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Late father’s ‘irreplacable’ medal returned to family 21 years after it was stolen

PUBLISHED: 11:55 13 November 2018

Trevor and Maureen page with the stolen medal. Photo: James Carr.

Trevor and Maureen page with the stolen medal. Photo: James Carr.

Archant

A Bungay man has told of his gratitude after his late father’s Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes (RAOB) medal was returned 21 years after being stolen in a burglary.

The Page family receives the stolen medal. Photo: Trevor PageThe Page family receives the stolen medal. Photo: Trevor Page

Bob Page had been a member of the RAOB, known as The Buffs, since the 1960s.

For more than 40 years he enjoyed the comradeship provided by the fraternal order and earned many medals, or jewels, for his service.

In 1997 his Wingsfield Street home was targeted by burglars who stole a briefcase containing the medal along with his wife Val’s handbag.

The break-in left Mr Page devastated and he died in 2014 never knowing what became of the jewel.

Val Page is handed her late husband's stolen medal by Graeme Simmonds. Photo: Trevor PageVal Page is handed her late husband's stolen medal by Graeme Simmonds. Photo: Trevor Page

Little did he know, the medal had been discarded in a farmer’s field less than four miles from his home.

In October it was discovered in Hedenham by Norfolk metal detectorists Graeme Simmonds, Godfrey Pratt and Mike Gleeson.

They tracked down Trevor Page, Bob’s son, and last week visited the family and returned the medal.

Mr Page said: “I was astonished, you never think you would get something like that back.

“It would have meant everything to my father; the RAOB was very important to him and he got quite high up.

“We must have been driving past the medal on the way to Norwich for 20 years.”

He said that telling his step-mother the medal had finally been found was an “emotional” experience.

He added: “I phoned her up and told her and she had a few tears, she was just over the moon.”

Val Page said: “Bob was devastated to lose his jewels, they were irreplaceable and even buying another would not have the same meaning as the one he lost.

“Sadly Bob died over four years ago and when I was told by his son Trevor that one of his jewels has been found it was so emotional to know that his jewel was back with his family.”

Before presenting the medal back to the family Mr Simmonds, Mr Pratt and Mr Gleeson cleaned and framed it.

Mr Page added: “They didn’t have to do what they did. We can never thank them enough for what they have done.”

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It was a case of Christmas come early for a number of youngsters at a Norfolk hospital who met their footballing heroes.

Libraries around Norfolk are inviting people in for free tea and a friendly chat to help combat loneliness.

The inquest into the death of a three-year-old girl who died after being thrown from an inflatable trampoline on Gorleston beach has been adjourned because a police report into the incident is not ready.

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