HQ – MRNZ

Medals HeaderOur Aim …

To honour the memory and sacrifice of deceased and forgotten veterans by reuniting their medals that have been found (or donated), with their descendant family.

Our collective military experience and research skills are used in conjunction with a national and world-wide network of resources, to trace descendant families to reunite these heirlooms with.

 

'Silent Sentinel' Photo courtesy of Brian Ramsay

Silent SentinelLest We Forget

 

“We few, we happy few, we band of brothers…” 

Ian Martyn – Founder / Website Administrator

Ian As a former career serviceman and returned veteran of both the New Zealand and Australian military services (NZ Army, RNZAF and RAAF), I have always been acutely aware that military medals not only tell a story of service and sacrifice but can often be the only remaining and tangible connection a family may have to a deceased  family member.

I started MRNZ with the aim of honouring the memory and service of the countless forgotten war veteran’s whose medals I saw being auctioned on the internet, sold in markets and in retail outlets.  Why were these medals there ? … why were they not with the families of the veterans who had earned them, some having made the supreme sacrifice in the process?” 

The reasons I discovered were many and varied however there were some common themes – the medals being sold most often represented veterans (WW1 in particular) whose family’s had died out, or were of veterans whose descendant families had no knowledge of them, or they were the medals of descendants who had no interest in their historic or sentimental value to their family, having sold them off for a fast buck!   

It became clear to me after the first couple of successful trial return of medals to descendants, that families were extremely grateful to have them, particularly those whom they thought had been lost forever.  Some families were just thrilled to learn that they had had a veteran in family.  Descendants became enthusiastic, motivated and proud that they would be able to honour the memory and service of a veteran who had been part of their family.  This convinced me I was on the right path. 

By reuniting more medals with descendant kin, we hope to reinvigorate the interest of many more families in their ancestor veterans, by bring the dead back into a family’s consciousness, and by honouring their memory on the national days of remembrance.  There can be no better way to do this than to safeguard and wear their medals with dignity and pride.

Brian Ramsay, BEM (Mil) 

BrianRamsay-100Brian is a very experienced former Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment (RNZIR) soldier and a valuable member of the MRNZ team.  Brian being Nelson born and bred is well known in the community and an additional point of contact for Veterans and members of the public seeking MRNZ’s service.   Brian is an accomplished medal mounting professional who mounts medals for Veterans on behalf of the Nelson RSA, and will also mount/re-mount medals for any member of the public.   He is able to re-ribbon, clean, preserve and mount medals (Swing or Court style) including having medals repaired if required.  

In addition Brian is involved with the local Air Cadet Squadron.  He is the ‘mover and shaker’ who organises the NZ Cadet Forces units in Nelson to carry out the annual Poppy Day collection appeal on behalf of the Nelson RSA.   Brian is also the motivation and drive behind an initiative to spruce up neglected gravestones of war Veterans buried in local Nelson cemeteries, prior to the annual Anzac Day and Armistice Day commemorations.  Brian rallies his enthusiastic volunteer workforce of NZ Cadet Forces personnel for the task.  The Cadets valued contribution is extended on Anzac Day to ensuring every Veteran buried in each of the cemeteries in Nelson, is remembered by honouring their memory with a Poppy placed on each grave.

‘their name liveth for evermore’