In continuing with our relationship with the RSL State Branches and Sub Branches this is a story that Bill recently sent to me. The medals to
'There are a great deal of similarities in our searches, similarities that never arise until the search is over, such was the case in the search for the next of kin of Robert MATHER and Harold BURKITT, where both sets of medals came from a Bayside RSL, after being handed in by the widow of a past member. The story being that her husband had bought the medals while they were on holidays 10 or so years ago, with the intent of returning them, but had never been able to.
It is sufficient to say at this time the medals have been returned, however what is amazing is the similarities between both searches.
Both sets were bought from the same shop, in the Western Districts of Victoria, the shop owners professing at the time to know nothing about the original recipients nor the person who had sold them the medals.
Both sets of medal went back to respective sons, both of whom told the same story, that it was not until after the passing of their mothers that the issue of "where's Dad's medals" arose, a question that was in part answered by the searches; searches that crossed over a retirement village. But that in reality a question that was never fully answered either to their satisfaction or I must admit mine.
Today both sets are back with their families, Robert's three and Harold's four, in the case of Harold's after a family discussion they now reside with his eldest son and his medals, but most importantly both families now know where they are and how tenuous the link between having medal in a family and then finding they have 'disappeared can be.'
Bill's dedicated work now takes the returned medal tally to 833.