We were recently contacted by Andy P of Bonnyrig Heights, NSW who had the WWI Victory Medal awarded to 4212 Robert Henry Haskett who served with 5th Battalion, AIF. Robert was wounded in action in France and I'm intrigued at his occupation on enlistment which is given as Boot Clicker. Bill and I chipped away to put the pieces together in the search for Robert’s family. Bill resolved the search today and below is the story. The returned medal tally is now 1318.
Amongst the odd places in which medals turn up we now have recorded our first ‘found in a bag of old coins’. In many ways the search for Robert’s next of kin, has been relatively straight forwarded, if a bit slow.
From a death notice in the Argus for Robert’s father, which gave us the names of his three children, to a long search via Trove and the NSWBDM’s that led us to Robert’s daughter, Patricia, but more importantly, her married name. The Ryerson Index then gave us her date of death and pointed us at her death notice.
It was then just a simple process of contacting the funeral directors, then the Cemetery Manager who in turn, obliged us by contacting Robert’s grandson, Kevin.
Now the remaining questions, for which there are no prizes for answering.
How long was the medal in the bag? is question that the family who discovered it cannot say. Neither can they say who may have put it there. Nor is there an answer to the last two questions. How did it get to Sydney when Robert lived in Victoria for his whole life, and where is his British War Medal?
I stopped guessing after I passed Kevin’s details to Glyn.
Thank you to Andy who forwarded us the medal and his sister whose children found it.
Also thanks to Jan who took the step of contacting Kevin on our behalf.
As the pictures show this medal has had a very hard life.