This is a set of circumstances that I haven't come across before. It is an act of mate ship that spanned decades.
The medals awarded to NX113237 James Christopher Egan came to me via the Directorate of Honours and Awards having been sent in by the son of one of James' mates. The letter that accompanied the medals says that James' was the friend of John Hinton and they fought together in New Guinea. James had no known close relatives and James left his medals with John. Knowing the importance of medals to a family, John's son forwarded them to Honours and Awards and then on to me.
James' did not marry but he had several siblings. His brother was NX24165 William Edward Egan, one sister was Margaret Josephine (Joey) Ball and the other was Grace Catherine Macintyre. Like James, William didn't marry. It is through Joey's family that the medal will be returned.
The returned medal tally is now 2519.