Monday 28th April 2006 will be one of Percy Woodward's more memorable days. He came to the Wardrobe to be reunited with his father's Queen South Africa medal, which had disappeared from the family over 80 years ago.
Percy's father, Ernest, had been in the 2nd Battalion The Wiltshire Regiment and had served in South Africa. He had initially been awarded the QSA with three clasps, but two more were later awarded. Unfortunately Percy, when only about 3 years old, swapped the medal whilst playing with some friends. His father never did find out what had happened to it.
Encouraged by Mark, her son, Percy's daughter Lyn Masters visited the museum in February 2005 to try and find out more about Ernest's service. We were able to confirm Ernest's service and give a reasonable date for the photograph she had of him. When she related the story about the medal she was completely taken aback to find that it was part of the museum's collection. At some time it had been bought by a collector who had loaned his collection to the museum.
The collector had died a short while ago and the museum was in contact with his family. The family readily and generously agreed that the medal should go back to Ernest's family. The presentation to Percy was the result.
Pictured is Percy with his wife, Lyn, at the museum. Percy is holding his father's medal and the photograph of Ernest wearing the medal. The Wiltshire and Swindon press took to the story and there were several articles giving good coverage to the story.