TWO World War One medals were finally returned to a decendant of the brave solider they belonged to - almost a hundred years after they were presented - thanks to The Galloway Gazette.
In October this year, Gordon Lawrie from Biggar, contatcted this newspaper to appeal for relatives of Private John Steel to come forward and claim the medals. Private Steel was originally from Kirkinner but had emigrated to Canada as a young man and joined the Canadian Infantry, serving with them in France during the Great War of 1914-18.
When he returned to Canada, at some point before his death, he gave his medals to one of a pair of brothers who had travelled from Wigtownshire to Canada with him. Their surname was Melvin and they were relatives of Gardon Lawrie. One of the brothers eventually returned to Scotland bringing the medals with him.
As the custodian of the medals, Mr Lawrie was always troubled that they were with the wrong family and he was determined to find out if there was anyone alive who still remembered John Steel.
Various leads were followed up, but the nearest relative turned out to be Barbara Steel, a niece of the soldier, now living in Clydebank.
Miss Steel, who is in her eighties, was delighted to receive the medals from Gordon, who made a special trip from his home to return the treasured medals to their rightful owner.