The search for the family of 238 PTE David Fair started last Friday when I received an email from the NSW RSL. The email started as a request from the NSW Police Force to look for David's family after his medals, Silver War Badge and ID disc were found near Liverpool, NSW. What struck me immediately was that the medal group consisted of the BWM, the Victory Medal and the Croix de Guerre. This was quite unusual so I checked to see it this was actually awarded to David.
As I was checking on my iPhone, I found it easier to look at the basic details on the AIF Data Base rather than the NAA web site. From the AIF page I could confirm that this medal was indeed awarded to David and this is the citation:
'During the Battle of MESSINES Corporal FAIR commanded a Lewis Gun
Section on the right flank of the whole attack: immediately the mine was
exploded he rushed forward and occupied the crater. Although subjected
to very heavy artillery and machine gun fire and although all but one
man in his section became casualties he kept his gun in action
throughout the operations and did most excellent work.'
These links give details of David's unit, the 33rd Battalion, AIF and the Battle of Messines.
With David Fair's details confirmed, I traced him and his family through Ancestry. David was a farmer and I could see that his son farmed the same property after David died. On a hunch I had a look in the White Pages and saw that property was still listed as having a member of the Fair family living there. However, I also noticed that the son was living in a town near by. I then provided this information to the Police Officer who made the initial enquiry. Arrangements are now being made to return the medals to David's son.
The returned medal tally is now 1187.