Milton Keynes community unites to bring World War One hero's medals home after spotting them for sale on eBay

When WWII medals and memorabilia belonging to a Wolverton man were spotted for sale online, caring residents clubbed together to buy them back for the town

Monday, 19th April 2021, 11:53 am
Updated Monday, 19th April 2021, 11:54 am

The medals had been issued to the late William Foster for his service during the Second World War.

Mr Foster lived with his wife in Gloucester Road, and is believed to have worked as a coach painter in the Works.

A few locals still remember them as a quiet couple who "kept themselves to themselves". It isn't believed they had any children, but quite how these precious medals ended up on eBay is a mystery.

The medals and ID documents were being sold on eBay
The medals and ID documents were being sold on eBay

Local people spotted a listing on eBay describing Mr Foster's medals, his ID tag, cap badges and paperwork,

Vince Clinton is a member of the 'I grew up in Wolverton Facebook group, and when details of the medals were shared, he decided to jump into action and buy them.

He said: “This seemed to be a complete set of medals, cap badges, ID tag and paperwork and I thought it was important that the medals remain in the town.”

Vince wasn't the only one who wanted to see the medals brought home. He received offers of donations from other residents, including two of his school friends and from one of the FB page administrators.

The medals were presented to MK Museum

Even a woman who grew up in the town but now lives in New York stepped in with a contribution.

The medals are now safely installed at MK Museum, which is based in Wolverton, for all to see,

Meanwhile Vince is currently carrying out research to find more information out about their owner,

He is thrilled that with the help of other Wolvertonians he was able to bring Mr Foster's medals home where they belong.

“With the clear connection to Wolverton and the Works, due to William's profession ,and the fact that there was no evidence of next of kin, I thought it would be a fitting tribute to his memory and service that they be donated for display at the museum,” he said.

Last week Vince handed them over to museum director Bill Griffiths.

“We are so pleased to receive these,” said Bill. “They are an important part of local history and are now back in their rightful place – here in the town where Mr Foster lived and worked.

“We are sure he would be thrilled to know that his precious medals have been returned 'home,' and we extend our gratitude to Vince and all those who donated to help secure them - and have entrusted them to us for safekeeping.”