Long return for medal
A FIRST World War medal found 40 years ago in Australia has finally been presented to the soldier’s relatives in Middlesbrough.
The medal – belonging to Aaron Peel – was discovered buried in a garden in Freemantle, Perth, but no-one knows how it got there as Aaron spent his entire life on Teesside.
Bob Roulston, Aaron’s great-grandson was tracked down by MyHeritage – a site created to trace ancestors – and he was astounded when representatives from the Yorkshire Regiment turned up on his doorstep with the British War medal.
Bob, 64, who lives in Ormesby, found out about the medal after receiving a letter through the post and was then interviewed over the phone by Channel 9 news in Australia.
He said: “At first we all thought it was a hoax, but we gave the number on the letter a ring where they told us all about the story.
“The next thing, I was being interviewed over the phone.
“I haven’t got a clue how the medal got to Australia, the only relative I know of is a nephew but he only went there about 10 years ago.
“Whether it was stolen and taken there I don’t know. Aaron died around 1957, so whether it was taken after that I haven’t a clue.
“MyHeritage told us they would bring round the medal on August 17 and on that day a camera crew and guys from the Yorkshire Regiment knocked on my door.
“I couldn’t believe it, it was a complete surprise.”
The medal was presented to Bob in a handmade box that was crafted from Freemantle wood by Rob McCaw.
Bob added: “The box was beautifully made and it’s very nice that he kept the medal for that length of time.
“It’s made from local wood and has copper plates on it – he clearly spent a lot of time on it.
“If it was up to me, I would love to give the medal to the Yorkshire Regiment museum, but I will have to speak to the family first.”
Bob Roulston and the medal