24 June 2017

Leonard Bridger

More great work by Bill.

The story of the medals of 439080 FSGT Leonard Arthur Bridger and the
search for his family is so very much like many of the searches Glyn and I
have conducted lately.
Derek who had the medals was never very sure of their history, other than
the fact that his father, a jeweller, had come across them over 30 or more
years ago. While he had tried, he was never able to find Leonard's
Derek admitted that, try as he might, he too had been unsuccessful in his
search. It was this that took him to ANZAC House in Melbourne and then to
Perhaps the greatest problem I faced as I started the search was the total
absence of anything written or otherwise about Leonard. War Graves had nothing, and neither did any newspapers. It was only through searching cemetery lists
that I found Leonard and his date of cremation. I also found his wife
Dorothy's date of cremation. However, both sets of ashes had been scattered.
Now at this point I could perhaps point to a long and complicated search,
ploughing through 'Trove', the State Library et al. But I can't.
It was 6.01 PM on the 21 June 2017 when I posted a query on the Australian
Surnames Genealogical Group web site.
By 7.44 PM again on the 21 June 2017, I had Leonard’s family all laid out in
front of me.
Then it became a decision who was Leonard's medals to go to?
It was a question I did not have to decide, the family did it for me.
Leonard's medals are going to his nephew David. They will join Leonard's
watch and many of his other personal things that were willed to him.
I am often asked how medals get lost. Well first take the ribbons off
them, as the medals are pictured. Now put them in a small
metal or wood box, along with a mix of other coins, particularly 'old' round 50
cent coins, buttons, the odd broach, badges and cuff links and they hide
very well. Very well indeed.
The returned medal tally is 2114.

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