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Birmingham Mail (24/Nov/2006) - Hollywood star's war medals put on display in her home town

(c) Birmingham Mail (24/Nov/2006)

Hollywood star's war medals put on display in her home town

Medals awarded to West Bromwich's most famous daughter - Hollywood star Madeleine Carroll - have gone on display in the town.

The actress, born in Herbert Street, rose to great fame, starring in Alfred Hitchcock's classic 1935 version of John Buchan's thriller The 39 Steps.

But despite being a world-famous film star, she turned her back on her glittering silver screen career after the outbreak of World War II to carry out humanitarian work with the American Red Cross.

Carroll worked as a nursing orderly on the battlefields of France, Germany and Italy and also helped to set up two French orphanages for displaced children.

Her heroism was recognised with the French Legion of Honour and the US Medal of Freedom, both awarded to her in 1946.

Now replacement medals - the originals have disappeared - have gone on public display at the Central Library, in High Street.

Historian and author Terry Price, who played a key role in having heritage plaques erected in West Bromwich to honour Carroll's life, made sure the medals returned to her home town.

"The original medals awarded to Madeleine Carroll 60 years ago appeared to have gone missing around the time of her death in Spain in 1987.

"But after some pretty extensive work, including contacting a friend in America, I got official replacement medals. I am over the moon about it all and so pleased the medals are going on display in her home town.

"This is the second step in honouring her after putting up the plaques. The third will be the monument to Madeleine, which will be going up in the new town square, hopefully before Christmas."