Search to rehome war badge

SEARCH FOR FAMILY: The service badge's front.

A COUPLE of weeks before Christmas 2020, a local prospector Ken Winnell came across what he thought was a war medal at Park Lake in Creswick, Victoria.

He passed the medal onto a Creswick Smeaton RSL member, which was then handed to Phil Greenbank the RSL’s Memorial and Memorabilia on ANZAC Day this year.

Research showed the medal was actually a badge that was originally issued in World War I, then later in World War II.

There were three types of badged issued, each with a registration number on the back: 1. Returned from Active Service; 2. Discharged Returned Soldier; 3. Mothers and Widow’s badge.

This badge is the Returned from Active Service with Registration number 218391.

It was originally assumed that it belonged to a Victoria soldier from WWI.

After checking the number in the registers for Victoria WWI, then WWII, the search started in registers for other states and finally found the number in a WWII register for South Australia.

The number belongs to Milton Vivian Leitch, born January 18, 1904 in Naracoorte and was living in Penola when he enlisted in WWII on July 20, 1940, in Adelaide, with Service Number SX9199.

He served with the 2nd/14th Field Regiment and held the rank of Sergeant when he was discharged on January 8, 1946.

The badge was issued after he was discharged.

We don’t know how the badge ended up in Victoria unless he travelled to Creswick at some point.

I have attached a copy of the badge as when issued and the front and back of Milton Leitch’s badge.

The RSL is seeking any living next of kin for Milton so that the badge can be returned to the family.

Contact 0490 374 006 or

Phil Greenbank,

Creswick-Smeaton RSL historian