17 June 2012

Douglas Welsh - 1914 Trio and 2 MID

In October 2010 I posted a story about the NSW RSL box. We have progressively worked our way through it and there is only a small proportion of the original 181 medals left to return. Every so often Bill and I go back over those remaining and see if there is any new information available.
One of the groups that surprised me when the box arrived was a WWI trio comprising of the 1914 Star (rather than the 1914-15 Star), the Victory Medal, the British War Medal and two Mentioned in Dispatches (MID) emblems. I quickly established that the medals were awarded to 2326 PTE Douglas Welsh who initially served with the Royal Highlanders before transferring to the Machine Gun Corps (number 22173). Through some research assistance from the British Medal Forum we located the London Gazette entires for both MID. I was also pointed towards Douglas' pension papers which were available on Ancestry. The pension papers gave me Douglas' father's name and his address in 1919.
An internet search threw up a rather interesting piece of information about this family. Around 1910 a meteorite fragment landed on the farm where Douglas and his parents lived. The impact was witnessed by his mother. The story is at this link. Even more interesting is a photo of Mrs Welsh looking at the impact site.

Source: http://www.meteoritehistory.info/UKIRELAND/STR9.JPG

I then ran in to the usual brick walls. That was until last Tuesday when Bill sent me an email asking what information I had on Douglas. I did a quick check of Ancestry and stumbled across a very comprehensive  family tree with the whole family. Douglas had seven siblings including Thomas who was killed in action on 5 November 1914. All this information has been added since I first looked in to Douglas so it pays to revisit our research every now and then.
This is a photo of Thomas.

These are Douglas' medals, a photo of him as a school boy and then later in life with some family members.

Thank you to Moira for allowing me to use the family photos and as mentioned these medals came to me from the NSW RSL.The returned medal tally is now 1161.

Post update - 7 Jul 12
Today I received another wonderful photo from Moira of three of the eight Welsh children. This shows, from the left - Douglas, David and Patrick.

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