You only have to watch the National Australian News on television – from time to time or read the newspapers to see the occasional story of a theft involving War Medals. It is an unfortunate fact of life that our elderly – who should be respected and treasured for their past contributions to this country – are regular and easy targets of crime. It is even more sickening when the victim is an actual Veteran or War Widow.
One such case is the story published by the ABC News of an 86 year old War Veteran who returned to his home in Sydney shortly after Anzac Day to find an intruder in his house. The Digger was seriously assaulted and his medals stolen. Subsequently, the victim has pleaded for the return of his medals; perhaps at his stage in life – the most valuable and irreplacable of all his possessions. For these medals are more than just recognition of service……..each medal is a reminder to the veteran of a tumultuous youth and mateships forged in war. Just like his lost friends and comrades, they can never be replaced. Sure – anyone can obtain ‘copies’ and lookalikes, but the original war medals represent “memory” and in many cases, have been an integral part of Anzac Day for each and every Veteran.
The digger is quoted as saying “They’re no value to you mate, just pass it back to it’s rightful owner. That’s all I’d say to them”. The unfortunate thing is – it is a very good chance that these medals may be sold to some unscrupulous collector who knows or cares little for the history of the sacrifice made by the individual who earned these awards.
What is fortunate – is that for every unscrupulous collector or Military Medals out there – the number of decent and conscientious collectors of Militaria is ten fold. One can only hope that if these stolen war medals are sold on the open market, the purchaser will commit to researching the history of the recipient and find that the medals were subject of a theft. In turn – the medals will find their way back to the rightful owner.
In the particular case mentioned above, the investigating Police have warned local pawnbrokers and collectors to keep a look out for the medals which have the recipient’s name stamped into them (generally on the reverse side for stars – such as the Pacific Star or the African Star……and on the edge for medals of a round shape such as the Defence Medal or the Victory Medal awarded to troops of the Commonwealth) For more information on this particular theft, please refer to the ABC News Online Website article posted on the 4th May, 2007.
Our website, gives ALL victims of crime – the oppertunity to list stolen war medals – totally free of charge. The aim of websites such as MEDALSGONEMISSING is to reunite lost/stolen or missing medals with their rightful owners.
It would be easy to ignore such a story. After all – days such as Anzac Day or Remembrance Day only come around once a year. And the demands of modern society for most people, generally engulf our thoughts and minds to the point that we do not think of the sacrifice made by generations before us in times of war on a daily basis.
But for the digger from Sydney and veterans all over the world – who have lost family and mates in war…….every day is Remembrance Day to a wandering mind……sitting in a chair in some lonely Retirement Village.
I regret to say that the above example is not an isolated incident. Again, the ABC News published a report on Friday 15th June, 2007 of a Veteran whose War Medals were stolen in Griffith, New South Wales. The 89 year old digger – an easy target.
Or the 100 year old Perth man whose Redcliffe home was violated and his valuable medals stolen, as reported by The Australian newspaper on September 14th, 2007. The same story was run by the Brisbane Times.
For further information, go to the website of the Returned and Services League of Australia or search the website MEDALSGONEMISSING (in the Advanced Search field) to ascertain if your medals – that may have been stolen in the past – have since sold on the open market.
These Servicemen and Women helped win the war……help us to win the battle against crime and get these stolen medals back to their family.