Searching for the family of G. WHEELER – British Army number M2-182031 – Army Service Corps during First World War

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I am searching for the family of Private G.WHEELER who served with the British Army during the Great War.  At this time, I do not have any personal details about G. WHEELER other than he was a Private in the British Army Service Corps and his service number was M2-182031 and he came from the United Kingdom.

British-War-Medal-&-VictoryIMAGE RIGHT:  The British War Medal and Victory Medal awarded to Private G. WHEELER who served with the Army Service Corps during the First World War.  Both of these war medals are hanging from their original medal ribbon.

He may have immigrated to Australia after the First World War however there is no direct proof of this, other than the fact that his war service medals (British War Medal and Victory Medal) ended up in my father’s possession.  With the passing of my father, our family have absolutely no idea how they ended up amongst his belongings.

Missing-medals-British-War-IMAGE LEFT: The British War Medal and Victory Medal awarded to M2-182031 Private G. WHEELER, clearly showing his service number.

I wish to re-unite these missing war medals with a direct descendant of G. WHEELER but at this time I have very little to work on, in terms of his identity.  We have no idea of his first name, his town of birth or who his next of kin was.

M2-182031-Private-G.-WHEELEIMAGE RIGHT: The medals are impressed with the name of the medal recipient, G. WHEELER.  With the Centenary of the First World War now upon us, I am hoping to find his direct descendants as his missing medals are an important part of his family history.

We have conducted a thorough search of the CWGC (Commonwealth War Graves Commission) records and there does not appear to be a man by the name of G. WHEELER (service number M2-182031) of the Royal Army Service Corps who lost his life during the Great War.  Also, the medals appear to be well worn which may suggest they were used by the recipient for many years during commemorative functions.

Royal-Army-Service-Corps-miIMAGE LEFT:  The British War Medal and Victory Medal of Private G. WHEELER showing that he was a member of the Army Service Corps.  Also sometimes recorded as the Royal Army Service Corps.

I come from a military family and I know how important war service medals are.   If anybody is a direct descendant of G. WHEELER whose service number was M2-182031 then I would very much like to hear from you.  The missing medals are not for general sale and their return will be upon strict proof of relationship.

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Are you related to Craftsman Albert Leslie AXTON – Second World War dog tags found with metal detector

Australian-FlagAre you related to Craftsman Albert Leslie AXTON from Victoria, Australia?  If so, we would like to hear from you!

Second World War identification tags pertaining to Craftsman Albert Leslie AXTON have been found.  Born in Wycheproof, Victoria (Australia) Albert Leslie AXTON joined the AMF (Australian Military Forces) commonly referred to as ‘Militia’ and was allocated the service number V47875.  On 18 August, 1942 he transferred to the AIF (Australian Imperial Force) and his service number changed to VX102549.  The
World War Two Nominal Roll indicates his unit of discharge was 2/55 Australian Light Aid Detachment.

AXTON-albert-leslieIMAGE RIGHT:  The identification tags of Craftsman Albert Leslie AXTON.  Amazingly they were found by a fossicker in North Queensland with a metal detector.  Through the efforts of a very generous person from Western Australia, it is his wish that they are returned to a direct descendant of Albert AXTON.

These two identity tags are believed to be “kit” identification tags, usually attached to Australian duffle bags or kit bags during the Second World War.  This was especially the case when a soldier was in transit; or receiving treatment in a military hospital and he was temporarily separated from his belongings.  Alternatively, I have heard that tags such as this may also be attached to a bed in a military hospital or a camp.  These two tags are not impressed by a military stamp press, rather they have been hand engraved/scratched into the surface.  They were very generously donated by a gentleman who indicated he acquired the tags from a prospector; the discs being located using a metal detector on Atherton Tableland in North Queensland.

It was indicated a military hospital was located at the place in question, where servicemen from Australia, New Zealand and some U.S. personnel were treated during the 1939-1945 war.  After the cessation of hostilities, a large reservoir was built and the locality of the hospital became submerged underwater. When the water levels subsided, the prospector swept the area with his metal detector and the tags (along with a number of others) were located.  If you are a descendant of Albert Leslie AXTON, please contact the Medals Gone Missing Administrator.  The dog tags are NOT for general sale and will only be returned to a direct descendant of Albert Leslie AXTON upon strict proof of relationship.

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Kitchener’s Volunteer – Missing War Medals sought of Ernest Michael TAYLOR – Royal Field Artillery

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Ernest Michael Taylor was born 9 March 1891on 90 Doncaster Street, Saint Martin, Liverpool, England.  His parents, Joseph Taylor of Co. Waterford, Ireland, a bookkeeper, and Catherine O’Brien of Liverpool were staunch Irish Catholics whose families had immigrated to England.  He was the eldest of three other siblings, William born 1897, Joseph born 1898, and Mary Josephine born 1889.  In 1911, the family relocated to Halifax, Yorkshire West Riding.  By this time, Ernest was 20 years old and his occupation was listed in the 1911 English census as “Giving Olet Caus Of Dry Flar Carpet Losens.”  In fact, the entire family was employed at the carpet making business called ” Lin Winder Carpet Makers”. His father had passed away by this time, leaving his mother Catherine the head of the household.

Corporal-Ernest-Michael-TAYIMAGE RIGHT:  Studio portrait of Ernest Michael TAYLOR, service number 1307.  When mentioned in the Supplement to the Edinborough Gazette on 26 February 1918 his rank was listed as Corporal and his Regimental Number 675383

Ernest eventually joined the military, probably one of Kitchener’s volunteers, and was trained as a Gunner (Regimental number 1307) in the Royal Field Artillery (R.F.A.).  He deployed to France 29 September 1915.  In only a few short years, he was promoted to Sergeant, with a new Regimental Number 675383.  I am unsure why the number changed and how he was promoted so quickly, but perhaps he was wounded and, following recovery, was posted to a new Regiment withing the R.F.A. or to a training establishment.  Many of my family members have served in the military, and have a tendency to speak little of their hardships, and thus we have forgotten the story.  Ernest was awarded the 1914-1915 star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

Military-Medal-Corporal-ErnIMAGE LEFT:  Late war portrait of Ernest Michael TAYLOR mounted on a charger.  It is believed this image was taken after he was awarded the Military Medal, as he is wearing the rank of Sergeant.

After the war, Ernest opened a tobacco shop and married Victoria Annie Whitelock on 28 Feb 1920.  She died later that year in childbirth.  Ernest then married Rebecca Kane in West Derby Lancashire on 20 November 1921 and they had ten children together.  While Ernest ran the Tabacco Shop, Rebecca helped to make ends meet by working as a waitress.  They lived in a small home on 65 Argos Road in West Derby, Liverpool.  Their first child, my Grandmother Catherine Josephine Taylor, recalls how crowded the home was and how often she would babysit her siblings.  She recalls being a second mother to her siblings, cooking for them, bathing them, and putting them to bed.

At one point, the family was badly in need of money, and so the decision was made that Rebecca would pawn Ernest’s medals to “put food on the table” as my Grandmother recalls.  Rebecca gathered up all the kids and walked to a local pawn shop where she sold the medals with the intention of returning to buy them back after payday.  My grandmother Catherine recalled that payday was only one or two days away at the time her mother Rebecca sold the medals.  When Rebecca returned to buy back the medals, they had been sold.  Distraught, she returned home.  She and Ernest had a huge row and Rebecca ended up smashing the portrait of Ernest on horseback during the war.

Royal-Field-Artillery-cap-bIMAGE RIGHT:  The cap badge of the Royal Field Artillery.

Ernest died 7 December 1955 in Liverpool at the age of 64.  He is buried in Yew Tree Cemetery.  My grandmother was extremely proud of her father’s service in the Royal Field Artillery.  She never spoke to her children about her past, but she told me about her whole life when I was around sixteen years old – this was a few years before she died.  She was a practical woman who was more concerned with feeding her family than she was with treasured heirlooms, but the loss of these medals bothered her deeply because of the resentment their loss created between her parents.  I wanted to please my Nan by finding these medals.  Now that she has passed, I would like to give them to her sister in England.

This story was composed by Tony ROSS, the great grandson of Ernest Michael TAYLOR of Great Britain.

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A call for help from the 35th Australian Infantry Battalion Facebook & Hunter Valley Military History group – are you a descendant of Private Stephen Edward WISEMAN?

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The below narrative has been shared from the 35th Infantry Battalion Facebook page.  A wonderful chap named Paul Wheeler from Yass has located a lost Victory Medal awarded for service during the Great War.  The missing war medal, named to Private Stephen Edward WISEMAN was found by Paul whilst using a metal detector in a park at Yass.  Can you help us to track down the descendants of Stephen WISEMAN?

Found-Victory-Medal-of-PrivIMAGE RIGHT:  The found Victory Medal of Private Stephen Edward WISEMAN which was found by Paul Wheeler whilst using a metal detector at a park in Yass, New South Wales.  Paul is attempting to have the missing medal returned to the rightful family.  Can you help?

FROM 35th BATTALION FACEBOOK PAGE:- “Preliminary and basic research from this Digger’s service record states that his name is Stephen Edward Wiseman, 30 years old married labourer – address stated to be 285 Riley Street, Surry Hills when he enlisted on or about 9 October 1916 at Murrumburrah. His next of kin was stated to be his wife, Mabel, address stated to be 435 Riley Street, Surry Hills. Born at Young. Originally in 8th Reinforcements of 55th Infantry Battalion. Was later taken on strength of 35th Infantry Battalion and was wounded in the left thigh at Passchendaele by a gun shot wound which fractured the femur bone on 14 October 1917. Embarked overseas on 15 April 1918 for return to Australia. I know of two highly recommended colleagues who specialize in returning lost or stolen medals to families. I can make contact with them on your behalf if you wish and they can contact you, if that is okay. Where abouts are you located? The park in Yass where you found the medal, is it near a river? If it is it may have been washed down stream during a flood. An interesting story. Unfortunately we are not genealogy literate but it would be worthwhile to know where and when he passed away and where he was living up to and at that time. Thank you for choosing our Facebook page to help find the family of this 35th Infantry Battalion Digger. Go kindly and keep well”.

35th-Infantry-Battalion-AIFIMAGE LEFT: The colour patch of the 35th Infantry Battalion, AIF.  The 35th Battalion was formed in December 1915 in Newcastle, NSW with the bulk of recruits coming from the Newcastle and Lower Hunter Valley region (information from their Facebook page).  Please CLICK HERE to learn more about the 35th Infantry Battalion.

This missing war medal is an absolutely amazing find.  If you are a descendant of Private Stephen Edward WISEMAN, please contact us here at Medals Gone Missing or the 35th Battalion, AIF Facebook page Administrator by clicking on the above link.  Take a bow Paul Wheeler!  You are about to make one family very happy indeed during this Centenary Commemoration of the First World War.

 

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Seeking Descendants of James Hans Cecil HAMILTON – Royal Australian Artillery and Alice Maud HAMILTON of Sandringham Victoria

Australian-Flag The British War Medal awarded to James Hans Cecil HAMILTON has been located and is generously being offered to his descendants. HAMILTON, from North Carlton in Melbourne was a Clerk at the time of his enlistment and was also a serving senior cadet under the Compulsory Service Scheme. He enlisted and served as a Gunner with the Royal Australian Artillery, AIF (Australian Imperial Force) as an 18 year old.

IMAGE RIGHT:  British-War-Medal-CentenaryThe missing British War Medal, similar to that posthumously awarded to Gunner James Hans Cecil HAMILTON.

According to the First World War Embarkation Roll, James Hans Cecil HAMILTON boarded the SS Indarra from Port Melbourne on 26 November, 1917. He did not leave England and arrive in France until 17 July, 1918. Sadly, he was killed in action less than 3 months later whilst serving with the 111 Howitzer Battery of the 11 Australian FAB (Field Artillery Brigade). Witness statements within his service file indicate his battery had just ceased firing around midday. James was assisting with the preparation of the lunchtime meal when German counter battery fire caused his death.

This British War Medal was awarded posthumously to his family. He was the son of Alice Maud HAMILTON and James Wilson HAMILTON of Victoria. During 1920, Alice HAMILTON was residing at “Selby” in Edward Street, Sandringham as indicated by correspondence held in his service record on hand at the National Archives of Australia. According to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, James Hans Cecil HAMILTON lie buried in BELLICOURT BRITISH CEMETERY, France.

Bellicourt-British-CemeteryIMAGE LEFT:  Bellicourt British Cemetery in France.  Please CLICK HERE to view the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) for James Hans Cecil Hamilton.

It always strengthens my faith in human nature when people opt to return a missing war medal to the descendants of a veteran, rather than seeking financial gain by selling the medal.  The British War Medal of James Hans Cecil HAMILTON has been in the possession of this generous person for well over 20 years and the medal is not for general sale.  It will only be returned to the family of James upon strict proof of relationship.

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