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Help find Coseley Crimson Field medals

By Black Country Bugle  |  Posted: June 12, 2014

Tilly's medals, from left, British War Medal, Victory Medal, QAIMNS Reservist medal, Nursing Association badge and Iron Cross (bottom)

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THE recent BBC1 popular TV series on the frontline medics in World War One, The Crimson Field, has spurred a Bugle reader to find two medals missing for 100 years that belonged to his great aunt.

Staff Nurse Matilda Goodhall Tate, known as Tilly, was twice mentioned in dispatches. For her bravery and dedication to duty George V awarded her the Royal Red Cross Second Class.

Tilly, who was born in Coseley and lived for much of her life in Tividale, worked for many years as a nurse at a private hospital in Birmingham. But, on the outbreak of war in 1914, she volunteered for overseas service with the Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service, serving on the front line in Salonika, Italy and France.

At the end of the war she also received three service medals, the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

However, her great nephew and Bugle reader John C. Tate, of Hawne, said two of the medals have been lost.

"Sadly, the 1914-15 Star with Mentioned in Dispatches oak leaves and the silver Royal Red Cross went missing soon after her death in 1946," said John.

Now he is appealing to Bugle readers for help in tracing the missing medals.

"The 1914-15 Star would have been inscribed 'S/Nurse M.G. Tate' though I believe that the RRC carried no such inscription as a matter of policy," he continued. "We would like to get them all together again, so if anyone has knowledge as to the whereabouts of either of these medals could they please inform the Tate family via the editor of the Bugle?"

Our photograph, top right, also shows Matilda's other WWI medals. "The medal with the 'R' is the QAIMNS Reservists medal," explains John. "If you've been watching The Crimson Field on TV you'll have seen some of the nurses wearing it. The other cross is the badge of 'Miss Storer's Nursing Association', with the coat of arms and motto of the City of Birmingham in the centre."

However, Tilly was not awarded the Iron Cross by the Germans.

"That one was given to her by a Canadian officer she had nursed, as a thank you," said John. "It had been removed by him from a dead German soldier."

Can you help John find his great-aunt's missing medals? If you have any information on their whereabouts contact editor@black countrybugle.co.uk, call 01384 567678 or write to 41 High Street, Cradley Heath, B64 5HL.

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