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Stolen Victoria Cross back on display

Last Updated: Tuesday, August 24, 2004 | 12:12 AM ET

A Victoria Cross medal that had gone missing for 31 years went on display at the Canadian War Museum Monday for the first time in three decades.

The medal, which had been awarded to Ukranian-Canadian war hero Cpl. Filip Konowal, was stolen from the museum in 1973. It turned up this past April in a Hamilton auction house.

It is not known who took the medal or how it ended up at the auction house 30 years later.

Victoria Cross
Victoria Cross

Konowal volunteered for army duty shortly after arriving in Canada from Ukraine in 1913.

In the Battle of Hill 70 near Vimy Ridge in France, Konowal stormed two machine gun posts and killed 17 enemy soldiers before a sniper shot him in the face.

As King George pinned the Victoria Cross on Konowal, he told the young corporal his exploits were "some of the most daring in the history of my army."

Konowal, who spent his last years as a janitor scrubbing floors in the House of Commons, died in 1959. His medal were then sold to the War Museum.

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