View Full Version : OT: VC Collection stolen in NZ

12-02-2007, 12:16 AM
Makes ya sick

LATEST: Charles Upham's Victoria Cross and bar is among prestigious military medals stolen from the Waiouru Army Museum.
Nine Victoria Crosses, two George Crosses and other medals were stolen in the theft early today.
Museum staff discovered that several displays had been broken into, after the alarm was activated in an annex to the building sometime between midnight and 6am.
Chief of Army Major General Lou Gardiner told a press conference this afternoon that while a definitive list of the stolen medals was not available, the Victoria Cross for New Zealand medal awarded to Corporal Willie Apiata VC was not among the missing medals.
'Their theft is a theft from New Zealand and as such is a serious crime calling for the co-operation of all New Zealanders in their recovery.''
Museum executive trustee Don McIver said combined the medals could fetch "millions".
Major General Gardiner would not speculate on whether they were stolen to order, but said their value was in "what they symbolised".
Customs had been notified and had issued a border alert.
Ruapehu police area commander Steve Mastrovich said the burglary appeared to be well-planned.
"They broke in round the back through the fire escape and targeted the Alcove room where all the medals are kept and they took a select bunch of medals, particularly Victoria Crosses," he said.
"It doesn't look as if it was a spur of the moment thing."
He said it wasn't clear exactly what other medals had been taken as the crime scene had been secured until a forensics team could arrive.
"It was quite a stunning sort of offence really. It's quite amazing that anybody would target property like that, especially when you consider what the medals signify."
Police are asking anyone with information to call 0800 349 0606.
Medals taken include:
* Samuel Frickleton, VC -- WW1
* Leslie Andrew, VC -- WW1
* Randolph Ridling, Albert Medal -- WW1
* Reginald Judson, VC, DCM, MM -- WW1
* John Grant, VC -- WW1
* Harry Laurent, VC -- WW1
* Jack Hinton, VC -- WW2
* Clive Hulme, VC -- WW2
* Keith Elliot, VC -- WW2
* Charles Upham, VC and Bar -- WW2
* David Russell, GC -- WW2
* Ken Hudson, GC.

12-02-2007, 06:27 AM
Definitely stolen to order.

They would be very unlikely to resurface for general sale as the market for them is way too specialised regardless of their monetary value. Who but a collector would really know their true worth?

12-02-2007, 06:58 AM
As a historian and -frustrated- archaeologist, I personally despise that kind of collector -the greedy, selfish, fetishist kind that gets himself locked in a room with his beloved -and maybe illegally obtained- items to enjoy alone of his devotion, depriving everyone else of a part of human legacy of culture, knowledge, remembrance or beauty.

I'm a collector myself, but more interested in gather and save things for others than in kidnapping them for my pleasure. Always thought that collector's pieces must end someday in a museum, and not the other way round.

This case is specially annoying, because it is an offense to those who earned the medals through acts of gallantry and the families that donated them. It's almost like a cemetery profanation, or tomb raiding, and really makes me angry.

Of all the forms of private "masturbation", this is the only one which harms everyone else.

12-02-2007, 11:45 AM
Aparently only 2 VC's werent taken, and they awarded to kiwis serving with the Australians,
and as mentioned the VC Awarded to the SAS trooper Willie Apiata early this year for his actions in Afganistan in 2004 was not there.

12-02-2007, 02:24 PM
Should be shot. This is a crime against New Zealand as our military history is so important in New Zealand's nationhood. One could argue that this theft is treason.

Another problem is that the medals are only loaned by the families of those who earned them, the museum does not 'own' them at all.

I feel sure the medals will be found.