Burgess Hill veteran’s joy as war medal is reunited with owners

Wendy Singleton, 61, holding the World War One medal
Wendy Singleton, 61, holding the World War One medal

RAF veteran Peter Stenning from Burgess Hill has spoken of his joy after finding the owners of a World War One medal he picked up at a car boot sale.

After the Middy published Peter’s appeal to find the owners, we received calls from many people in the community who were keen to help.

Peter Stenning picked up the World War One medal more than 30 years ago but he initially had no luck tracing the owner

Peter Stenning picked up the World War One medal more than 30 years ago but he initially had no luck tracing the owner

Peter said: “I am absolutely delighted and so pleased. I feel elated – knowing that somebody is now going to have this medal.

“I would like to say a big thank you to everyone who helped me – especially to George Palmer and David Banks.”

Peter said the war medal belonged to Edward Lee, who was born on March 28, 1901.

He served in the Royal Navy, leaving in 1927, and rejoining in 1931.

I feel elated – knowing that somebody is now going to have this medal.

Peter Stenning

His father’s name was George and his mother’s name was Jessie.

He married Florence Irene Worth on June 12, 1927. They had one child, and he died in 1989 in Haywards Heath at the age of 88.

The medal has now been passed on to Wendy Singleton – sister-in-law of Mr Lee’s great-granddaughter Kerry, aged 38.

Wendy, 61, who lives in Stranraer, Scotland, is due to present the medal to Kerry in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, where Mr Lee’s family live.

She said: “I think Peter has done such a wonderful thing. It is just marvellous.

“When I told Kerry about it, I thought isn’t it funny that this medal has come to light this year, on the 100th anniversay of the end of the First World War.

“Edward obviously wanted that medal back to his family and I am just grateful to be in the middle of it all.”

Peter, of Ravenswood Road, Burgess Hill, discovered the medal among some coins he bought from a car boot sale more than 30 years ago, but he initially had no luck tracing the owner.

The 84-year-old said he was inspired to try again after reading an article.

“The article was about a medal being reunited with the granddaughter of a soldier. It made me want to do the same thing and I thought some family might like to have it,” he said.

“People don’t realise what medals mean to people.

“I have now got the life story of this man. He served on so many ships. It is lovely that the medal has got back to the family on the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.”

Peter has lived in Burgess Hill all of his life.

He served as an RAF medic for three years, which is where he met his wife Rita, who was also a medic.

The couple met in medical training and were married for 62 years.

They had four children together, who are now in their 50s and 60s.

They also had three grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Peter is a member of the Royal Air Forces Association Mid Sussex Branch and the Suez Veterans Association – an association of those who served in the British Armed Forces and civilian support units in the Suez Canal Zone between 1939 and 1956 – the Suez Crisis.

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