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WW2 Brush of Donald Elkie McLAREN returned to family

When Medals Gone Missing first began operations, it was anticipated that apart from missing War Service Medals - other items may occasionally come to hand for which an owner may be identified.  It is simply amazing what crops up every now and again that is engraved with a serviceman's name.  Point at hand is this 'valet' brush which was presented to Donald Elkie McLAREN in appreciation of his military service during World War Two.


IMAGE ABOVE:  The silver valet brush (gentleman's clothes brush) which was give to Staff Sergeant Donald Elkie McLAREN by his peers after the Second World War.  The brush bears the inscription:- "Presented to D.E. McLAREN by Motor Cycle Division S.J.A.B. in appreciation ACTIVE SERVICE 1939-45 WAR"  The initials 'S.J.A.B.' of course, referring to the St John Ambulance Brigade.

This brush was discovered on ebay and purchased by the Medals Gone Missing Administrator during October 2010.  Almost twelve months later, we were contacted by a descendant of Donald who indicated that his descendants would love to have this item back in their family and the brush was purchased back at the ebay price which was paid.

The brush was then presented to a cousin of Donald McLAREN at a family function.  This cousin, Stan McLAREN was himself a veteran of the Second World War and was celebrating his 96th birthday.


IMAGE ABOVE:  Donald's cousin, 96 year old Stan McLAREN receives the clothes brush from his daughter, Jenny ANDREW at a family celebration in Cowra during March 2012.  A story about Donald Elkie McLAREN will be posted once it has been approved for publication by his family.


A Name on a Box - War Medals of Able Seaman William Frederick Brooks Returned

In the world of militaria and medal collectors, it is generally known that generic World War Two service medals issued to a British recipient were never engraved with the name or service number of a service person.  Based on that, it is generally accepted that it is impossible to associate any particular veteran with a set of war medals which are devoid of any inscription.  That is, unless the war medals are still stored in the postage box in which they were sent?


Sadly, Able Seaman William Frederick BROOKS was killed in action on the 29th of January, 1942 whilst serving aboard HMS President III.  His war service medals were posthumously awarded and sent via registered post to his father, Christopher BROOKS of 23 Hepburn Street, Dundee in Scotland.  The war service medals, consisting of a 1939-1945 Star, Pacific Star (with Burma Clasp) and 1939-1945 War Medal were kept inside the cardboard box in which they were posted.  And there they remained; they were never mounted nor worn at any remembrance services.  It appears that these war medals would become just another "un-named" set of medals to be found on ebay.




That is until Medals Gone Missing purchased the missing war medals!  They were placed on the website and two years later, his niece from Melbourne in Australia was delighted to find them listed.  Dorothy HUDSON stated "I could not believe it when I saw my uncle's war medals were actually on your website!  I was doing a random Google search on my grandfather's name and saw Uncle Bill's medals on your website.  It was like a miracle".  Dorothy indicated that little was known about her uncle, as he had been killed whilst serving in the Navy and because he was only 19 when he died, he did not leave any dependants.


Gary Traynor from Medals Gone Missing stated that Dorothy was extremely lucky that these war service medals had remained, stored in their postage box for so long.  Many dealers would simply have removed the medals and split them up for general sale, tossing the box away.  Let's hope that by returning these war medals to a relative of William Frederick BROOKS, we have cemented his memory into the minds of his descendants; and that he is no longer an obscure name on a family tree.




IMAGE ABOVE:  The 'postage' box showing the official O.H.M.S. stamping, addressed to the father of the medal recipient.  Mr. C. BROOKS of 23 Hepburn Street, Dundee Angus, Scotland, was the next of kin for his son William who was killed in action on the 29th January, 1942. 

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