In April we bought you the story of a Memorial Plaque named to Walter Graham Sinclair, a Sergeant in the Otago Infantry Regiment who was a Gallipoli veteran and Military Medal recipient.  Four months after the action that had Sgt. Sinclair nominated for the Military Medal for ‘Bravery in the Field’, he was killed and his Military Medal subsequently awarded posthumously to his mother.  The Memorial Plaque sent to his family after the war to commemorate his death and bearing Sgt. Sinclair’s name, had been found in a house at Winton, Otago.  MRNZ was able to assist with the research of Sinclair descendants which facilitated the return of the plaque to a family in Mosgiel.

Sinclair Memorial Plaque (aka ‘Death Penny’)

As a result of  our research, I had noted that the next of kin of Sgt. Sinclair (or ‘Wattie’ as he was known by family), in addition to receiving his medals and Memorial Plaque had also been eligible to claim an ANZAC Commemorative Medallion on Sgt Sinclair’s behalf.  However, there was no evidence on his military file to indicate the medallion had been claimed or even applied for.  

The ANZAC Commemorative Medallion (also called the Gallipoli Medallion) is a memento that was struck in 1967  for the Australian and New Zealand Governments to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Gallipoli Landings on 25 April 1915.   The boxed medallion (engraved with the recipients initials and name only) was designed for presentation to all Gallipoli Veterans (alive and deceased) but only ‘upon application’.  In the case of deceased veterans, next of kin or another direct descendant could apply for the medallion (and still can if not previously claimed) – contact MRNZ for further details.

Mary Ward of Invercargill is the niece of Sgt. ‘Wattie’ Sinclair, an avid Sinclair family historian and collector of their military memorabilia.  In writing the previous story I was able to advise Mary that I believed that ‘Wattie’ Sinclair’s ANZAC Medallion had never been claimed.  Mary of course would need to have that fact confirmed  first and, if not claimed, as a direct descendant she was eligible to apply for it.  After providing her the necessary information Mary duly submitted an application and today emailed me excitedly to advise a courier had just delivered Walter Graham Sinclair’s ANZAC Medallion (suitably engraved) from the NZ Defence Force’s Personnel Archives & Medals Section.   

Thanks to NZDF PAMS staff for their expeditious processing of this Mary’s claim.

The reunited medal tally in now 135.

ANZAC / Gallipoli Medallion awarded for 8/2134 Sgt. W. G. Sinclair, MM …. 16 May 2017