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Thread: KIA Brothers Death Plaques - Maitland NSW

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    Default KIA Brothers Death Plaques - Maitland NSW

    I recently purchased this group on ebay. It contains items relating to the Fergusson brothers, 2 of who were killed in WW1. I have only done basic research on this so far.

    A small badge shows 3 men, the man on the extreme right with the moustache is a third brother who apprently survived the war. The 2 death plaques are to Rupert Fergusson and Alfred Bruce Fergusson. One has the name embossed, the other has it engraved. The reason for this is miss spelling of the name Fergusson. If you received a death plaque with incorrect spelling in the name and sent it back to the authorites, rather than make a new one they would grind the embossed name off and engrave over it. There are numerous spelling mistakes of the name Fergusson through both their records.

    Alfred Bruce Fergusson enlisted on 17 October 1915 and was a station hand/overseer prior to enlistment. He was aged 27 and single at enlistment.
    He was killed in action in France at Flers on 14 November 1916 with the 19th Battalion of which he joined with the 9th reinforcements.

    Rupert Fergusson enlisted on 19 October 1916 and was a single 24 year old labourer. He was killed in action in France on 14 June 1918 with the 3rd Battalion which he joined with the 23 reinforcements.



    Photos of both men, I am yet to work out who is who. I will have to study their service record descriptions to work it out.





    I also received a couple of old autograph books with poems and pictures etc related to the same family. Heres a couple of pics.






    Here is a photo of the badge showing the 3 brothers.




    I also got Rupert's birth certificate



    Plaques







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    i opened this thinking "KIA" was the car brand and for some weird reason images of people dieing in Kia car accidents being issues death plaques came to mind!

    The real story is much more interesting than my wondering mind!

    Great bit of history you got there!

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    You probably already have this Sanity but this is from


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    Yes, I have their service records mandc, thanks anyway. They are also available on

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    An interesting update to this group coming soon.

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    Here is an interesting rhyme from the autograph book. How times have changed



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    Back to my interesting update...........

    I havent been doing a great dealing of collecting lately due to a lack of money, but last week I decided for no particular reason to have a look on ebay. An auction caught my eyes with the title "4 x Australian WWI Medals Awarded to 3 Brothers from One Family!" so I clicked on it to have a look. I was amazed to find that it was the medals for the Fergusson Brothers ! Wow ! What are the odds of that happening ?

    At some stage after the early 1920's, someone has seperated the medals from this group. I am happy to say that after $550 and some auction sniping, I now own them.

    There are still 2 medals missing as the 3 brothers were all entitled to a pair (British War Medal and Victory Medal). What I have just won is :

    Victory Medal “3798 Pte A.B. Fergusson 19 BN A.I.F.”

    Victory Medal “5373 PTE G.W. Fergusson 56BN A.I.F.”

    British War Medal “3798 Pte A.B. Fergusson 19 BN A.I.F.”

    British War Medal 6991 “Pte R. Fergusson 3BN A.I.F.”


    So I have the pair for Alfred, a single for Rupert and a single for third brother George. I wonder what the odds are of finding the other 2 medals ?

    So now I have to sell something else off to put the money back in the bank. I am happy that I was able to reunite this group.

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    Well done! If you can re-unite all medals, I'm sure you investment will pay off hansomly.

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    Default Fergusson Brothers

    My name is Patricia and I have been doing family history research and doing my family tree on ancestry.com.au.
    I have been adding as many records as possible to my tree and stumbled across this forum post - G.W Fergusson (George William) is my great grand father and Alfred Bruce and Rupert were his brothers.
    George's son is my grandfather, who was also in the army.
    I am hoping I can speak with you about my family's medals, plaques and items that you have purchased off EBay (I cannot imagine how they ended up on there). I do know quite a bit about our family history and the Fergusson brothers had a sister who lost her husband in the Great War also.
    I can prove who I am and that G.W Fergusson is my great grandfather.
    I am very interested in having these items back in my family's possession and hoping you will consider selling them back to my family where they rightfully belong, as Alfred and Rupert have no descendants and only George does (myself being one of them) it would mean everything to me to have these items back in our family.
    Please let me know how best we can get in contact to discuss.
    I would like to thank you for your hard work and expense to put all of this together, I am both delighted that the medals etc are still around but horrified at the same time they have ended up on eBay.
    I look forward to your reply
    Regards
    Patricia

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    wow

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    Yeah, me too Leroy
    There is a fine line between "Hobby" and "Madness"

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    Quote Originally Posted by TrishM View Post
    My name is Patricia and I have been doing family history research and doing my family tree on ancestry.com.au.
    I have been adding as many records as possible to my tree and stumbled across this forum post - G.W Fergusson (George William) is my great grand father and Alfred Bruce and Rupert were his brothers.
    George's son is my grandfather, who was also in the army.
    I am hoping I can speak with you about my family's medals, plaques and items that you have purchased off EBay (I cannot imagine how they ended up on there). I do know quite a bit about our family history and the Fergusson brothers had a sister who lost her husband in the Great War also.
    I can prove who I am and that G.W Fergusson is my great grandfather.
    I am very interested in having these items back in my family's possession and hoping you will consider selling them back to my family where they rightfully belong, as Alfred and Rupert have no descendants and only George does (myself being one of them) it would mean everything to me to have these items back in our family.
    Please let me know how best we can get in contact to discuss.
    I would like to thank you for your hard work and expense to put all of this together, I am both delighted that the medals etc are still around but horrified at the same time they have ended up on eBay.
    I look forward to your reply
    Regards
    Patricia
    Double, triple wow !

    The internet really makes the world a small place at times. What a story.....I buy the plaques, then find the medals years later and now a great grand daughter

    Shoot me an email to andrew@austech.info

    If I was a wealthier man than what I am , I would be happy to just give them to you (pending proof of your ancestry). Unfortunately I am not, but would be happy to sell the entire collection back to your family at (my) cost price plus postage.



    Edit : Probably one thing that makes it even stranger is that I was only thinking about selling this group last week.......my wife is studying to be a nurse and I dont have the money for books and was thinking I might have to sell something to finance it.

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    Good on you Admin. What an amazing story.

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    Wow cannot explain how I am feeling right now. Andrew, you are truly an amazing person to kindly offer to sell them back to my family. It was a freak coincidence I found this forum and I will email you shortly.
    My great grandfather George died in 1962 and my great grandmother Mary re-married and I gather that the medals, plaques etc have fallen out of direct family's possession after deaths and estate divisions from wills etc. I found this forum as I have already emailed the Australian Infantry Force to have spelling corrections made (which they have done on their website) as Fergusson definitely has a 'double s' and I am in the process of seeing if I can have the actual war memorial amended which is when I found this forum. I had always assumed that my mothers father (Jeoffrey Willam Fergusson who died in 2014) would have had these items.
    Wow again!
    I can absolutely prove my ancestry with birth certificates back to George and look forward to communicating with you.
    Kind Regards
    Patricia

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    Look forward to speaking with you via email

    I can tell that the spelling of Fergusson has been a nightmare for your family for a long time. If you look at the pics in the original post, you will see that names on the 2 death plaques differ.

    Alfred Bruce's was correct, but Rupert's was spelt wrong and has been sent back. They were tight arses back then (the military) and would simply grind the old name off and engrave the new one on. Which is what they have done in this case.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mandc View Post
    Good on you Admin. What an amazing story.
    Thanks mandc


    I would never try and profit off someone claiming what to me, is rightfully theirs. I would do anything to get my hands on some of relatives medals. Unfortunately there are costs involved in this case (which I would waive if I was richer) but they are realistically not too bad as I bought the plaques a few years back and even though I bought the medals recently, I will only be asking for what I parted with, not what the group is actually worth.

    To me, its always a pleasure to see someone genuinely interested in keeping their families history intact and alive and I am honored that I can be part of returning this group which represented 3 very brave men.

    When it comes to items like medals, unless your name is engraved or embossed on them, you never truly own them, you are simply the custodian If Trish is within a few hours drive, I would be honored to present them to her family personally.

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    Very kind of you Andrew , as a militiaria collector I don't see it happen very often , pat yourself on the back !

    Patricia to get them back for only what Andrew paid is very fortunate as I would value these at a lot more in monetary value than he paid for them but I understand these are priceless to a descendent , nice to see a happy ending !

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  • 11-05-15, 07:50 PM

    Reason
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    Andrew it is extremely kind and generous of you and I am extremely appreciative of you only asking for your expenses to be covered. This is still hard to believe and I agree Au_radio - I do feel very fortunate that Andrew is such a decent and caring person, genuinely happy to see these items reunited with family and I can see this wouldn't happen often.
    I live in the Hunter Valley, less than an hour from Maitland where I grew up, as did my mother (who was a Fergusson).
    I have been in contact with the AMW and Dept of veterans affairs about Alfred's surname on the Maitland memorial but have been referred to the local RSL and council so will be following that up to have it corrected, Fergusson has been a constant issue as far as spelling as is my grandfathers name, being Jeoffrey a challenge to get spelling right. In the meantime I will reply to your email Andrew. A miracle it is.

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    How exciting for your family, TrishM! I would also second AuRadio's praise of Admin. Our family has traced it's roots to brothers who migrated to Australia in the early days of settlement (one of them has privilege of his child being the first birth recorded in South Australia. It is certainly exciting to link up with long lost descendants, we occasionally find branches of our family that we did not know existed. Be warned, though, sometimes there are "skeletons in the closet" that may come out.

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    This isn't actually the first time this has happened to me. And probably wont be the last due to Google's constant indexing of Austech

    The same happened 7 years ago in regards to this post


    I was contacted by the grand daughter of VX597 Norman Reilly from England and had a chat. It turns out that we both had his medals.....I had an official duplicate set he applied for from the defence department. He obviously found the originals as the family had them. She didnt bother to reply to me when it became apparent that we both had the same medals.

    I ended up selling them a year or so later.

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