A Name on a Box - War Medals of Able Seaman William Frederick Brooks Returned
In the world of militaria and medal collectors, it is generally known that generic World War Two service medals issued to a British recipient were never engraved with the name or service number of a service person. Based on that, it is generally accepted that it is impossible to associate any particular veteran with a set of war medals which are devoid of any inscription. That is, unless the war medals are still stored in the postage box in which they were sent?
Sadly, Able Seaman William Frederick BROOKS was killed in action on the 29th of January, 1942 whilst serving aboard HMS President III. His war service medals were posthumously awarded and sent via registered post to his father, Christopher BROOKS of 23 Hepburn Street, Dundee in Scotland. The war service medals, consisting of a 1939-1945 Star, Pacific Star (with Burma Clasp) and 1939-1945 War Medal were kept inside the cardboard box in which they were posted. And there they remained; they were never mounted nor worn at any remembrance services. It appears that these war medals would become just another "un-named" set of medals to be found on ebay.
That is until Medals Gone Missing purchased the missing war medals! They were placed on the website and two years later, his niece from Melbourne in Australia was delighted to find them listed. Dorothy HUDSON stated "I could not believe it when I saw my uncle's war medals were actually on your website! I was doing a random Google search on my grandfather's name and saw Uncle Bill's medals on your website. It was like a miracle". Dorothy indicated that little was known about her uncle, as he had been killed whilst serving in the Navy and because he was only 19 when he died, he did not leave any dependants.
Gary Traynor from Medals Gone Missing stated that Dorothy was extremely lucky that these war service medals had remained, stored in their postage box for so long. Many dealers would simply have removed the medals and split them up for general sale, tossing the box away. Let's hope that by returning these war medals to a relative of William Frederick BROOKS, we have cemented his memory into the minds of his descendants; and that he is no longer an obscure name on a family tree.
IMAGE ABOVE: The 'postage' box showing the official O.H.M.S. stamping, addressed to the father of the medal recipient. Mr. C. BROOKS of 23 Hepburn Street, Dundee Angus, Scotland, was the next of kin for his son William who was killed in action on the 29th January, 1942.