Jim Raven, 92, was presented with the replacement medal by Kent Deputy Lieutenant, Mr. Peter W Blackwell JP DL in a small ceremony at Rusthall Lodge attended by family and staff members.
Three weeks ago, Mr. Raven mentioned the loss of his medal to local historian and keen medal collector Martin Beavis at Rusthall Lodge’s Veterans’ Day event. Touched by Jim’s story, Martin promised he’d try to find a replacement – and so he did.
“It was obvious that Mr. Raven was deeply upset over the loss of his medal, so I was determined to find a replacement. The one I found required a small amount of restoration and is now as good as new. It was wonderful to be able to give something back to a worthy veteran,” said Mr. Beavis.
“This is a wonderful surprise. I am really delighted,” said Mr. Raven
The Defence Medal was a campaign medal instituted by the UK in May 1945 and awarded to subjects of the British Commonwealth for non-operational military and certain types of civilian service during the Second World War.
Mr. Raven was too young to sign up for the regular army at the outbreak of WWII but served with the Home Guard in Ashford. “We were a bit like Dad’s Army,” said Mr. Raven, who retained close links with the town after the war.
Sandra Wilmshurst, general manager of Rusthall Lodge Care Home said: “This has been a fitting postscript to our Veteran’s celebrations. It’s been a wonderful team effort recognising the dedication, loyalty and bravery of our residents and we are delighted to see Jim and his medal reunited again”.