Family plea to regain war medals

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Gay Skinner, nee Webster, far left is the last living of the Webster children including Joan, Nancy, Marjorie, Libby and their Mother, which is why she is looking for her father’s war medals.GAYNOR Skinner, nee Webster, has fond memories of playing with her father Ernest Eric Webster’s war medals.

Her 11-year-old self, who lived in Launceston, would get them out of the embossed Tasmanian wood writing case they were kept in, lay them on the floor and straighten out the ribbons.

But Mrs Skinner hasn’t seen the medals since, as her late mother left them with a friend when the family left Launceston and never retrieved them.

Mrs Skinner now lives in Victoria and said she wanted to find the medals, as she is the last living of seven children and at 77 years of age wants to pass them on to her adult children.

“My daughter’s 50 and my son’s 48: I want to provide them with some family history,” Mrs Skinner said.

“To have something rare of my father’s would be beautiful.”

Ernest Eric Webster served in World War I from 1915, after begging his parents to sign the consent forms for him to serve as he was only 17.

He had worked in Hobart as a plasterer – his parents, John and Evelina, lived at Penguin – before joining the reinforcements for the 12th Battalion.

He was made a Signaller and arrived in Gallipoli on November 27, 1915.

Mr Webster was transferred to the 52nd Battalion the following March, and was wounded on October 22 when a 9.2-inch shell landed in his trench in the Somme, in France.

The bomb’s explosion caught him in the face and he was unconscious for 12 hours when he was sent to the Graylingwell War Hospital in England.

He had lower and upper jaw fractures and lost teeth and his hearing in one ear.

Mr Webster was discharge on July 14, 1917, and returned to Tasmania as a 20-year-old. He helped set up the Penguin RSL Club.

He died of cancer in 1961 in Burnie. He was 65.

Mrs Skinner said her mother would have left the writing case, which contained her father’s war medals and the family’s birth certificates and other papers, in Launceston with a friend in 1948 or 1949.

Mrs Skinner would love to hear from anyone with information about the medals, which were a 1914/15 STAR, issued No. 435, British War Medal, issued No. 2316, and Victory Medal, issued No. 2316.

Mrs Skinner’s email is [email protected]苏州美甲美睫培训学校419论坛.

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