A war veteran received a surprise present on his 100th birthday – war medals he’d lost almost 70 years ago.
Sergeant Glyn Gurner served with the Royal Welch Fusiliers for ten years during WWII, but sadly lost his service medals in the 1950s.
Mr Gurner never found out what happened to his medals, but now he doesn’t need to because he’s been awarded with five replacement ones from current serving personnel.
The war hero was surprised on his 100th birthday by Regimental Sergeant Major, Warrant Officer First Class Richie Davies, who said he wanted to do ‘something special’ for the former sergeant when he heard about his story.
When I heard he had lost his medals in the 1950s I wanted to ensure he had replacements made up especially for his 100th birthday.
It’s an absolute privilege to do something for someone who served his country in the way Glyn did.
Mr Gurner served in the army from 1936 until 1946, with the war taking him to Crete, North Africa, Italy and Palestine.
Sgt Maj Davies found Glyn’s service documents in the South Wales Borderers Museum in Brecon, and knew he wanted to do something special for the centenarian.
So on Monday (January 7), on Mr Gurner’s 100th birthday, Davies turned up at his front door in New Tredegar, with Goat Major Sergeant Mark Jackson and Fusilier Shenkin IV.
Making his birthday even more special, Mr Gurner was also presented with a letter from Major General James Swift – who’s currently the Royal Welsh’s highest-ranking member.
General Swift congratulated the 100-year-old on reaching his milestone, writing:
I know that you volunteered and joined 1 Welch well before the Second World War in 1936. Your service during the war took you to most of the hot spots – Crete, North Africa, Italy and Palestine.
Like many of your generation you put your life on hold to serve your King and country.
For those who have not served in uniform this is something that people of today do not quite understand, but for those serving in today’s Army and your Regiment, we salute you and thank you for your sacrifice.
Happy 100th Birthday to Army veteran Sgt Glyn Gurner, who not only received a Royal message today, but a special visit with a gift. For more on the story, see here: https://t.co/As3LklRVfh @TheRoyalWelsh @BritishArmy pic.twitter.com/8ayRG0HH2s
— The Army in Wales (@Army_Wales) January 7, 2019
Mr Gurner appeared tearful when he was presented with the replacement medals, with family members by his side and neighbours gathered around to see what was going on.
The happy recipient described the moment as ‘wonderful’ and said he couldn’t believe he’d been reunited with his medals after all these years.
This is unbelievable. I never expected anything like this. What a wonderful thing to do. I can’t believe I’ve got my medals back.
His son Neil said the presentation had ‘really made his day’ and described it as an unforgettable experience:
My dad is as fit as a fiddle. He never stops. This has really made his day and we’ll never forget it.
Congratulations and happy birthday, Glyn!
If you have a story you want to tell, send it to [email protected]
A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).