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Andy Hardaker
Friday, July 1, 2011 11:15
missing war medals
I know this is a very long shot against huge odds but I am searching for the WW1 medals of my great grandad, smith hardaker. he isn't from sutton himself but most of my/his family live or lived here over the last century. I have researched as much as I can about him, finding his birth place, family home, place of death and his grave in France after he was killed on the somme. I even have his death penny but all searches for his medals have drawn a blank. After starting my search I discovered that many millions of medals from WW1 are missing, making finding one set an almost impossible task. I am hoping that as he lived in crosshills at the time of his death, his wife then moved to cowling and his children moved to sutton and silsden, that they may possibly still be in the local area.
the set I am looking for consists of 2 service medals and a star. the name on the back may be spelt hardaker or hardacre and the service number is 15241 but may be mis printed on the star as 15041.
thanks for any help you may be able to give. :o)
Andrew Monkhouse
Hanoi, Vietnam
Saturday, July 2, 2011 22:31
Hi Andy, what leads you to believe his name on the medals may be mispelt Hardacre? His Medal Index Card is spelt Hardaker so that should be replicated on the medals.

Unfortunately, it looks like his service records were amongst those burned when the German bomb lost us millions of personnel files at the Arnside Street warehouse in September 1940 during the London Blitz. There is no sign of his files on Ancestry which is a shame.

Odds are that the medals are out there somewhere, although there is always the possibility that his British War Medal has already been melted down for its silver content. Unfortunately this happened a lot when times were hard, particularly during the 1930s great depression. Then again in the late 70s when the price of silver rose from under $1.50/oz in 1970 to nearly $50/oz in 1980, thanks to the billionaire Hunt brothers who attempted to corner the silver market.

Anyway, good luck with your search. At least you have his Death Plaque which is nice. A Memorial Scroll will also have been issued to his next of kin, so hopefully that too will have survived.
Andy Hardaker
Monday, July 4, 2011 11:52
hi, I vaguely remember from doing the research that the dukes archives had him down as hardacre- battalion unknown, but yes as its spelt correctly on his medal card then I can presume it would be the same on his medals. just knowing they are out there and someone has them would be suffice as I could stop looking.

p.s. my dad colin hardaker asks if your the same andrew monkhouse he knew as a youth although he seems to think you emigrated to canada, not australia?
Brenda Whitaker was Grime
Queensland Australia
Monday, July 4, 2011 22:26
HI Andy, Good luck with your search. I hope this isnt a blind alley...but-
This is for Barbara and Allen Chapman - Allen, is this your uncle? I recall my mother talking about a picture/photo of 'Smith Hardaker' that hung on the wall of the kitchen living room at 3 King Edward Street when she lived there with your mother and grandmother. Possibly before you were born or were very young. She used to say that she always felt the eyes followed her around. Can you shed any light on this as I know that you, Barbara have done a lot of family research.
Andy Hardaker
Tuesday, July 5, 2011 10:20
smith hardaker was allens grandmas brother. I think I got that right ,o)
Andrew Monkhouse
Hanoi, Vietnam
Tuesday, July 5, 2011 22:36
Hi Andy, I used to work with a Colin Hardaker at Hayfields's mill in 1978, but he was quite a few years older than me. He lived at Holmefield at that time, would this be your father? Always good for a laugh if it is, we never took anything seriously back then!
Barbara Chapman
Wednesday, July 6, 2011 14:41
Hello Andy,Just been reading the above conversations. Sorry we don't know anything about any medals but we have a copy of the report of Smith's death and Keighley News report which we had given by your Dad, Colin, which you have probably seen. Smith was Allen's uncle as Brenda has said.
What we do have is a brass box given to Allen by one of your family which he really treasures and is loath to part with. You may already be aware of this box which was given to the service men during the WW1 containing cigarettes etc. If you are interested in seeing this box get in touch with us, your Mum and Dad know where we live. Barbara
Andrew Monkhouse
Hanoi, Vietnam
Wednesday, July 6, 2011 22:32
Hi Barbara, you're referring to the Princess Mary tin (Christmas gift) given to British troops serving in France in 1914. Here's a link:

Joan M. Tindale
Tuesday, July 26, 2011 21:32
To Andy Hardaker - you might try the Militaria Fair when it is next on at Pudsey Civic Hall - there will be many specialists who might be able to help with medal information.

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