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Missing war medal found

A Vietnam War veteran has been reunited with his father’s treasured war medal that fell off his blazer during yesterday’s Anzac Day parade through Melbourne.

Reg Saunders said a Scout, who was also participating in the march, found the World War II medal lying on the ground and handed it to a marshal at the Anzac Day Commemoration March.

After the 66-year-old’s plight was aired in the media today, the medal was returned to its rightful owner.
Mr Saunders, from Kew, said he did not meet the Scout who recovered the medal, but would contact the organisation to pass on his thanks.

‘‘I’m really quite amazed with how quickly things moved and very pleased,’’ Mr Saunders said.

‘‘I’ll get the medal fixed, I’ll get it firmly attached to the ribbon.’’

Earlier, Mr Saunders said he hoped someone had picked up the medal, earned by his father James Gordon Saunders, an air force pilot based in New South Wales who trained other pilots for military service on Tiger Moth and Wirraway aircraft.


Yesterday was the first time Mr Saunders had marched in the parade wearing his father’s war medal. He was hoping it wasn’t his last.

"I put the medal on my jacket. There were two medals there and then I went in the march and at the end of the march I saw one of them was missing. The ribbon was frayed and it had fallen off," Mr Saunders said earlier.

"I had walked a little way after the march to meet up with my wife. I just followed the path that I had taken, but could not find it."

Mr Saunders, who served in Vietnam from 1967 to 1968, said his father died in 1992 and the medal was given to him about two years ago when his mother passed away.

The silver medal, named the War Medal 1939-45, was inscribed with the name "J.G. Saunders" and had immense sentimental value for his family, Mr Saunders said.