First World War medal is reunited with family after being discovered buried in garden lawn

A First World War medal that is thought to have laid buried under a garden lawn for at least 40 years has been reunited with the recipient’s family.

Wednesday, 28th January 2015, 8:45 am
Tom Clubb and Richard Tregoning both committee members of the Wigginton History Society return the medal to George Butcher.

The Star - awarded to all who served in the Great War - was discovered by Ray Morgan when he put his metal detector to work on his daughter’s lawn in Highfield Road, Wigginton.

Inscribed on the back of the medal but hardly legible is G Butcher and it was later discovered, through members of the Wigginton History Society, that George Butcher used to live at the village address.

In a twist of fate, history group member Paul Mead accidentally tracked down the Butcher family while visiting his grand-daughter in the Forest of Dean.

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He stayed in a bed and breakfast where he discovered the owner, Alison Haste, also comes from Wigginton and her father - George Butcher, the son of Mr Butcher - still lives in Tring.

Fellow history society committee member Tom Clubb, who went to school with George, now 79, was put in touch with the him and the handing over of the precious medal was arranged.

George, whose father was the driver of a horse-drawn ambulance in France during the war, said: “It was quite a surprise.

“I think it was one of those things that was awarded and then put away in a box somewhere or in the bottom of a drawer and that was it.

“It could have been dropped while moving out or moving in there because we lived in Wigginton Bottom until 1953.

“It is so discoloured and defaced that you can hardly read what’s on it. It must have been in the garden under the lawn for 40 odd years.”

The 1914-15 Star was approved in 1918 for issue to officers and men of British and Imperial forces who served in any theatre of the war between August 5, 1914 and December 31, 1915.

Recipients also received the British War Medal and Victory Medal.