09 April 2019

Walter Speechly

The incorrect spelling of a name and two regimental numbers really complicated this search.
It all started in September 2017 when I received three sets of medals from Stuart H. All three searches are now resolved.
What caused the confusion was that Walter Charles Speechly often had his surname spelt Speechley. Even on the original service record Walter has manuscript amended the spelling in his own hand and crossed out the last 'e'. This error continued all though his records and even on his medals. The naming on the 1914-15 Star is different to the BWM and Victory Medal. To top this off Walter had the regimental numbers of 1208 and 1330.
Having all three WWI medals, especially when not mounted in one group, is rather exciting. It looks like they were pinned on to a jacket with safety pins (we all know what Bill's opinion about safety pins is). Walter was at Gallipoli and was wounded in action on 22 May 1915 when he received a gun shot wound to the left thigh. He was later wounded in action a second time in August 1916. This time a gun shot wound to his right leg.
Walter was pretty difficult to follow through the records, the search had to be doubled to cover both spellings. I couldn't find any evidence of him having children so my search extended to this siblings. This lead me to an Ancestry family tree which included Walter's sister Christine. The tree owner in Walter's great nephew, Michael. He has an interesting story of his own. Michael was originally from the UK but 35 years ago moved to Connecticut, USA. His interest in his family history has uncovered several times removed grandparents buried in the same area which he never knew about prior to starting his own research. Michael's interest in this family makes him the ideal person to receive Walter's medals.
The returned medal tally is now 2340.   

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