Discovered in a crack house, military medals go home
Published Wednesday, November 30, 2011 6:19AM EST
It took two years, but military medals belonging to a deceased veteran have finally found their way home, thanks to the work of three Mounties and a retired military major.
The story began in 2009, when Surrey RCMP officers found the medals during a raid on a crack house in Surrey, B.C.
For two years, the medals sat in the RCMP detachment, with officers unable to identify who actually owned the stolen medals.
"Our investigators were very keen that these were significant to somebody," said RCMP Cpl. Drew Grainger.
Officers went through databases, used Statistics Canada information and did their best to match the medals to a soldier. But they remained stumped until they contacted the Royal Canadian Legion, who put their best man on the job.
Gary Campbell, a retired major and a war historian in New Brunswick, was able to catch a clue in the Second World War medals.
"It was a bit of a problem, because being World War II medals, they weren't named. Although, along with the medals was a War Services badge. It's a lapel pin and it has a serial number."
That led the search to Ontario, where Campbell uncovered the name of a soldier named Arthur Bird.
Bird died in 1975, but the medals had moved west with his daughter.
Thanks to the investigation, the medals have now been returned to Paul Jackson, who is Bird's grandson.
Jackson said that having the medals in his hands is like recapturing a piece of his past. He added that the medals will never leave his family's custody again.
"It means a lot to me, especially finding the medals after all these years."
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Peter Grainger