19 May 2018

ANMEF trio

Bill's latest success.

The last four years has seen major battles showcased as part of the 100th anniversary of WWI. Perhaps it is only fitting that this story goes back to not only Australia’s, but also the Allies, first successful military campaign of the War.
Back to the 18th August 1914 when the Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force (ANMEF), a small volunteer force, marched through Sydney prior to embarkation for New Guinea, where they were tasked to seize and destroy German wireless stations in German New Guinea.
O/N 7351 AB John Searson Cantwell RAN, was one of the marchers that made up that contingent.
It is also fitting that John’s medals should come from Tony, a retired Lieutenant Commander, who while dropping off his own medals to be mounted, saw John’s medals for sale and purchased them.
I first became acquainted with Tony through the ‘VetAffairs’ magazine. Tonight I sent off an email whose introduction said it all “Tony meet Lachlan, Lachlan meet Tony”. At that point I bailed out leaving it to the two to get together so that the medals can be returned to John’s family.
John along with other members of the contingent returned to Australia victorious in January 1915, then on the 15th March 1915, they marched from Circular Quay to Victoria Barracks. Sadly John was  killed as a result of a motor accident and passed away without marrying.

The pictures are of John's WWI trio and of the ANMEF marching through Sydney.
The returned medal tally is now 2226.

14 May 2018

Anniversary of National Service Medal

Another success story from Bill.

Recently I received an Anniversary of National Service Medal from the Victorian police. This in itself is nothing new. What was, however, was the phone call I received 6 days prior.
According to the Police Constable who rang me, the medal had two numbers on it, 
firstly 31xxxxx and secondly, VO571. The impression was faint so he was not sure.
Well the first number 31xxxxx initially had me stumped, until I realized it was a CMF Regimental Number. It would later transpire that the owner of the medal had already completed 2 years military service in the CMF when his birth date was drawn in the National Service Call-Up. He took the option then available to serving CMF members who had completed two years service of staying in the CMF for a further three years. Thus being eligible for the Anniversary of National Service Medal.
The second number, well there was no second number. With the aid of a torch and an extremely powerful magnifying glass, it was a different story. If I was to say the 5 was actually an ‘S’ I will leave it to readers to work it out. No prizes will be given.

The returned medal tally is now 2223. 

08 May 2018

Harry Jenkins

This search commenced with an email from Julie T which said:

"Whilst cleaning my parents home I have found some medals & war service records of my parents old next door neighbour, from WW11, he died in 1993 and his wife died a few years after that, I don't know how they have come to be here, I want to reunite these items with his remaining family".
The medals were awarded to NX25083 Henry (Harry) Oswald Jenkins and with this name combination it was rather easy to find all the basic information I needed about him. From Harry's death notice I found that he had two sons, one named Ross, however, a search for R Jenkins in NSW threw up over 1000 hits. Thinking that this was going to be a difficult search I begrudgingly scrolled down the electoral roll entries and to my surprise the 1980 roll listed a Ross Oswald Jenkins. This was to much of a coincidence to let pass. It was also a bit lucky as the 1980 rolls are the last that are available on Ancestry.
It didn't take long to locate where Ross lived but finding away to contact him proved more difficult. It turned out that through Face Book Messenger and a Men's Shed that Ross is a member of, Julie and I were able to get in touch. Ross collected his father's medals today. 
What I thought was going to be a difficult search turned out to be quite simple and only took about two hours before I had all the information required to narrow down where Ross lived and make some educated guesses about how to contact him.
The returned medal tally is now 2222.