Bill and I get a lot of satisfaction helping out the different Police forces around Australia. We are often contacted about medals that have been recovered after a property search or have been handed in. The circumstances often mean we can't tell the full story but being able to assist gives us considerable gratification.
This return started with an email I received earlier this week from Senior Constable Jessica L of the NSW Police Service. She had a set of miniature medal which are hard to research as there is no identifying number or name on them. Luckily, there was one full size medal recovered which was named to NX203566 Captain James Ronald Waddell.
Post WWII, James was a doctor in NSW. He has two sons who are also doctors. It was pretty easy to follow both of these men until 2013. Dr T now lives in the UK and all I could find was a business address. Dr S had a practice in western Sydney but the numbers listed on the Internet from 2013 are now allocated to other businesses.
For a days I was stumped and writing to the UK address seemed to be the only solution. I applied a little bit of lateral thinking and found the name of the receptionist from Dr S' practice. But the only person with the same initial/name combination in the White Pages lives on the NSW North Coast. Working on the assumption that similar punts have paid off, I provided Jessica the phone number.
To my very pleasant surprise I received an email today telling me that Jessica's message had been passed to Dr S. Jessica went on to say "Both lots of medals have been returned to a very happy Dr S. He stated his father passed away in 1975 and they haven't seen the medals for nearly 20 years".
The returned medal tally is now 2120.