Long re­turn for medal

Middlesbrough Herald & Post - - HERALD & POST -

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

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