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Missing War Medal of a Missing Father Returned to Family

Sergeant James Henry MASLIN served in the Australian 'M' Special Unit during World War Two.   Born in Ascot Vale, Victoria on the 30th of December, 1925 - he enlisted into this elite unit after spending a period of time with the amalgamated 37/52 Infantry Battalion, A.M.F (Australian Military Forces).  He remained in the army after the conclusion of the Second World War, discharging on the 16th of September, 1947.

Sadly, his family did not get to know this man and his daughter Sandra Nugent (Maslin) has not seen her father since she was 5 years old.  She has even advertised in the R.S.L. newsletter "Stand To" in an attempt to locate him.  Sandra indicated that his last known addresses were McNeil Street in West Heidelberg  and 39 Griffiths Street, West Heidelberg in the state of Victoria, Australia.

sgtjameshenrymaslinpr_400IMAGE RIGHT: Sergeant James Henry MASLIN (on left) and Private J. LUKE, circa 1944 in Atherton, Queensland.

The 1939-1945 War Medal awarded to James as a result of his war service, happened to be placed on the open market through the online auction house of ebay.  It sold on the 12th of September, 2009 and the Medals Gone Missing Administrator was actually outbid on this particular medal.  Thankfully the winning bidder was a collector by the name of Paul Dann. 

When Sandra (the daughter of James) learnt of the sale of her father's medal; she requested for Medals Gone Missing to make representations on her behalf to Paul.  In an act of extreme kindess, Paul surrended the medal to the descendants of James MASLIN ..... totally free of charge.  Paul later said, "I am always happy to return family medals.  I've done it quite a few times now and am sure that it won't be the last".  It is generous attitudes like this which gives hope to all people out there who are searching for their ancestor's lost or missing war medals.

Now that the war medal is back with the descendants of Sergeant James Henry MASLIN, the search is now on for the remainder of his missing medals.  This should consist of his 1939-1945 Star, Pacific Star and the 1939-1945 Australia Service Medal.  Can you help us to recover this medals?  If so, we would love to hear from you. 

But more importantly, can you help Sandra to learn the whereabouts of her missing father?  If you have any information that will help to put them in touch ...... or you have any information at all, please help Sandra and her family to fit the final pieces of this jigsaw together.

One Down, Three To Go - Missing Medal Back With The Family of Edward FINK

On the 3rd of December, 2009 - the Medals Gone Missing organisation purchased a tarnished and much neglected, 1939-1945 Australia Service Medal from a numismatics dealer on ebay. This medal was accompanied by two miniatures consisting of the 1939-1945 War Medal and the 1939-1945 Australia Service Medal. Whenever the funds become available - Medals Gone Missing will enter the ebay arena and purchase any medal or item of militaria which is selling cheaply. If a medal or other item is successfully purchased, it is hoped that recipient's family may be located and this newly acquired war medal, returned to the family at cost price.


IMAGE LEFT: The 1939-1945 Australia Service Medal of QX28732 Private Edward Montague FINK flanked by the two miniature medals. As can be seen, the medal was heavily tarnished. So much so, that the inscription of his name could not be seen until the edge was carefully cleaned.


When this particular medal arrived, it was noted that the tarnish was so heavy, the recipient's name inscribed on the edge of the medal could not even be discerned. Once this portion of the war medal was carefully cleaned, the service number of QX28732 was discovered, along with the name of E.M. FINK who served in the 2/25th Infantry Battalion, AIF.

IMAGE RIGHT: QX28732 Private Edward Montague FINK, 2/25th Infantry Battalion AIF before deployment to New Guinea.


A search was conducted of the World War Two Nominal Roll, which revealed that this soldier - from Lawnton in Queensland. Joining the Second AIF in January of 1942, Edward Montague FINK was posted as a reinforcement to the 2/25th Battalion after this unit had been severly knocked about on the Kokoda Track and Gona. Sadly he was killed in action on the 12th of September, 1943 during the advance onto Lae. The Commonwealth Government War Graves records supported this, indicating that he lay buried in the Lae War Cemetery.

So the hunt was now on to located a direct descendant of this brave soldier and after numerous inquiries, his nephew Matthew FINK of Queensland was located. It was ascertained that the descendants of Private FINK had no knowledge of this Australia Service Medal, nor how it happened to leave the family. Needless to say, they were very pleased to have this missing war medal returned to their home where it was professionally cleaned and brought back to it's original condition.

However, it is a case of "one down, three to go" as Edwards 1939-1945 Star, Pacific Star and 1939-1945 War Medal are still our there somewhere....waiting to be reunited with the 1939-1945 Australia Service Medal. Can you help us to recover these missing medals? If you have these war medals in your collection, or know of their whereabouts - please contact the Medals Gone Missing Administrator so that they too, can be returned to their rightful place.

IMAGE LEFT: Matthew, who is the nephew to Private Edward Montague FINK proudly holds up the war medal - prior to it being cleaned and restored.


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