31 August 2020

Keith Raymond Bird - National Serviceman

This search turned out to be far more difficult than I thought it would be at the start. The Australian Defence Medal awarded to 2747146 Keith Raymond Bird was sent to me by Ted Ayres having been recovered from a pawn brokers. Keith was pretty easy to find in the Nominal Roll of Nashos then track through the electoral until 1980. The Nasho roll showed me that Keith had died but beyond 1980 I had no clues.

From a quite lengthy story from a newspaper social page I found all the details of Keith's marriage to Patricia Waites. The story also gave me the name of Keith's brothers. One was Harold (Mick) Gregory Bird who was soldier in the Royal Australian Engineers. Mick spent many years posted to Puckapunyal and after he discharged remained in Seymour. Mick also serve in the Vietnam War. However, after 1994 I lost the thread of Mick's family.

For six weeks I kept coming to a brick wall so on Sunday I went back to Keith and Patricia's marriage story. This also provided the names of Patricia's parents; John and Mary. In the hope of something new I went back to the electoral rolls of the 1950s and found that John's first wife was actually Catherine who died in 1956. Mary was his second wife. I then found Catherine's death notice which gave me the name of their another child; Brian.

From there it was pretty easy. I found Brian in the electoral rolls and then in the White Pages. I called Brian this afternoon and found that Patricia had also passed away but, more importantly, the name and phone number of Keith and Patricia's daughter; Cathy. 

Cathy tells me that she is named for her grandmother Catherine which I think is a nice link as it was the details of Catherine which unlocked this search.

The returned medal tally is now 2520.





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