Stolen Medal For Sale

Hi everyone,

Just after the collective wisdom of ARRSE. I think I understand the legal position, however, I could be wrong.

In 2001, whilst moving between postings, my one and only medal (at the time) went missing. It was always suspected that one of the movers had it, but proving it was, clearly, difficult.

To cut a long story short, that medal has now appeared on an auction website. Not Ebay, but a specialist medal auction site.

I immediately contacted the site and they said they would investigate. They have come back to me, today, and said that the medal is part of a large collection from someone who died last year and has been put up for sale by his family.

As the medal is disputed, they have withdrawn it from the sale and have offered to sell me the medal as the seller is an innocent party.

Whilst this may be true, I always thought that stolen property never acquires "good title" and always belongs to the original party, no matter how many hands it passes through. Frankly, the thought of paying some hundreds of pounds to get it back is pretty annoying.

Clearly, I may have to take legal advice on this, but can anyone clarify my understanding? I'm certainly prepared to open up a small claims case it, if I have to.

Cheers
 

Joe_Private

On ROPS
On ROPs
Did you report the medal as stolen at the time? If not, how do you intend to prove that you didn't sell the medal yourself?
 

Joe_Private

On ROPS
On ROPs
Also, it occurs to me that, if your medal is stolen, how many of the others are? Perhaps the auction house might like to withdraw the entire collection from the sale unless they want to be complicit in the sale of stolen goods.
 
You will have a difficulty if there is no crime number.

for example - how does the auction house / seller know circumstances of the medals journey devils advocate you may have sold it originally

Out of interest what medal was it and what regiment / rank

You may get some idea of what it would costs so can compare what they are prepared to sell to you at



Archie
 
Did you report the medal as stolen at the time? If not, how do you intend to prove that you didn't sell the medal yourself?
That's a really good question, and yes, I did report it as stolen/missing to the service authorities all that time ago, whether those records still exist, of course, is another question.

However, how do you prove a negative? How can i show that I didn't sell it. There certainly won't be any receipts/bill of sale from me, which should follow such an item to prove provenance etc....
 

MrMemory

War Hero
As the medal is disputed, they have withdrawn it from the sale and have offered to sell me the medal as the seller is an innocent party.
I don't believe they can sell it to you as they do not have the legal right to. Even if you bought it you might not have 'good title' in the event of a dispute.

There is a concept in law known as the Nemo Dat Rule. It's an abbreviation of the latin phrase Nemo Dat quod non habet. In English it means "no one gives what they don't have. This states that the purchase of a possession from someone who has no ownership right to it also denies the purchaser any ownership title.

Section 21 (1) of the Sale of Goods Act says "where goods are sold by a person who is not their owner, and who does not sell them under the authority or with the consent of the owner, the buyer acquires no better title to the goods than the seller had".

The correct thing to do would be to make a report to the police. If you can prove your ownership they can demand its return to you without charge.

PS I'm not a lawyer.
 
may I be the first to mention @Bravo_Bravo ?


I shall be taking my carriage now thank you
 

Fake Sheikh

On ROPS
On ROPs
Depending on cost ask for a % off as its a medal you earned and see what they say.
 

Joker62

ADC
Book Reviewer
Wouldn't the fact that your name, rank and number be enough to comvince them that you have a right to your own medal?
 
When reported to the Service Police at the time did they give you a reference number? also if you are still serving it technically still belongs to your service, if you have a reference number and you were serving at the time it went adrift i think it is still the property of HM forces, if you sold your medal while serving(not saying you did) this would be a service offence and the medal still be the property of HM Forces, Can any monkies/snowdrops/reggies have a say if i am off track here?
 
I suspect the medal in questiin is part of an acquired collection being sold (as distinct from an awarded collection). If your number rank and name are inscribed then the estate should have acquisition records that reveal the provenance (and possibly the identity of the 'thief'). None of which can really be pursued without a formal complaint to the police.
However, it is possible that either the 'estate' seller and/or the dealer would prefer to avoid the hassle and simply return your property if you were to advise them that failure to do so will leave you no other remedy than to report the matter to the authorities.
 
Just a thought did the medal office issue a replacement at the time if the they did they should have a record of it, anyone know if they register the reasons for replacements being issued?
 
Enjoy reading this lot

I reckon it would be cheaper and less hassle to buy it back.
 
Wouldn't the fact that your name, rank and number be enough to comvince them that you have a right to your own medal?
Many people legally sell their own medals. Infiltrator can't prove that he didn't sell it. It wouldn't have been reported as stolen to the police at the time of the loss, since it was only missed some time afterwards; lost or stolen. Any receipts for the replacement?

I'd report it to the police now. Whilst it may be a collection being sold by a sticky-fingered removal man (who'd moved service families and collected medals) or his heirs, it has more probably passed through the hands of several dealers and collectors. I doubt the police would do anything, unless it could be shown that other medals in the collection had been stolen. Real world; probably buy it, and sue for the costs in the County Court/Money Claim on-Line. The outcome would depend on whether the court choose to believe you. It'd probably be best to ask a solicitor for advice and to draft the claim form (a recoverable cost, ISTR)
 
Last edited:
simply return your property if you were to advise them that failure to do so will leave you no other remedy than to report the matter to the authorities.
Except, under law, they (paradoxically) have no right to give it to you, as it is not theirs to give. But I agree, it would be a pragmatic solution.

There have been a few cases over the years (and there was one here on Arrse a while back concerning a DSO IIRC) when relatives/descendants find that a medal - or group of medals - is for sale and they claim they've been stolen or that 'Granddad would have never given his medals away', when the auction house produces the provenance that Granddad gave them away to settle a gambling debt or sold them to pay off a wife/girlfriend.

There's no shortage of 'our 'eros' selling their AFGHAN or IRAQ medals for a bit of cash once they leave the Services; in a few short years there will be whining spouses and brats complaining how unfair that Darran's medal is now being sold at auction.

ETA: A year or so back I got a valuation of my medals from a dealer in Grey's Market, just off Oxford Street. He was extremely cautious about dealing with me, as I was still serving, having had his finger burned with soldiers needing cash and selling off their medals illegaly.
 
Last edited:
Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
Northern_Biff The Intelligence Cell 21
T Medals 19
TubeDriver Military History and Militaria 0

Latest Threads

Top