26 February 2017

Donald Rankine

Bill's latest success.
Regular followers of our blog will by now be used to the variety of stories that we tell and the routes we follow to return medals to families.
The story of SX12221 Staff Sergeant Donald Lloyd Rankine and the return of his medals is one such route. A path that had more right and left turns than a street directory. However, to protect the privacy of those involved much of the research has been omitted.
The background to the medals was their discovery in a box along with other sets of medals that the now deceased owner of the box had been trying to return. “It was his hobby” was the comment I received when I started asking questions, including the three most important. “Do you know how he got them, and from where?” and “….how long has he had them?”
“Er, yes” then “Er, no actually” was the answer. So the search began with three important elements missing. From whom and where had they come from and when.
Unfortunately, War Graves had no details of any family deaths, so it became a protracted search through those South Australian cemeteries that are on line. The link that finally took me to the family graves was Donald’s fathers fore names, George Lourdon.
From cemetery records it appears that Donald died in 1970 and his brother, George in 2000. From follow on research I found that neither had married.
So the search then stepped back a generation to their parents and their siblings. It has not been an easy search, but then again as Glyn will tell you few are. While the Internet has opened up vast fields of information, privacy legislation has closed off the critical part.
To Chris, that picked up the challenge deciding that the medals should not be relegated to a drawer. To Carmen who has accepted the responsibility of caring for Donald’s medals. From one ex-service man on behalf of another ex-serviceman. Thank you.

The returned medal tally is now 2022.

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