Saturday, September 21, 2019

Ernest Lee Dawson - Medals back in family



It certainly pays to blog. I was very fortunate that I checked my email on my phone a few weeks ago, while I was travelling home from a weekend away (My husband was driving!) The message simply stated to have a look at a listing on Trademe New Zealand. Key words in the link included medals, antiques and collectables.

My interest was piqued!

The link showed medals which originally belonged to my great uncle Ernest Lee Dawson (1885-1968). I responded to the email as to why she sent me this message and the reply was that she had read an article of mine after seeing the medals online and conducting a little research. Thanks Kate!

I had previously bid online for a postcard written by my great grandmother and the experience was positive. So, although this was going to cost significantly more, I knew I had to bid for the items.


  1. 1914-1915 Star
  2. British War Medal
  3. Victory Medal
  4. Gallipoli Medal
  5. Gallipoli Medal Lapel Badge


1915-1914 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal, Gallipoli Medal and Lapel Badge

Obverse side of medals

Needless to say I won the auction after some harrowing final minutes!

Ernie married late in life and his wife Ivy had been previously married and I believe she had children. She died in 1986 so I'm assuming her children had the medals after this date. So what happened to the medals between 1986 and 2019?

I was told that they were auctioned by Noble's Auctions on Thursday 4th April 2019. I can see that I paid less than the winning bid at that auction, so I'm content. If anyone can shed light on where the medals have been for the past 33 years I'd love to know.

Ernest Lee Dawson, the eldest child of William Henry Dawson and Bridget Mylan was born in Cooma on 18th January 1885. The family later moved to Sydney where his father was a wardsman at Callan Park. When land opportunities arose on the north coast of NSW the family moved to Bonalbo.

Ernie spent five years in Shanghai as a military policeman at the beginning of the 20th century and I have blogged about one of his experiences here and hereHe (No. 500) enlisted for World War 1 on 25th August 1914 and became a member of the 2nd Light Horse Regiment. This regiment consisted mainly of Queenslanders and men from northern New South Wales. They landed on Gallipoli 12 May 1915 and Ernie was evacuated from Gallipoli on 5th August 1915. He spend much of the war in England and arrived back in Australia in 1920.

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