Tuesday, 6 September 2022 - 2:04pm

Anzac medal reunited with family

2 min read

News article photos (2 items)

The Anzac Commemorative Medallion, or Gallipoli Medallion.
An officer shaking hands with Dennis Owen, who received the medal on behalf of the family.

​An Anzac Medallion has made its way back to its owner’s family thanks to Canterbury’s Precision Targeting Team (PTT) and a special group of former military personnel dedicated to reuniting medals with families.

In February 2021, Canterbury’s Precision Targeting Team (PTT) executed a search warrant at the address of a well-known Christchurch offender.

During the search, a unique World War I Anzac medal was located. When the offender was questioned about the medal, they couldn’t provide a legitimate reason for why they would be in possession of such a rare artefact.

The medal was seized, and the team began its quest to find the rightful owner. The constable who found the medal served in the New Zealand Army prior to joining Police, so he called on his NZDF contacts for help.

He was directed to Medals Reunited New Zealand, a non-profit organisation run by former and retired military service members that provides a free service to reunite lost and found medals with family members of former serving military personnel.

Medals Reunited was able to identify the medal as an Anzac Commemorative Medallion and pointed the PTT team in the direction of a relative of the medal recipient.

Eighteen months after it was found, the AOS component of Canterbury PTT safely returned the medal to 87-year-old Dennis Owen, nephew of Sergeant Henry Vincent Owen from the 1st Canterbury Infantry Battalion.

Sergeant Owen served in WWI alongside his brother. He was awarded the Medallion for serving on the Gallipoli Peninsula or in direct support of operations there between April 1915 to final evacuation in January 1916.

Dennis happily received the medal on behalf of his family and plans to pass this special piece of family history on to Sergeant Owen’s great granddaughter.

Dennis spent time with the team and shared his family’s long history with the New Zealand Defence Force and Royal New Zealand Air Force, with members serving in both WWI and II. He was very thankful for the lengths to which the team went to return the medal.​