Local vet’s medals coming home

By Grant LaFleche, The Standard

Friday, August 23, 2013

 

ST. CATHARINES – Stanley Jackson’s medals are coming home.

After negotiations with a collector in New Zealand, the First World War and Second World War veteran’s medals have been purchased by the Lincoln and Welland Regiment museum.

“The original buyer fell through, and after I talked to the seller in New Zealand we were able to come to an agreement,” said Jeff Carins, chairman of the museum. “He was really supportive of our efforts to bring Mr. Jackson’s medals home.”

Rob McLarnon of New Zealand bought the medals belonging to Jackson, a St. Catharines resident, at an auction in Auckland a few years ago.

Along with the medals that were awarded to Jackson, who survived the battles of the Somme and Passchendaele, McLarnon also purchased documents about the solider’s military history.

He put the medals and documents up for sale on eBay for $450. When the Standard published a story about the sale, a group of local residents tried to come together to purchase them to ensure they would return home. However, before a bid could be put together, a collector from British Columbia bought the medals.

A few days after the sale, however, McLarnon said the buyer backed out, leaving the door open for Carins to purchase the medals for the museum.

Cairns said McLarnon is coming to Vancouver soon and will send the medals and documents to him from there.

The medals will eventually be displayed in the planned museum building in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Cairns said. The building is in the early planning phases, but is expected to be built on land Parks Canada recently acquired from the department of national defense.

“All things being equal, I hope to see a shovel in the ground by this time next year,” Cairns said.

Although the medals have been purchased, Cairns said his hunt for materials about Jackson is not over. He said there will be a display of medals honouring many local veterans and hopes it will include a photo of the soldiers rather than just their medals.

So far, he does not have a photo of Jackson and is still trying to find one.