Sunday, 19 April 2009

WWI Medal

Today at the museum, a local couple came by with this gold medal for me to photograph. It was created by Otautau jeweller, William J. Wesney at the behest of the Otautau Patriotic Committee at the time of World War I.

According to the Western Star, 1916:
These are to be presented to all returned soldiers who at the time of enlistment had been resident 12 months in Otautau, and to the parents of those who have died in the service of their country.
William had registered the design and encouraged other groups or communities wanting to present this medal to their returned soldiers to contact him.

The medal measures only 26mm x 45mm (approx. 1in x 1 3/4in). On the back is an inscription including the soldier's name and rank.

A rough estimate would indicate that at least 100 of these medals were created and probably many more.

Thanks to the couple for sharing their piece of history with us.

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