Exclusive Report – By Heath Moore
A sword of a Victoria Cross medal recipient from World War I has made a 50-year journey back home to the man’s family.
The sword was given to Henderson RSA member Nigel Lindsay by Major Reginald Stanley Judson after the pair became friends following World War II.
Today at the Henderson RSA, Lindsay presented the World War I sword to six-year-old Dylan Judson, who is Major Judson’s great-great grandson.
Lindsay met Major Judson after World War II while fixing his car.
“I was at his house to fix his car. I admired his regimental sword which was hanging on the wall,” he said.
“He said, ‘Nigel, you’re a young soldier, I’d like you to have it’. He gave it to me about 50 years ago and I have had it ever since.”
Sword heading home
Lindsay says he is proud to have the sword but believes it is time to pass it back to the family.
“I’m very proud to have the sword given to me by such a brave man, a man who won three of the highest bravery awards.
“After reading an article about Dylan Judson’s enthusiasm with the army and military, I thought I’m not a young man anymore and if something happens to me, others might not realise its heritage.
“I’ve had it for 50 years and because he’s a young, keen boy, he would be a great recipient.”
Dylan’s father, David Judson, says it is a great feeling to have the sword returned.
“I’m absolutely stoked. It’s so nice to have something that was physically his.
“Just to have a piece of him with us at all times is wonderful.”
Victoria Cross bravery
Major Judson was serving in France in 1918 when he led a small bombing party under heavy fire and captured an enemy machine gun. Major Judson then single-handedly captured a machine gun nest after advancing alone.
His actions not only saved lives but enabled the Allied advance to continue unopposed.
David Judson says his great grandfather received three war medals in quick succession.
“He won the Victoria Cross, the Distinguished Conduct Medal and the Military Medal – the three highest medals all in a four-to-six week period in 1918 which I don’t think any other soldier has done it in that time frame to the best of my knowledge.”
Major Judson served in both World War I and World War II. He lived the rest of his years in Auckland before he died in 1972, aged 91.
Heath Moore is a final year Bachelor of Communication Studies student journalist at AUT University.