39032 Rifleman Edgar Egidio Di Rago, NZEF
NZEF Pair - 39032 Di Rago
The British War Medal and Victory Medal pair awarded to Edgar Egidio Di Rago who appears to have ground off the reverse of his Victory Medal, perhaps indicating his opinion of the war?
Edgar Egidio Di Rago was born 11th October 1893 at Christchurch, New Zealand. Son of Italian-born Antonio Di Rago and his wife, Frances Esther Wright. At the time of his enlistment in the NZEF in 1916, Di Rago was working as a clerk for the Christchurch City Council. He attested in October 1916, and embarked with the 22nd Reinforcements in February 1917. He was posted to D Company, 3rd New Zealand Rifle Brigade in September 1917, arriving at his unit on 9th October 1917 - just prior to the Battle of Passchendaele. On Christmas Eve 1917 he was admitted to hospital, and in January 1918 was evacuated to the UK suffering from enteritis. He has suffered from this same illness while under training in New Zealand, so it is likely his resilience to the harsh realities of life on the Western Front was reduced. Di Rago was subsequently declared unfit for further service and returned to New Zealand in 1918.
Di Raog married Ruby Adeline Rowley in 1923, and had a son. He worked in sales and importing in Christchurch. He was also involved in the "Free Religious Movement" - an organisation founded by conscientious objector Norman Murray Bell from the Unitarian Church. This movement expoused such causes as Samoan Independence, Animal Rights, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom and Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and was very much against conflict. Di Rago's involvement in this organisation for peace (he gave lectures on hopes for international peace in the late 1930s) that suggests he removed the wording on the reverse of his Victory Medal as it is ran counter to his political and social views - it was not a Great War For Civilisation.
Edgar Di Rago died 11th June 1977 at Christchurch.
Both medals are correctly impressed