As It Happens

B.C. man searching for rightful owner of veteran's medals

Martin Bokesch has been inundated with ideas and suggestions since he posted a photo of the medals on Facebook.
The four medals Martin Bokesch found: the Atlantic Star, the 1939-1945 Star, a Canadian Volunteer Service medal and a War Medal. (Martin Bokesch)
Listen6:20

Martin Bokesch just wants to give them back to their rightful owner. 

The BC man recently found an old box among his new wife's belongings containing four war medals: an Atlantic Star, a 1939-1945 Star, a Canadian Volunteer Service medal and a War Medal. Bokesch's wife had no idea whose they were. She'd found it in an old desk she picked up almost two decades ago in Quebec ... and promptly forgot about them.

Bokesch posted a picture of the medals on Facebook last Friday, asking for help. He has since been inundated with ideas. 

As It Happens host Carol Off spoke with Martin Bokesch from Vernon, B.C. Here's an excerpt from their conversation. 

Carol Off: Martin, it sounds like it has been a whirlwind for you since you posted pictures of these medals online. How close are you to finding out who they belong to?

Martin Bokesch: Well, the puzzle was two-fold in that we had two different names that we were working on. Plus we had to realize there was a distinct possibility that this box with the names on it has nothing to do with the medals at all. But within the past two days we have spoken with relatives of one of the names on the box and have made some headway that way.

CO: These medals were in a box in a desk your wife bought 18 years ago. Why now are you getting the search going?

MB: At the time, my wife was living in  Beaconsfield, a suburb of Montreal and she found this desk on the side of the street. It was loaded up and taken home, and a number of days later this box was found [in it]. The box was put into storage, and moved around with her family to different locations. We met a few years ago and after the marriage we had to consolidate our belongings, and ance we started opening up boxes, she came across this small box. It was one of those moments where you go "Oh no!," and I felt right that we had to do something. 

CO: Why does it matter so much to you?

MB: These medals are more than a piece of stamped silver; they tell the tale of an individual, of possible sacrifice. So for me it's very important, and obviously for the hundreds of other people who have helped with this search. It's very important these medals get home. 

This conversation has been condensed for length and clarity. To listen to the full interview select 'Listen' above.

You can read Martin Bokesch's Facebook post here. 

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