ANZAC Day 2015 will be a very special day for the descendants of William Richmond JUNOR. Not only because it is the Centenary of the Gallipoli landings. But owing to a wonderful gesture by two brothers; a shaving kit presented to William on the 25th April, 1918 is now in their hands after being missing for a very long time.
IMAGE RIGHT: The private purchase shaving kit presented to Private William Richmond JUNOR, a Queensland reinforcement who left Sydney bound for France on 8 May, 1918.
William Richmond JUNOR enlisted into the AIF and was allocated the Service Number: 53345. According to the First World War Embarkation Roll, he boarded RMS Osterley on 08 May 1918 at Port Sydney. So when this return took place at the ANZAC Memorial, Hyde Park in Sydney, it was a very appropriate place.
IMAGE LEFT: Senior Historian and Curator of the ANZAC Memorial, Brad Manera was very gracious in allowing the return of this piece of kit to take place in this most appropriate venue. The memorial in Hyde Park Sydney is only a very short distance from where William JUNOR boarded a ship and left Australia’s shores, bound for the Western Front.
Of course, the return of war service medals to the descendants of a veteran is a wonderful thing. But the return of such pieces which are deeply personal bits of kit, are very special indeed. After all, campaign medals are awarded generally in peacetime after a man’s service. Relics such as this shaving kit were carried and used by the soldier whilst on active service.
IMAGE RIGHT: The contents of the shaving kit presented to Private William Richmond JUNOR from Yorklea by F.R.W. Cam on ANZAC Day 1918. If you are a descendant of F.R.W. Cam, then Medals Gone Missing would like to hear from you.
It was the work of two wonderful people which made this return possible. Rodger and Bill NEWMAN are two very special men who feel very strongly about the service of our diggers. In relation to this relic Rodger said, “I got the kit from my brother Bill when he was moving house. He and his wife had picked it up at an auction many years ago. It was a fantastic effort all round(in finding the descendants of William Junor) and I now feel much happier that this item of memorabilia is back where it should be”.
IMAGE LEFT: Rodger Newman (black shirt) officially presents the shaving kit of Private William Richmond JUNOR to this soldier’s great nephew, Doug Junor. Also present was the original finder of the shaving kit, Bill Newman. Another JUNOR descendant David Willis (white shirt) accompanied Doug for this historic hand over.
It is not known how this relic was parted from the JUNOR family. Many relics such as this come onto the commercial market by way of desceased estate sales.
IMAGE RIGHT: Doug Junor, the Great nephew of William Richmond JUNOR holds the First World War shaving kit for the very first time. It is moments such as these which bring relevance in modern times to events which happened 100 years ago.
It is not known what happened to the service medals of William Richmond JUNOR and it is hoped they are still in the hands of a descendant. If you have the British War Medal or Victory Medal of Private JUNOR in your possession, we would like to hear from you.
IMAGE LEFT: Two descendants of Private William Richmond JUNOR at the ANZAC Memorial in March 2015. Doug Junor and his nephew David Willis were thrilled to have this historically valuable piece back into their family. Nearly 97 years earlier, their ancestor lined up on the wharves of Sydney prior to his deployment to the Western Front. It is appropriate that they are standing below the sculptured walls which depict the 1918 battles.
Gary Traynor, the Medals Gone Missing Administrator would like to salute the decency and kindness of brothers Bill and Rodger Newman for returning this relic to the family of William Richmond JUNOR. In an age dominated by eBay and profiteering, two men have chosen honor over financial gain and it is acts such as this which restore my faith in human nature. Well done gentlemen. And I would love to be standing next to Doug Junor this ANZAC Day as he proudly carries the shaving kit of one man who served his country during the Great War.
IMAGE RIGHT: Medals Gone Missing Administrator (far right) with the group that came together to commemorate the service of William Richmond JUNOR. My heartfelt thanks to the ANZAC Memorial staff and Senior Historian Brad Manera for allowing this relic return to take place in Sydney’s centre piece for commemoration.