Yesterday I was visited by two wonderful friends, Karen and Steve Betterton. Over coffee Karen dived in to her bag and retrieved a WWI British War Medal. It had been found amongst her families possessions but the soldier was not a relative. The medal was awarded to 2215 PTE Thomas Horace Victor Wingrave who served with 18th Battalion, AIF.
Thomas was about 30 when he enlisted and with such a distinctive name I thought he would be easy to follow. Using the electoral rolls I could follow him from Victoria in 1909 to Queensland in 1913, back to Victoria after the War and final to NSW where he died in 1942. The information was a bit thin but it was more the story it didn't tell which helped me make some assumptions. Based on the lack of any evidence I assumed that Thomas didn't marry or have children.
I then went back to the WWI service records and using Thomas' birth place as a start point I was able to connect him with 4525 PTE Wisdom Herbet Wingrave. This then lead me to LT Frederick John Wingrave, Wisdom's son. Frederick served with 2nd Pioneer Battalion, AIF and there is a picture at this link of the battalion's officers. Frederick is in the back row, third from the right.
By using all these names I was able to locate a family tree on Ancestry.com.au. I fired off a message earlier this afternoon to the tree owner and I've since heard back from Joan who is Thomas' great niece. Joan tells me she met Thomas when she was young and was able to confirm that he didn't marry.
Thanks to Karen how gave me the medal.
The returned medal tally is now 1395.