Thursday, 25 April 2013

Finding my dead uncle's lost war medals

Last year I wrote briefly and not very competently about my grandmother's brother, who died shortly after returning from war, in 1946. He was 44 years old when he died. He died from complications stemming from his war service in north Africa, where he served in Tobruk. He was already fairly advanced in age when he enlisted in Sydney.

These are medals of his, about the existence of which I was alerted in August 2011 by a man who has established an organisation called Lost Medals Australia. He found me because I had uploaded to my website the memoir my father wrote before he died, in which he talks about his family as part of the narrative of his personal story. The gentleman went on to write about returning the medals to the family; they had been held safe for 30 years after having been "picked up in a box of second hand goods".

As my blogpost of last year about William Robert Ralph Caldicott, my uncle, is not very competent because I find it difficult to read the writing in his war record, this post now is also full of shortcomings because I do not know what the medals represent, why they were awarded, and generally what they mean. Further reading is required. Suffice it to say that the medal on the right in the picture above shows a lion standing on top of a griffon, with the dates 1939 and 1945 stamped above the animals. The medal on the left is stamped with the words 'The Defence Medal'. If you know more about these medals, please feel free to leave a comment.


Catsidhe said...

Defence Medal:

"The Defence Medal is awarded for six months service in a prescribed non-operational area subject to enemy air attack or closely threatened, in Australia and overseas, or for 12 months service in non-prescribed non-operational areas.

Within Australia the area is the Northern Territory , north of 14 degrees 30 minutes south, and the Torres Strait Islands between 3 September 1939 and 2 September 1945.

Overseas service includes the Middle East, east of the Suez Canal (less the period of the Syrian Campaign) or Malaya prior to the Japanese invasion on 8 December 1941."

War Medal 1939--1945:

"This medal is awarded for 28 days full time service in the period between 3 September 1939 and 2 September 1945."

Verlene said...

This is cool!