01 September 2016

John Maloney

A wonderful story from Bill.

For me the first challenge in finding the family of John Patrick Maloney was in trying to decide who had John’s right date of death; War Graves in Canberra or The Age Newspaper, or did I have two people. Then it became a simple course, well not exactly simple, of trying to build a matrix of John and his family around time and space. This was complicated by matching an ex-soldier who marched with his veteran mates in Adelaide, who died in Melbourne, but whose family lived in NSW.
The search for the next of kin of Private John Patrick Maloney began with a phone call from Senior Sergeant Les Nugent of the NSW Police, and at this point I will stop and let Les tell the story.

Thank you for assisting in returning the medals of John Patrick Moloney, VX54091 to his family.
I purchased them on Sunday 28th August 2016 at the Chiltern VIC, Antique Fair.
On seeing them in the display case I knew that they had to be returned to the rightful owners.
I believe I got a message from an 'old digger' that this was what he wanted and it was my privilege and pleasure to ensure that his wish came to fruition.
I was also privileged when I looked up his service record and read his service to Australia in both the Middle East and New Guinea.
His service record has him attached to the 2/7th and he saw service in the Middle East and later in New Guinea.
I believe he would have had medals also for the Middle East Campaign, however only the one set were on display.
I will make inquiries with the Antique Firm to see if they can supply the history on how the medals came into their possession and I will pass this onto his relatives, as well as sending them a Photostat copy of his service record.

This morning I received a reply from Les to my question did he mind if I included his name in our story, his reply came as I expected:

“…..yes you have my permission, I am sure someone else will do the same.
I spoke to Kathleen last night and will post the medals by certified post to her later today.
Hearing her story as a legatee and of her dad and mums service, and the service she herself has done for the county showed me that the medals are going home where they belong.
I sent her a letter also and a few lines from that wonderful song 'Spring 1919'
It was my pleasure and I know that it would have been a long haul to locate Kathleen without your help”.

Les welcome to that select group of people that Glyn and I have had the privilege of working with over the years. People, who have seen medals, sometimes often left as ‘junk’, and listened as you did and thought “they deserve better” and have acted. I am proud to have been able to help.

For those of you who follow our Blog, you will have noticed that John’s Africa Star is missing from his medal bar. In the next few weeks it will be one of my duties to help Kathleen find out if her father ever received that medal, and if not then apply for it.


The returned medal tally is now 1908.

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