Mys­tery medal will be gifted to Ir­ish mu­seum

Central Leader - - NEWS - By CIARA PRATT

Part of a mys­tery about a long-lost war medal from World War I has been solved.

Sunnyvale res­i­dent Colin Beau­mont, 71, has been in pos­ses­sion of a Victory Medal – a medal given to those who served over­seas in World War I – for about five years.

He’s been try­ing to track down the fam­ily of its owner ever since it was given to him by his neigh­bour who he says found it in a pile of rub­bish in West Auck­land. He has been keep­ing it safe in a drawer at home.

Since ap­proach­ing the West­ern Leader last month in search of the medal’s owner, Beau­mont has re­ceived in­for­ma­tion from the Royal Ar­tillery Mu­seum in Lon­don about the sol­dier who was awarded the medal.

The Victory Medal be­longed to Michael Han­lon who en­listed in the Bri­tish Army in 1917 and was dis­charged in 1919. The mu­seum states his last known ad­dress was in Lim­er­ick, Ire­land and he is thought to have been born in 1898 in Tip­per­ary.

He mar­ried and had one son named Ger­ard who died in World War II and had no chil­dren.

Beau­mont says he now plans to send the medal, along with the in­for­ma­tion about it, to Lim­er­ick Mu­seum in the hope that Han­lon’s ‘‘mem­ory will en­dure’’.

‘‘How this medal turned up in New Zealand a cen­tury later is a mys­tery that may never be solved.’’

Photo: CIARA PRATT

Colin Beau­mont, 71, has been try­ing to find the owner of this Bri­tish navy Al­lied Victory Medal from World War I.

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