A CALOUNDRA man has made an emotional plea for the return of his father’s service medals, which were stolen in a raid on his home last week.
John Kilminster claimed his dad’s World War II medals only recently and had them mounted for his grandson Lachlan to wear in yesterday’s Anzac Day march.
The 15-year-old had already marched with his great-grandfather’s World War I medals and was looking forward to adding to the collection.
But when thieves broke into Mr Kilminster’s Moffat Beach home and ransacked his office, they took the safe containing the precious mementoes.
The retiree said his father rarely spoke about his experiences overseas, which made the medals even more precious.
In fact, Alfred Kilminster only told his son three things about his time in both wars.
The mate he signed up to World War I with died when he was hit by a mortar; he went AWOL and got drunk on the banks of the River Seine in France; and he ended up in hospital in England after being hit with nerve gas.
“They stole the entire safe, which had my father’s life story about his life as an A Grade cricketer, a WWII medal awarded to my mother for her service at home and a one and only gold traveller’s medal with my father’s name on it,” Mr Kilminster said.
Also taken was a valuable Australian Imperial Forces hat badge.
“Everything else we can replace, the only things I’d like to get back are the war medals and badge,” Mr Kilminster.
“They are of no value to anyone else as they are ordinary service badges, but they mean so much to me and my family as they bring back memories.”
Caloundra police had told him the thieves were “pros” but he said he hoped they would show some compassion and return the medals.
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