Jan 7, 2014

Posted | 11 Comments

52 Weeks of Genealogical Records in 2014 – Week 1 Military Medals

This blog challenge is to stimulate my own genealogy blogging efforts in 2014 by focusing on a different kind of genealogical record each week. I wanted a challenge that reflected my own archival background as well as my own genealogy interests and there are probably lots of other records that I could have included. The challenge has an Australian focus but most of these records will be found just about anywhere in the genealogy world.

The 52 different types of genealogical records I finally decided on are listed in no particular order (each week will be a random surprise). Anyone is welcome to do all or part of this blogging challenge. Let me know if you are participating and I will put a link to your post under each week’s challenge. Happy researching everyone in 2014, Shauna Hicks

Week 1 Military Medals
Many of my ancestors have been awarded military medals but I have never really taken the time to research what the medals were awarded for, apart from the general knowledge that they received them for their participation in a particular war. This week I’m looking at the Boer War medals awarded to my mother’s uncles and the medals awarded to both my grandfathers, one in World War One and the other in World War Two.

My Mother’s uncles were Solomon Price born 1878 in Caleula, New South Wales and William Price born 1880 in Orange, New South Wales. When the South African (Boer) War broke out in 1899 they were aged 21 and 19 respectively. It must have seemed like a great adventure and they quickly enlisted in December 1899 in Charters Towers, Queensland where the family were then living.

Solomon served in the 2nd Queensland Mounted Infantry Contingent and William was in the 3rd Contingent. They both returned home in 1901 but just under a year later both Solomon and William re-enlisted and joined the 7th Australian Commonwealth Horse. However by the time they arrived in South Africa the war was over and they returned to Australia.

For his service Solomon was awarded the Queen’s South African Medal. According to the medal and clasps roll, Solomon was entitled to receive the following clasps – Dreifontein, Johannesburg, Diamond Hill and Cape Colony. For his service William was also awarded the Queens South African Medal with the following clasps – Cape Colony, Orange Free State, Transvaal and Rhodesia. Both Solomon and William also received the South Africa 1901 date clasp.

The information from the medals and clasps helped me to learn more about what they experienced while serving with their Contingents and I can also follow up newspaper reports on those battles. A quick Google search will also provide background information on individual battles. This type of information supplements what I have from the military dossiers now digitised and free online courtesy of the National Archives of Australia.

I wrote about my two grandfathers, Henry Price (brother of Solomon and William Price above) and John Martin (Jack) Gunderson in a Remembrance Day blog in 2011 – read it here. Henry Price was a recipient of the British War Medal for his brief service in Papua New Guinea during World War One and Jack Gunderson received the War Medal 1939-1945 and the Australian Service Medal 1939-1945 for his service within Australia during World War Two.

The interesting thing about both of my grandfathers is that neither went overseas but we still have military dossiers and medals for them. So it pays to check the indexes even if you know your ancestor did not go overseas as not everyone who served did. If there are military medals in your family history, try and find out the stories behind the medals.

Also participating in this blog challenge:

Judy Webster Military Medals

Sharon (Tree of Me blog) Military Medals

Sharn White Military Medals

  1. A super idea Shauna. Don’t know that I’ll participate every week but will try to join in from time to time.

  2. Shauna, Any challenge that helps get us blogging more is a good idea. I’m trying to be more productive too. I will try to do your one sometimes when I have meet my own blog challenge. Fran

  3. Shauna Hicks says:

    Thanks Jill and Fran for the comments and support. I am hoping that I will end up with lots of good family stories from the weekly posts!

  4. Shauna Hicks says:

    Thanks Judy – I will add your link to the bottom of the post in case people don’t read all the comments. Look forward to reading your contributions.

  5. David Gunderson says:

    Hi Shauna,
    Happy New Year to you cousin.
    Just had a read of your 2014 objectives…hope you achieve all of them.
    Have you been down the pathway of our Grandfather Adam Johnston’s second wife (Mary Ann Tyrrell) and their 5 children?
    Kind regards,

  6. Shauna Hicks says:

    Thanks Sharon I’ve now put in a link to your Week 1 post. I hope you enjoy the topics as the challenge progresses.

  7. Shauna Hicks says:

    Hi David Nice to hear from you, yes I know about the 2nd marriage but only have 3 children so I need to relook at that family. Also you may recall a photo album I mentioned last year, I was only looking at it again yesterday and I do think it must be the Gunderson side of the family. It has that photo of Gundah that you put on Ancestry. The album is next to be scanned!

  8. Posted my Week 1 ;Military medals’ post on my FamilyHistory4u blog Shauna. URL http://sharnsgenealogyhints.blogspot.com
    A great geneameme Shauna!

  9. Shauna Hicks says:

    Thanks Sharn I have now listed you in Week 1 and in the followers in Week 3.

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