Corazon Miller is a NZ Herald reporter

Korean War veteran loses medals he wanted to give grandson

Ron and Daphne Hulse have reported the loss of his Korean War medals to the police, the RSA and the navy museum without any results. Photo / Supplied
Ron and Daphne Hulse have reported the loss of his Korean War medals to the police, the RSA and the navy museum without any results. Photo / Supplied

A war veteran is on the hunt for his collection of medals that he unknowingly dropped on the streets of Devonport.

Korean War veteran Ron Hulse, 84, was wearing the medals when he attended a friend's funeral at the harbourside Auckland town.

He believed they might have fallen on to the road near the Esplanade Hotel near the ferry terminal when he took his jacket off. "I got home and thought; 'gee they aren't in my pockets'."

Attempts to find the medals have so far proven fruitless. He has reported the loss to the police, the local RSA and the navy museum.

Mr Hulse, who spent his early 20s fighting in the Korean War from 1951 to 1953 on board a ship, said the medals were irreplaceable.

"They are so important because I earned them, I wear them with pride," he said. "I could buy more but it's not the same, I didn't earn those medals, the ones I wore I earned them."

He said fighting in the war and being away from his family and his then-fiancee was tough. "I caught three winters there ... I turned 21 on the heaviest day of action we'd had."

Mr Hulse hoped to pass on the medals to his grandson, who could in turn pass them on to his children.

"I want to keep them in the family for as long as possible."

Ron Hulse's war medals, which he thinks might have fallen on to the road near the Esplanade Hotel in Devonport. Photo / Supplied
Ron Hulse's war medals, which he thinks might have fallen on to the road near the Esplanade Hotel in Devonport. Photo / Supplied

The war veteran had for close to 20 years visited a number of local schools, high schools and colleges to show his medals and tell tales of the war.

"It gives them a hands-on experience, the touchy, feely sort of thing," he said. "I tell them about what they want to learn."

His wife of more than 60 years, Daphne Hulse, 84, said her husband was rather distraught when he found he'd lost the medals.

"He was nearly in tears, he hasn't got much, he was going to give them to his grandson," she said. "We really do hope we can get them back."

Contact Corazon.Miller@nzherald.co.nz if you think you've found his medals

NZH

- NZ Herald

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