Following the centenary of the First World War, my husband has been researching our relatives who had fought in the Great War.
In the past, access to material from 1914 to 1919 has been limited to family records, however the internet has opened a lot of new resources for researchers.
If you don’t know the details of relatives who may have served in WWI, a good starting point may be your family tree. In many cases a search on Ancestry.com.au can produce good results. For our family, we knew of several WWI diggers, however searching the family tree, we found over 10 and also several surprises. For this article we will focus on James Park Woods, a distant relative who was a WWI Victoria Cross winner who had a lot of material available.
A newer source of information is the AIF Project which includes material from several sources. This proved a great summary of James’s AIF service. In addition, you can also access the WWI diggers AIF record at the Discovering Anzacs site, which allows you to download a scanned copy of their service record.
The elements to be framed
In order to make a framed tribute, we used the following elements:
Photograph – several photos of James are available on the internet, however we wanted to restore the image and highlight his VC.
The following shows the original image, the restored version and finally with his VC ribbon in colour.
Medals – we understand that James original medals have been donated to the Australian War Memorial in Canberra. Therefore, after researching what medals James received, we asked our medal expert, David Hirch (03 9571 5469) to get replicas for us. David can also assist with the refurbishment and mounting of your original medals.
Service Items – Customers often have access to original service items that can be framed. For example we have framed dog tags, pay books, service patches etc. In this case we decided to frame a copy of James VC award which we obtained from the internet. For better presentation, we cleaned up the document and formatted it as one page.
The Framed Tribute
With these three elements we then set about designing a suitable arrangement, and selected appropriate mats and frame.
The completed frame is a suitable tribute to the memory of a very brave and courageous man.