Private Wallace Frederick WILSON – First World War medals missing – Can You Help?

British-FlagOne family has been on a journey of discovery.  The good news – finally the truth of what happened to their Great, Great Uncle has now been revealed and his exact medal entitlement confirmed.  The sad news – like hundreds of thousands of families around the world …. the war medals and Memorial Plaque are missing.

Private Wallace Frederick WILSON, Service Number 201212 of the 4th Battalion, Essex Regiment lost his life during the Great War.  Formerly 20799 Private Wallace Frederick WILSON of the Bedfordshire Regiment, his descendants are now armed with the knowledge that he was posthumously awarded the 1914-1915 Star, British War Medal and the Victory Medal.  Until recently, they had no idea he had served in the Dardenelles campaign – commonly referred to as Gallipoli.  As a result of his tragic death in another theatre of war, Wallace was commemorated with a Memorial Plaque, Scroll and letter from the King.

The 1914-1915 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal, similar to that posthumously awarded to Private Wallace Frederick WILSON

The 1914-1915 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal, similar to that posthumously awarded to Private Wallace Frederick WILSON

Born Wallace Frederick WILSON,  the only son of Berry Alfred and Mary Jane WILSON, of Broughton Huntingdonshire, he made the ultimate sacrifice during the first Battle of Gaza, Palestine.   His great, great nephew Jamie said, “The last few years I have been researching my great great uncle.  He is on the war memorial in Broughton Cemetery (Huntingdon) the village where I grew up . It was very strange because none of my relatives, even the older ones knew anything about him.  We had all been assuming he had died during the Somme battles on the Western Front!  Anyway after a big break I discovered his soldier number and discovered he died in the first battle of Gaza during 1917″.

Suvla Bay, Gallipoli as seen from The Nek at dawn on 7 August 2015 during the Centenary Commemorations of the August Offensive.  Photo taken by Medals Gone Missing.

Suvla Bay, Gallipoli as seen from The Nek at dawn on 7 August 2015 during the Centenary Commemorations of the August Offensive. Photo taken by Medals Gone Missing.

Jamie quizzed his extended family as to the whereabouts of the missing war service medals however nobody in the family had any knowledge of their location.  It was believed he was entitled only to the British War Medal and the Victory Medal,  having began his service life with the Bedfordshire Regiment.   Jamie explained,  “Wallace first served with the 1/4th Battalion during August 1914 in Brentwood.  Part of the Essex Brigade in the East Anglian Division.  He moved to Norwich in late 1914 and on to Colchester in April of 1915.  In May of 1915 the formation became the 161st Brigade in 54th (East Anglian) Division.  From Saint Albans on 21 July 1915 they sailed from Devonport for the Gallipoli campaign, via Lemnos.  His unit landed at Suvla Bay 12 August 1915 as a part of the offensive to push inland.   On 4 December 1915 Wallace was evacuated from Gallipoli and moved to Mudros, then going on to Alexandria on 17 December 1915.  Wallace Remained in the Egypt-Palestine theatre of operations thereafter and his Soldier Number was changed to 201212″.  So this vital information revealed that Wallace was also entitled to the 1914-1915 Star.

Jamie credits much of this information which came as quite a surprise to himself and his relatives, to the Essex Regiment Museum .  Sandra SMITH – Senior Research Officer with Medals Gone Missing says “It is wonderful when families such as this can unlock the past and finally discover what happened to their ancestors.  That all of this information would come to light in time for the Centenary of the Gallipoli August Offensive is an extra bonus for them.  We often associate the Sinai Palestine campaign with units such as the Light Horse and Imperial Camel Corps.  However this story is a sad and timely reminder that the poor ol’ British infantrymen were scattered to the four corners of the world and lost their lives in many faraway lands”.

In terms of the missing war medals and Memorial Plaque, Jamie states “None of my family have his medals or know where they are. I would love to find them on behalf of my family before 2017, the Centenary of his death”.

Commonwealth War Graves Commission photograph of the Jerusalem War Cemetery where Private Wallace Frederick WILSON was laid to rest.  His Memorial Plaque is missing.  Can you help?

Commonwealth War Graves Commission photograph of the Jerusalem War Cemetery where Private Wallace Frederick WILSON was laid to rest. His Memorial Plaque is missing. Can you help?

Wallace Frederick WILSON lost his life on the 26th of March, 1917.  If you have these medals or Memorial Plaque in your collection …. or know of their whereabouts, his descendants would be extremely grateful to have them returned.  Can you help?

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Private Walter SNOWDEN – Service Number 19316 – Lincolnshire Regiment

British-FlagMy family is attempting to locate the missing First World War Victory Medal of our great uncle, Private Walter SNOWDEN.

The Victory Medal of Private Walter SNOWDEN of the Lincolnshire Regiment is missing.  Can you help?

The Victory Medal of Private Walter SNOWDEN of the Lincolnshire Regiment is missing. Can you help?

We are in possession of his British War Medal, but we believe the Victory Medal went to Australia in the 1950′s with his sister, our great auntie Annie (nee Snowden). Walter SNOWDEN had the service number 19316, and was a member of the Lincolnshire Regiment. Walter survived the war but died of his wounds 20 years later at the age of 40. He lived in Sheffield and Epworth in England, possibly other places as well. We would be very happy to learn that the Victory medal is still in family hands. That would be great news especially if it had a lot of sentimental meaning to them. If however the medal is in the hands of a collector / dealer we would be very interested in purchasing the medal. He was only entitled to the standard First World War pair. Both myself and my brother have served in the British Army and this medal is of tremendous importance to us.

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Missing Great War Photo Album – John Pease – found at Batemans Bay Antiques & Collectibles Fair

Australian-FlagA missing photo album from the First World War has been uncovered at the 2015 Batemans Bay Antiques & Collectibles Fair on the south coast of New South Wales.  All available evidence points towards the creator of the souvenier album as being that of Trooper John PEASE , 1st Australian Light Horse Regiment.

The First World War Embarkation Roll of Trooper John Pease from Koorawatha in New South Wales.

The First World War Embarkation Roll of Trooper John Pease from Koorawatha in New South Wales.

Trooper John PEASE was born in Koorawatha, New South Wales.  He enlisted into the AIF and departed for overseas service.  John landed on the Gallipoli peninsula on the 28th August, 1915 just after the August Offensive, but was evacuated due to Diptheria the following month.  He boarded the Hospital Ship ‘Maheno’ on 1st October 1915 bound for Heliopolis.

John PEASE transferred to the 13th Field Company Engineers in March 1916 as a part of the AIF reorganisation and served in France.  However, he was again struck down with a lung condition and was sent to convalesce in the United Kingdom.  Many photos of Scottish nurses appear in the album which lends weight to the possibility of this album belonging to John.

A striking image of an Australian soldier, believed to be Trooper John Pease from Koorawatha, New South Wales.  Markings on the photograph indicate it was captured in Cowra, near Koorawatha.  Interestingly, the buttons on his great coat bear the British crest.

A striking image of an Australian soldier, believed to be Trooper John Pease from Koorawatha, New South Wales. Markings on the photograph indicate it was captured in Cowra, near Koorawatha. Interestingly, the buttons on his great coat bear the British crest.

The historically significant album was displayed for sale by a dealer who had purchased the journal from a collector in Temora.  Whilst the name John PEASE does not appear clearly in the album, a thorough inspection revealed the service number 889 and the name “J. Pe _ _” which is written on the inside cover.  This writing has been covered by a hand written note, possibly written by John himself and the name is barely visible.  The note states “The beginning.  Camp Sydney 1914″.  A check of his service record via the National Archives of Australia showed distinct similarities with the writing in the album and as a result, Medals Gone Missing Administrator considered there was sufficient evidence to purchase the album and conduct an investigation into its author.  It is not clear how the album came to leave John’s family; but should he be confirmed as the author of the album – there is no doubt it will become a very important piece of family history for his descendants.

The inside cover of the missing First World War photo album.  A note which is pasted to the cover obscures handwriting which appears to be the service number 889 and the first portion of John's name.

The inside cover of the missing First World War photo album. A note which is pasted to the cover obscures handwriting which appears to be the service number 889 and the first portion of John’s name.

Whilst inquiries are continuing, an attempt has been made to locate direct descendants of John PEASE via Ancestry.com and it is hoped that this mystery will be solved.

This is the first year that the Eurobodalla Antiques and Collectibles Fair has been held and should this album be confirmed as that of Trooper John PEASE, it will be a wonderful result for event organisers.  Quite often, historic photo albums such as this are broken up and the photos sold individually by militaria dealers.  Especially when the owner/author of the album is not clear.  (Please CLICK HERE to read the story of a First World War German album which was broken up for individual sale by one dealer – a portion of which was saved by Medals Gone Missing).  Medals Gone Missing is very grateful to the wonderful gentleman who recognised the historic value of this particular Great War album and kept it intact.

Medals Gone Missing is very excited about the possible return of this album and is hopeful that confirmation is confirmed with the kind assistance of Ancestry Australia.

Eurobodalla-Antiques-&-Coll

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Antiques Roadshow style role for Gary Traynor on Foxtel – History Channel – Sir Tony Robinson’s Tour of Duty

history_channel_logoMedals Gone Missing Administrator Gary Traynor had the privilege to serve in an “Antiques Roadshow” style role for Foxtel’s – The History Channel – when he joined Sir Tony Robinson’s “Tour of Duty” program.

Gary joined the team of WTFN for the filming of the Bathurst show where he was tasked to interpret many historic military items brought in by the general public for assessment.  Some of these items finished up in the ‘final cut’ which aired on Foxtel in time for ANZAC week 2015.

Jennifer Derrick receives her fathers waterbottleIMAGE RIGHT:  Medals Gone Missing Administrator Gary Traynor and Sir Tony Robinson return a 1903 pattern waterbottle carrier to Jennifer Derrick.  The waterbottle carrier had been issued to her father, NX23506 Ralph Lindsay HARDEN during the Second World War.  It was located by the Medals Gone Missing team on eBay.

“It was a tremendous privilege to work with the crew from WTFN and Foxtel” said Gary.  “It was a very challenging role which I thoroughly enjoyed”.  In reference to his function as Military Historian, Gary went on to say, “The role certainly put me to the test.  Similar to the program ‘Antiques Roadshow’ – I was tasked to speak about many relics and examples of militaria; virtually anything and everything that was put before me.  I could not preview any of the items which were simply placed in front of me by a member of the public and I was expected to identify and interpret each item with no opportunity for prior research.  I really had to think on my feet”.  In Gary’s opinion, he enjoyed a success rate of around 95% which was very satisfying and he credits his achievement to his 30 years in the militaria industry; as well as his role as Medals Gone Missing Administrator.

Tony Robinson & GaryIMAGE LEFT:  Medals Gone Missing Administrator Gary Traynor and Sir Tony Robinson on the set of “Tour of Duty”.  Gary was one of the Military Historians selected to act in a role similar to Antiques Roadshow.

Gary was commissioned to travel with the Foxtel team for film shoots in Bathurst, Newcastle, Toowoomba, Darwin and Perth.  However, he also facilitated the return of a First World War medal to a family for the Hahndorf episode.  The British War Medal was posthumously awarded to Angus BOSTON of the 50th Battalion who was tragically killed in action during 1917.  His brother Thomas BOSTON was killed on the same day.  The medal had been missing from the family for over 80 years.

Sir Tony Robinson's Tour of DutyIMAGE RIGHT: Sir Tony ROBINSON returned the missing British War Medal of Private Angus BOSTON to the great nephew of Angus; Andy Boston from Naracoorte in South Australia.  The missing medal had been acquired from an Illawarra man who purchased the medal on eBay.

Apart from his voluntary role with Medals Gone Missing; Gary Traynor is a leading Military Historian in the field of Military Heraldry and Technology.  He has collected items of Australian Military History for over 30 years and as served as an Assistant Curator in Military Heraldry & Technology at the Australian War Memorial.  He has also acted as consultant for a number of television productions; including the adaption for television of Bryce Courtenay’s epic novel “Jessica”.

Gary is available for film consultancy work and valuations of all military items or collections.

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Are you related to Thomas Vincent DACEY?

Australian-FlagThe Second World War medals awarded to Thomas Vincent DACEY, Service Number N200111 have been located at the Batemans Bay Post Office.  The Bay Post (local newspaper) has requested assistance in locating the closest next of kin for Thomas who was born on 3 August, 1918 in Murrumburrah, NSW.

Please CLICK HERE to read the full story by The Bay Post.

DACEY Thomas VincentIMAGE RIGHT:  The Medals Gone Missing listing which details the found war medals of Thomas Vincent DACEY.

Thomas Vincent DACEY enlisted into the Austalian Military Forces on 7 October, 1941.  Locality on Enlistment ARDLETHAN, NSW.  His next of Kin was Ann DACEY.  His date of discharge was 29 January, 1946.  If you are a direct descendant of Thomas Vincent DACEY, please contact the Bay Post Newspaper on telephone 02 4472 6577 (reference Josh Gidney) or the Medals Gone Missing Administrator via this website.

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