British War Medal 1914-1920 awarded to 2nd Lieut. William Jenkin, A.I.F.

William was born in Richmond and educated at Wesley College, where he had been a Senior Cadet. He obtained a diploma in geology at the University of Melbourne, and then found a position as an articled surveyor for the Department of Lands & Survey. He married young, to Enid, and they lived at 'Gracedale', in Elizabeth Street, Malvern. William enlised in June 1915, at the age of 22. He was placed in the 7th Battalion. He attended Officers' Training School at the AIF camp in Broadmeadows, Melbourne, and in March successfully applied for a commission, becoming a lieutenant. On 1 April he was sent overseas on the 'Suffolk', disembarking at Suez on 12 May. Just over a week later he was shipped to Marseille, France, and by early July he was at the front lines, serving with the 1st Entrenching Battalion. He survived only a matter of weeks before being fatally wounded at Purbricks Sap on the Bapaume Road. Corporal Dudley reported that he saw William 'blown up by his own bomb'.

William was buried where he fell, but the location of his body was later lost. A court of enquiry, held in June 1917, confirmed his death (he had initially been reported missing). He is commemorated at the Villers-Bretonneux Memorial, Picardie, France. After his death Enid moved to Sandringham and re-married, becoming Mrs Lording. Her husband was Ernest Lording, who she sent to collect William's memorial plaque on her behalf in 1923. They lived in Pascoe Vale.

"The British War Medal 1914-1920, authorised in 1919, was awarded to eligible service personnel and civilians alike. Qualification for the award varied slightly according to service. The basic requirement for army personnel and civilians was that they either entered a theatre of war, or rendered approved service overseas between 5 August 1914 and 11 November 1918. Service in Russia in 1919 and 1920 also qualified for the award."

Obverse Description

Bare head of King George V facing left; text around, 'GEORGIVS V BRITT: OMN: REX ET IND: IMP:'; the artist's initials 'B.M.' (Bertram MacKennal) are on the neck truncation.

Reverse Description

Naked figure of St. George on horseback advancing right trampling a shield bearing an eagle design and a skull and crossbone. Above, the sun; in the background, the ocean; text around, '1914 1918'.

Edge Description

Text; '2 - LEUT. W. JENKIN. A.I.F.'.

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