Allison Forbes-Rodgers couldn't believe it when Lost Medals Australia, a one man search service operated by Canberran Glyn Llanwarne, told her service medals belonging to her mother and grandfather had been found.
"I didn't know they had been lost," she said. "They were found before anybody realised they were missing."
The medals had been placed in the care of another family member and were inadvertently discarded during a recent cleanup.
They had been kept in a biscuit tin along with an ivory necklace and bowls memorabilia and eventually ended up at The Green Shed in Symonston.
When the biscuit tin was opened the medals, which had the recipients' names engraved on the edges, were found.
Staff realised they must have been thrown out by accident and contacted Mr Llanwarne who is also a lieutenant-colonel in the army.
He tracked Mrs Forbes-Rodgers, who lives in Brisbane, down through a post on ancestry.com and the rest is history.
The two met in Canberra on Friday for the handover.
"I was devastated to find out the medals had almost been lost forever," Mrs Forbes-Rodgers said.
"I was very close to my grandfather and saw the medals many times growing up. They are something that should be passed down from generation to generation.
"To say what Glyn does is fabulous doesn't even begin to describe it."
Lieutenant-Colonel Llanwarne said he began his self-appointed mission to reunite medals with their rightful owners about 15 years ago.
"I began to see medals turning up on e-bay and I just thought `this isn't right'," he said.
"As I became more involved I made contact with a wide range of authorities including the police, who handle lost property."
He said medals and awards were integral parts of family histories; not curiosities to be traded like baseball or football cards.
Mrs Forbes-Rodgers agreed: "My daughter had not seen these; they are something that belongs with the family."
Colonel Llanwarne, who has developed sophisticated sleuthing skills, said he had returned 1632 medals and medal sets to their rightful owners since the late 1990s.
"This set was unusual because of the father and daughter connection," he said. "I hadn't come across that before."
The WWI British War Medal and Victory Medal were awarded to John Herbert Brook, Mrs Forbes-Rodgers' grandfather, who served with the AIF.
The WWII War Medal and Australian Service Medal belonged to her mother, Enid Forbes (nee Brook), who served with the Australian Women's Army Service from February 16, 1943, until March 1, 1946.
Also tucked away inside the Carrs of Carlisle biscuit tin were documents covering Mrs Forbes's war service.
She was classified as a "Group 2 Clerk" and described as five feet two-and-a-half inches tall (1.58m) with blue eyes, dark complexion and black hair.