Frederick Bradley Finch of Kyogle, was awarded an OAM for service to maritime history preservation.
Frederick Bradley Finch of Kyogle, was awarded an OAM for service to maritime history preservation.

Huge honour for Kyogle sailor who spent 46 years at sea

The Australian War Memorial has paid a great tribute to the memory of a Northern Rivers man who saw service under three flags during World War Two.

On Monday January 11, 2021, Kerry Finch announced via social media that the Australian War Memorial had recognised her father's important memorabilia.

MEDALS – The Australian War Memorial has accepted the medals presented to Frederick Bradley Finch who served in World War Two, into their collection.
MEDALS – The Australian War Memorial has accepted the medals presented to Frederick Bradley Finch who served in World War Two, into their collection.

"This morning I received notification from the Australian War Memorial in Canberra of the great honour," she posted.

 

MEDALS SAFE: The Australian War Memorial has accepted Frederick Bradley Finch’s medals and books after he passed away aged 93 in 2020.
MEDALS SAFE: The Australian War Memorial has accepted Frederick Bradley Finch’s medals and books after he passed away aged 93 in 2020.

 

"They are accepting into their collection my father's OAM, his WWII2 medals from Australia and Norway, his Legionnaires cap, Merchant navy badge and U.S.S. Merchant Marine Honourable Discharge patch and pin, along with two of his books, The Forgotten Fleet (he co-wrote) and Under Three Flags."

FORGOTTEN FLEET: The medals and war memorabilia includingg two books he wrote of Kyogle ex-serviceman Frederick Bradley Finch have been accepted by the Australian War Memorial.
FORGOTTEN FLEET: The medals and war memorabilia includingg two books he wrote of Kyogle ex-serviceman Frederick Bradley Finch have been accepted by the Australian War Memorial.

Ms Finch said she was very moved by the news.

"(This is) another proud moment for us all in honouring 'Freddie our favourite father'," she said.

FASCINATING HISTORY: The medals and war memorabilia of Kyogle ex-serviceman Frederick Bradley Finch have been accepted by the Australian War Memorial, including his book ‘Under Three Flags’.
FASCINATING HISTORY: The medals and war memorabilia of Kyogle ex-serviceman Frederick Bradley Finch have been accepted by the Australian War Memorial, including his book ‘Under Three Flags’.

In 2017 Mr Finch was interviewed by The Northern Star when he was recognised with an Order of Australia for services to maritime history preservation.

He spent 46 years at sea from 1942 to 1988 sailing on 96 vessels.

KYOGLE MAN HONOURED: The medals and war memorabilia of Kyogle ex-serviceman Frederick Bradley Finch have been accepted by the Australian War Memorial.
KYOGLE MAN HONOURED: The medals and war memorabilia of Kyogle ex-serviceman Frederick Bradley Finch have been accepted by the Australian War Memorial.

Mr Finch also made a remarkable contribution as the Founder andCo-ordinatorr, Finch Family Maritime Museum, for over 60 years until 2015.

 

HONOURED: The medals and war memorabilia of Kyogle ex-serviceman Frederick Bradley Finch have been accepted by the Australian War Memorial.
HONOURED: The medals and war memorabilia of Kyogle ex-serviceman Frederick Bradley Finch have been accepted by the Australian War Memorial.

He co-authored, Forgotten Fleet in 1995 which is dedicated to Australian mariners who served with the US Army Small Ships Section during World War Two.

His awards and recognition includes: Recipient, Third Gold Laurel Clasp, Australian Merchantnavyy Service Cross, 2008, for 60 years contribution to the Australian Merchantnavyy.

Mr Finch signed onto the Norwegian Merchant navy in April 1942, aged 15, and was to serve under the Norwegian, US and Australian flags.

He retired in 1988 and is a member of the Kyogle RSL sub-Branch as well as the American Legion.

In 2017 Mr Finch said he was very pleased to receive the award but felt his wife Fay who died recently, should have also received equal recognition.

"I did not know anything about being nominated but I feel great," he said.

"But Fay should have received this too, she deserved it for raising eight children while I was sea."

In March last year aged 93, Mr Finch passed away.

A funeral notice read; "Sailed away on the sea of eternity to be with his beloved Fay, on the 6th March 2020."



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