Some information has come to light about a mystery medal that featured in the Oamaru Mail on December 15.
Australian-based reader Lynn Bryant told us of a medal in her family’s possession that was won by N.J. Leslie in 1887 and appeared to be linked to the Oamaru Athletic Football Club, which started in 1886 and is now the Athletic Marist Rugby Football Club.
“I found this medal in old family stuff and my mother can’t remember who passed it on to her,” she told us at the time.
“We live in Australia and I don’t know of any family from New Zealand or by the name Leslie.”
Oamaru Mail readers duly did their detective work.
Brian Smyth found a photo of Lord Reidhaven (full name Francis William Ogilvie-Grant), the Athletic club president in that era whose name also features on the medal, and passed it on to the club.
And Helen Laney came up trumps with all sorts of information about the Leslie family.
It appears Norman James Leslie senior was the recipient of the medal.
He had a son, also named Norman James Leslie, who was a trooper in the Otago Mounted Rifles and was killed during World War 1, by which time his father was living in Wellington.
Bryant wonders if Leslie jun inherited the medal – perhaps as a good luck charm – and it was passed on to a friend during wartime.
“We’ll never know for sure how the medal ended up with my grandmother’s keepsakes,” she said.
“I think it must have come back to Australia with my grandfather, George Bryant, or one of my great-uncles, Bill or Artie McGee, who fought in World War 1 and were lucky to come home.”