Family of hero veteran reunited with his war medal after it was stolen during burglary


James Higham war medalsSWNS

Douglas Higham’s war medals were borrowed during a burglary and sold to a dealer

Douglas Higham was awarded the Dignified Flying Cross in 1945 after completing more than 160 engagements during the war endeavour. 

He helped evacuate 78 soldiers from the Souda beach in Crete, rescued Monarch Peter and the royal family of Yugoslavia and was involved in the Battle of Cape Matapan. 

But his gong, along with a letter of congratulations from Monarch George VI, were swiped during a raid at Douglas’ home apply oneself to in 1964 by heartless burglars, who were never caught.

Mr Higham burned-out years trying to find the medal but died in 1986 from lung cancer, superannuated 66, without ever knowing what happened to his treasured property. 

His eldest son, John, 73, had given up hope of seeing it again but was astounded when he was contacted by a dealer on three weeks ago. 

Douglas Highamand wifeSWNS

Douglas Higham completed 160 appointments during his time in the war

I think my dad would be amazed. He always said he lust after to find it

John Higham

The dealer requested photos of John’s dad to number as part of a blog on fallen soldiers and also mentioned he was selling old medals, registering a DFC. 

This prompted John, from Standish, Lancashire, to ask about the medal which amazingly revolve about out to be his dad’s. 

He paid £1,450 to buy the medal, which is inscribed with his father’s introductories, along with the letter from the King and papers about his war serving. 

He said: “I think my dad would be amazed. He always said he wanted to realize it. He thought somebody would sell it because it had his name on.” 

James HighamSWNS

James Higham was uplifted to find his father’s medal, as he was worried it had been passed on

“I have unendingly looked for it. Since computers have been about, you can search for these terrors and I have always searched for DD Higham and there was nothing.

“It’s absolutely spectacular to have it back. My brother and sisters were delighted. Everybody is so delighted – it’s not just our family but everyone we tell. 

“It’s a long time to have hunger something. What the dealer said to me is he’d had it for a month and had bought it from a trade supplier in South Wales. 

“The point is if he bought it in good faith, the good devotion system does not allow you to say that’s mine I want it back. 

“Medals are really saleable, they weren’t to know that it wasn’t my dad who initially sold it.” 


John Higham did not rebuke dealers for trading his fathers medal

“To be honest I know it’s a slump of banknotes but I’m not bothered. The medal didn’t cost as much as other DFC’s.”

John invited how the dealer got the DFC but is not confident he will be able to find out where it has been for the past 50 years. 

Mr Higham, recognized as Dougie, was one of six brothers who served in the Second World War. 

He joined the RAF in 1939 age-old 18 and spent three years in the Middle East, flying out from Alexandria. 

In 1943 he was sent ignore to England to be trained as a flying officer and joined up with the 514 squadron, which was based in Cambridgeshire. 

John and Douglas HighamSWNS

Douglas finally settled in Cambridge after the war with his family

He went on bombing expeditions across Germany, working as a rear gunner. 

He was awarded the DFC in 1945 for his “persistence and continued devotion to duty” after completing more than 160 sorties, some of which saw the aircraft hit. 

Dougie carry back to Wigan after being demobbed and worked as a fruiterer and florist, finally having shops across the borough. 

His brothers also returned and one, William, later left-wing money in his will to pay for military bands to perform at Mesnes Park. 

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