The MBE and service medals awarded to nurse Katharine Ross Cameron (1881-1948) were stolen from a car parked in East Dulwich, south London, in December 2018.
The collection belongs to Kate Cameron Reid, the great-great niece of Katharine, who had been given them by her father just the day before.
Following the theft Reid contacted the police, pawn shops, antiques dealers and ATG to try to locate the missing items.
Last week, local woman Joanne Dodd was walking through Peckham Rye Park and Common near East Dulwich Road and spotted something under a tree.
She discovered a box marked MBE. Realising it contained medals, Dodd searched online and found an article on ATG’s website from January this year detailing the missing medals and alerted us.
ATG was able to connect Dodd with Reid and the medals were returned the same day.
Unfortunately, nursing certificates and documents detailing Cameron’s career that had been stolen at the same time are still missing.
Reid said: “Without the article in ATG Joanne may not have been able to contact us and we would not have been able to get these precious medals back.
“This is an amazing turnaround for our family. Having the medals back is proof miracles can happen. I will keep thinking positive thoughts and willing for the return of the documentation too.”
Cameron trained as a nurse in Scotland and joined the Colonial Nursing Service in 1915. She served in Africa in Orange Free State, South Africa, and finished her career as matron of the Government Hospital in Zomba, Nyasaland (now known as Malawi), in 1936. She worked in Africa for over 20 years.
She was awarded the MBE on June 5, 1926, and also received a silver Colonial Nursing Service medal ribbon and bar and a George V Silver Jubilee medal with ribbon awarded May 6, 1935.
Anyone with information on the missing documents should contact the police on 101 quoting the following reference number from the Metropolitan Police: 3038482/18.