Kaniva's Crouch family receives Dead Man's Penny

A KANIVA family has received a priceless family heirloom that dates backs almost 100 years.

Ivy and Neville Crouch, along with their son Barry, were contacted by Mount Gambier residents Richard and Beth Perry out of the blue earlier this year.

Mr Perry had a Dead Man’s Penny in his possession that related to Neville’s uncle Albert George Crouch, who was a private in the First World War.

Albert died in the war on August 9, 1918.

The Dead Man's Penny is a commemorative medallion that was presented to the next-of-kin of the men and women who died during the First World War.

“I got a phone call out of the blue one day from Richard, who said he had the penny,” Barry said.

“He had had it in his possession for about 45 years.”

Albert George Crouch was born in 1888 in Kaniva.

He enlisted for the war in Horsham and he died in France late in the First World War.

He was about 30 years old and his next of kin was his father George.

Barry said Mr Perry had done a big of investigation to find the owner of the Dead Man’s Penny. 

“At some stage he decided he wanted to find the rightful owner,” he said.

“When he started looking, I was the closest Crouch to Mount Gambier that he could find in the phone book,” he said. 

On Friday, Mr and Mrs Perry made the trip to Kaniva to give the medal to the Crouch family.

Barry said his family very appreciative that Mr Perry wanted to give it to them.

“They aren’t worth a lot, only about $50, but it was great that he bothered to chase it up,” he said.

“It’s good to keep history alive.” Barry said he was shocked to get the phone call from Mr Perry.

“Usually when someone calls you out of the blue, on your home phone, it’s someone doing a survey.”

Barry said they believed Mr Perry was a distant relation of the Crouch family.

“Albert George Crouch was one of 12 children,” he said.

“Two of his sisters were spinsters but another two sisters married and we believe one married a Perry.”

Mrs Crouch said Albert George Crouch lived at Kaniva with his parents before joining the war.

“His parents lived on a farm, and that’s where Barry lives now,” she said.

Mrs Crouch said his parents retired to Mount Gambier.

“It’s wonderful to have the medal,” she said.

“Neither Neville or I had heard of a Dead Man’s Penny before.”

Mrs Crouch said Mr Perry told her he received the medal when he was about 14.

“He said his mate gave it to him,” she said.

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