On 28 Jan 08 I was contacted by one of the police stations here in Townsville. A WWII group of 6 medals had been handed in after being picked up from the gutter. The police contacted me as they had no record of the medals having been reported stolen. As it turned out the police station is the one that supports my area and the medals were found in the same suburb as I live in.
I picked up the medals yesterday and arranged to do a piece to air on the local ABC radio station. Within two hours of the program, I was contacted by a lady who gave me a lead to the family. This lead put me in touch with the niece of the soldier whose medals I had. She had been burgled recently and didn't realise until last night that the medals were missing. Indeed she was so involved in filling out the insurance claim this morning she missed the radio program I was on. We now think that the thieves emptied one of Jean's drawers on to her bed, scooped up the contents and left. Later the thieves discarded the medals not thinking they were of any value.
The end result was that Jean collected the medals from my place this afternoon. I met very few people I return medals to so this was quite special. The local paper sent around a photographer to capture the story.
The medals were awarded to QX2156 Herbert Walter Walker who was KIA at Milne Bay on 31 Aug 42. Jean bought with her a locket which contained a picture of Herbert. The photo below shows Herbert's medals and his picture. A very emotional moment for me.
medals and a photo