If you have a broken set of medals that you have lost hope of “re-uniting” – then do not dispair. Miracles do happen!!!
It is not uncommon for an ancestor’s medals to be split up. If you have read my previous entry titled “Why War Medals Go Missing” you might recall that I mentioned the common practice of many families – in that a medal set is split up amongst a veteran’s children. The veteran passes away, his children grow up and as the years pass – the grand children inherit the medals. Unless this family recognises the value of keeping these medals together as a set, they are generally seperated forever.
Well, this was the case with one such family in Canada. Thankfully for them however, this story has a happy ending!!
The British War Medal (colloquially known as ‘Squeak’) and The Victory Medal (known as ‘Wilfred’ after a popular comic strip of the early 1920’s containing the characters “Pip, Squeak & Wilfred”) belonging to Canadian War Veteran Pte. Robert James CLEMENTS became a “split set” in 1979 when the old soldier passed away. One medal was given to each of his two sons and they were packed away – only to be forgotten.
Many years later, the son who was the custodian of the “Victory Medal” passed away and somehow, this medal ended up on the ebay auction site. The family was notified by a member of the Chatham-Kent Museum and it was agreed that a bid should be placed on the medal. It was won by on-line auction for $110
The family subsequently located the “British War Medal” in a family tree file and it was donated to the Museum, to be re-united as a set again after nearly 30 years apart. As the medals were originally on the eastern side of Canada near Ontario, the missing “Victory Medal” somehow travelled cross country and ended up on the west coast at Vancouver. A journey which is a mystery to the descendants of Pte. CLEMENTS.
This just proves that miracles can happen and that hope should never be lost.
But if you can’t afford to spend 12 hours a day, 365 days a year – pouring over the ebay auction site or other on-line auction houses, then you will need the help of a web-based International Medal Registry to keep an eye out for you. Medalsgonemissing – the up and coming militaria website is one such source and will reach to all corners of the globe, where other similar sites have never gone before.
Who knows? One day I might be sending that surprise email to you and we can re-unite your Squeak with your Wilfred – like lost lovers.