Mystery of British army medal found in Kabul market

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A SOLDIER’S service medal that was missing for 13 years has been returned – after it was found on sale in an Afghan market.

Mick France, a former lance-corporal with the Queen’s Lancashire Regiment, was reunited with his honour after being contacted on Facebook.

The medal was unearthed by Stan Bates, a superintendent with West Yorkshire Police, who was working as a civilian adviser to the police in Afghanistan. He said: “I regularly trawl the local bazaars in Kabul where India General Service Medals are not uncommon and, while doing so, one of my contacts showed me this medal.

“It was engraved with Mick’s name and unit and obviously had a story to tell. So, having bartered the price down, I purchased it and contacted the Duke of Lancaster’s Regimental Museum.”

The regiment set about tracking down the rightful owner via its network of ex-soldiers and by using Facebook.

Mr France, 39, from Blackburn, Lancashire, said: “My girlfriend rang me; she had opened an account on Facebook that I never check. She said that my platoon sergeant in Berlin had contacted me and wanted me to call him. I was amazed that my medal had been found.”

Jeff Ashton, of the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment, said: “How the medal came to be in Kabul remains a mystery.”