I am searching for the missing First World War Memorial Plaque (colloquially but incorrectly known as a ‘Death Plaque’) which was commissioned in memory of Trafford Cyril PETTIGREW.
Trafford Cyril PETTIGREW is my great-uncle and his service number was 505. He served with the 7th Australian Infantry Battalion, Australian Imperial Force and tragically was killed in action on 25 April 1915 somewhere on North Beach near Anzac Cove.
A blank First World War Memorial Plaque, similar to that commissioned in memory of Trafford Cyril PETTIGREW. Trafford served with the 7th Australian Infantry Battalion, AIF and he was tragically killed in action at Gallipoli on 25th April 1915. Can you help this family recover Trafford’s lost Memorial Plaque.
The plaque was taken by deception from my father, Joseph Cyril Pettigrew, in Sydney around 2000-2003, before he died. The person involved purported to represent some sort of museum and took the plaque on loan for a display. My father, an ex-serviceman VX21279, was in his eighties.
Also missing, although I believe legitimately to have been lost, are Traff’s Trio consisting of the 1914-1915 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal. In 2018 the Department of Defence Honours and Awards section were gracious enough to allow me to claim Traff’s Commemorative Medallion as his nearest surviving next of kin. To me, the plaque represents not only Trafford Cyril’s bravery and sacrifice, but also the sons, uncles and cousins that were never to be.
The descendants of Donald GRANT are searching for his missing General Service Medal 1793-1814 awarded for his participation in the Battle of Maida.
Donald GRANT was born in Nigg, Scotland. He fought at the Battle of Maida and received the General Service Medal as a member of the 78th Regiment of Foot (Ross-shire Buffs). The Battle of Maida took place on the 4th of July 1806, and was a battle between the British Expeditionary Force and a First French Empire division outside the town of Maida in Calabria, Italy during the Napoleonic Wars.
An example of a General Service Medal 1793-1814. Whilst this actual medal shows a clasp for Busaco, the missing General Service Medal of Donald GRANT may still have a clasp for Maida attached to the ribbon.
It is believed the General Service Medal with bar for Maida, ended up in New Zealand and we would dearly like to locate it. We fully appreciate that anything could have happened to this medal and it may even be in possession of a museum or a private collector who values this medal in their collection. However we would very much appreciate it, just to discover where it is and with your kindness, negotiate the possibility of selling it back to our family.
Are you related to a British soldier named John HENDERSON who served in the British Army during the Great War? The man whose descendants we are looking for served in the Machine Gun Corps and Medals Gone Missing Chief Researcher, Sandra Smith indicates that five (5) men by that name served in this unit during 1914-1918.
In particular, John HENDERSON of the Machine Gun Corps who is subject of our search had the Service Number 127323 and the good news is that he survived the conflict – and does not appear on the Commonwealth War Graves List of those who died during the Great War.
The Great War cap badge of the British Machine Gun Corps, showing the Crown over crossed Vickers Guns. Image courtesy of the website British Military Badges U.K.
One of John’s war service medals has appeared in Australia, so is it possible that John or one of his descendants emigrated to the southern hemisphere post war?
Sandra states “This is going to be a tough one to crack as most of UK World War 1 Service Records were destroyed by Hitler’s bombing during the blitz circa 1940” so we are hoping that somebody out there is searching for John’s medals?
PLEASE NOTE:- This medal is NOT for general sale and will only be returned to a next of kin upon very strict proof of relationship.
Name: John Henderson
Military Year: 1914-1920
Medal Awarded: British War Medal and Victory Medal
Regiment or Corps: Machine Gun Corps
Regimental Number: 127323
Previous Units: 127323. M G C. Pte.
If you are related to John HENDERSON, please contact the Medals Gone Missing Administrator immediately as a window of opportunity may close (in early 2019) to recover this particular medal.
The family of James CARR, son of William Carr and husband of Annie Carr, of John Street, Downpatrick, (County Down) are searching for his missing First World War Medals.
This medal set consists of the 1914 Star (colloquially referred to as the ‘Mons Star’), British War Medal and Victory Medal. As such, James was part of the BEF (British Expeditionary Force) sent to the Western Front prior to the First Battle of Ypres in November 1914.
James CARR served with the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. Sadly he died in Mons on 26th August 1914.
The 1914 Star, colloquially referred to as the Mons Star. It is a medal similar to this which was posthumously awarded to James CARR of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. His descendants are searching for any medals in his name.
In terms of the original troops sent to the Western Front in the early days of the Great War, it has been said that Emperor Wilhelm II of Germany was famously dismissive of the BEF. It has been claimed that he allegedly issued an order on 19 August 1914 to “exterminate … the treacherous English and walk over General French’s contemptible little army”. Subsequently the survivors of the regular army who served prior to the end of 1914 dubbed themselves “The Old Contemptibles”, although no evidence of Kaiser Wilhelm II ever issuing such order has ever been found.
Any assistance to help my family to recover these missing medals would be very much appreciated.
Over the years, on many occasions we at Medals Gone Missing have heard ‘medal and militaria’ dealers remark “Well, the family did not want the medal and that is why they sold it to me”. However that is often not the case at all. Especially if that particular medal is sold by an elderly member of the family who can easily be manipulated or confused. On the other hand, sometimes one “cousin” within a family may sell a set of family medals without telling the extended family (other cousins) that the medals have been placed on the open market. The other family members then spend a great deal of their lives, trying to get those medals back!
An example of the Waterloo Medal, similar to that awarded to Footman James SPARKES.
One such case is the missing Waterloo Medal awarded to James SPARKES who served in the British Army during this action. A descendant who now resides in Australia, of James SPARKES contacted MGM and stated “My grandmother was in possession of the medal of which James was her grandfather. Unfortunately she sold it to a collector or dealer in Sydney in the 1980’s and it breaks our heart to think that our grandmother thought she needed the money and had to sell the medal”. The medal was sold for a measly $50 AUD and whilst the medals market was vastly different back then …. I still cannot help but form the opinion that perhaps this “purchaser” knew they were getting the deal of the century!
As with most Waterloo medals, the name of the recipient is engraved on the edge. This descendant went on to say “We believe that our great, great grandfather’s medal could be inscribed ‘James Sparkes’, however I have a memory that the medal may in fact be inscribed ‘Footman Sparkes’. It would be wonderful if whoever has this medal would consider selling it back to our family and we sincerely hope to hear back from the collector who has the medal in their safekeeping”. So if you have owned or seen a medal engraved “Footman Sparkes” …. or “James Sparkes’ then we would love to hear from you.
If you are a collector who has this medal in your collection, it is asked that you kindly consider selling the medal back to the descendants of James SPARKES. The family has indicated they are well aware of the commercial value of the medal and hold no illusions that they will not be able to purchase it back for the same price that it was sold. At the very least, it would be very sporting if the person who has this missing Waterloo Medal informs MGM that the medal is safe and that they will give this family first option, should they decide to sell it in the future.