23 November 2016

V G 'George' Dougherty

Another two medals that Barry sent me along with the Doran pair are the British War Medal and Victory Medal awarded to 6080 ER-SGT Virgil 'George' Gladstone Dougherty. This search was completed with in 24 hours of me receiving the medals while the Doran search took 18 hour - thank you Internet.
George was a widower when he enlisted for WWI. His eldest, Emily. was listed as his next of kin. George married a second time and had another daughter who died as an infant. I then went back to and researched Emily who married Henry Colin Gadd and it is this family who I tracked down tonight.
As part of my search I also found a picture of George which was published in 1916.
The returned medal tally is now 1981.

Edgar Winslow

I've mentioned my friend Catherine Hindson in several posts and this is another occasion where our paths come together again.
Catherine contacted me recently about some medals a friend of hers had. One of the medals, a BWM, was awarded to 3128 Edgar Wade Winslow. Winslow was easy to follow through the electoral rolls. I had the name of his daughter which was Olwyn and that of her daughter Judith. Then the trail ran cold.
Searching further afield I found a family tree which included all these names so I contacted the tree owner and they are all related. I'll send the medal back to this family shortly.
Thank you Catherine and Yvonne for sending the medal to me.
The returned medal tally is now 1979.

Jim Peake - part 2

I first published this story about Jim Peake in Feb 2015. There were several coincidence involved in the original return and I didn't think there would be any additional information. That assumption was turned on its head recently when I received a message from former soldier Russ Constable who had come across one of Jim's WWII dog tags while metal detecting at Lake Tinaroo in FNQ.
Russ tells me that this area of Queensland was used for training prior to the troops going off to the Pacific. Later the area was flooded when the Tinaroo Dam was built. However, recent drought conditions has caused the water levels to drop exposing parts of the lake floor for the first time in years. Russ got to work detecting this location and has found several items including the dog tag.
You can imagine Russ' surprise when he started researching Jim and came across my story. A letter from Russ arrived today and I'll forward everything on to Jim's nephew Bill.
The returned medal tally is now 1978.

2LT Victor Doran

When I discover that a solider I'm researching was killed in action there is always a feeling of sadness. This particular story took on another dimension when I realised that two sons from this family died within months of each other.
Victor Frederick Doran enlisted in 1915 and proceeded with 16th Battalion to Gallipoli. He was later selected for officer training and commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant. He rejoined his battalion in April 1917 and then was killed in action on 11 June 1917 at Messines.
On the front page of Victor's service record I saw a note about 3101 Albert Phillip Doran so I had a look at his record. Albert was KIA on 20 October 1917. Both of the brother's records have copies of correspondence from their father trying to get more information or establish the whereabouts of their belongings. It is impossible to imagine what their mother went through having lost both her sons. It is probably not surprising that both soldier's memorial plaques have been attached to their parents headstone.
Although this family originally came from Echua they moved to WA where the Doran brother enlisted. At some point in the 1920s the parents must have moved back to Victoria. The medals were sent to me by Barry who runs a medal mounting business in WA. Barry had been given the medals by a client who hadn't realised that this group and another weren't awarded to relatives.
The returned medal tally is now 1977.

I have very kindly been provided a photo of a plaque that was placed in memory of the Doran brothers and a news paper article about it.

Edward's medals found in a storage unit

This story from Bill shows the measures we will go to in a search for a family.

By now those who read this blog will be aware medals come from many sources, some with stories come with stories which only become fully known when we find the family.
Edward’s medals came from a storage company, where they had been carefully filed away since the storage unit was opened for non-payment of his account. Unfortunately, when Edward died in 2006, he had never bothered to nominate a seconder should anything happen to him. While the contents were sold to cover Edward’s outstanding account, his medals were put aside, in the hope that someday, somehow they could be returned to his family. This didn't occur and I found myself being presented with the medals in February of this year.
As you can see, the medals were originally set up for being placed in a display case. Unfortunately the case was, I believed, dropped, the glass broken and the medals then transferred to an envelope.
Edward had two sisters and five brothers and it was only through a slow and painstaking search that we were able to locate Margaret the daughter of his eldest brother Thomas. It was the team at the Australian Surname Group that gave me Margaret’s address from 2000. However by 2008 she no longer appeared under her maiden name on the Electoral Rolls. Which if she had married in this time would be the case.
In desperation, four weeks ago I went walking, starting with Margaret’s last address where the current occupants had no knowledge of her. Finally I got lucky, one of the occupants had move into the street just before Margaret moved on. While she knew little of Margaret, she did remember that ‘the lady in question (Margaret) often used to visit the lady in the house on the corner’.
Unfortunately, the owner of the ‘house on the corner’ was not home, and while I did leave a message it would take several visits till I was able to speak to her and ask her to contact Margaret to call me. It would be a week before I was able to speak to Margaret and another week before I could deliver Edward’s medals to her. It was only then that I found out that while Edward had been married, both his son and wife died early.

The returned medal tally is now 1975.

15 November 2016

Efficiency Decoration returned

For a whole lot of reasons Bill is unable to tell us much about this particular return.
Glyn and I often bemoan little gold safety pins, that have done sterling work for decades, only to fail, usually when a family member is wearing a beloved relatives medals. However, in the case of Captain T’s Efficiency Decoration, it wasn’t a safety pin that failed but rather the ribbon that held the medal to the medal bar.
So a habit medal wearers have to get used to is occasionally, well actually each time you wear them and before you put them away, check the medals. If the ribbon or clasp is worn despite any sentimental attachment to the ribbon, get it remounted.

The returned medal tally is now 1969.

14 November 2016

More assistance to the Victorian Police

This is another example of Bill's good work assisting the Victorian Police Force. Due to an ongoing investigation following the recovery of these medals we can't say much. To quote Bill: 'the pictures speak for themselves'.
The returned medal tally is now 1968.