The granddaughter of a Preston soldier who died in 1955 has made a heartfelt appeal to track down his medals after learning they had been sold at auction.Advertisement
Private Percy Thomas Platt served in the Lancashire Loyals Regiment in both World Wars, reaching the rank of Regimental Sergeant Major, before being medically retired and taking on a civilian role at Fulwood Barracks.
During career he was awarded the Long Service and Good Conduct medals.
But this weekend his granddaughter Jeanette Fairclough, who now lives in Australia, was shocked to discover the medals had been sold at auction in 2007.
She said: “Looking at the Catalogues I really did find myself struggling to breathe.
How had his medals ended in in a Melbourne auction house from Preston, Lancashire?
“One was missing from that lot so I googled that .. his Meritorious Service Medal was also sold at Auction in 2007 .. this time in London.
“My heart hurts. This amazing man is such a precious part of our family – a true hero who none of us met because he died too young.
“He has five grandchildren who are so very, very proud of his story and the true gentleman that we have been told about through every record we see.”
Read more: Preston Military Show is returning to Fulwood Barracks
Jeanette was researching her grandfather’s story when she discovered the medals had been sold.
Private Platt was a street soldier having been born out of wedlock. He joined the army in 1915 and rose through the ranks, despite his disadvantaged background.
Jeanette said: “My Grandad was a soldier till his dying day. He lived and breathed the Loyals
“He was not a man of privilege like most of his final rank .. he was an illegitimate street urchin from a mill town in Lancashire.”
“His two children are gone and we will never know for sure how those medals ended up as tokens for a collector but we do know our mother (his daughter) and uncle ( his son) would be broken.”
Private Platt’s Good Conduct and Long service medals were sold as part of a group of seven at Dallas Brookes Centre, Melbourne, on July 24-27 2007, lot number 5285.
His Army Meritous Service Medal was sold at Bonhams Auction House in London on July 17 2007, lot number 105.
Jeanette is also appealing for information which could help her trace her grandfather’s WW1 medals, and says she will pay for the return of the medals to the family.