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War hero from Worthing is reunited with CBE
A 90-year-old war hero has been reunited with his CBE thanks to the determination of a house clearer.
Colonel Terry Cave, from Worthing, was thrilled when Lee Barnett of
Clearance Service tracked him down after a CBE and four medals were
found in a bag of old clothes following a house clearance.
After sifting through his records Mr Barnett pinpointed Col Cave as the
owner and yesterday returned the lost medals.
Col Cave said: “I’m absolutely delighted that it’s been found.
“It was given to me by the Queen in 1974 and I’m most appreciative
to The Argus and to Lee for what they have done to bring it back to
“I had stopped thinking about it really, I thought it had disappeared
forever and then I learned it had been found.
“It was a remarkable piece of detective work by Lee with the paper’s help
and I’m just so grateful to have it back.
“Many would have been unscrupulous and sold it on – medal collectors
pay between £500 and £600 for them, so I’m really pleased it fell into Lee’s
Col Cave received the CBE for intelligence he passed on to the Ministry of
Defence whilst working for the Army’s Intelligence Corps.
He is now a patron of the Western Front Association and owns the
biggest First World War library in the country.
Mr Barnett was clearing Col Cave’s house in Findon Road, Worthing, in
the summer when he found the CBE and medals, he made it his mission to
find the rightful owner.
Mr Barnett said: “He was just so happy to get it back. He was over the
moon, and it made all the chasing around 100% worth it.
“He said ‘I must offer you something in return’ but I couldn’t accept
anything just to see how happy he is was enough for me.
“He’s a very intelligent person to have done what he’s done – it was just
great to meet him.”
Col Cave’s daughter Jacky Davis, 65, said: “It’s absolutely fantastic – we’re
“Dad and I both thought the medals were in his desk, but he must’ve left
them in one of his suits and all his clothes were on the way to charity
after the house clearance.”
Col Cave said: “I shall be celebrating tonight, don’t you worry, with a
large glass of whisky.”
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