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Theft Of Medals From Waiouru Army Museum

New Zealand Defence Force
Te Ope Kaatua O Aotearoa

2 December 2007

Statement Regarding Theft Of Medals From Waiouru Army Museum

Early this morning (December 2) security staff were alerted to an alarm activation regarding a forced entry at the Waiouru Army Museum. Upon attending the scene they found the museum's Valour annex had been targeted and a number of displays broken into.

As the investigation is still being conducted, at this stage we do not have a definitive list of what has been taken.

However we fear that a number of Victoria Crosses, George Crosses and other medals have been taken. These include:

Frickleton VC
Andrew VC
Ridling (Albert Medal)
Judson VC,DCM,MM
Grant VC
Laurent VC
Hinton VC
Hulme VC
Elliot VC
Upham VC and Bar
Russell GC
Hudson GC

The Victoria Cross for New Zealand medal recently awarded to Corporal Willie Apiata VC is not one of them.

Chief of Army Major General Lou Gardiner said the theft was not just from the New Zealand Defence Force and the Army it was a theft from the Nation.

“This theft is not just from Defence and Army, it is from the Nation. New Zealand’s history and heritage is closely interwoven with its military history and heritage.

“These medals were awarded to their recipients for their extraordinary valour and have come to symbolise the huge sacrifices that all New Zealanders made in the many conflicts fought for the freedoms we have come to accept.

“Their theft is a theft from New Zealand and as such is a serious crime calling for the co-operation of all New Zealanders in their recovery.

The NZDF and NZ Army are working closely with police who are leading this investigation. Customs have also been notified and have put out a border alert.

The NZ Police have set up a hotline number and have asked for anyone in the Waiouru area or passing through Waiouru between 2400 and 0200 this morning who may have saw anything to contact them.

OPERATION VALOUR contact number: 0800 349 0606.

ENDS

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