DERYCK REEVE BACH ~ A Whitanga soldier’s unclaimed war medals & memorabilia: RSA asks MRNZ for help to return it to family.

33356 ~DERYCK REEVE BACH    

Following the successful return of Second World War medals left at a Whitianga op shop in 2017 (refer Roland Castaing story), two boxes of medals and memorabilia were handed in to the same RSA that had requested our help to reunite the Castaing medals.  WW2  veteran Deryck Bach had been retired in Whitianga for some years and during his final few years of life had had the services of a carer to assist him as he became more infirm.  Deryck had appointed a Trustee, a trusted friend and neighbour, to deal with his estate after his death.  Before the war Deryck had been employed as a clerk and as such, was known for his organisational ability and attention to detail however, this old soldier had not quite dotted all his ‘I’s and crossed all the ‘T’s in regard to his war service memorabilia – he had failed to specified what was to happen with it after his death.  The net result was it fell to Deryck’s carer and Trustee to dispose of the remnants of his estate not specified in his otherwise comprehensive will. 

In clearing Deryck’s house after his death, two boxes of memorabilia were collected together.  In the absence of any apparent family, his carer not wanting to throw anything away that had belonged to him, stored a box of photographs, a bible and diary at her home in the event a family member made contact with her.  After 12 years of storage, an impending move and clean-out brought the box of photos to light again.  As many of the photographs were related to Deryck’s military service, the carer decided the local Mercury Bay RSA would know what to do with them and so left them there. 

Enter Mercury Bay’s RSA Support Adviser – Roger Beasley (again!).  I say again as it was Roger who had sent me the WWII medals of a deceased former Whitianga resident a couple of years ago, which had been left at the Whitianga op shop.  MRNZ managed to successfully trace the Castaing family to Melbourne and Perth, to return the medals.  It was not until a few months after I had received this first box that Roger called me again and said that he had received a second box of Deryk’s which contained his medals and other personal items of memorabilia.    

When Roger contacted me he said that he had attempted to trace a relative believed to be living in Waipukurau however his inquiries while positive, had come to nothing.  It was then that he asked me if I could look into returning Deryck Bach’s military ‘bits and bobs’ which had obviously been collected and saved from his service overseas.  In the box Roger sent to MRNZ were the following:

 

  • 23 personalised postcard photographs
  • 60 personal photographs
  • a brown leather tooled tourist photo album from Egypt
  • Green covered personal diary (1942/43) named to “33396, DR Bach, C Coy, 25 Bn”
  • One set of Battle Dress sergeant’s chevrons
  • A leather covered Bible marked to a “William Prebble, Napier 1893″ and  stamped: NZ Bible Trust & Book Society (Wellington & Dunedin) with a brown leather sleeve

Note: The original intention had been to try to locate a Prebble descendant to pass the Bible to.  There were two Prebble families in Napier at the turn of last century, and both un-connected.  All indications were that William Prebble’s family had died out.  Further research determined the Bible had come from Owen Harold Christie’s father, Archibald Christie, who may possibly have been acquainted with William Prebble.  Exactly how Jack Bach wound up with it is unknown but the family connections of the Christies and the Bach’s indicates it should remain a family heirloom – the Bible is now also with John. 

Photographs and more ….

Egyptian photograph album

The photographs were fascinating and covered every aspect of military life that any overseas tour of duty brings with it for any service person.  Deryck Bach had served predominantly in Egypt, Greece and in the Western Desert of North Africa.  Like soldiers of the First World War before him, there were lots of snapshots and reminders that even I could readily identify with from my overseas service such as, pictures of the transport you were travelling in (ship in Deryck’s case), soldiers at the pyramids and the sphinx, riding camels or donkeys with an ever present ‘Sediki’ hovering for his payment or to sell you something else you don’t want or need, pictures of Cairo, Tripoli, Alexandria, Mt Olympus, Athens, the funny, the farcical and the ‘far out’, mates at work, mates at play, in the desert, trenches, weapons, camps, personal tent/trench, destroyed vehicles and tanks, driving vehicles, the visiting dignitaries, and of course the obligatory collection of dog-eared, slightly risque (for the times) post and bar visiting cards.  It all seemed so familiar and clearly a routine that the majority Kiwi soldiers world-wide have been enjoyed, irrespective of the passing of time or what they might face during their deployment.

Being the box was of just photographs, postcards and the Bible, I put most memorabilia cases on the ‘back burner’ until I have dealt with the outstanding medal cases which are always my first priority (usually about 8-10 cases at any one time).

The BACH Family

Alfred Bach (1843-1897) had his roots in Birmingham and the engineering trade.  Emigrating to Auckland in his late 20s in the mid 1860s, Alfred at 24 stopped just long enough to marry Sarah Ann COLLINS (1837-1924) in 1867, before heading to Thames and then Dunedin to take advantage of providing for the needs of miners during the gold rushes of Thames and Coromandel, and Otago and Southland. 

Having returned to Auckland by 1877,  Sarah was 51 years of age in 1897 when she was widowed while living at 12 park Avenue, Northcote.  Without warning Sarah had been suddenly widowed after her Marine Engineer husband Alfred had gone to his brother Thomas’s house and took his own life for reasons unknown.  Sarah Bach at the time was mother to seven children, the eldest 17 and the youngest seven.  Three daughters and four sons – Rhoda Rachael, Clarence Collins, Reginald Alfred, Isabella Helen, Stannus Reuben, Constance Rose and Frederick Reeve Bach (sometimes Bache).  The youngest Bach, Frederick Reeve Bach (1884-1973) was a warehouse man and salesman at the time he married Nina PERRIN (1890-1972) of Auckland, in 1915.  By the time the First World War had ended, the Bach’s had moved to Hastings with Fred’s work.  Three children had resulted from their marriage – Deryck Reeve (1919), Beverley Reeve (1921-2005) and Owen Reeve Bach (1926-1993); Deryck and Beverley Bach were born in Hastings, and Owen Bach at Waimate.

Deryck Reeve Bach – “Jack”

The Bach’s first born son Deryck Reeve, or “Jack” as he was called, went into the family (on his mother’s side) furniture manufacturing business.  After his schooling in Hastings, Deryck worked as a clerk in the firm of Christie & Co., maintaining business records, processing invoices and orders.

When the World War 2 began in 1939, Jack had just turned 20 years old and having registered for service as was the national requirement, was awaiting his inevitable call-up.  His ‘marching orders’ duly arrived in 1943 in letter from the Defence Dept warning him for overseas service with Third Echelon of the 2nd New Zealand Expeditionary Force (2 NZEF).  Jack was 22 years of age.

At this time Jack had recently entered into a relationship with Ethel Beatrix “Betty” BISHOP (nee TRUMPER), a formerly married woman six years his senior.  They decided on the spur of the moment, as did many other young soldiers, to marry before Jack went away.  Call it an omen, a sort of good luck charm if you will, but for many soldiers it seemed to provide them with a sense last opportunities, a sense of security, something that gave them a reason to fight, to survive and to return to (and someone to write  letters to).  The step of a hasty marriage in these times was almost like a ‘talisman’ which would hopefully ward off the chances of being injured or not coming home at all as the soldier now had responsibilities, possibly even a child?  However as we all know, such notions were fanciful and largely wishful thinking for the thousands of servicemen who did not come home.

In to Camp

33356 Private Deryck Reeve Bach entered Trentham Camp between 15-17 May 1940 in one of three drafts of 1000 men in each to be Infantry reinforcement soldiers who would make up the three battalions of the NZ 6th Brigade, the Third Echelon of NZ troops to be sent to North Africa.  The 4th Brigade (First Echelon) and 5th Brigade (Second Echelon) had already deployed, the First to Egypt and the Second to England.

Pte. Deryck Bach – just arrived at Papakura Camp, 1941

Pte. Bach was placed in ‘C’ Company of the 25th Battalion, 6 NZ Brigade, 2nd NZ Division, or ‘The Div’ as it was generally known.  The 6th Brigade comprised numbers 24, 25 and 26 Battalions plus 6 Field Regiment of Royal NZ Artillery, the NZ Divisional HQ and all supporting arms (medical, engineer, Anti-Tank, 2 NZ General Hospital and Ambulances, etc).  The 24th Battalion assembled at Papakura Camp and the 25th Battalion at Burnham Camp. 

As Pte. Bach soon discovered his clerical skills would be put to good use; he was to be an Infantryman first, and a Storeman second.  Following his training, junior NCO rank was given to those men who showed leadership promise, for the purposes of assisting to exercise supervision and control of the men during the voyage to the Middle East.  Private Bach was made a Lance Corporal (L/Cpl.) and posted to ‘C’ Company, one of five the Companies (HQ, A, B, C, D) that made up the bulk of the 25th (NZ) Battalion, 2NZEF.   

The rank of L/Cpl also invested Jack with the first level of responsibility needed for his job as a storeman.  As a Junior Non-Commissioned Officer (JNCO) storeman, the rank made him jointly responsible for many thousands of Pounds (Dollars) of stores and equipment whilst also giving him the authority necessary to issue, demand and manage the stores under his control. 

 25 Battalion – Greece, 1941

The 25th Battalion was formed in New Zealand in 1940 and after a period of training, the 780 men along with the rest of the NZ 6th Brigade, embarked for the Middle East where it joined up with the 2nd New Zealand Division.  25 Battalion and the Third Echelon departed for the Middle East on 27 Aug 1940 and arrived at Suez on 29 September.

25 (NZ) Battalion farewell parade down Lambton Quay, Wellington -August 1940

The British Government had anticipated an invasion of Greece by the Germans in 1941 and decided to send troops to support the Greeks, who were already engaged against the Italians in Albania.  ‘The Div’ was one of a number of Allied units sent to Greece in early March.  The NZ 6th Infantry Brigade (24, 25 and 26 Battalions) was tasked with the defence of the coastal portion of the Aliakmon Line in northern Greece, with 25 Bn preparing and manning the defences around Agios Ilias.

On 6 April 1941, the German army invaded Greece.  Their advance was so rapid it quickly threatened to outflank the Aliakmon Line, a roughly north-south defensive line across northern Greece.  The 6th Brigade’s Sector ran from the Aliakmon River in the west, eastwards to the coast below Katarini.  Centered in the middle of the sector was Mt Olympus and the Olympus Pass.  On 9 April the German advance had forced the Brigade to abandon its positions and withdraw to the Olympus Pass.  From here the Brigade fought a number of rearguard actions as it slowly withdrew toward the coast. 

On 24 April the Brigade had its only major engagement of the campaign in Greece when it fought off a concentrated attack by the German 5th Panzer Division on its positions around Thermopylae.  The Brigade successfully disengaged later that day.  25 Battalion was evacuated from Greece on 29 April 1941 along with the rest of the 6th Brigade, the 4th and 5th Brigades being taken off beaches further down the coast to the east of Athens.  While the latter brigades disembarked at Crete, the 6th Brigade, fortunately, continued onto the relative safety of Egypt,  arriving on 02 May 1941.  Fortunate, because they would be spared the ten days of carnage and ignominy the ‘Battle of Crete’ was about to bring upon the remainder of the Brigades who had been evacuated from Greece – starting, 21 May.

2NZEF troops rest at Nafpio, Greece awaiting evacuation, April 1941.

All available local craft were pressed into service to evacuate soldiers from Greece to Crete and Egypt.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note: Casualties during the 25th Battalion’s campaign in Greece amounted to nearly 30 killed and wounded with 150 personnel captured and made POWs. The majority of the captured personnel were from the battalion’s reinforcement company, which had been left in Athens when the 6th Brigade moved up to the Aliakmon Line, including a truckload of infantrymen that had been misdirected to Kalamata during the retreat.  

North Africa

Maadi Camp – 1942

By late May 1941, and after a period of training and refitting, the 25th Battalion was back up to full strength and moved to Kantara West, near the Suez Canal for the next 10 months.  Here, along with the rest of the 6th Brigade, the Battalion manned defences.  The Battalions next commitment would be in Sep 1941 when it was required for Divisional training at the Baggush Box in north Egypt near the Mediterranean coast.  The Baggush Box was one of several British Army field fortifications built in the Western Desert, this one near Maaten Baggush about 35 miles (56 km) east of  Mersa Matruh and to the west of Alexandria, Egypt.  At Baggush, the Battalion improved the defences in the area and underwent intensive training in open desert warfare.  This training was in preparation for ‘The Divs’ role in the upcoming Operation CRUSADER.  The New Zealanders were to be one of the 8th Army’s infantry divisions that were to be tasked with surrounding and capturing the main strong points along the front while the armoured divisions were to seek out and engage the Afrika Corps.  At the same time the Tobruk garrison which was under siege was to attempt a breakout. 

 Source: Wikipedia

Promoted to Corporal, Jack Bach meanwhile had been appointed to the position of the second in command (2IC) to the Company QMSgt (CQM-S), who was a Staff Sergeant in charge of managing the entire provisioning and logistical support for ‘C’ Company.  The CQM-S with a small staff was responsible for ensuring the men were feed, watered, laundered, clothed, armed with bullets and bombs, and appropriately equipped at all times.  The “Q” staff had to arrange everything a man needed to live and fight in the desert, that it was ordered in a timely fashion and delivered where and when it was required – which was not always easy under fire.  Kantara seemed miles from the front however the threat from the east across the Sinai desert and from the Mediterranean coast remained ever present. 

Re-supplying 25 Battalion was just one task Cpl Bach was involved with.  When the Brigade of up to three battalions was semi co-located, the “Q” tasks for all of the men present was co-ordinated by the Regimental QM-Sergeant.  This sometimes meant re-supply far from the safety of Kantara.  Cpl. Bach and a driver could be tasked with taking a truck of supplies over long distances to a remote location, through dangerous territory and over rugged terrain, in all weather conditions to re-supply deployed units.  The “Q” vehicles whether travelling together or alone were always at risk from opportunist enemy fire (small arms, mortar or artillery), or from air attack by enemy fighters that randomly diverted from their course to strafe an unsuspecting vehicle target.  The busiest times for the “Q” staff were just prior to an operation being launched and immediately after when re-supply, repair and replacement was required as quickly as possible to enable the unit to be ready to fight again with as little delay as possible as they remained very vulnerable to attack at these times. 

By 11 Nov 1941, the entire NZ Division numbering approx 20,000 men had moved to their start point from the Baggush Box ahead of the commencement of Operation Crusader.  At the heart of the Allied effort was 2 NZ Division, the first time the Division had operated as a single force.  

Operation ‘CRUSADER’

Lewis machine-gunner

‘The Div’ crossed the Egypt-Lybia border on 18 Nov 1941 heralding the start of Operation Crusader in the Western Desert that would allow the supporting Allied forces to hopefully lift the siege that was strangling the British forces trapped in Tobruk.  From Operation Crusader to the final victory in Tunisia, ‘The Div’ took part in some of the fiercest battles of the desert campaign – at El Alamein, El Mreir, Minqar Qaim, Ruweisat Ridge, Sidi Rezegh, Takrouna, Tebaga Gap and elsewhere.  The second battle of El Alamein was the turning point of the North African campaign – the longest and most important land campaign fought by New Zealanders in the Second World War. 

The 25th Battalion had returned to Egypt from Kantara in March 1942 to prepare for their part in driving the Germans and Italians out of Lybia.  By this time Cpl. Bach had been made the ‘C’ Company’s QM-Sgt, with the rank of Temporary Sergeant (Sgt.).

On 23 Oct 1942, the Second Battle of Alamein commenced.  25 Battalion started to advanced on its objective, Point 175, about 40 km from south-east of Tobruk making excellent progress until it encountered the full force of the German armour directed against it.   The NZ 6th Bde clashed fiercely with the Afrika Corps’ 15 Panzer Division who had managed to counter attack and causing significant casualties.   The losses incurred by 25th Battalion on this day were 100 dead, 125 wounded, and another 100 made prisoners-of-war.  25th Battalion at little more than company strength (120 men+/-) following the events of 23 November.  

By January 1943 the Axis forces had fallen back into Tunisia, taking up defensive positions along the Mareth Line on the Tunisian-Libyan border.  The New Zealand Division entered Tripoli on 23 January.  As soon as engineers and naval forces cleared the devastated port, men from the division helped unload supply ships carrying food and equipment needed for the 8th Army’s advance.

The NZ 6th Brigade had occupied a large area that surrounded Tripoli together with other Allied forces.  In late Feb, 25 Battalion entered the city as part of the occupying force.  

Diary entries from December 1942 reflect the danger 25 Battalion faced during the end stages of the Battle of Alamein.

It was the 4th of March and the QM-S, Temporary Staff Sergeant Jack Bach, was delivering breakfast to the troops of his Company when an artillery shell exploded near him, badly injuring him with shrapnel wounds to his left leg and right foot.  S/Sgt. Bach was evacuated by the NZ Field Ambulance to an Advanced Dressing Station.  He was then taken to the battalion Regimental Aid Post before making the long and dangerous journey back to the Libya-Egypt border and to No 1 NZ General Hospital which was located at Baggush.  

Jack Bach’s war in North Africa had well and truly ended with a bang!

In May 1943 the Axis forces surrendered in North Africa and ‘The Div’ returned to Egypt.  By June 1943 the Battalion was back in Maadi Camp, and Jack was preparing to be returned to home. 

For the New Zealand forces this had been the longest and most important land campaign of WWII.  But victory came at a heavy price: between 1941 and 1943, 10,000 New Zealanders were killed or wounded; another 4041 became prisoners of war (POWs).  Three Kiwis – Charles Upham (20 Bn), Keith Elliott (22 Bn) and Te Moananui-a-Kiwa Ngarimu (28 [Maori] Bn)– were awarded the Victoria Cross for their part in these battles.  After the North African campaign concluded 25 Battalion went on to fight in Italy before returning to New Zealand; the Battalion was disbanded on 2 December 1945.

Meanwhile … back in NZ

It was late May 1943 before Jack’s wife of more than 12 months, Betty Bach received a letter at their 504 Grays Road home in Hastings.  The personal letter dated 7 May, 1943 was from S/Sgt. Bach’s “C” Company Commander, 6953 Captain (later Lt. Col) Edward Kinsella NORMAN, first acknowledging his advice was late but of the opinion Mrs Bach would rather hear from him.  Capt. Norman explained that Jack had been wounded on 4 March 1943.  He said that Jack “had just bought breakfast up our  position and was serving it out when a shell exploded alongside him.  He was rather badly wounded but insisted that those around him receive attention before he did.”  He went on to say that S/Sgt. Bach had been taken back to their base hospital and (from the letters the Company had received from him) seemed well and cheerful.  Captain Norman finished the letter by saying “he has done an excellent job as Quartermaster for the Company and we find him hard to replace him.”  

Letter to Betty Bach from T/S/Sgt. Jack Bach’s Company Commander, Capt. Ted Norman.

A second letter addressed to Betty Bach from the NZ Military Forces HQ in Wellington followed in mid June 1943 telling her that Jack would be returning home as a consequence of his injuries.

Return to civilian life

S/Sgt. Bach was moved first to Egypt where he underwent more surgery and a long period of physiotherapy, learning to walk again, until he was fit enough to return home.  Once back in Hastings Jack and Betty spent time getting both of their lives back on track after such a long absence, with lots of picnics, outings, socialising, fishing and boating. 

Christie Bros Gore, pre-1912 – Archibald Christie centre.

Christie Bros furniture shop in Hastings, c1930 – Archie left.

Jack slowly settled into work as a cabinetmaker/furniture-maker with A. Christie & Co., a well known furniture manufacturing firm in Hastings since 1914.  Born in Waitahuma, Clutha, Archibald Christie had originally started a general retail business (groceries, home wares and hardware) in Gore but that was destroyed in 1913 when the Mataura River burst its banks and flooded the town. When Archibald Christie opened for business in Hastings he established a furniture business assisted by the advice of the 17-year-old son of an existing Napier manufacturer who provided him with his first lines of furniture.  Archie Christie concentrated on quality lines and established a wide reputation with the farming community, particularly during the depression.

The connection to Jack Bach ? … Archibald Christie had become sister Beverley’s father-in-law.  Beverley had married Harold “Harry” Owen Christie, also a WW2 veteran, twelve years Jack’s junior.  

Note:  43799 Lieutenant (later Capt.) Harold Owen Christie (1917-1993), 37 NZ Battalion, 14th Brigade.

By the mid 1960s Jack had ceased cabinet-making.  The advent of cheaper, mass produced imported furniture meant there was not the same demand for handmade furniture, and so Jack and Betty moved to Whitianga.  Here Jack took up lapidary pursuits, polishing and cutting suitable stones for jewellery and to sell, which were in abundance around the Whitianga area.  By 1972 Jack and Betty had separated, the fate of many a returned soldier whose lives had been fundamentally altered by their war experiences.  The 1978 census  listed Jack’s occupation as ‘Fisherman’ and by 1981, he was officially ‘Retired’.   Jack lived out his life at Whitianga spending time  fishing (recreational), boating, attending ‘get-togethers’ and reunions with mates from 25 Battalion, and with local friends while growing old gracefully.  In his final years Jack had the assistance of a carer which allowed him to stay at his home until the end.

Deryck Reeve “Jack” Bach passed away at Whitianga on 5 September 2006, aged 87 years.

Meeting up with 25 Battalion mates at a reunion, early 1960s. 

Jack Bach enjoying the morning sun in the Whitianga village, c1996

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another box !

Whilst in the process of researching this case, some months had passed since the arrival in March of the first box.  I nibbled away at the research in between priority cases that arrive each week.  Roger contacted me in November and said that Jack’s former neighbour and Executor had dropped in another box of memorabilia at the RSA that included Jack’s war medals.  The box Roger sent to me contained the following:

  • Medals:  1939/45 Star, Africa Star, War Medal 1939/45, NZ War Service Medal, Greek War Medal, and a Wound Stripe.
  • A nickel plated cigarette case engraved with “DRB” embellished with brass badges – a crown, Long Range Desert Group badge, S/Sgt chevrons & crown and a 2 NZEF “Onward” hat badge; a British Royal Corps of Signals badge was inside.
  • 25 Battalion souvenir teaspoon
  • Jack Bach’s RSA membership badge
  • Two leather tooled tourist photograph albums (Egyptian designs)
  • A leather photograph wallet  
  • Five Pay Books plus a variety of letters & documents
  • 81 loose photographs and two filled envelope packets
  • Whitianga Council building plan
  • Jack Bach’s Will and Power of Attorney documents
  • Cancelled Certificates of Title for a Whitianga property 

 

Since Jack and Betty Bach did not have any children, there were no heirs to return Jack’s war memorabilia to.  I was hopefully that I could trace someone from the families of his two sibling’s, Owen and Beverley Bach. 

In researching Jack’s siblings (both deceased) I found that his brother Owen Reeve Bach had been a career school teacher and had taught at schools in South Canterbury, Otago and Southland, including Waimate, Mataura and Timaru.  Owen had married Catherine DYMOCK, also a teacher, however being professionals who moved frequently in their occupations, perhaps understandably there were no apparent children born of their marriage to be found.  Owen Reeve Bach died in Timaru in 1992.

That left the family of Jack’s sister, Beverley Reeve Bach as the remaining option for a close direct descendant of Jack Bach.  Beverley had married a Second World War veteran, Harold Owen CHRISTIE ** who worked for his father, Archibald Christie, in the family furniture manufacturing business as the Company Secretary.  Beverley and Harold Christie had a family of three sons: Howard, Grenville and John Christie.

Waipukurau >> Christchurch

These paper clippings were found in the cover lining of the Jack’s diary – friends who had been killed.

Roger Beasley had mentioned when he initially contacted me that he had made phone contact with a Mr Grenville Christie of Waipukurau, who apparently was a nephew of Jack Bach’s, with another in Christchurch, however nothing further had eventuated from this contact in relation to the memorabilia.  It would give me a useful start point to locate an appropriate descendant and to determine where Jack’s memorabilia should go.

Several months later when I had all my ‘ducks in a row’ I attempted to contact Grenville Christie again.  Three attempts drew a blank – had he moved, or worse, died?  Persistence finally paid off a few weeks later when I spoke with Grenville.  He said it was his brother John who lived in Christchurch and that their third brother, Howard Christie (whom I could not locate a recent record for),  Howard had tragically died during a hunting trip to Hanmer Springs in 1969.  The land-rover in which 20 year old Howard was travelling, rolled over and he was killed as a result. 

Whilst Grenville himself was not particularly interested in having his uncle’s memorabilia as he was inundated with the Christie family archives, and suggested I contact John who would likely be very interested.  I made contact with John Christie who, coincidentally, lives a mere 500 meters from my previous residential address.  John, a Lincoln Agritech Ltd executive, was very surprised to learn of the memorabilia and thrilled to be given the opportunity to be its custodian.   He has now received the unexpected windfall of both boxes of his uncle Jack’s war memorabilia.  He told me they (the Christie brothers) had known very little of their uncle’s exploits during the war since their uncle had rarely ever spoken of it – sound familiar?  They would now be able to connect many more dots and gain a greater understanding of another family members contribution to their Bach family heritage in New Zealand.

Packed …. ready to go to.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

My thanks to Roger for sending us another challenge from Whitianga.

The reunited medal tally is now 261.