Lennon’s MBE medal found in royal vault

January 6th, 2009 - 7:17 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Jan 6 (IANS) A royal medal that was rejected by the late Beatle John Lennon has been found nearly 40 years after the famous act of defiance, prompting his fans to call for it to be put on public display. Lennon’s MBE medal was found in a cabinet at the Chancery Department of the Royal Household where it has lain untouched for years since being returned to the Queen Nov 25, 1969.

The Fab Four were named in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 1965, but Lennon rejected the award as part of an anti-war protest.

In an accompanying letter Lennon said: “Your Majesty, I am returning my MBE as a protest against Britain’s involvement in the Nigeria-Biafra thing, against our support of America in Vietnam and against ‘Cold Turkey’ [a song written by Lennon] slipping down the charts. With Love, John Lennon.”

Beatles fans have written to Lennon’s widow Yoko Ono urging her to retrieve the medal, which is still in the presentation case bearing the name John Winston Lennon and is stored along with his protest letter.

“The Palace are sitting on a unique piece of Beatles history and it should not be left to gather dust in a drawer,” Liverpool Beatles Appreciation Society founder Gene Grimes said.

“The medal is a vital piece of Beatles memorabilia and should be exhibited for John’s fans to see.”

Fans have suggested that it should be given a permanent home at “Mendips”, the childhood home John shared with his aunt, Mimi, in Woolton. Lennon had originally sent the medal to his aunt and she kept it on her mantelpiece until John collected it and returned it to the Queen.

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