Monday, 25 April 2016

Belgian Medal Queen Elisabeth finally at home



John Moore

Because of ANZAC day I think this is a beautiful story worth to tell and proof of cooperation in the real ANZAC spirit with a huge link to Belgium.



It’s the story of ANZAC Jack and his mother Mary Ann Wick.

ANZAC jack, as he was called, was serving as New Zealander with the Australian army during WWI. His real name was John Moore and he was awarded the D.C.M and mentioned twice in Sir Douglas Haig’s dispatches .
He has been in Polygon Wood and Zonnebeke/Passchendaele in September and October 1917.

His war service: 5 years (of which 4 years 228 days were abroad)
Landed at Gallipoli, 25 April 1915; wounded.
Evacuated to Malta and thence to England.
Sent back to the Suez Canal; returned to England in early 1916 and assigned to training duties with the rank of corporal.
Reverted to the ranks at his own request and posted to the Western Front.
Remained there until the armistice, November 1918, then served with the army of occupation in Belgium.

His mother Mary Ann Wick was a lady well known in the Auckland, Thames and Waihi districts and conspicuous amongst the workers in the interests of sufferers through the war. From the commencement of the war she devoted the proceeds of the garden on her property at Takapuna to the Belgian Relief Fund, and at the end of the war to the Red Cross movement.

Mrs Moore selling vegetables for the Belgian Relief Fund
In recognition of her services to the Belgian cause she was awarded the Belgian Queen Elisabeth Medal instituted by the King Albert of Belgium for conferment upon ladies throughout the world who have distinguished themselves in working for the downtrodden nation.

the citation
Unfortunately she didn’t live long enough to receive the well-deserved honour in her own hands.
Because the family has the certificate also the Medal should be somewhere , those two are always together, but they are surely not in the family anymore and maybe they never reveived this award.
Since 1994 the family is in search for the Medal and they have been in contact with the Belgian Embassy and Consulates for support in their research.

A couple of days ago, their was a newspaper article in New Zealand saying; getting the original or a replica from Belgium would be a huge emotional significance for the family



This year, 99 years after the battle of Passchendaele, a member of Mrs Wick family is here in Belgium with the military contingent who are commemorating ANZAC day in France and Belgium and are doing a pilgrimage to the different places where their forebears have given the ultimate sacrifice.

A lot of people have searched in all possible directions to find the medal, but the files are closed since 1924, the Royal Decree was in 1919. They are not making those medals anymore. The specialised shops don’t have them, the people who are collecting medals wants to keep them….

But luck was with us. With the help from some friends from the Belgian study Group for Phaleristic who were helping to search I could buy an authentic Medal on an auction and only short time ago we had what the family of Mrs Mary Ann Wick never has seen. Of course we don’t know who was the owner of this award in the first place but there is a small chance that this is Mrs Wicks’ own well deserved Medal.

It is an authentic relict from 1919 and we are very honoured to hand it over to the family of Mrs Mary Ann Wick represented by WOET Te Kani Te Wiata who’s the husband of the Great Great Granddaughter of Mrs Mary Ann Wick.



Mary Ann Wick is buried at the Waikaraka Cemetery in Onehunga, Auckland. Only 21 graves of the 32 New Zealand women who received the medal have been found and the Belgium government has a plan to pay for all 21 graves to be restored with new headstones, including a facsimile of the medal

4 comments:

  1. Thank you Freddy for posting this. A very moving story on this 2016 ANZAC Day.

    Ken Baker, Brussels

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  2. Thank you Freddy from the bottom of my heart. I am indebted to you. I am thrilled for Jack Jnr has closure. I am so so thrilled. All my love Angela Te Wiata

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  3. Thank you Freddy from the bottom of my heart. I am indebted to you. I am thrilled for Jack Jnr has closure. I am so so thrilled. All my love Angela Te Wiata

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  4. Freddy thank you so much for everything you have done for my family. I am indebted to you. I am an emotional wreck though 😊

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