13 July 2017

Stan Wayth

This search has one of those back stories which got more interesting the more I dug.
It began with an email from Aaron B who had the British War Medal awarded to 4564 PTE Stanley Ernest Wayth, 22 Battalion. With an uncommon name like Wayth it wasn't difficult to track down Stan's family. There were large concentration of Wayth's around Queenscliff in Victoria and I found Stan's headstone was there. However, Stan's decedents later lived in the Melbourne suburbs where I had to focus my search.
A search of Stan's name bought up numerous hits as it turns out that he played football for Geelong. He was the 99th player selected for this football club and played one game. This was a victory so he has a 100% W-D-L average. This link gives all of his statistics.
The next reference to Stan that I found was a news paper article about his death in 1932. While I couldn't quite work out why his headstone has the comment 'Finally at peace 4/2005', it is clear that Stan had an unfortunate end to his life.
The search then got a little confusing as his son was also named Stanley Ernest Wayth. I went around in circles for a few days until I located a memorial notice (below) which refers to 'Mrs Stan Wayth'. This is Stan junior's wife Olive, nee Williamson. Based on the service details I went back to the WWI records and I worked out Olive's brother Robert (known as Roy) enlisted in 1915 aged 15 years and 6 months. A year later he was KIA at Pozieres age just 16 years and 6 months.
The notice also give me a clue as to who was Stan and Olive's son, also called Robert and also known as Roy. Roy died in 2015 and from his death notice I got his son's name, Ross, and also that of his grand daughters.
Through Face Book I sent a message to Stan senior's great great grand daughter and she put me in touch with Ross. The circumstances made it possible for me to meet Ross today and hand him his great grand father's BWM. Ross, who is a really nice gentleman, gave me one more surprise in this story, his middle name is Stanley, which carries on the family tradition.
The returned medal tally is 2127.

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