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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Missing War Service Medals of Bombardier Robert James Arthur NICHOLAS – Headquarters Royal Australian Artillery 2 Australian Corps

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I am seeking the return of the missing war service medals of my grandfather, Robert James Arthur NICHOLAS.  He was born at Waverley, New South Wales on 12 September, 1921.  According to the World War Two Nominal Roll, he transferred from the AIF (Australian Imperial Force) on the 29 September, 1942.  His AIF service number was NX121962 and his AMF (Australian Military Force) service number was N191096.

Bombardier-Robert-James-ArtIMAGE RIGHT:  Bombardier Robert James Arthur NICHOLAS, service number NX121962.  His family are searching for his missing war service medals.  Can you help?

Upon his discharge from the army in 1946, he held the rank of Bombardier and his posting on discharge was HQ RAA 2 AUST CORP ().  This missing medals set is a “Pacific Group” of four which consist of the 1939-1945 Star, Pacific Star, 1939-1945 War Medal and the 1939-1945 Australia Service Medal.
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These medals have not been seen for a number of years, the last known location was the Tumbi Umbi area on the central coast.

These missing war medals are of great sentimental value to myself and my family.  I am interested in recovering the medals and offer a reward to the finder on top.  I can be contacted on 0430 536 691 at anytime or you can contact me through the Medals Gone Missing Administrator via this website.

Robert-James-Arthur-NICHOLAIMAGE LEFT:  Group photograph of Bombardier Robert James Arthur NICHOLAS, possibly taken in New Guinea.

Thanking you for your assistance

Ashley KABLE (grandson of Robert James Arthur Nicholas)

39,Pac,War,AusIMAGE RIGHT:  Australian Second World War Service medals, similar to those awarded to Bombardier Robert James Arthur NICHOLAS.  They are from left to right:- 1939-1945 Star, Pacific Star, 1939-1945 War Medal and 1939-1945 Australia Service Medal.

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Missing War Medals of Sergeant (Flight Engineer) Victor GLEDHILL (RAFVR) sold at auction – Medals advertised via Medal News publication

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My family is searching for the missing war medals of our relative, Sergeant (Flight Engineer) Victor GLEDHILL. His service number was 1592716 and he served with 77 Squadron, R.A.F.V.R. (Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve). Victor GLEDHILL was killed in action on 17 June 1944, aged 19. According to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission records, he lies buried in Uden War Cemetery in the Netherlands (Holland). His war medals were sold on 20 October 1993 at DNW AUCTIONS.

Sergeant Victor GLEDHILL of the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve (RAFVR)

Sergeant Victor GLEDHILL of the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve (RAFVR)

This auction house (Dix Noonan Webb) was at 16 Bolton St, Mayfair, London, W1J 8BQ and as British medals from the Second World War were not engraved by the government, it is clear that the medals were identifiable by other documentation which accompanied the medals. The missing medals comprise of the 1939-1945 Star, France and Germany Star and the 1939-1945 War Medal.

The  missing war medals posthumously awarded to Sergeant Victor GLEDHILL. They consist of the 1939-1945 Star, France & Germany Star and 1939-1945 War Medal.  Sergeant Victor GLEDHILL was killed in action whilst serving with 77 Squadron RAFVR (Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve)

The missing war medals posthumously awarded to Sergeant Victor GLEDHILL. They consist of the 1939-1945 Star, France & Germany Star and 1939-1945 War Medal. Sergeant Victor GLEDHILL was killed in action whilst serving with 77 Squadron RAFVR (Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve)

They were sold together with the cardboard box of issue (which would have had the name of his father and address on the front) and condolence slip to his parents. Victor was the son of George Victor and Florence Gledhill, of Marsh, Huddersfield. We do not know how these missing war medals came to leave our family, but we would be very grateful if whoever purchased the medals would consider selling them back to us.

The following information is from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website:-  Uden was occupied by the Germans until its liberation in September 1944.  In the earlier years of the war Commonwealth and Allied servicemen were buried in the garden of the parish priest which adjoined the Roman Catholic Cemetery.  Later it became necessary to provide another burial ground for them and in 1943 the municipality acquired the Roman Catholic Cemetery, unused since about 1918, for this purpose.  After the war more than 100 graves from the garden of the parish priest, and also a number of isolated graves from various parts of the commune, were moved into this cemetery.  Uden War Cemetery now contains 701 Commonwealth burials of the Second World War (two of them unidentified) and two Polish war graves.

Commonwealth War Graves Commission photograph of Uden War Cemetery in the Netherlands (Holland).

Commonwealth War Graves Commission photograph of Uden War Cemetery in the Netherlands (Holland).

This medal set has been advertised in the wonderful international medal publication, Medal News (March 2014 edition).   Should you know of the whereabouts of these missing war medals, please contact the Medals Gone Missing Administrator via email customerservice@medalsgonemissing.com

The March 2014 edition of Medal News magazine.  This publication is an excellent resource regarding medals and military awards and is highly recommended.

The March 2014 edition of Medal News magazine. This publication is an excellent resource regarding medals and military awards and is highly recommended.

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