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Remembered Today:

Searching for missing ww1 medals for James Ezra Smalley


LouiseAllen

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Unfortunately these medals were stolen some 30 years ago and have apparently been legitimately sold on. 

I am looking to re purchase these medals back into our family. 

This means a great deal to the Smalley family.

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2 minutes ago, LouiseAllen said:

Unfortunately these medals were stolen some 30 years ago and have apparently been legitimately sold on. 

I am looking to re purchase these medals back into our family. 

This means a great deal to the Smalley family.

 

Welcome to the forum

 

Have you tried www.britishmedalforum.com ?

 

Good luck with your search

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If you belong to ancestry you can leave a comment on the top R/H side of the page for any of his records. This should alert any potential purchasers if they are ever sold on.

 

The findagrave website also has a facility for leaving messages with an entry  (free to register).

 

Also you may be able to set up an alert on ebay if they are ever sold on.

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On 26/11/2020 at 15:12, LouiseAllen said:

Unfortunately these medals were stolen some 30 years ago and have apparently been legitimately sold on. 

I am looking to re purchase these medals back into our family. 

This means a great deal to the Smalley family.

Don’t quite understand how stole property can be "legitimately sold on"? The person who is now in possession of them, even if he didn’t know they were stolen, must by law return them to the original owner and then sue the seller for breach of contract to get his money back. The only exception is if the items were purchased through a police stolen property auction which is very unlikely because of the name on the medals. 

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1 hour ago, Lawryleslie said:

Don’t quite understand how stole property can be "legitimately sold on"? The person who is now in possession of them, even if he didn’t know they were stolen, must by law return them to the original owner and then sue the seller for breach of contract to get his money back. The only exception is if the items were purchased through a police stolen property auction which is very unlikely because of the name on the medals. 

 

    You cannot.   The legal rule is that you cannot give better title than you have. If a person buys what turns out to be a stolen good, it is not theirs-because the "vendor" had no title to transfer. This, can go back through quite a long chain but the principle remains the same at each transaction back to the original and true owner.

    Frequently, the purchaser of a stolen good claims  that they bought the item in "good faith". If that is so, then that would be enough to prevent further prosecution for receiving, accomplice, etc.  The defence of "good faith" does NOT confer any right to retain the goods. Nor does it give any right to be refunded by the true owner. If someone buys an item in "good faith", the claim for recompense is to the "vendor" they bought it from.  

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21 minutes ago, DavidOwen said:

Do not forget that for stolen to be proven a crime number is a necessity.

 

    I disagree.  For two reasons:

 

1)  The test for whether a good is stolen is not based on whether there is a crime number. A crime number in itself is not proof to the higher standard required in a court. Of course, it helps but it is not de jure proof of anything other than someone claimed a good was stolen from them.

2)  Police forces do not keep records indefinitely. As I understand it, the Met. (wot where I live) will keep crime references (eg CAD reports and formal Crime Reference Numbers) in an accessible form (-computer at a front-desk police station)  and keep them archived for up to 10 years.

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You cannot.   The legal rule is that you cannot give better title than you have. If a person buys what turns out to be a stolen good, it is not theirs-because the "vendor" had no title to transfer. This, can go back through quite a long chain but the principle remains the same at each transaction back to the original and true owner.

    Frequently, the purchaser of a stolen good claims  that they bought the item in "good faith". If that is so, then that would be enough to prevent further prosecution for receiving, accomplice, etc.  The defence of "good faith" does NOT confer any right to retain the goods. Nor does it give any right to be refunded by the true owner. If someone buys an item in "good faith", the claim for recompense is to the "vendor" they bought it from.  

As I said but in fewer words 🤣🤣

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1 minute ago, Lawryleslie said:

As I said but in fewer words 🤣🤣

 

     Fair go.  But it is also not breach of contract- a contract cannot be formed where a criminal offence is involved.  I see where you are coming from- a contract requires "consideration" from each party (Seller-usually the good or service, buyer-usually the payment) -so if a vendor has no title to the good, they cannot form a contract for it with that good and the title to it  being the "consideration"

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Are the 'overt' markets like Bermondsey  still available for bypassing this and purchasing with a legal title ?

 

 

Thinking about it, does Bermondsey Mkt even exist these days?

 

charlie

 

edit....Mr G suggests the law for Marché ouvert changed in 1995

Edited by charlie962
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Perhaps Importantly it is a three medal group consisting of MM, BWM and BVM with MM marked something like:  44505 L.CPL E. J. SMALLEY. 1/6 L’POOL R

 

Smalley was TF att. 165 Coy MGC, MM gazetted 1918 for service in "France".

 

You might get lucky Lou

 

 

 

Edit: ......... and now I see a connection with a previous thread at:

 

James Ezra Smalley - Soldiers and their units - Great War Forum

 

Edited by TullochArd
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1 hour ago, charlie962 said:

Are the 'overt' markets like Bermondsey  still available for bypassing this and purchasing with a legal title ?

 

 

Thinking about it, does Bermondsey Mkt even exist these days?

 

charlie

 

edit....Mr G suggests the law for Marché ouvert changed in 1995

 

    Yes.  Bermondsey continued. Market overt disappearing had little little practical effect. If an item is bent, it's bent. A friend has a simple rule- carry a mobile phone with a camera. Greater the camera shyness of the vendor, the greater the words "Caveat Emptor" should be in your mind.

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Thank you all for your replies and helpful comments.

I have managed to trace the now owner of my great uncle's medals. 

Apparently another of my family also traced him and told him how they had been stolen some 30 years ago, she asked if she could possibly buy them back....but he refused.

I too have traced him and asked if I could buy them back if not then at least a picture. For my trouble I just got a curt reply stating he was the legitimate now owner!

I'm having real trouble understanding how on earth  a person can be a legitimate owner of stolen property. 

And finally I'm totally aghast that someone can hang onto another families piece of their loved ones story and history.  I feel it is a great insult to his memory and the sacrifice he made for his country. 

All I can add is 'Shame on that chap' .....

I have now purchased good replacement medals, had them engraved and mounted but obviously it isn't quite the same. 

Lou

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16 hours ago, TullochArd said:

Perhaps Importantly it is a three medal group consisting of MM, BWM and BVM with MM marked something like:  44505 L.CPL E. J. SMALLEY. 1/6 L’POOL R

 

Smalley was TF att. 165 Coy MGC, MM gazetted 1918 for service in "France".

 

You might get lucky Lou

 

 

 

Edit: ......... and now I see a connection with a previous thread at:

 

James Ezra Smalley - Soldiers and their units - Great War Forum

 

I've found them and done all my research on him and his regiment. I'm currently reading the book...The Liverpool Rifles 1/6th regiment.  The new owner has refused to sell them back. 

I've had engraved replica medal set made.

Lou

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13 minutes ago, LouiseAllen said:

I'm having real trouble understanding how on earth  a person can be a legitimate owner of stolen property. 

And finally I'm totally aghast that someone can hang onto another families piece of their loved ones story and history.  I feel it is a great insult to his memory and the sacrifice he made for his country. 

 

     The 2 points you make highlight the greatest sources of frisson between collectors of medals and the families of those to whom the medals were originally awarded.

 

1) Nobody can become the "legitimate" owner of stolen property, save in the odd circumstances or lost or stolen property recovered but not claimed.  It may all depend of what records or details you have of their original loss. Passage of time could make this difficult.

2) Alas, many descendants of medal holders believe they have some God-given right to reclaim medals. That is not so-it's sentimental but wrong.  If granddad sold his medals for ten bob as soon as he got them and headed for the nearest pub, then so be it (Quite a few did!!) Title has gone.

   It depends what sort of records or statements from family members that can be put together as to whether there is a chance of recovery. If it was criminal, then a slim chance-the civil route is obstructed by the provisions of the Limitation Act 1980-effectively, a 6 year bar. 

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The 2 points you make highlight the greatest sources of frisson between collectors of medals and the families of those to whom the medals were originally awarded.

 

1) Nobody can become the "legitimate" owner of stolen property, save in the odd circumstances or lost or stolen property recovered but not claimed.  It may all depend of what records or details you have of their original loss. Passage of time could make this difficult.

2) Alas, many descendants of medal holders believe they have some God-given right to reclaim medals. That is not so-it's sentimental but wrong.  If granddad sold his medals for ten bob as soon as he got them and headed for the nearest pub, then so be it (Quite a few did!!) Title has gone.

   It depends what sort of records or statements from family members that can be put together as to whether there is a chance of recovery. If it was criminal, then a slim chance-the civil route is obstructed by the provisions of the Limitation Act 1980-effectively, a 6 year bar. 

I completely agree with the points you make.

Lou

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Try and remain on good terms with the current 'custodian' and make sure that if ever he decides to  sell he knows you are prepared to pay the market price (whatever that may be!).

 

Continue your research, write up the story and distribute copies around your family. That will preserve the memory.

 

My GFs medals were sold off by someone in the family but which one , I do not know. They appeared on the market when my Grandmother died. Chances of me recovering them are remote. But I take consolation that they are presumably in the hands of a keen collecter, who will no doubt research them, rather than festering at the bottom of a box in a junk shop or melted down for the silver content!

 

Charlie

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2 hours ago, charlie962 said:

Try and remain on good terms with the current 'custodian' and make sure that if ever he decides to  sell he knows you are prepared to pay the market price (whatever that may be!).

Continue your research, write up the story and distribute copies around your family. That will preserve the memory.

 

...... wise words and sound advice Charlie. 

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One of the worst things that can ever happen to a medal collection, second only to being stolen of course, is to split it up to share around a family. This happened to my Grandfather's collection when he died in 1970. His Trio plus his Reserve Police Long Service Medal were split up and I was given his 1914-15 Star. Many years later, after I had been given his RNVR Service Record by my cousin,  I realised that his was no "ordinary" (if such one exists) record having fought with the Collingwood Battalion RND and wounded during the brief but brutal 3rd Battle of Krithia. Grandad never spoke to anyone about his terrible time in Gallipoli. So I did  further research and found most of his military records on Ancestry, NA and at the Fleet Air Arm Museum military records collection. After my father died few years ago I found the police medal tarnished and in a box of other personal stuff. Sadly this was no doubt the fate of his BWM and VM as no surviving members of his family have them. On a happier note his collection is now "complete" after I purchased 2 replicas and mounted them to display with  my family military medal collections.

Edited by Lawryleslie
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Dear Lou,

Make the collector who holds the medals, an offer he cannot refuse!

Kindest regards,

Kim.

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