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It?s just a simple little BWM but this is my most precious kiwi medal.

I come from a little place (approx 17000 population) in NZ just outside of Wellington (the capital) called Wainuiomata. It?s a nice little place, fairly secluded, very working class but with a great community spirit and it?s a place I really like living in. During the First World War Wainui was a little rural village (pop less than 200 people) but like a lot of little communities through out NZ (and the rest of the world) the war touched here in quite a big way. Of the Wainui boys that went off to fight five never returned, and three of those were brothers. This little BWM was issued to the next of kin of one of those brothers.

I never thought I would ever own a medal that was issued to a chap from my hometown let alone one that was issued for a chap that was killed in action. It is very special to me and I will do my best to look after it while it is in my care. I have just started to do a little research on William and his family but this will be and on going mission. One of the little pieces of info I have come across just recently was quite a freeky coincidence. The road I now live on was the southern boundary for William's fathers farm. So I guess the medal really has come ?home?.

William Burrow

Serial number: 11217

Killed in action: 29 September 1916

Memorial: Caterpillar Valley Cemetery (New Zealand) memorial, Longueval, Somme, France

Two brothers also killed: Robert Burrow (17/12/1917) and Jack Burrow (died of disease 07/11/1918 so close to the end)

Cheers

Chris

We will remember them.

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Lovely tale woven around a simple medal. This is something that many who don't collect British (as broadly defined) medals sometimes miss. Each medal, being named, is unique, quite literally. And each has the tale of an individual wrapped up in that chunk of metal and length of ribbon. And, often, this a powerful (though sometimes mundane) tale, but it can almost always be dug out by diligent research. And often -- especially for folks such as those I focus on in the Indian Army -- this medal is their only memorial, their sole remembrance. Otherwise, they are lost to history, unremembered. Without making it sound sappy, this research is indeed, as you have put it so rightly, a "mission" and a duty. Thanks for sharing.

Edited by Ed_Haynes

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Chris, I try to find medals to soldiers from the where I grew up (have 2 at the moment and 1 from a Somme casualty who lived just across the border but in the same borough) and after doing some research, it seems to bring them back to life. Try to research as much as you can, what Ed said Each medal, being named, is unique, quite literally. And each has the tale of an individual wrapped up in that chunk of metal and length of ribbon. And, often, this a powerful (though sometimes mundane) tale, but it can almost always be dug out by diligent research. is so true.

Tony

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Ed and Tony, I could not agree more with both your sentiments. When I can I try and find out as much as possible about the original owners of my military items. It seems to make these little bits of cloth and metal more human and as you say Ed, sometimes we as collectors are the last people to remember that the original owners ever existed.

Thanks very much for your comments chaps.

Cheers

Chris

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