On May 11th, 1964, the following heartwarming letter was written by war veteran David Bailey in relation to a missing Returned from Active Service badge. I’ll offer no more details so as not to spoil the story.
Transcript follows. Thanks to Linda for the tip.
16 Lambeth Street,
11th May, 1964
The Officer in Charge,
Department of Army,
Re; Returned from Active Service Badge
NX174711, Gnr. Bailey D.J. 53 A.A. Regt.
I wish to apply for a re-issue of my Returned from Active Service Badge. This Badge has been missing for approximately 18 months. BADGE NO. A364591.
My son, when he was about three years old asked me to tell him why I was wearing the Red Flower on my coat, I explained that it was Poppy Day and at Flanders in the first war a hillside of poppies grew where the Soldiers, killed in the war, were buried.
He then asked me what my Badge was for and I explained its purpose. He then asked me if I had been killed in the War would a Poppy have been grown on top of me and I explained that it would.
The next day my badge was missing, the house was turned inside out but to no avail. A month went by and as I was cleaning out a drawer I came across the Poppy. My son saw this and then said “Daddy, my Poppy hasn’t grown yet”. On questioning him further he told me he PLANTED my Badge in the Garden somewhere, but after taking him around the gardens he could not tell me where he planted my Badge. During the course of digging various garden beds up the Badge has not been found and my son cannot remember where he put the badge but tells me that when the Poppy grows he’ll be able to show me.
I am forwarding a cheque for 5/-d. as I believe that is the amount required for a new badge. I am informed this statement should be signed by a J.P. but as I am a J.P. I thought my own statement might cover any paper which may have to be completed.
David James Bailey