Grandad, 87, over the moon after reunion with lost family war medals
- Credit: Frankie Spurdin
An 87-year-old Wymondham man has been reunited with his family's treasured war medals after "someone with a guilty conscience" returned them under the cover of darkness.
Fred Squires, who will be 88 next month, misplaced the six war medals given to his dad, grandad and great grandad when he arrived at the Lidl in Wymondham yesterday morning on a money-collecting mission for the British Royal Legion.
The column of six was attached to his blazer with a pin, but as he began setting up his table inside the store he realised they'd disappeared in the short time between leaving home and arriving at his destination.
A frantic search of the car park, his car and his home threw up no evidence of the silverware — and he was devastated.
He concluded that someone had swiped them on their travels, and reported the lost property to the police.
But after a post his granddaughter shared on Facebook telling people to keep an eye out for the heirlooms amassed over 4,000 shares and comments, Mr Squires woke this morning to see that his green bin had been tampered with overnight.
He went to move it back and noticed a rag behind it, with the medals wrapped up inside.
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There is no explanation as to how they got there.
Mr Squires said: "I don't know what I'd have done if I hadn't got those medals back.
"Both my grandad and great grandad took part in the First World War, and my dad was sent off to Iraq in 1919 until 1922.
"He was called up again for the Second World War but stayed in England because he was too old for combat.
"The family history of the Squires clan is all there in those medals. To me they are worth more than anything."
The 87-year-old said he believes the medals came back to him because of the power of Facebook.
He explained: "I didn't know how big that thing was. I couldn't believe it.
"There was people everywhere looking out for my medals.
"The publicity obviously pricked someone's conscience and whoever swiped them returned them to me.
"I'm relieved, but I've learned my lesson. I need to get that pin fixed and make it more secure. I'm not wearing them out again until then."