He had been given the medal from a 'tin' of his father's, along with the usual collection of badges, buttons etc. Its background was that his dad had found it at the local tip, (tip scrounging was a favourite pastime of children and it didn’t cost anything) but what is even more remarkable is that the tip has been closed in 1980, but Jim's father had found the medal, back before WW2.
Douglas McLean’s story is like that of so many veterans from the first world war. Douglas's marriage did not last, following the breakup of the marriage, he moved to NSW where he worked for the NSW Government Railways.
When WW2 started he enlisted, but shortly thereafter he was discharged as medically unfit. Not to be outdone he returned to Victoria and enlisted again, figuring that if they did not want cooks, the occupation that he put on his forms in NSW, then he would promote himself to a Golfing Instructor. It was with this trade that he found himself guarding the POW camp at Tatura, Victoria.
The Army in NSW had been right, Douglas was not a healthy man, the effects of his Gun Shot Wound from WW1, finally caught up with him and he died of heart failure in December 1941. He was laid to rest in the Tatura Military Cemetery.
From the Australian Surname Group's postings I found that his son Donald Cleveland McNeil had served in the RAAF during WW2. He had been named after Douglas' brother. Donald (number 1) was a POW of the German's during WW1. He contracted influenza and died shortly after being liberation.
With all these postings, information from the State Library and a very helpful young lady at a funeral home, I followed the path to Robin, the granddaughter of Douglas. Dawn, the wife of his son Donald, I found out is still alive. Although her memory is a little dim with the time, she still remembers some of the past. She currently lives with her daughter Robin and her husband who care for her.
Currently I am awaiting a photo of the medal from Jim, which I will post along with the result of the claim for Douglas’s WW2 service.