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This page is dedicated to the memory of Clarence Henry (Harry) Green, seen below wearing his Military Medal ribbon
Citation for Military Medal
Corporal Clarence Edward Henry (Harry) GREEN 4/740 N.Z. Engineers. 9 Dec 1916 awarded MILITARY MEDAL for bravery in the field, opening the wells at Flers, Somme, under continuous shell fire.On 26 July 1917 Harry was serving in the Ploegsteert Sector, Belgium, during the Battle of Messines, when he was hit by shrapnel in the head. He died later that day of those wounds and is Buried at Trois Arbres Cemetery near Steenwerck, France, Plot I.V.15 After WW1 every next of kin of service personnel who had been killed was sent a memorial scroll and a bronze plaque known as the Dead Man's Penny. It is understandable that the Scroll being paper was likely to age or be damaged and lost over time. However the Plaque being solid bronze with the deceased name cast in raised letters, and quite large, about 120 mm in diameter, it is quite odd that they are not very common. No one of our family appears to have ever seen Uncle Harry's scroll or plaque. One of his Army Record Sheets has been stamped and ticked off, so it seems definite that they were dispatched to his father. . I have now obtained a facsimile Scroll, but the Plaque being unique is impossible to duplicate.
The whereabouts of the Military Medal was a mystery for years and years. Even my Mother did not know that her special brother had been awarded the MM. She used to tell me that when her mother died it was Harry that looked after her. Mother was 5 years at the time, while the youngest two, Lillian 3 and Cyril 1 went to Purakaunui to live with their Grandmother Maria Mouat at that time. When I learnt that there was such an article as this medal I started enquiries but found no one in the family recalled that an MM had been awarded to Uncle Harry, let alone anyone that had ever actually sighted it. So for very many years the location of the medal, indeed its very existence was unknown to most of us.
More recently over a period I have endeavoured to view the MM again, either calling in to make arrangements or phoning for an appointment. In all cases I was told someone would get back to me but this never happened. At last one morning the museum rooms were opened for me to roam at will unsupervised, the plan being that on completion of my search I would just walk out slamming the door locked behind me. This lack of protection really concerned me, and in the vernacular was rather Mickey Mouse to say the least. Our MM was here only because of the expected safety and security. In actual fact on that particular morning I could net get sight of Uncle Harry's MM or any other medal at all. My guess was that medals and the like were stored in a locked adjoining room and I requested the key but it could not be located. I was advised that when the key was found a new appointment would be made for me to view our MM, but sadly this has not happened during the last several years. Over this period I asked Brian Connor if it was possible for him to ask for entry to the museum to endeavour to locate the MM, but he did not ever get in touch so assume it was not possible. I believe he had previously enquired whether he could do custodial tasks but the reply was that it was not possible as he did not have a formal position in the Defence Force.
Then it was some time after my Uncle Cyril Green, the youngest of that generation, had died that his son Warren phoned me out of the blue. His message to me was really startling as apparently for all these years Cyril had been looking after the MM, and obviously it was in the bottom of a drawer or similar as no one had known where it had been. Warren was tidying up and considered the medal should be given a treatment more fitting. He had passed it over to Brian Connor [of 57 Barr St, ph.4884345] our Dunedin medal expert and restorer to be given a complete refurbishment. On completion I viewed the medal at that stage and it was in beautiful condition. Warren then handed it over to the Army at the Kensington Army Hall for safe keeping in their Museum. Later I made arrangements to go into the museum, three times I believe, and on the second visit left some laminated information photos to be alongside the medal. The medals (yes, three "standard' medals as well) are shown below
The four medals in the obverse or front facing view from the left are:
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