Hepton collection offered for reluctant sale

British-&-Australian-flagsWhilst Medals Gone Missing as a rule does not broker the general sale of war service medals; the HEPTON family has made a special request for assistance.  It is with great reluctance and for personal reasons, that three sets of war medals are being offered for sale by Ian HEPTON.  The medals relate to his grandfather John Joseph HEPTON who served in the First AIF, His great uncle Thomas HEPTON who served in the British Army during the Great War and his father, Wilfred John HEPTON who served in the Second AIF during the 1939-1945 War.

IMAGE RIGHT:  Thomas-Hepton-1914-1915-StaThe 1914-1915 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal and Silver War Badge awarded to Thomas HEPTON of the Yorkshire Regiment.

Private Thomas HEPTON served with the Yorkshire Regiment during the Great War.  He entered France on 02 September, 1915 making him eligible for the 1914-1915 Star, British War Medal and the Victory Medal.  He was also allocated the Silver War Badge.  It was granted officers and other ranks who had served since 4 August 1914.  The badge was issued to servicemen who had been discharged on account of age, wounds or sickness, such as would render them permanently unfit for further service.  The badge, sometimes known as the Discharge Badge, Wound Badge or Services Rendered Badge, was first issued in September 1916, along with an official certificate of entitlement.  Manufactured from sterling silver, it was a lapel badge and was intended to be worn with civilian clothes. It had been the practice of some women to present white feathers to apparently able-bodied young men who were not wearing the King’s uniform. The badge was to be worn on the right breast while in civilian dress, it was forbidden to be worn on a military uniform.

John-J-Helpton-First-World-IMAGE LEFT: The First World War Medals of John Joseph HEPTON who served with the 51st Infantry Battalion, AIF.

The First World War Embarkation Roll indicates that John Joseph HEPTON left Fremantle on board HMAT Miltiades (A28) on 09 August, 1916 as a member of the 51st Infantry Battalion, AIF (Australian Imperial Force).

The World War Two Nominal Roll indicates Gunner Wilfred John HEPTON joined the Second AIF on 18 July, 1942 and was allocated the service number WX29536.  He served with the 2/7 Field Regiment and discharged on 01 November 1945.  As a result of his service, Wilfred was awarded the 1939-1945 Star, Pacific Star, 1939-1945 War Medal, 1939-1945 Australia Service Medal, 1945-1975 Australia Service Medal with Pacific Clasp and the Netherlands War Cross.  After the Second World War had ended, many Australian Servicemen who had served in the Dutch East Indies were awarded Dutch medals in recognition of their service. This last award attached to his medal bar is a bronze cross which shows Queen Wilhelmina surrounded by the text “VOOR KRIJGSVERRICHTINGEN” (For war operations).  The award was instituted on 16 March 1944.  It was awarded for participation in general war operations and/or specific war actions which were recognized by small-lettered bars on the ribbon.

Wilfred-John-Hepton-Second-IMAGE RIGHT:  The Second World War medals of Gunner Wilfred John HEPTON who served with the 2/7 Field Regiment, AIF.  The medals from left to right are:- 1939-1945 Star, Pacific Star, 1939-1945 War Medal, 1939-1945 Australia Service Medal, 1945-1975 Australia Service Medal with Pacific Clasp and the Netherlands War Cross.

It is the wish of the HEPTON family that these medals enter the hands of a reputable collector who will value the service of these three men.  For further details, please contact the Medals Gone Missing Administrator.

 

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Finding Frederick Prentice – Aboriginal Digger – winner of the Military Medal

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On the 10th of March 2008 a 1914-15 Star awarded to Indigenous digger, Frederick PRENTICE sold on ebay.

Frederick PRENTICE, Service Number 2597 was a member of the 12th Infantry Battalion, AIF during the Great War.  The First World War Embarkation Roll records his departure from Adelaide on the 26th of August, 1915 aboard RMS Morea with the rank of Private.  His service record via the National Archives of Australia indicates he arrived at Mudros during December 1915 and did not serve on Gallipoli.  This Aboriginal Australian was born in Powells Creek, Northern Territory and was the recipient of a Military Medal for his service on the Western Front; eventually attaining the rank of Corporal.  He saw considerable action including service at Pozieres, Bullecourt, The Somme and Passchendaele.  He died in Katherine in 1958 and was described as a ‘half-caste’ Maori by Police.

1914-1915-Star-Frederick-PrIMAGE RIGHT:  The First World War medal (1914-1915 Star) of Private Frederick PRENTICE who was one of many Aboriginal Australians who answered the call during the Great War.  This image appeared on the ebay listing at the time of the sale.  The research was conducted by Mostly Unsung Heroes.

The 1914-1915 Star was sold by a Sydney militaria dealer who unfortunately has an unscrupulous reputation.  Subsequently he is not prepared to assist in any way.  Medals Gone Missing is interested in contacting the winner of this auction.  We wish to point out that we have information which may interest the winner of this medal and we are not attempting to recover the award.  However, if this person is interested in selling the medal back to the descendants of Frederick PRENTICE, this may be negotiated.

Miltary-Medal-Frederick-PreIMAGE LEFT:  The Military Medal, similar to that awarded to Corporal Frederick PRENTICE, an Indigenous Australian who served in the Australian Imperial Force during the Great War.

Please CLICK HERE for a link to a story about Frederick PRENTICE.  If you would like to know more about Frederick’s history, you may contact Christine Cramer on the following email:-  cramer@staff.usyd.edu.au

PLEASE NOTE:  Medals Gone Missing wishes to point out that Colonel Neil C Smith OAM operating as “Mostly Unsung Military History Research and Publications” is a very reputable historian and is NOT the dealer referred to in the above text.  Nor is he associated with the Sydney based militaria dealer mentioned above.  Despite the fact that this emblem was not in existence during the time of the First World War, the Aboriginal flag has been used in this blog out of respect of all Indigenous Australians who have served (and continue to serve) in the Australian Armed Forces.

 

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Are you related to Herbert Henry KURTZ from Dubbo, New South Wales?

Australian-FlagI am searching for the descendants of Corporal Herbert Henry KURTZ who served with the 3rd Infantry Battalion, Australian Imperial Force during the Great War.  He was born at Dubbo, New South Wales and lists his civil occupation as “Traveller” prior to joining he Australian Imperial Force.  His service number was 143 and he left Australia aboard HMAT Euripides (A14) from Port Sydney on 20 October, 1914 according to the First World War Embarkation Roll.  Herbert Henry KURTZ landed at Gallipoli on or around 25th April with the 3rd Battalion and according to his service record as per the National Archives of Australia, he was wounded during the August offensive.  Having sustained a gun shot wound to his leg, it is highly likely that he received this wound during the battle for Lone Pine where the 3rd Infantry Battalion was heavily engaged.

Britsh-War-Medal-&-Victory-IMAGE RIGHT: The British War Medal and Victory Medal, similar to that awarded to Corporal Herbert Henry KURTZ. He is also entitled to the 1914-1915 Star.

As a result of his injury and a bout of dysentery, Herbert Henry KURTZ was evacuated to Mudros and then sent to England for further treatment.  Perhaps as a result of his injury, he transferred to the Australian Army Pay Corps where he served for the remainder of the war.

Herbert Henry KURTZ may be related to F.A. KURTZ who served in the Merchant Navy during the Great War.  If you are related to this person, could you please contact the Medals Gone Missing Administrator.

3rd-Battalion-colour-patch-IMAGE LEFT:  The ‘brown over green’ color patch of the 3rd Infantry Battalion, Australian Imperial Force.

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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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