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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

A most amazing, completely unexpected, birthday present.


Hustler
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Possibly, probably the most unexpected present I've ever received.

Although thinking back a long way there was my first ever push bike although I suppose I was half expecting it and then before that when little Mary Cooke kissed me on the lips at my tenth birthday party but I seem to remember not being too distracted and getting back to the jelly and ice cream quite quickly.

So we now fast forward many many years to my birthday this week.

A bit of background first if I may.

I have been interested in my family history for something over 30 years now and liken the hobby to a big jigsaw puzzle that I get out from time to time and try and fit a few more pieces into the puzzle.

An offshoot of this is an interest in the first World War where 2 of my Grandfather's brother's lost their lives.

Charles Richard Needham is listed on the Tyne Cot memorial and Alfred Needham on the Menin Gate.

I have spent time around the sites in Belgium and France and also been to Kew to look for information on the brothers where I have found lots of information about Charles but absolutely nothing on Alfred.

Fast forward to a month or so ago when someone, on a motorcycle forum as it happens, pointed me to this forum and it was one that somehow I had not discovered before.

But it all looked very interesting so I registered and immediately did what is probably the time honoured thing for all newbies of conducting a search on the names I was interested in. And there quite unbelievably was a reference to Charles Richard Needham by this subscriber called stiletto_33853.

Was stiletto a Needham ?.

Had I found a new branch of the family ?.

It was all extremely intriguing so I rushed off a pm to the man in question and got a reply straight away.

Turns out that young stiletto has the 1914-15 Star trio of my Great Uncle Charles Richard Needham.

Quite amazing and incredible indeed.

I related the story to my son and daughter and also my Uncle who retains an interest in the history of the family.

Fast forward to yesterday and a parcel arrives for me containing lots of paperwork from Kew about Charles plus the 1914-15 Star trio medals themselves.

It's not often I am rendered speechless but I was then.

It seems that my kids had used the few facts I had given them and traced it back to this forum and from there had contacted the young stiletto man and the end result is happy birthday Dad, here's a little present for you.

I'm still overwhelmed by the whole sequence of events and major thanks to my children and to stiletto, who is as pleased as I am that the medals have gone back to the family.

And Uncle is very pleased as well so I'll take them and show him next time I visit.

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Hustelr,

Two points

1..'Young Stilletto man'. Please!

2..Andy (Stilleto) would be the first to say they are where they belong. Its what all this is about in a nutshell. Its not about us but about the men who served and what we can do to keep their memories alive.

I too had a 'parcel' today, albeit electronic. Mine too from the same originator. Amazed, cease and Andy all in one sentence.

Regards

Arm

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Great news! This is what its all about. Nothing better then having medals reunited to the family. Really happy for you. Good work Andy.

James

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What a wonderful birthday present to get how nice of your family and how good of Andy.

Happy birthday to you!!!!

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John,

Your reaction and kind words exchanged by pm today have been reward enough, what a birthday present for you!!

Anthony, your son, got in contact with me regarding this matter and we have tried to keep it as quite as possible to enable a birthday suprise for you.

Must admit that it was a bit of a rush to get everything done in time for your birthday as I was over in Belgium last week, but I am so happy that you have received them safely and that our little suprise for you worked out. Armourer has said it in a nutshell, it is all about the men that served and keeping their memories alive.

I know that Charles' medals are now where they belong and his memory will be cherished, as his memory was cherished whilst I was the guardian of them.

John, I am very happy for you and must admit to feeling a warm glow inside of me for assisting your son in making your birthday one to remember.

All the very best,

Andy

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I suspect that what's really giving you a warm glow inside is being referred to as "young" Stiletto for the first time in decades.

Good show though, Andy.

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George,

You could be right, it is a long time since I have been called young. The thanks must go to Anthony who made this happen, I am always happy to help and the added bonus of giving John a birthday to remember by placing the medals back in the families hands where they belong was the icing on the cake. Thank you George.

Andy

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Andy... my hat is off to you sir! Well done!

If only there were more like yourself, I'm certain that this world would be a much happier and agreeable place to live. Sadly, thats wishful thinking on my part.

All the same, give yourself a pat on the back for your kindness.

Seph :D

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That is awesome job, Stiletto!

I try and cross reference the list on this site of people looking for family medals with medals being sold of various sites. Maybe one day I can reunite a family with ancestors' medals too.

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stiletto, [andy]. thats a great and very kind gesture you made. i very nearly had a tear in my eye reading hustlers post as i had the same gesture happen to me in `07 with my grandads medals. you`ve made a new pal for life, good on you.

mike.

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  • Admin

Happy Birthday John- you'll never forget this one! And Andy- having met him once, only confirms my opinion of him- a top bloke.

Michelle

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I am the son in question. I have to add another thanks to Andy, he has taught me more in the past couple of weeks about Charles Needham than I have learnt in my previous 33 years. And his willingness, not only to offer me the medals but to share his wealth of information has to be applauded, the man has goodwill in spades. If you ever need your car fixing, give me a shout.

After the idea was hatched I spoke to my sister who thought it was a superb idea so I got in touch with Andy, the deal was done & I sent the medals off to my father in France. Since he has been living there we have decided not to do birthday presents anymore but we figured this was too much of a special opportunity to miss. When dad recieved them he called me & made me chuckle, the conversation went along the lines of "Hi Anthony....erm....I've got some post today........erm........gosh.........a parcel......well.....there was.......gosh......erm".

I love you dad but the best part is I get them back one day!!

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Anthony,

Love the telephone conversation, it made me chuckle also, well a little more than chuckle. Have still got to e-mail you the relevant parts of the 7th Rifle Brigade's war diary to help you all understand some more of what Charles went through before his unfortunate death and the circumstances of his previous wounding in August 1916 on the Somme. I Will send these all through to you in the next couple of days.

Loved your plan of a suprise present for your father, I am very happy to have helped you with this and assist you learning a little more about your relation.

Great present Anthony, one I know John will not forget in a hurry, a very thoughtful and moving saga for which I congratulate you on.

Andy

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Andy,

I think we both deserve a virtual pat on the back. Certainly the best present I've ever given my dad & I can't imagine ever giving a better present again - unless you happen to have our family jewels in your possession.....

Anthony.

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Top respect for you Andy! That is a lovely thing to have done.... praise where it deserves, a great story and this is the whole point of the forum! This forum needs administrators like you, to keep it going. Too much bully behaviour on here for my liking recently, (and today) but what you have done is sheer kindness, and I like that alot!!

Alie.

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I joined this forum to learn more about the GW but having only been part of the "community" for a scant few months I have learnt more about goodwill, kindness and sheer drive than I ever thought possible. Phew! What a story!

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