This is a really great story from Bill.
When I returned the Victory Medal awarded to 3424 PTE D M J McNeil to his granddaughter, Robin, she mentioned that her family also had a medal that they had been trying to return to the recipient’s family. Would I like to take it and see if I could do just that?
So from one successful conclusion a new search started.
The search for the family of 12381 PTE Edward Aloysius Power owes much of it conclusion to the team at the Australian Surname Group.
Following his brother Cyril into the Army, Edward served in both France and Belgium. However in the case of both brothers document sources dried up. While he came from a large family, none of Edward’s brothers married, well we (the team) could find no record of any of them ever marrying. But his sisters did. This in itself was a further frustration, it meant that in one generation all of Edwards possible next of kin had a different surname.
Edward didn’t help matters either deciding at some time in his life he didn’t like the name Aloysius so he changed it to Arthur. Effectively he disappeared for several years as he exited from a series of the Electoral Roll as Aloysius only to re-appear several years later as Arthur.
It was not until ‘Jenn’ picked up on an obscure link that we were able to find the rest of the family. However, with none of the males marrying, it was left for us to look to Edward’s sisters.
One of whom, Tertia, trained with Dame Nellie Melba, embarking on a brilliant worldwide career as a soprano. In fact there is a recording of her on YouTube.
It was through a great piecing together of a long list of somewhat disjointed facts that we were able to finally locate a living descendant. That is not where our story ends. It was to have a second ending, next it was time for the family to discuss the matter and decide who amongst the surviving family should accept it on behalf of the family and hold it in trust for the next generation. It was Joan, daughter of Edward's eldest sister Patricia, who the family selected.. Nearing 90, Joan still has a crystal clear memory of Edward, his brothers, and the whole Power family for that matter.
The returned medal tally is now 1612.