WWI medal returned to Cape Breton family more than 100 years later
Published Saturday, January 5, 2019 6:39PM AST
Last Updated Saturday, January 5, 2019 6:41PM AST
SYDNEY, N.S. -- A Cape Breton woman whose great-uncle served in the First World War, has uncovered a wartime medal mystery.
Anne Mischiek’s family has held on to her uncle John Alex Shaw medals at their home in Ontario for as long as she can remember, but only recently did she discover the truth about one of them.
Michiek moved from Ontario back home to Sydney, bringing along the medals with the intention of giving them to the Branch 12 Royal Canadian Legion in John Shaw’s native Cape Breton.
First though, Mischiek did a bit of research.
“I googled it, and it said for the First World War, their names were engraved on the outside of the medals,” explained Mischiek.
“So when I checked them out, I said OK, two are fine, but then when I picked the third up, it said ‘Campbell,’ so I said, ‘Oh my god, that is not my grand-uncle’s’,” she said.
Mischiek decided to find out exactly who the medal belonged to. She was eventually put in touch with a few local wartime historians who together discovered its rightful owner – who was also a Cape Breton soldier.
“We found out that the medal went to Peter Roderick Campbell in Hay Cove,” said Mischiek.
Mischiek’s next step was to track down Campbell’s family, some of whom are still living in the area, and she says they were quite surprised when she called them out-of-the-blue about the ancestor’s medal.
“They still can’t get over it, they were in shock, really,” she said.
The medal will be presented to the Campbell family in a ceremony here at the Branch 12 Legion on Thursday, Jan. 10.
“I think it’s fantastic, I really do. And I am so happy that we’re going to present it to the family at our meeting this month,” said Deanna Allan, branch president.
Mischiek says she is not sure if the Campbell family will keep it, or leave it at the Legion to remain with John Shaw’s hardware.
“Where he was in my family for so long, it’s like he’s a part of my family too,” said Mischiek.
While it may never be known how the mix-up happened, it has connected two Cape Breton soldiers and their families more than a century after they served.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Ryan MacDonald.