20 August 2014

WW2 group of four medals

Another great story from Bill.

There are often times when Glyn and I are asked do we know where the medals have been. Often my answer is no. Sometime just finding the next of kin is enough. The WW2 medals of VX105924 (V125026) CorporalCharles Louis Apotheloz certainly fits this mold.
From Ian, Secretary of the Stratford RSL to Jude Beshears, the Office Manager of the Victorian Branch of the RSL is a short distance in time, what is longer though is from Charles’s death in 1965, or the death of his wife Gladys in 1968, to now. Where has his medals been all this time and how many hands have they passed through.
As I said at the introduction, sometimes we have to be satisfied that returning the medals is the best we can do. So shortly the medals will be returned to Ian, Charles’s nephew, and who it transpired when I contacted him, is the family historian. I recently told the team of the Australian Surname Group: “tonight I spent nearly an hour on the phone to Ian, slowly working my way through the family tree your input had help construct. Ian confirmed as I thought from his service file that Charlie had not had an easy life during his military service. He had been quite ill after the war and it was not until late in life that he married Gladys. Unfortunately they had no children”.
When I spoke to Ian tonight uppermost in my mind was to ensure that the family understood that if they (family) should accept custodianship of Charles medals, then it was beholden to them to not only care for the medals but ensure that an ongoing ownership of the medals was maintained. It is this last item, which both Glyn and I hold strong views about. You are never ‘given’ a serviceman’s medals, you only hold them in trust.

The returned medal tally is now 1523.  


  1. Some of the stories on this site bring tears to the eyes they are so moving
    What wonderful work you all do to return these medals to their respective families