28 January 2012

Honours List

I have received many emails, phone calls and messages of congratulations following the announcement of Australia Day Honours List. Thank you all very much.
One of the comments on the initial blog entry requested a picture of the medal. Below is the Medal of the Order of Australia and then a picture of my ribbon bar as it now looks. I should receive the medal at an investiture in March or April and I'll post more pictures then.
Thank you all once again.

War medal to Robert Stein

Quite often we contact a family who don't realise that a close relative was awarded medals and that they have been lost. That is the case with the 39-45 War Medal awarded to VX127540 Robert Stein. It is probably a whole lot easier to tell the story through Bill's thread about this search on the Australian Surname Group.

The returned medal tally is now 1063.

27 January 2012

Australia Day 2012

Yesterday, I was very honoured to be recognised in the Australia Day Awards with the Medal of the Order of Australia. The award was made for services to veterans and their families and I feel rather humble that what I do is worthy of national recognition.
I would not have been able to achieve the success I have without the assistance of many others. My research team work tirelessly searching through records, both physically and on line, to locate the family of the service men we are looking for.
Bill, Morris, Alex, Tim and Nicole have my eternal gratitude for their continued unselfish research efforts.
Scott continues to be my man in Queensland and our website would not exist without him.
The internet remains the medium through which most of our research is done. While there is a lot of information available it is not always readily to hand. We are very lucky to be associated with the Australian Surname Group which is made up of members with an extraordinary ability to find that vital bit of information that helps us solve so many cases. Thank you doesn't seem to say enough for the assistance that the Yuku team provides us.
In the background I have a wonderful group of friends who I first met through the Australian Light Horse forum. This gang is the most supportive and riotously fun group I know. They made my early research possible and today remain the closest of friends.
Then, of course , there is Anna, Grace and Rhys who put up with everything.
Thank you to everyone.

18 January 2012

Norman Brown - WWII War Medal and Civilain Service Medal

This is an unusual WWII group awarded to NX52688 Norman Brown. The group consists of the WWII War Medal and the Civilian Service Medal. This is the first of these medals that has come to Lost Medals Australia and while not rare there was only 6711 of these medals issued. By reading the Australian Surname Group thread about this search you will get an idea how complicated it was.
This medal will be returned to Norman's son and is from the NSW box. The medal returned tally is now 1062.

13 January 2012

John Clark - WWII Defence Medal

This return is very satisfying. The medal is just a single of a larger group, it is the Defence Medal which was awarded to most who served in WWII and there is really nothing special about it. However, it is all the minor things that make it special.
Most medals we return are to an infantryman and usually an other rank. This Defence Medal was awarded to NX57693 John Clark who was a Lieutenant and served with 112 Australian Light Anti Aircraft Regimental Workshop Section. This unit was responsible for maintaining and repairing the anti aircraft weapons used to defence against attack from the air.
Most importantly, this medal is being returned to John's daughter who we know is very emotional about getting this medal back.
This medal is from the NSW box and the returned medal tally is now 1060.

06 January 2012

Harold Claydon - British War Medal

In a post earlier this week I showed a picture of a British War Medal awarded to a RAN sailor with the rank of Boy 1 Class. That particular medal was awarded to 6252 Harold Francis Samuel Claydon RAN.
I managed to follow Harold through his life by using the archives and newspaper articles. However, I lost all leads following Harold's death in 1969. We then asked Yuku to see what they could find and we were soon provided with a photo of Harold's wife's memorial plaque which gave us his children's names. This in turn led to a series of phone calls that ended with me making contact with Harold's daughter Jill this afternoon.
The story is even more complete as I know how the medal was lost and when it was found. Seventy years ago the medal was found in Casino, NSW, following an Anzac Day parade. As can be seen in the picture the medal is broken from the suspender which shows how it fell off the ribbon. The same family held on to the medal until it was sent to me in November 2011. Thanks to Ron S for taking the first step to seeing the medal returned.
The returned medal tally is now 1059.

04 January 2012

Korean War pair to Able Seaman Daniel Albert Walsh RAN

Last October I briefly reported on several cases that Bill had successful resolved. One of the most difficult was locating the family of R38893 Able Seaman Daniel Albert Walsh. This particular case came to a conclusion when Bill personally returned Daniel's medals to his widow. The full story was reported in the Maribyrnong Weekly newspaper. We have also been kindly provided a copy by Leader Press which is reproduced below.
(Click on the photo for a larger view)

03 January 2012

Leslie Kairau RNZIR Vietnam War pair - update

Last December I wrote about a Vietnam War pair that was being returned to the wife of the veteran. Here is the story. Today I received a lovely letter from Leslie Kairau's widow letting me know that the medals arrived safely.
Mrs Kairau was also able to explain how the medals became lost. They were borrowed by a friend for a parade and remained in his safe keeping. He subsequently moved to Australia and through a set of circumstances the medal were eventually sold. Once Les found out about this he applied for and received official replacement medals and an additional two medals that he was entitled to. Now his family has the original medals back.