Second World War medals returned to Edmonton family
EDMONTON -- An Edmonton family has been reunited with their family heirlooms Sunday, days after the items were mistakenly given away.
A collection of Second World War medals and a scrapbook were lost after being loaned to a family member.
Veronica McDonnell took to social media earlier this week, pleading for the items to be returned.
Late Saturday night, McDonnell shared that the items had been returned.
“This scrapbook could never have been replaced, never,” she said.
“My dad was incredibly brave, he ended up taking 39 Germans prisoner after losing his weapon and it's phenomenal how he did that.”
The medals, including a Distinguished Conduct Medal and several service awards, belonged to Capt. John Joseph McDonnell.
His service with the British military began in 1932, when he served with the Lancashire Fusiliers as a boy soldier. He was a sergeant with the 3rd Battalion Parachute Regiment and a second lieutenant with the Army Air Corps during the Second World War.
“He was shot down, crawled for two days, and was eventually rescued by Canadian soldiers.”
McDonnell fully retired from service in 1961 and died in July 1989.
The book was mistakenly sold with John's medals by an estranged family member and ended up in the hands of a collector, who wished to remain anonymous.
“He saw how upset I was and he reached out to me via Facebook.”
“He absolutely knew the significance and that they had to be back with us.”
Veronica says the collector was reimbursed what he paid and she promised him a copy of the scrapbook she plans to make. She’s just thankful she doesn't have to replace the irreplaceable.
With files from CTV News Edmonton's Carlyle Fiset.