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Missing Medal of 2/16th Kokoda Trail Veteran Returned

When Medals Gone Missing located this Second World War Defence Medal on ebay, they had no idea of the story that would unfold about the recipient whose name was stamped on the edge.  Clarence Hubert MASKIELL was a Western Australian who served with the 2/16th Infantry Battalion.  It was not until his grandson made a chance discovery of this medal whilst conducting a geneology search, that we became aware of the history behind the medal.

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As it turns out, the medal recipent took part in the iconic battle of Brigade Hill and Mission Ridge on the Kokoda Trail during September of 1942.  Clarence MASKIELL was wounded during this intense fighting and as a result, was forced to make his agonising way across this harsh jungle track before he could receive adequate medical attention.

It is particularly satisfying for the Medals Gone Missing Administrator to return the medal of a Kokoda Trail veteran, especially as Gary Traynor is a trek leader and Kokoda historian along the track.

The descendants of Clarence Hubert MASKIELL have indicated that their grandfather never elaborated about this incident on the Kokoda Trail which nearly cost him his life. His grand daughter Linda states “He never really spoke of the war but as children we were always fascinated by the wound in his arm and the various stories he told us how he ended up with it! The stories he told us about his bullet wound had nothing to do with the war!  But maybe as we were young at the time he thought it easier for us to understand.”  And how this once missing war medal came to be on eBay is anybody’s guess.   Linda was very generous in her praise and went on to say “I think it’s a wonderful service you provide and I’m sure the return of these medals to their rightful families brings many people great joy and appreciation of your efforts”.  In response, the Medals Gone Missing Administrator was very humbled to be able to restore this precious award to its rightful place.

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Another Waterbottle Carrier Returned to the Family of a 2/6th Infantryman

Another 03 Pattern water bottle carrier has been returned to a descendant of an Australian serviceman.

Corporal Angus Edwin CLIFFORD served in the 2/6 Infantry Battalion during the Second World War.  The World War Two Nominal Roll states that he joined the Second AIF on the 10th of July, 1940 and sometime during his service life, he has been issued a leather water bottle carrier (known as the 1903 Pattern).   As many soldiers did, Angus wrote his service number (VX31308) and his name on the leather carrier and probably thought very little else of it.

He was not to know that 70 odd years later, his name which was written on that carrier would lead to it being returned to his family, in particular his grandson Robbie CLIFFORD of Mildura in Victoria.

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IMAGE ABOVE:- The 1903 Pattern leather carrier which was designed to carry the Mk VI enamelled steel water bottle.  This particular carrier was written upon by Corporal Angus Edwin CLIFFORD with his name and service number, leading to its return to his family 70 years later!

To receive an item of equipment such as this, which once belonged to your ancestor is a very rare thing.  Many of these items were simply cut up after the war for their scrap brass and the leatherwork either buried or burnt.  Robbie and his family are quite fortunate that this particular water bottle carrier has survived the years.  Whilst this type of kit is not uncommon, to have a piece inscribed with the name of its previous owner is a nice find indeed.

Robbie CLIFFORD located his grandfather's water bottle carrier, simply by conducting a Google search under the name 'Angus Edwin CLIFFORD'.  Undoubtably he was thrilled when the Medals Gone Missing website produced this result.

So whether or not you already have the war service medals of your ancestor in your possession, it pays to make a listing on the Medals Gone Missing website on the off chance that something like this may turn up.

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IMAGE ABOVE:  The cotton shoulder strap of the 1903 Pattern waterbottle carrier which was issued to Corporal Angus Edwin CLIFFORD.  Whilst very feint, the handwriting of Angus CLIFFORD can clearly be seen, written in blue colour biro or similar.  The 'VX31308' and the name 'CLIFFORD' confirming that this leather carrier was issued to Angus, sometime during his military service.

 

 

 



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