22 November 2020

Sister Kathryn Concannon

This is the latest set of medals that I received from Bob and the Mt Gambier RSL. Bob tells me that this collection was found in a roof space of a house in Mt Gambier.

The medals were awarded to SFX26182 Lieutenant Kathryn Concannon. With the medals is a photo album and other mementos belonging to Kathryn. Using Trove I found several newspaper articles from the 1930s about Katheryn graduating a nurse and being appointed as a nursing sister at a regional hospital in South Australia. As I've mentioned in the past, the public records available from SA are a bit thin so didn't hold out much hope for a quick result, despite the unusual surname. I did find that Kathryn died in 1985 and that there was no one listed in the White Pages in Mt Gambier. But I got a break, Kathryn is included in the family tree on Ancestry. I fired off a message to the tree owner and sure enough I had found the keeper of the Concannon family history.

As part of the research I also found that Kathryn's brother Alexander John was KIA on 3 May 1917 at Bullecourt.

Thanks again to Bob for sending me the medals which will soon be sent off to Ros who is also in Mt Gambier. 

The returned medal tally is now 2584.


09 November 2020

Jack Parker Thomas

This story is the result of helping out my mate Tim L from the Queensland Police. I can track the exact time it took to conduct this search thanks to the time stamp on our text conversation.

At 1401 I opened a text from Tim which had the details of a RAAF veteran whose four medals had been handed in. The veteran was A31329 Jack Parker Thomas. The basic details were easy to find on the DVA nominal roll. It looks like he was listed as presumed dead at one point but later repatriated to Australia. When I checked the electoral rolls it looked as though Jack continued to serve in the RAAF until 1960. 

 Jack was from Bright in Victoria and also lived in Melbourne. In 1980 he moved to Queensland. He died in Noosa in 2004 but his ashes were returned to Bright where he is commemorated. I couldn't find any evidence that he married or had children so I looked at his siblings. 

At 1418 I responded to Tim that his brother Frank had married Thelma Cook and their daughter Wendy had married William H. The White Pages has one entry in Bright for this surname so on a hunch I gave the number to Tim.

At 1525, Tim texted me back to say that the hunch proved correct and the number was for Jack's great nephew who also holds Jack's ashes. In less than 90 minutes this search was resolved and will soon be finalised when the medal are back with Jack's family.

 The returned meal tally is now 2581.