JOHN JOSEPH O’DONNELL ~ West Coaster’s medal reunited with Army’s ‘Sword of Honour’ graduate.

37725 ~ JOHN JOSEPH O'DONNELL     The name of O’Donnell is well known on the West Coast of New Zealand with the descendants of Irish immigrants still populating most towns up and down the length of Westland.  Generations of O’Donnell men have worked as miners, mill workers and bushmen/loggers, and the O’Donnell brothers in this story were no … [Read more...]

CHARLES EDWARD STEVENSON ~ Reunited ‘Death Plaque’ leads to an unclaimed ANZAC (Gallipoli) Medallion.

6/554 ~ CHARLES EDWARD STEVENSON    An article published in the Timaru Courier was sent to me by South Canterbury lady Olwyn, currently living in Texas, USA, as she thought I may be interested in helping to find a descendant for a medal being offered.  The article (right) related the story of a Mr John Watson of Timaru who had bought a WW1 Memorial Plaque … [Read more...]

PTE. SAMUEL CHASE ~ 05 October 2018 ~ Update #2.

Memorial to Forgotten First World War Soldier ~ Headstone Unveiled    As advised in my last Post Update (17 Aug 2018), a ceremony of remembrance to officially mark the grave of a WW1 veteran soldier who lay in an anonymous grave for 77 years, was held this week in the Catholic Section of the Wakapuaka Cemetery, Nelson. 6/4594 Private Samuel Chase, … [Read more...]

GEORGE FIRMAN ~ Stolen medals of missing Dakota DC3 passenger are reunited with Dunedin family.

NZ4312786 ~ GEORGE FIRMAN ~ RNZAF    On 24 September 1945 a Royal New Zealand Air Force C47-B Douglas Dakota (DC3) Serial No. NZ 3526 left Espirito Santo, the largest island in the New Hebrides archipelago, with 20 air force personnel aboard bound for RNZAF Station Whenuapai.  After routine radio communication between the aircraft and Santo had been … [Read more...]

!! MEDALS FOUND !! ~ Stolen WW2 medals listed on Trade-Me auction ~ !! MEDALS REUNITED !!

Leading Aircraftman George Firman !!  MEDALS  REUNITED  !! They say it pays to advertise.  This case proved it does - after our Post on Facebook a few weeks ago regarding the Stolen and aborted return of the medals, they have been recovered.  The Pacific Star and a Memorial Cross named to LAC George Firman, RNZAF who lost his life returning to NZ after the … [Read more...]

CHARLES HENRY GARTNER ~ Bushman, Axeman, Feller, Sawyer, Trimmer, Mill Hand, Saw Doctor – it was in his blood.

56764 ~ CHARLES HENRY GARTNER      This is another story whose success was directly attributable to posts we place on the Auckland War Memorial Museum's Cenotaph website of digitized WW1 veteran's files.  This case involved a medal which belonged to a man whose ancestors were a well known pioneer family in the Dannevirke and Marlborough and Tasman areas by men … [Read more...]

“STOLEN WW2 MEDALS” ~ Trade-Me Auction, 20 Aug 2018

!! ~ STOLEN MEDALS SOLD ON TRADE-ME ~ !! ~ 20 August 2018 ~ Medals named to NZ4312786  Leading Aircraftman George FIRMAN - 40 Sqn, RNZAF died on air operations in September 1945 while he was travelling home after the war from Espirito Santo where he had been serving.  The Dakota aircraft went missing and was lost with all aboard; no trace was ever … [Read more...]

PTE. SAMUEL CHASE ~ 17 August 2018 ~ Update.

A shell-shocked soldier from the Hawkes Bay, buried in an unmarked grave in Nelson, is to have his WW1 service remembered and honoured.    When Private Samuel Chase returned to his home in Takapau after the war he was 'damaged', seriously damaged.  He tried to control and suppress the horrors he had been exposed to but Sam's 'scars of war' ran deep and … [Read more...]

JAMES CYRIL HENLEY ~ The race to stop a highly decorated 2NZEF soldier’s medals from leaving New Zealand.

7095 ~ JAMES CYRIL HENLEY     In the Beginning ... A phone call a few days after Anzac Day this year from a rather distressed lady (M.) from Napier resulted in her relating to me the story of her family’s anguish after discovering their deceased father’s war medals were missing.  Upon further questioning, M. said that she had found out the medals had been … [Read more...]

AMY JULIA METGE ~ NZ Hospital Ship nurse’s medal offered up by a collector is reunited with Northcote family.

22/314 ~ AMY JULIA METGE     From time to time I come across New Zealand military medals offered by a collector which have an unusual surname I am unfamiliar with.  Recently one caught my eye and as I do first, is to consult the AWMM Cenotaph website for some personal background.  In this particular case a British War Medal was named to a WW1 nurse "METGE" … [Read more...]