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Wednesday, 17 November 2010
Page: 2750

Mr VAN MANEN (1:51 PM) —The community of Forde prides itself on its community spirit and rich history, and this is epitomised by the work of the Beenleigh RSL. Recently, a rare World War I medal was found by Boronia Heights resident Gus Burns. Whilst going through the paperwork of his late father, John Burns, who was a World War II veteran and engineer, Mr Burns found a Distinguished Conduct Medal. Mr Burns handed the medal over to the Beenleigh RSL who, after an extensive search to find the owner through the inscription and war records, were successful in identifying Army medic Private Edgar Gorham as the recipient.

Private Gorham received the medal for bravery, as a stretcher-bearer. The DCM was considered the second-highest award for gallantry in action, after the Victoria Cross, and for all army ranks below commissioned officers. Only 1,800 of these medals were awarded to Australians in World War I, proving the rarity of the find. Following media reports, a Rockhampton family came forth to their local RSL as relatives of Private Gorham. The claim was authenticated through documentation, and Beenleigh RSL President, Tom Childs, was excited that the once homeless medal could now be claimed.

This story is just one of many of community spirit within the Forde electorate and pride in the work of the Beenleigh RSL. (Time expired)