25 September 2017

Percival Pilkington

This search started on Saturday afternoon when M2 shared a Facebook post with me about a medal that had been found. This Victory Medal was awarded to 1610 Percival Frederick Pilkington who died of wounds on 14 April 1918.
Percival was from Charters Towers which is about 100km inland from Townsville. The medal had been found a few years ago on a Townsville beach by Michell E and it was her daughter, Jodie and her husband Mick, who initiated the call for assistance via Facebook. I couldn't establish any link from the Pilkington's of the early 20th century in Charters Towers to current day Townsville. One of Percival's siblings lived in Railway Estate until the 1950s but it appeared that most of the family was living in Brisbane by WWII.
There are a number of family trees for the Pilkington's on Ancestry but most of these had been shared from the same original source and there was a number of gaps which I couldn't reconcile with the Queensland BDM information. The search also got confusing with most of Percival's siblings being female and most of them having daughter's. It was through the tree of Jeff D that I got the lead on the person who is the closest relative to Percival. Jeff kindly provided my with the contact details of Percival's nephew Ron. All this information has been passed to Jodie and Mick and I'm sure they be in contact with Ron soon.
During my search I found a picture of Percival and his cousin Oliver. This picture, which I've added below, was turned in to a postcard that was sent to his cousin Alice. Oliver also died of wounds. Ron tells me that the family story is that: 'Percival went to visit Oliver in hospital only to find Oliver had died and was being buried that day. Percival was able to attend his funeral.
Many thanks to Jeff for his assistance and to Jodie and Mick for wanting to see this medal returned to the Pilkington family.
The returned medal tally is now 2148.

Percival's Victory Medal

22 September 2017

Daniel Ryan

58680 Daniel Francis Ryan was 33 years old when he enlisted in 1917. The unit listed on his medal is 7 Field Ambulance but he was also posted to a Veterinary Hospital for a period of time. Daniel died in 1952.
The search for a descendant of Daniel's was complicate by Daniel's daughter and then grand daughter marrying and I had to work out their married surnames. It was only though death notices and the electoral rolls could I follow each family up until 1980. What I did have was the name of Daniel' great grandson from the electoral rolls but finding him now was a little difficult. I had several options and only trough an educated guess did I find the right person on the first attempt.
This medal was one of several groups sent to me recently by Stuart H.
The medal returned tally is now 2147.


12 September 2017

10 medals to one family

For a whole lot of reasons we have been a little quiet on the research front. However, a recent Face Book request from the Victorian Police about 10 medals has had a successful outcome. Recently, these medals had been handed in after they were discarded in a park. The medals were awarded to:
3877 Thomas Watson Newton,
V144190 Robert Hilton,
WF96643 Beryl May Spooner.
Based on these names there was no obvious link to each other so I initially thought these medal formed part of a collection. Then the more I looked in to each veteran it became clear they were related.
Here are the connections I made.
I found Thomas Watson Newton's death notice from 1952. It does not mention a wife or children so he has no direct descendants. His siblings are listed as; John, Joseph (deceased), Robert, Albert, Margaret (deceased), Kitty, May and Eileen.
Kitty is Katherine who married Percy Hilton. Their son is Robert Hilton. Robert's son is Christopher who married the daughter of Beryl Spooner.
What I couldn't find was the most recent address for Christopher so I left that part of the search with the Victorian Police.
Today, I received the fantastic news that the medals were returned to Christopher and a picture of this event is below. It has been great working with Raelene from the Boronia Police Station on this search.
The returned medal tally is now 2146.