A great story from Bill to take us to a significant milestone.
“In a rubbish tin” was Joseph’s comment when I contacted him in reply to his email to ANZAC House (Victorian RSL State Head Office) seeking help to return the WW1 medals of 1590 Private Charles Albert Northcote.
My immediate reaction was “another one”. Sometime in the future Glyn and I are going to stop and work out how many medals have come to us via rubbish and recycling bins, builder’s refuse skips or the local tip.
But finding a next of kin for Charles Northcote was my priority.
Building a family tree is at times a complicated and confusing task. Working my way through Charles’ family tree was a combination of both. His father died quite young and his mother remarried. Charlie had three siblings, only one of whom, his step sister Katherine, had a family.
Charlie married twice and had 3 children. Both his daughters married but did not have any children. It was through his step sister’s side of the family tree that I was able to locate his niece, Wendy now living in Tasmania. This, surprisingly, was where Charles lived after World War 1 before he moved his family to Melbourne.
All of this only emerged after a long and I must admit at times, a thoroughly boringly series of searches through Trove and the Electoral Rolls. Thankfully, I had the assistance of the Australian Genealogy Surnames Group. It is, I must admit, at times like these when researched data conflicts or where each avenue is a dead end, that the need for care and patience becomes paramount.
Tonight I spoke to Charlie’s niece Wendy, who is both proud and overjoyed to accept these medals.
Thanks go to Joseph who found the medal, his great niece Shirley and the team at Australian Genealogy Surnames Group, who provide the missing links which drew this search together.
The returned medal tally is now 1700. Interesting private naming on the 14/15 Star. It doesn't look to be renamed. Maybe Charlie received an un-named medal and rather than send it back for naming . He was definitely entitled to all these medals.