By far the greatest number of cases which come to our notice originate from the thriving medal collectors market. E-Bay, by virtue of its huge monopoly in daily medal sales, has become the most important source. Other sources are identified below:-
were contacted recently by a gentleman who had purchased on E-Bay a 1914 Star,
Victory medal & Bronze Memorial Plaque to 8669 A/Cpl. Joseph Crawley.
He could find no trace of this man on the Commission's database. On further
investigation, it transpires that this man was killed (missing & presumed
dead) on the blackest day of the First World War, 1st July 1916, the first
day of the Battle of the Somme. The medal index card (above) confirms his
death as "Pres. Dead 1/7/16".
In addition to his absence from the Commission's database, he is not listed in the "GRO War Deaths Army Other Ranks 1914-1921", nor in "Soldiers Died in the Great War". At present, the only evidence of this man's existence & death are the Medal Index Card (above) & the 1914 Star & Memorial Plaque (below). A search of the WO/363 Army service papers has been unsuccessful.
Photo from sale on E-Bay
We spied this lot whilst browsing on E-Bay. This man's details are confirmed in "Soldiers Died in the Great War", but the seller could not find him on the CWGC website. His medal index card (below) confirms his death in service.
Medal Index Card for Alexander Jeffrey.
Medal collectors will note that an error has been made in the naming of these medals. The 1914-15 Star should bear the details of his first service in France as 4471 Pte. Army Cyclist Corps, & his later unit "23839 Pte. Ox. & Bucks." should appear on the British War & Victory medals. Some confusion in the medal issue is evident, as a duplicate star appears to have been requested, then cancelled.
1914-15 Star & Victory medal appeared for sale on E-Bay quite recently.
His case was presented to the CWGC about 5 years ago & he was finally
commemorated in 2003.
(Enlisted Gosport 7/10/1907 ; HMS "Cochrane" 4/4/1911-25/6/1915 ; HMS Victory (RM Brigade) 26/9/15-31/3/16 ; 16/11/15 Wounded by enemy rifle bullet which entered his left side one inch above the Iliac crest & four inches from mid-line causing paralysis of both legs. Discharged Invalided 1/4/16.)
Bronze Memorial Plaque & Memorial Scroll appeared for sale on E-Bay quite
recently. His case was presented to the CWGC 5 years ago but his name was
only added to the Helles Memorial Addenda in 2005 (see the
Helles Memorial Addenda article on the Home Page).
This plaque was sold as "not found on CWGC", but came with a UK GRO death certificate reference from the former owner. The certificate confirmed the death of this Canadian soldier with all the details listed here. The Informant on the certificate was "H.L. Pavey Major, S.M.O., OC 60th Bn. C.E.F., Bramshott Camp, Bramshott."
This plaque was sold as "not found on CWGC", but came with a UK GRO death certificate reference from the former owner. The certificate confirmed the death of this Airman with all the details listed here. The Informant on the certificate was "J.C. Symonds, Captain & Quartermaster, Third Southern General Hospital, St. Peter-in-the-East.
This plaque was bought without service details & was not listed by the CWGC. A search of the UK deaths revealed the details of the soldier listed above. He was age 45, a Cotton Weaver of 37 Mytton St., Padiham, Burnley. Widow, E. Parrington, present at death, of 37 Mytton St., Padiham.
plaque shown below was bought without service details & cannot be found
on the CWGC website. Very little has been discovered about this man, but his
birth certificate has been traced which states the following:- born 23
Woodfield Place, St. Mary's, Paddington 29th October 1900. Son of Walter Henry
& Louise Henrietta Bowles (formerly Lawrence).
If the birth certificate is correct, this boy would not have been old enough to serve overseas in 1918. It is believed that he may have enlisted under-age with an alias & that alias is not listed/cross-referenced in the CWGC Registers. Help is required with this one.