World War II veteran Charles Brown, 93, was taking part in a Dunkirk veterans river cruise when his medals slipped out of his jacket pocket and into the water at Teddington, as he boarded a boat. When the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) heard about the loss it offered to recover the irreplaceable medals which included an OBE (Order of the British Empire) awarded for his work for war veterans and his Dunkirk and Normandy campaign medals.
Malcolm Miatt, lifeboat operations manager at RNLI Teddington wasn’t sure that they would find the medals because they had been underwater for a week and visibility from the silt was bad due to heavy rains. However, Miatt’s divers found them almost immediately.
When he heard the news, an overjoyed Brown took a taxi from his retirement home to the river to be reunited with his medals.