Daughter’s joy as war hero gets medal back

Published date: 21 December 2012 |
Published by: Andrew Boyd
Read more articles by Andrew Boyd

Sandra Stamper and Margaret Jones with the medal 

Handing over the medal 

Owner of the medal Ivor Royles and his wife, Betty on their wedding day in 1944 

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A PROUD daughter has hailed the return of her father’s war medal as the ideal Christmas present.

Margaret Jones, from Buckley, has spent recent weeks trying to track down the owner of a wartime athletics medal she found in her home while having a spring clean.

To her delight, she discovered the family of the original owner lived just a few miles away and were even related to her by marriage.

Yesterday, Sandra Stamper invited Mrs Jones to her home on Hendy Road, Mold and received the medal on behalf of her war hero father, Ivor Royles, 93.

Mr Royles, who now lives in Hampshire but is originally from Mold, was awarded the cross country medal while serving with the Royal Welsh Fusilers in 1941.

He was later awarded a medal for bravery when serving with the 3rd Batallion Parachute Regiment.

His surname is on the medal, stirring Mrs Stamper’s interest when Mrs Jones asked Leader readers if they knew the identity of the original owner.

“I read that article and I immediately thought that’s my dad,” she said. “I was sure it was him. It is nice that he is still here to be able to see the medal. So many people of his ilk are no longer here.

“I am so glad to have been put in touch with Margaret and for us to get this medal back.

“My father has said he wants to see the medal. I think he is quite pleased to know about it.

“But he is very modest about his time in the war. He won’t even wear his medals on November 11 so we have them. It is so lovely to receive this. I guess it makes for a lovely Christmas present for our family.”

Mrs Jones and Mrs Stamper believe the medal may have ended up in Mrs Jones’ possession due to the family connections between them, although the pair did not know each other until the medal handover. They suspect it may have been passed to a young family member with an interest in the military many years ago.

Mrs Jones, who planned to give the medal to Wrexham Museum had the original owner did not come forward, said: “It’s nice to be able to hand it over. We can only surmise as to what happened to the medal originally.

“I knew when I found the medal it wasn’t from my side of the family.

“It is good to be able to meet Sandra and I am glad they will now have this medal.”

War hero's tale

FOR Mr Royles, the cross country medal adds to an already impressive collection of awards for his military endeavours.

He served with the 3rd Battalion Parachute Regiment, having received a medal for bravery when under fire in Tunisia.

Mr Royles was to experience a hectic war career, as he later became a German Prisoner of War.

Despite the family receiving correspondence saying Mr Royles was presumed killed in action, he safely returned home at the end of the war.

“He’s my hero for what he did in the war,” said Mrs Stamper.

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