Medal re­turned af­ter 55 years

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

AF­TER more than 55 years, the First World War medal Kevin Smal­ley found as a 13-year-old boy has been re­turned to its right­ful owner.

Act­ing Cor­po­ral Frank El­wor­thy was the orig­i­nal re­cip­i­ent of the medal and his grand-daugh­ter, Dr Jill Pet­ti­grew, said she still couldn’t be­lieve that it had been re­turned.

Dr Pet­ti­grew is a for­mer dux at Proser­pine High School and was the spe­cial guest at the school’s 50th an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tions ear­lier his year.

The pair met on Satur­day at Seaforth, where Mr Smal­ley handed back the medal.

“It’s amaz­ing. I never thought it would hap­pen. I want to say thanks to Kevin for hav­ing such per­se­ver­ance to find the medal’s owner,” Ms Pet­ti­grew said. “I’ll be able to wear the medal on An­zac Day next year as I’m in the RAAF. So I’ll get the proper rib­bon and it will be able to be worn. But it’s still ... dis­be­lief to be able to touch it.”

“It’s a re­lief to give it to the right fam­ily,” Mr Smal­ley said.

“She’s the right per­son, I’m giv­ing it to. It’s not go­ing to be lost again.”

RE­TURNED: Kevin Smal­ley has re­turned a war medal he found to Jill Pet­ti­grew who is the rel­a­tive of Act­ing Cor­po­ral Frank El­wor­thy.

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