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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

WWI - War Medal – Finding Owners Family


Hodie Non Cras

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I have a British WWI War Medal in my possession that I obtained from my neighbor. He got it from a vet who passed away in 1985 but it didn't belong to the vet and my neighbor doesn't know much about it. I'm not sure how it would have got to Canada. When I examined the medal the naming inscription was partially filed off. I've since been able to identify whom it belonged to and now I'm hoping that someone can help me find a current family member and perhaps give me some background info on the soldier. I'd truly like to return it to the proper family. Here's who he is:

Medal card of Callaghan, John

Corps Regiment No Rank

Royal Berkshire Regiment 649 Private

Royal Air Force 35808 Private

Any help would be gratefully appreciated. Thanks.

Tom

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Heres his MIC but you may need someone to find his RAF record for Next of Kin.

Good luck

post-9371-1214522210.jpg

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Heres his MIC but you may need someone to find his RAF record for Next of Kin.

Good luck

Thanks its a start. Tom

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Hallo Fellow Members, :D

just a quick question if I may, I have noticed a few times on the site

people looking to return medal's to families, in itself a noble venture and one which I applaud

but, how do you determine that the relatives / family of the man who received

them, did not sell them off some time in the past for cash?

Or that the original recipient did not sell them off in his life time.

I have 2 British Victory Medals, (1 South African Victory Medal)

and some B.W.M. in my collection, which I cherish.

and intend to add any information with regards the receipiant, but I cant see myself expending time and money

looking for any family out there, needless to say if I was contacted by a family member looking for them,

or saw an advertisement / appeal, then I would return them.

But what makes me hesitant is the thought that the soldiers family binned them years back.

Any thoughts or comments welcome (but please no preaching :P)

Connaught Stranger. :D

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You have a point there, Conn. But there were times which were so hard that men would pawn or sell their medals to put bread in their families' mouths.

All the best, John.

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or even to buy a drink.

Mick

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But what makes me hesitant is the thought that the soldiers family binned them years back.

Any thoughts or comments welcome

I would love to have my grandfather's medals. It's not my fault if my grandmother binned them when he died, long before I was born. (Actually I think it's most likely that she buried them with him, but no one knows for sure.) If medals were disposed of, for whatever reason, please don't transfer any "blame" to the descendants. We are different people, and had no say in the matter!

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I would love to have my grandfather's medals. It's not my fault if my grandmother binned them when he died, long before I was born. (Actually I think it's most likely that she buried them with him, but no one knows for sure.) If medals were disposed of, for whatever reason, please don't transfer any "blame" to the descendants. We are different people, and had no say in the matter!

Hallo Greyhound, :D

I am not about to place blame anywhere, with regards what happened the medals awarded by the man or his relatives, but in my eyes, the worse case scenario is as follows, you locate a medal or medals at a car-boot sale market whatever, you spend your time and money tracing the relatives of the soldier concerned with the hopes of returning the medals and then you find out the relatives were the ones who disposed of the medals in the first place for money.

Even today many British medals are listed on Ebay as belonging to the sellers family, why they want to sell off tangible evidence of the family history is beyond me, but it is being done, and with frightening frequency.

Connaught Stranger :D

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Hi

Just a further thought, even if you do find family now living how do you determine which one of probably numerous "claimants" should receive them? personally I have been in this position and tried to contact the family but for whatever reason received no response.

Fusilier11

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Fair enough, CS, but you did say "what makes me hesitant is the thought that the soldiers family binned them years back", which is what I was addressing with my comment.

Fusilier11, yep, every case is likely to be different, but probably in many instances there wouldn't be any conflict. My cousins and I would all love just to have the medals in the family, we wouldn't be fighting over them.

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We had a number of medals belonging to various members of the family which included some South African War medals. All were stolen with many other things in a burglary at my parents some years ago and have doubtless resurfaced somewhere in a car boot sale. There was a similar discussion on the forum about a year ago - don't assume that because medals are out there on the market its because the family didn't care.

BTW how do you know that those E bay medals really are being sold by the family just because the ad says so?. For example they're hardly likely to say "knocked off by my mate Ron" are they? (I cast no aspersion on any specific advert or any particular Ron)

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Fair enough, CS, but you did say "what makes me hesitant is the thought that the soldiers family binned them years back", which is what I was addressing with my comment.

Fusilier11, yep, every case is likely to be different, but probably in many instances there wouldn't be any conflict. My cousins and I would all love just to have the medals in the family, we wouldn't be fighting over them.

perhaps I should have used a better word than binned, perhaps "got rid of", I suppose thats another problem when there is a death in the family, and the medals end up getting divided.

Connaught Stranger :D

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Tried to do this with a death plaque to a Suffolk man by the name of Rutterford - I found the addresses of a number of Rutterfords in the area that SDGW recorded as being where he came from. I sent off 10 letters and received no replies.

A romantic idea but I fear likely to not get too many people excited.

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For all those that don't get a response, why not also inform them of the current market value of the items you are giving back.

Mick

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I agree about giving back medals to families - our family has virtually none of the medals that were awarded to it as elder generations have 'lost' them in the past after someone has died - as someone interested I'd love to eventually get them back if they're still out there.

Incidently, I spotted a family member whose grandfather was awarded an MM leaving a message on here a couple of years back wanting info on the whereabouts of his medals. I have his BWM (and unfortunately only that!) in my collection (bought well over 10 years ago from a junk shop on the east coast) and have been trying to contact him to return it - M Eastwood if you're out there please email me!

Dan

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perhaps I should have used a better word than binned, perhaps "got rid of", I suppose thats another problem when there is a death in the family, and the medals end up getting divided.

Binned, got rid of, whatever; my point was that it happened a long time ago.

Good point about dividing the medals - this sort of thing happens with other articles too, such as series of pictures, sets of dining chairs, suites of jewellery .... People mean well, trying to be fair, but not realising how much they are devaluing things by splitting them up (and not only in a monetary sense).

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Tom has made a specific request only to have his post hi-jacked. Let's get his original post back on the road please.

TR

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Hallo TR,

must admit its my fault, :blush: could you perhaps split this off as a separate topic?

And apologies to Tom the original topic starter for the hijack :blush:

Connaught Stranger.

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Binned, got rid of, whatever; my point was that it happened a long time ago.

This is certainly not always the case as seen on online Auctions/Car Boots sales & General local Auctions etc;, As well as ~Dubious TV Antique Flog/Search/Car Boot/Bargain *unt/Sea Sun & Sell Your Heritage type programmes,etc;where,to the "great unwashed" Gran ~ Pops Gongs are no more nor less than an extra £25~£200 Squid to add to the 2 Weeks in Malaga/New Sofa/Garden Shed fund & thus if "Jinty";P*ul or M*rk allude that they could fetch an extra £**; they seem only to please to flog 'em off & to hell with Family heritage,anything for 15 minutes of TV fame as it were.

The Pawning/Selling of Medals has gone on since Waterloo,but since one rarely finds Medals with scratched PB marks {eg: R//= scratched on any flat surface}*{I have only ever owned 3 out of a Collection of many hundreds,so marked;& none were WW1} I dont think this was that common an occurence despite grinding poverty & hardship in many UK areas,in the 1920s,they simply were not "worth" anything @ the time,perhaps a few pennies or so as silver,the bronze would have been negligble,even such items as tjhe MM;MSM & DCM,would have only been worth a few shillings on the embyo Collecting market.,a Pawnbroker would have only offered "Scrap" for them.

Nearly a hundred years on the perspectives have changed,& often futilely;later generations of members of some families seek them again~but again in the overall panorama of things ~ A very few.

To the majority even today they are seen as purely Collectables/Antiques or simply worth "a Bob or Two"

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  • 2 weeks later...

Wow; I didn't expect such a response to my search inquiry and there certainley is a variety of opinions on which way to go, "find or forget". I've opted to try the find method and so I'm to keep trying to find a family member hoping that the returning of a cherished memory to Pte John Callaghans' family/great grandchild my spur their interest in the "Great War". Besides it may appear corney but I have the time to work on it. Tom :closedeyes:

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This link is to the WW1 researcher for the Berkshire Regiment, very helpful chap, he may be able to help

enquiry

regards

Brett

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the post entitled finding family medals, well i found his medals !!!!!!!

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