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Thursday, May 26, 2016 19:36
World War 2 Medals Ė Request for help in tracing Sutton-in-Craven Family
My great Aunt died some years ago in Liverpool. Following her death I cleared her house and found 2 WW2 medals issued posthumously to a Norman Dove, together with a letter from the War office. I made enquiries with my relations, but nobody could shed light on why the medals should have been there. It seems that the medals never reached his widow.
So, with the idea of returning the medals to Normanís family, I began my efforts to locate his family.
Norman Dove died in a tragic accident on 30 July 1944 whilst serving in the British Army (REME). He is buried in Chippenham cemetery, and his military gravestone is maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Norman married Elizabeth Wootton at the Parish Church at Sutton-in-Craven on 13 June 1939. Elizabeth was born in 1917, making her 21yrs old at the time of the marriage and I understand that she lived in Sutton-in-Craven. I believe that Norman was born in Keighley, although lived at Long House Farm, Ellers Rd, Sutton at the time of the marriage.
Norman and Elizabeth Dove moved to Liverpool during the war, and lived 2 houses away from my Aunt. How the medals ended up at my Aunt's house is a mystery to me. The REME museum tell me that the medals needed to be applied for by the next of kin.
Elizabeth gave birth to their daughter Norma on 25 Sep 1944, about 8 weeks after Norman's death. Elizabeth and baby Norma lived at 529 Southport Rd, Bootle, Liverpool.
I would love to return the medals to Normanís descendants, but have been unsuccessful in locating Elizabeth Dove (nee Wootton) or Norma Dove or any other immediate Wootton or Dove family members.
If there is anyone who can assist with putting me in touch with either family I would be immensely grateful.
Thursday, June 2, 2016 00:37
|I think your efforts to trace this family is very well intentioned Vince and I commend you on that.
Iíve been a medal collector for many years now and this same issue has come up on medal forums numerous times before. Reasons why the medals are not still within the family can be numerous. The next of kin may never have received them as you point out, they were delivered to the wrong address? Very often medals have been sold by the family, given to someone who expresses an interest in them or donated to a museum/charity shop. Every so often some museums have a clear out and auction off donated medals to the highest bidder!
Not everyone is sentimental about family medals, a quick search on eBay and on-line medal dealers lists will reveal this. Not to mention the hundreds of thousands of war medals in private collections. At one point I had almost 1,000 medals in my collection.
I think you will find that the 2 medals you refer to are not named to Norman Dove which essentially means they cannot be specifically attributed to anyone. This is despite the condolence slip from the Under-Secretary of State for War that you found with the 2 medals. Unlike WW1 and 99% of all other British campaigns ranging from the Napoleonic wars to the current date, WW2 medals were not individually named to the recipient as a cost saving exercise. This was a serious misjudgment at the time, in my opinion.
Anyway Vince, good luck with your search. Sorry I canít be of any specific assistance with your inquiry to locate the family of Norman Dove.
Thursday, June 2, 2016 16:18
If you will get in touch with me I may have some news on the Dove family.
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