It has recently come to the attention of Goulbourn Museum that a collection of war medals, belonging to Richmond’s own Clarence Evelyn Rielly have appeared in an auction hosted on EBay. With the community’s help we hope to bring Rielly’s medals home to preserve this local hero’s story for future generations.
Clarence Evelyn Rielly served as a Sapper in the First World War with the Canadian Engineers and continued on to serve in the Second World War with the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF). When Rielly first enlisted, his attestation papers show he worked as a telegraph operator from Richmond. Rielly was born in 1892 and was 24 years old when he enlisted.
This collection includes Rielly’s WWI War Medal and Victory Medal, Second World War Canadian Volunteer Service Medal (CVSM) and War Medal, along with his RCAF Long Service and Good Conduct Medal, general service badge and RCAF Reserve service badge. Also included in the collection are two black and white photographs showing Rielly in his RCAF uniform. This auction of Rielly’s war medals, pins and photographs will close on August 15, 2013 at 2:56 pm.
The auction was first brought to our attention by Dave Thomson from St. George, Ontario. Thomson’s hobby is to find war medals belonging to Canadian veterans and help repatriate them to their family or hometown. The value of this collection to the Museum comes from collection of material as a whole, preserving the story of a war hero from Goulbourn Township. The rarest of the medals in this collection is the RCAF Long Service & Good Conduct Medal. Rielly earned this medal after achieving 18 years of service with the RCAF. These medals were awarded between August 1944 and September 1957. In comparison, there were approximately 1.1 million Canadians who served in the Army, Navy and Air Force during the course of WWII, the majority of whom received the Canadian Volunteer Service Medal (CVSM) and the equivalent Second World War Medal. What makes the RCAF Long Service & Good Conduct Medal so special is there were only 487 of these medals awarded to Canadians.
In 2014, Canadians will commemorate 100 years since the outbreak of the First World War. The Museum will be launching an exhibition in June of 2014, and this collection could be incorporated into the exhibit if we can rally enough support and raise money to secure the winning bid.
Cash or cheque donations can be made to the Goulbourn Museum. If we can raise sufficient funds to secure the winning bid, we will purchase the grouping and accession the items into our artifact collection. Otherwise donations will be used toward improving our collection and creating programs and exhibitions at the Museum. Goulbourn Museum is a registered charity and can offer tax receipts for all contributions over $10, so please be sure to leave your contact information with a donation.
The Museum is open Wednesday to Sunday from 1-4 p.m. and is located at 2064 Huntley Road, just south of Stittsville.
Help to spread the word and let’s bring Clarence Evelyn Rielly’s war medals back to Goulbourn Township!