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Last Updated: Friday, 17 August 2007, 13:22 GMT 14:22 UK
Museum bids to secure war medal
Vimy medal
The medal appeared for auction on the internet
A Canadian museum hopes to secure a Hawick soldier's war medal after it appeared on the internet for auction.

Sgt Frederick Shipley was born in the Scottish Borders in 1889 and moved to Canada 17 years later.

He signed up for their expeditionary force and was killed on the first day of the Battle of Vimy Ridge in 1917.

The museum in his former hometown of Welland has tried to convince the seller to take the medal off the website and sell it to them directly.

Frederick Shipley was born in Hawick, the son of Robert Shipley and Jane Fraser.

He moved to Canada in 1906 with his mother following a year later.

Sgt Shipley died on the first day of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, a conflict which has a special resonance for Canadians as it is generally considered a watershed event in the country's development as a nation
John Robertson
Welland Museum Curator

Records show that he got married in Welland in 1912 but his wife died two years later due to pregnancy complications after delivering a stillborn child.

The young Borderer enlisted in 1915 and was killed on 9 April, 1917 - the first day of the Battle of Vimy Ridge.

The medal given to his family appeared for auction on the internet site eBay earlier this week and the Welland Museum hoped to emerge as top bidder.

"The Memorial Cross was instituted immediately after WWI and is awarded to mothers and widows of Canadians who have died in the service of their country during the war," explained curator John Robertson.

"Sgt Shipley died on the first day of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, a conflict which has a special resonance for Canadians as it is generally considered a watershed event in the country's development as a nation."

The museum - which has a very limited budget - has teamed up with medal enthusiast Dave Thomson.

He has secured dozens of medal for museums and veterans' families across Canada.

'Crack team'

"We've got a crack team running along with this," said Mr Robertson.

"We're working hand in hand with Mr Thomson, whose hobby is repatriating Canadian honours, to bring Mrs Shipley's medal to Welland."

The medal appeared for auction on the internet earlier this week with a closing date of Sunday night.

However, it was removed from the site on Friday raising hopes that an agreement had been reached with Mr Thomson to take it to the museum.




SEE ALSO
On the trail of a wartime hero
01 Aug 07 |  South of Scotland

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