14 November 2009

WWI RAN medal

The majority of medals I deal with are those awarded to WWI AIF soldiers. Every now and then something extraordinary comes my way. This week I received the 1914-15 Star awarded to ON2725 ORD SEA Sydney George Burley. The service record details are a lot less than what is available for a soldier but there was enough detail to work out movements around Australia. The next lead I followed was to Burley's son also named Sydney George Burley who served during WWII. Then the trail ran cold.
It was time for the experts to step in and Bill and the Yuki ladies put it all together. From initial contact by the person who donated the medal to me until we contacted the family was two weeks (thank you ladies). The story of Sydney and his medals is full of gaps. It was found in the possession of a chap who died last year, why he had it or how he came by it is anyone's guess. How it left the Burley family is also a mystery. None of that really matters now as I'll be returning the medal to Burley's great grandson who is a serving member of the Australian Army so I know it will be in very good hands.
The medal returned tally is now 562.

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