Medal Stolen From D-Day Museum Returned

Two items recently stolen from the D-Day Museum in Portsmouth have been returned.

The George Medal and a souvenir badge from the 1936 Berlin Olympics, which were both taken from the museum in early October, were put through the door of the Leader of the Council in a plain white envelope on October the 19th.

Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson said:

"I'm really pleased that we've got them back.

"It's great that either someone decided they'd done the wrong thing, and wanted to put the situation right, or that somebody found them and decided to do the right thing."

Both items were on loan to the museum from separate lenders and their owners have been informed of their return. The items were noticed as missing on Monday 3 October.

The George Medal is awarded for 'acts of great bravery', and is usually given to civilians. It was created by King George VI in September 1940 as a way of rewarding and recognising acts of courage by many civilians during the Blitz.

The medal was issued to William Henry Daysh, the first person in Portsmouth to be awarded the medal. He was a member of his workplace's ARP (Air Raid Precautions) team.

On 12 August 1940, one of their buildings was set on fire by bombing, leaving a carpenter unconscious inside. Although Daysh himself had been wounded, he went inside the burning building to try and rescue the man, came out again to seek help, and then went back in again.

He was trapped by falling debris, and both men were rescued by a fire party. He was sent a letter of congratulations by the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Sir Denis Daley.

The medal has local and national historical significance. More recently, a number of George Medals have been awarded to British military personnel serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.

It is not known currently whether the items will go back on display.