Collector returns Second World War medal

Maybe it was the loss of a medal commemorating his own great-uncle’s Second World War death that made him do it.

Maybe it was the loss of a medal commemorating his own great-uncle’s Second World War death that made him do it.

Something compelled Allan Cameron to return another Silver Cross that he had paid $500 only a few years ago to the family it belongs with on Saturday.

“I’m a collector and I’ve had it for three years and I decided it was time to get it back to the family . . . I would hope that somebody would do the same for me,” said the Sylvan Lake resident.

Cameron is founder of the non-profit Veterans Voices of Canada, which records the war experiences of former soldiers in their own words.

Since Cameron’s uncle and great-uncle served with the North Nova Scotia Highlanders, he has been collecting artifacts from their unit for years.

In 2011, another militaria collector called to see if he wanted to purchase a Silver Cross medal connected to Authur Bedwin, a North Nova Scotia Highlander, who was killed in action in Holland in 1945.

The memorial medals were presented to the mothers or widows of Canadian soldiers who died while in active service.

Cameron bought the Silver Cross, thinking it should belong to someone who appreciates its meaning.

But the Central Albertan occasionally thought about Bedwin’s family and whether he should try to track his relatives down and return the medal.

“I thought about it a couple of times and then put it away.”

But a story he heard recently made him reconsider his ownership of the artifact.

It concerns a New Brunswick man who purchased a Second World War helmet with a soldier’s name printed in it for $30 from an army surplus store.

“The fact that (the soldier) cared enough about it to write his stuff inside — his name and the ID number — it wasn’t mine to keep,” Jordan Chiasson told a local newspaper.

The young collector discovered the helmet’s original owner was still alive and opted to return it to him in February.

George Johnston, 93, who had been a private with the North Shore Regiment, was emotional to receive the head covering that protected him through six years of fighting across Europe. Upon seeing his helmet after 70 years, Johnston said, “I could kiss it!”

“He was quite excited to get it, and it reinterated to me that these things should go back” whenever possible to the soldiers or their families, said Cameron.

After doing his own research, Cameron discovered that Bedwin’s daughter resides in Grimshaw, only a few hours drive from his Sylvan Lake home.

He drove to the community on Saturday to present the Silver Cross to the woman at a ceremony at the Grimshaw Royal Canadian Legion. It was also attended by other Bedwin relatives, veterans and community members. Cameron’s only condition was that the medal stay in the family and not be resold.

He discovered the late soldier’s daughter, who’s now in her 70s, had no idea that a Silver Cross memorializing her father’s sacrifice ever existed. She told him she had no knowledge of how the medal would have left the family, but was very grateful to get it back.

Cameron hopes that someday, someone will come across the Silver Cross medal that memorializes his great-uncle and D-Day veteran, Ernest Glenmore Hill, who was killed on July 25, 1944, and will also return it to relatives.

It would mean a great deal, he said. “Our family doesn’t know where the medal is. I would like to think that someone would do that for us.”

Just Posted

Red Deer teacher contracts condemning same-sex relationships ‘not acceptable’

Eggen says Red Deer Catholic Schools assured him they no longer have employees sign the form

Second-degree murder trial on hold until January

Jury not back until Jan. 7 for 2015 stabbing death trial while lawyers argue evidence issues

Hospitalizations jump in Red Deer due to opioid poisonings

Small city hospitals impacted more by opioid crisis

Stray dog spotted in one Red Deer neighbourhood, could be missing for 1 year

Red Deerians asked not to feed this german shepard

Witnesses describe scene of fatal 2016 collision

Delburne man on trial for manslaughter after being accused of causing collision

WATCH: CP Holiday Train rolls into Lacombe

Kelly Prescott performed for hundreds of Central Albertans

Trump comments upend U.S. approach to Huawei, trade talks

WASHINGTON — The United States and China have taken pains this week… Continue reading

WATCH: CP Holiday Train rolls into Lacombe

Kelly Prescott performed for hundreds of Central Albertans

Dumba scores twice, Wild rout Canadiens 7-1

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Reeling and banged up, the Minnesota Wild were… Continue reading

Coach Hunter wants up-tempo Team Canada as world junior squad hits ice

COLWOOD, B.C. — Team Canada coach Tim Hunter says the team that… Continue reading

Study finds female-led films outperform male ones

NEW YORK — A study organized by Time’s Up, the organization formed… Continue reading

Price Is Right contestant wins winter trip to Winnipeg, Churchill

WINNIPEG — Who wants to visit Winnipeg in the dead of winter?… Continue reading

CBC Gem streaming service to launch exclusive content, partners with Wattpad

TORONTO — The CBC has launched a new streaming service featuring live… Continue reading

‘Part of the solution:’ Alberta seeks proposals to build new refinery

EDMONTON — Alberta is looking for someone to build a new oil… Continue reading

Most Read