Tri-Service

Search Goes On For SAS Veteran's Remaining Lost Medals

An SAS veteran has spoken of his relief after some of his lost service medals were found - although others remain misisng. Peter Bennett was...

An SAS veteran has spoken of his relief after some of his lost service medals were found - although others remain misisng.
 
Peter Bennett was left distraught after losing his medals, beret, coat and bag after attending a Remembrance event.
 
Some of the medals have now been found by rail workers, after his family started a social media campaign to find them, although others remain missing.
 
Mr Bennett, from Grantham, who suffers from dementia, was the youngest serving officer in the SAS and claimed he once helped explorer and soldier Sir Ranulph Fiennes "out of trouble".
 
He visited London for the opening of the Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey on Thursday, when Prince Harry and the Duke of Edinburgh paid tribute to Britain's fallen soldiers.
 
But the 80-year-old lost his SAS beret, his overcoat and bag and nine medals between the service and returning home to Grantham the following day, his family said.
 
Among the decorations were service medals from his time in Oman, Yemen and Malaya.
 
Mr Bennett took part in a local Remembrance service carrying a banner for the Royal British Legion and kept wondering where his medals were, his daughter Giulia Bennett said.
 
He was just 19 when he joined the SAS in 1954, after doing National Service with the 12 Lancers Royal Cavalry.
 
Mr Bennett spent his 21st birthday in the jungle of Malaya - a date he hid from his colleagues to avoid any unpleasant surprises - and went on to serve in the Gulf for a number of years.
 
He served in Oman with Johnny Cooper, one of the founders of the SAS, his family said, and spent time in Yemen with Colonel Jim Johnson, who was responsible for running Britain's secret war against Egyptian forces there during the mid-1960s.
 
The remaining lost medals. Pictures: Giulia Bennett via Lostbox's Facebook
 
At one point, Mr Bennett told his family, he and his colleagues knew Sir Ranulph, who fought in Oman, and helped get him out of trouble "a couple of times", before he finally came home in 1967.
 
His daughter said: "I was very upset on Friday evening, I did have a bit of a cry to myself after I traipsed around London looking for them. We are more angry with ourselves for having put him through it, really.
 
"An old man would be very happy if he could get them back."
 
Mr Bennett had stayed with Giulia in London the night before Thursday's service, before checking in to the Victory Services Club near Hyde Park.
 
He then left the hotel for serving and retired members of the Armed Forces to go to the ceremony with an old friend. Ms Bennett said: 
 
"They got very excited, as you would. He is 80 years old, saw his old friend and got caught up in the moment of Remembrance. I imagine he had a few drinks somewhere and that is where it would have gone downhill, really."
 
The pair had lunch at an army barracks after the service and later went to a white tie dinner at the Royal Victoria (Artists) Rifles headquarters in Mayfair.
 
But by the time he left King's Cross station to return to Grantham at 6pm on Friday he had lost his belongings, including his wallet, and was put on a train by kindly railway staff.