The Gympie RSL's Alan Birkenhead (left) and medal refurbisher Greg McGuire (right) with the family of serviceman Ivor Haines: (from second left) Nicholas, Mateo Abed, and Yasmin Haines.
The Gympie RSL's Alan Birkenhead (left) and medal refurbisher Greg McGuire (right) with the family of serviceman Ivor Haines: (from second left) Nicholas, Mateo Abed, and Yasmin Haines.

The mystery of a long lost war medal deepens

A SECOND World War 1939-45 Star, which family said must have been lost decades ago, has surfaced but the mystery behind the heirloom has only deepened since.

An unidentified excavator handed the medal into the Gympie RSL Sub Branch after it was dug-up during works in the Gympie region around a month ago.

However while the family of medal recipient Ivor Vivian Haines was eventually tracked down by the sub branch, with help from the Queensland Police Service, the good Samaritan who uncovered it remains unknown.

Gympie RSL Sub Branch board secretary Alan Birkenhead said the mystery man could provide the missing link to the history of the medal's whereabouts.

 

 

Mr Birkenhead said the unidentified excavator would likely be able to tell them where the medal was uncovered so the family could trace its journey.

Ivor's grandson Nicholas Haines, who lives in Brisbane, said his family was unaware the medal even existed until less than a month ago.

While the family has some links to the Gympie region, they have not been able to come up with an answer as to how the surprise medal would have made it here and why they didn't know about it.

So far, the seach for answers has lead Nicholas to a home on Henry St and a home on Alfred St, where members of the Haines family had previously lived, however neither location has recently been excavated.

The family also has links to Mary Valley State College, formerly Imbil State School, where Ivor's father Vivian taught.

The family has even speculated that the medal could have been retrieved from the Mary Valley, but have little to go by.

Mr Birkinhead said he was hopeful someone in the region has spoken to the excavator about his special find and that they could ask him to contact the sub branch to reveal where the medal was found.

Mr Birkinhead said he estimated the medal had been buried for 30 years. It has since been restored and returned to the Haines family.

Anyone with information about the medal has been asked to contact the sub branch at 217 Mary St by phoning (07)5483 7707.

Gympie Times


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