Sittingbourne veteran Fred Beaves gets his Second World War medals back
by by Rachael Woods
A daughter's quest to reunite her father with his wartime
medals has ended in victory.
When Fred Beaves attended a Buckingham Palace garden party last
May, the immaculately-dressed 92-year-old felt the absence of his
Second World War medals more than ever.
The Court Regis resident’s collection of five medals should have
been proudly pinned to his lapel as he stood alongside fellow
veterans at the event for the Not Forgotten Association – but they
had long since been lost.
Fred worked as a driver for Wellington bomber squadrons and had
earned the Defence Medal, Africa Star, Italy Star, 39-45 Star and
39-45 Medal for carrying out his duties in Europe and North
In one North African mission he had to drive across territory
laced with mines to retrieve fuel needed to operate a radar.
The only trace of Fred’s five medals were the ribbons they had
been attached to, which were discovered at his former home in
His daughter Barbara Ward went on a mission to track down the
missing medals, using her dad’s war services record.
But her initial inquiries to the British Foreign and
Commonwealth Office met with disappointment.
Her search was backed by her sister Christine Beaves, 62, who
lives in Hambrook Walk, Fred’s home before he went into care.
Miss Beaves said: “Barbara was told that our dad’s medals were
despatched to him in 1948 to an address in Fulham, London, where he
was living at the time.
"She was informed that unless they had been reported as lost or
stolen they could not be replaced.”
But Barbara, of Uckfield, East Sussex, battled on and her
persistence paid off. She was eventually able to secure replacement
medals for Fred, which were presented to him this month.
Miss Beaves said: “Dad was delighted to get his medals back it
was a very happy day.”
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