A Second War Birks Memorial Group to the R.C.A.F.
A Second War Birks Memorial Group to the R.C.A.F. - Defence Medal; Canadian Voluntary Service Medal with Overseas Clasp; and 1939-1945 War Medal. Mounted to a suspension with swing bar pinback, DM and WM are reverse mounted, Birks Bar (CPL. N.G.L. URICH / R.C.A.F. / DIED IN HIS COUNTRY’S SERVICE / 25 JAN.1945) sewn in place across the ribbons. Accompanied by his Memorial Cross, George VI (CPL N.G.L. URICH. 10324). Birks Bar and MC are engraved, light contact, better than very fine. Also included are a Heart-shaped Locket (gold-coloured, mother-of-pearl faceplate with flower motif and inscribed "Grande Prairie, Alta.", black and white photographs of Urich and his mother inside, 24.5 mm x 28 mm, integral loop suspension), a Pin Inscribed "Mother" (silver gilt, 21 mm x 43 mm, horizontal pinback), along with copies of his Index Card, Service Records and Medical Records. Footnote: Newman Gordon Lewis Urich was born on March 25, 1914 in Lacombe, Alberta, the son of Charles Wellington Urich and Laura Jane Urich of Hythe, Alberta. He enlisted with the Royal Canadian Air Force on September 13, 1939, in Toronto, Ontario, at the age of 25, assuming the rank of Aircraftman 2nd Class. He had spent one year previous to enlisting as a Prospector. Urich was sent later that month to the base at Trenton, Ontario for training, before embarking for overseas service of February 25, 1940 with 110 Squadron. Upon arrival in England, he was named Aircraftman 1st Class on February 29th and posted to Royal Air Force Station Old Sarum. Eleven weeks later, he was admitted on May 4th to the Canadian Medical Centre and treated for a bout of Influenza, before being discharged on the 8th. Throughout 1940 and 1941, Urich was treated at No. 15 Canadian General Hospital for dental issues. He was named a Leading Aircraftman on January 1, 1941, followed fifteen months later by his receiving permission to marry, taking Valentine Helen Urich (nee Brown) as his wife on April 14, 1942 at Chelsea, London, England, then promoted to Acting Corporal on July 1, 1942. He returned to No. 15 CGH on November 19th and treated for another bout of Influenza, before being discharged on the 26th. His health continued to deteriorate in the latter part of 1944, as he was transferred to S.S.Q. Wombleton, admitted on November 10th with Abdominal Pains and transferred the following day to RAF Northallerton, where he was diagnosed with "Chordoma" (a rare slow-growing neoplasm, AKA tumour). His stay at RAF Northallerton lasted five and a half weeks, before he was transferred on December 18th to No. 19 Canadian General Hospital for a ten day stay, where he was re-diagnosed with a "Plasma Cytoma" (a malignant plasma cell tumour within soft tissue or within the axial skeleton), his condition listed as "seriously ill". In his Medical History of an Invalid, dated December 18, 1944 at No. 19 Canadian General Hospital, the physician noted that there was a "fixed tumour found in the hollow of the sacrum, fixed to the sacrum, pelvic girdle and rectum" inside Urich. He was diagnosed with of an inoperable pre-sacral tumour and was repatriated to Canada aboard the Hospital Ship Llandovery Castle on December 28th. After a short stay at W.M.O. in Halifax, Nova Scotia, he was transferred to No. 3 RCAF Lachine on January 12, 1945, officially diagnosed with a "Blastocytoma" (tumour), then admitted two days later to Ste. Annes Hospital in Ste Anne de Bellevue. His condition was noted as "drowsy and semi-stuporous at time but can answer questions fairly well. Restless and complains of pains in lower abdomen and rectum." K-10324 Corporal Urich was transferred to the Urological Special Treatment Centre, where he died of natural causes at 12:45 hours on January 25, 1945, at the age of 30. His body was returned to his parents in Alberta. Urich is buried in Grande Prairie Cemetery, Grande Prairie, Alberta, Grave Reference: Lot 23. Block 21. and is commemorated on page 572 of the Second World War Book of Remembrance. For his Second World War service, he was awarded the the Defence Medal, the Canadian Voluntary Service Medal with Overseas Clasp and the 1939-1945 War Medal. His mother and wife received his Memorial Cross, while his parents were issued the Birks Bar.