War hero's medals lost in flood returned to widow

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The Independent Online

A widow has been reunited with her husband's seven war medals which were lost in the 2009 Cumbria floods.

The medals earned by Joseph McCormick were lost in the deluge that swept Cockermouth in November of that year. Marjorie McCormick, 86, pictured, was parted from them – and most of her possessions – when she was rescued by boat from her home.

A clean-up of the communal area at the Croftside housing scheme later uncovered the medals in the mud near the River Cocker.

But initial attempts to track down the owner were unsuccessful as Mrs McCormick had moved to a care home in Workington.

Derwent & Solway Housing Association staff, who found the medals, contacted the King's Own Royal Border Regiment Museum in Carlisle, which eventually traced them to Mr McCormick.

He had served in the 51st Field Artillery during the Second World War. The medals discovered were a 1939-1945 Star, the Africa Star, the Burma Star, the Tobruk Siege 1941 Medal, the Defence Medal, the 1939-1945 Medal and the Territorial Medal.

More than two years after their loss, Mrs McCormick was presented with them by Robert Porter, director of the housing association.

Mrs McCormick said: "They were very special to me as they are the only thing I have to remember Joseph's war days. When the floods first hit I didn't realise they had gone because you are going through so much trauma. I am so grateful to the people who found them and it is wonderful because they are very special."