, 14Bn, AIF. Bill did a great job locating Leo's nephew also named Leo.

The final medal in this round is another British War Medal, this on the 3099 PTE George Grace, 20 Bn, AIF. Once again Bill joined all the dots on this on to locate the family.

03 March 2008

Another unusual return

As I have discussed in the 'unusual requests' post I get get asked to research items other than medals. One such item was a WWI wounded in action certificate. Once again Bill came through with the goods and located the family. The certificate pictured was presented to 2530A PTE M. A . Baxter . It is in wonderful condition with only minor water stains and age marks. I hope you enjoy looking at this certificate.

24 February 2008

10 more medals on the way home

Thanks once again to Bill's research skills, we are now about to return another 10 medals to the families of Australian serviceman. This week will see the return of the Patience, Abbott, Russell and Gibbs medals. That will take the medals returned count to 361. Some photos are below.
When I retrieved the Patience medal from storage I noted that it wasn't as bright and shinny as other WWII medals. When I checked my notes I remembered that this medal was one of several that had been handed in to a RSL in NSW and then forwarded to me. The RSL suspected that the these medals were the proceeds of some robberies. Once I looked at them all I noted that some of the medals had the details on the rim removed. Now having a closer look at the Patience medal I suspect that it has been dipped in some form of corrosive with the intent of removing the name. The photos below show how the features of the obverse and reverse are not very distinct. There is also an unusual pitting on the surface.

39/45 Star of

Three WWII medals
awarded to

War Medal awarded to
Note the pitting on
the surface of the

15 February 2008

Seven medals returned this week

We have had a real purple patch in the last few days. Bill has done the majority of the work and deserves the credit. We have now resolved the Flynn, Holloway and Beck searches. Below are photos of some of these medals.

WWII group to
James Beck

WWII War Medal to
Neville Flynn

13 February 2008

Web site update

Hi, Scott just updated the Lost Medals Australia web site. This update includes some great details and a photo of LT K.A. McLeod. McLeod was in the second in take of RMC, Duntroon. His Corps of Staff Cadets number was 55. He, along with his class mates, graduated early to go to WWI. LT McLeod was killied at Gallipoli on 3 May 1915.

12 February 2008

A low number and it's going home

A few posts down I listed some medals awarded to early enlistees of units. I had a picture of a BWM to 62 A/CPL R Collins, 42 Bn AIF. The medal is darker than usual and I found that the photo didn't come out to well on the web so I decided not to display it.
Well today I located the family so it is time to rephoto it and use another angle. Some of my friends on the British Medal Forum have displayed some very good photos of medal rims so I'm trying to emulate their efforts. I haven't quite cracked it.
Robert Collins was originally from Blackall in Queensland and I've located his niece who lives in Longreach.

10 February 2008

Another medal goes home

One medal that I've had for some time that has intrigued me was the BWM to 23 SGT Alfred Keith Button, 2 Mobile Veterinary Section. It intrigued me due to the low number and the unusual unit. Indeed, I even focused on this medal in an earlier post. As I was researching the soldier I found that his brother was in the same unit with the regimental number of 25.
Once again Bill did the majority of the work and located Button's daughter, Wendy, who lives in Canberra. This occurred a fortnight ago and it just happened that I was traveling to Canberra for work last week. So I took the opportunity to call on Wendy and return her father's medal. I had a wonderful couple of hours with Wendy. I must say she is very savvy when it comes to technology and we spent a bit of time accessing Button's service record and searching around other websites. I don't usually meet the people I return medals to so when I do it is pretty special.
Here is a photo of Wendy and the rim of Button's BWM.