While working on the Tribute Medal Database I have been struck by the number of returned Australians who received medals and other gifts.
I have marked up a couple of pages from Murray 1911, showing the nominal roll of the 2nd Victorian (Mounted Rifles) Contingent and those who received medals (see below). Overall, nearly 40 percent of the 2nd contingent were thus honoured. And this is based on the presentations I have so far identified. There will undoubtedly be many more that did not get a mention in the press.
It is true that the percentage tails off later in the war, but, across all six states, this still amounts to a staggering number of gold medals & lockets.
It seems extraordinary that so few of these have surfaced/survived. Have families held on to them or was the intrinsic value of the gold too great to save them from the "pot"? I suspect the latter, given the hard lives that many families of returned Australian soldiers endured at the turn of the century.
The mark-up below only shows medals & a few lockets. On top of these there were many presentations of watches, clocks, framed illuminated addresses, etc., etc.