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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.

 

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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.

 

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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. 



Permit To Board Ships of Leonard POWYS returned to family

Robert POWYS, the son of Leonard David POWYS never guessed that one day, he would be reunited with a piece of military memorabilia which was once issued to his father. The card, issued by the Commonwealth of Australia under the National Security (General) Regulations; gave the holder authority to board ships in Port Kembla, New South Wales during the Second World War.

Leonard David POWYS was an Ambulance Driver during 1945 and no doubt, thought the card 'important' enough to keep it amongst his possessions once hostilities ceased. It appears that the card was amongst his belongings which may have been sold during an estate sale upon his death. A dealer has placed the card on ebay and it was subequently purchased by the Medals Gone Missing team in July of 2010.

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IMAGE ABOVE: Robert POWYS, holding the 'Permit to Board Ships' card which was issued to his father during the Second World War.  His daughter Emma said that her father was 'very pleased' to have the card handed to him.  Emma thanked Medals Gone Missing and stated "Thanks for all your work with sourcing this military material, it really links one to both history and family".

In June the following year, Emma POWYS (the grand daughter of Leonard David POWYS) found her grandfather's Permit To Board Ships and purchased the piece of militaria for her father who was very pleased to have it returned to their family. Emma stated that she "stumbled across the card" whilst searching her family name on the internet.

It really is quite rare that something like this has survived, to end up on ebay. Being a cardboard item, even back in its day, it was considered a "throw away" object once the expirey date had been reached. And the person who sold the Permit on ebay would have had little idea that it would end up back with the family of the card holder.

So it is not just missing war medals which can be returned to the family of a serviceman or woman. It is little items of empheria such as this, which can provide us with a link to our past generations and bring joy to one family.



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