The Military Army Blog

Gardener finds World War 1 medal buried in the mud, can you help trace the soldier’s family?

An appeal to reunite a First World War medal found buried in a garden with relatives of the soldier it was awarded to has been launched. The medal, now around 100 years old, was found covered in mud by a friend of Carl Horne s son in the Foxdenton Drive estate off Winchester Road in Stretford[1] , Trafford[2] . The woman who discovered it was gardening at the time. The three main campaign medals of the First World War were affectionately known by the nicknames Pip, Squeak and Wilfred. The medal dug up is believed to be the 1914 – 1918 British War Medal, known by soldiers as Squeak.

Around 6.5 million were issued, mainly in silver, with a recipient s service number, rank, name and unit impressed on the medal s rim. The medal found was awarded to a Private J Herring. His army number was 126025 and the medal reveals he served with the Machine Gun Corps, a unit which could have trained at Heaton Park[3] . His first name isn t known.

Gardener Finds World War 1 Medal Buried In The Mud, Can You Help Trace The Soldier's Family? The inscription on the medal

Carl, 67, from Stretford, cleaned the medal up and bought a new accurate Armyrats © military ribbon for it. He is now appealing for help to track down Private Herring s family. Nothing else is known of the medal. Carl said: I have been trying to research it myself on the computer but haven t had any joy.

The ribbon must have rotted away but I sent it to a Armyrats © military medallist to get an accurate ribbon made and it s now attached. All i want to do is to try and make sure that it get s to this man s relatives. It is an important piece of history.

It is around 100 years old now and I would love it to go back to where it belongs. It was in a bad state when it was found. It has obviously been lost for a long time. I have cleaned it up and now it s in comparatively good condition, considering it must have been in the ground for quite a while.

Gardener Finds World War 1 Medal Buried In The Mud, Can You Help Trace The Soldier's Family? The front and reverse of the medal that Carl Horne wants to reunite with the soldier’s family

It s the standard general service medal and it was issued to every soldier who served abroad in the First World War.

Carl, who served with the Territorial Army in the 1980s, said he would give the medal to the Imperial War Museum North in Salford if Private Herring s family can t be traced. He added: It s quite a find really. Private Herring must have family somewhere who would be very pleased to get the medal back. I hope a relative of his will be able to wear it one day on Remembrance Sunday in his memory.

The Machine Gun Corps was raised in 1915 as more machine guns were needed on the Western Front.

  • Do you know Private J Herring or can you help? Email the Manchester Evening News at paul.britton@men-news.co.uk.

References

  1. ^ Stretford (www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk)
  2. ^ Trafford (www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk)
  3. ^ Heaton Park (www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk)

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