01 April 2019


While the research in to this soldier occurred in Australia the distance between the location of the medal and return location is only a hundred miles or so apart in the UK.
The research started with a recent email from WO1 Leon Upton, RSM 8 Rifles. Leon's father is in the second hand trade and had several medals on a shelf. Leon noticed that a WWI British War Medal was named to an Australian, Private Alfred Louis Wickens. Wickens enlisted on 15 Nov 1914 and was allocated to 8th Battalion AIF. He was originally from the Isle of Wight but emigrated to Australia prior to 1914.
During WWI Wickens was in and out of hospital on multiple occasions and wounded in action in March 1918. Having survived almost the entire war, Alfred was killed in action in August 1918. He is buried in Rosieres Communal Cemetery Extension. Alfred's service records shows that his medals were sent to his parents address on the Isle of Wight. This explains how his medals got to the UK.
Finding Wickens' family proved reasonably easy and he is included on an Ancestry family tree. Mark is the tree owner and related to Wickens on his mother's side. I've now connected Leon and Mark and they are currently working out how to meet up.
It has been a real pleasure to work with Leon on this search.
The returned medal tally is now 2336.

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