Nina Wilson recently found some medals from WW1 in a strong room and was keen to reunite them with the descendants of Capt E.J.Eccles of the Royal Fusiliers. Together we have worked to profile the story in the media, and see what we can do.
Listen out for our appeal to help find his descendants, on the John Griff breakfast show this Saturday 6th January on BBC Radio Northampton.
John Griff is presenting the interview with Nina, going out on his Saturday Breakfast Show this weekend. John has also kindly offered to give the story a push on social media and will put a tweet or two up in advance and post more after the piece goes out to signpost people to the iplayer version of the show later in the day.
The full story can be found on Facebook along with excellent information from contributors. (http://www.facebook.com/383366475065899/posts/1540676716001530)
What we do know is:
(L-R above) they are the British War Medal, the 1914-15 Star, and the Victory Medal and should actually be worn in the order of firstly the 1914-15 Star, second the British War Medal, and finally the Victory Medal. They form the British Campaign Medal Set. Pip, Squeak and Wilfred are the affectionate names given to the three
WW1 campaign medals. These medals were primarily awarded to the Old Contemptibles (B.E.F) They are the most likely medals to be found among family heirlooms.
When the WW1 medals were issued in the 1920’s it coincided with a popular comic strip published by the Daily Mirror newspaper. It was written by Bertram J. Lamb (Uncle Dick), and drawn by the cartoonist Austin Bowen Payne (A.B. Payne). Pip was the dog, Squeak the penguin and Wilfred the young rabbit. It is believed that A. B. Payne’s batman during the war had been nicknamed “Pip-squeak” and this is where the idea for the names of the dog and penguin came from. For some reason the three names of the characters became associated with the three campaign medals being issued at that time to many thousands of returning servicemen, and they stuck.
E J Eccles
…was made a 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Irish Fusiliers on the 4th of March 1915 at Belfast, and there is evidence of him serving as a 2nd Lieutenant in the 5th Battalion of the Royal Irish Fusiliers on 2nd Nov 1916. He then transferred to 2nd Lieutenant Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment) before becoming a Captain in the Princess Victoria’s (Royal Irish Fusiliers). He was awarded the medals at the end of WW1 and left the Army on the 7th of March 1930.