Backwell mother searches for family of fallen soldier to return dug up war medal

PUBLISHED: 07:31 07 November 2018

Helen Holmes who found a WW1 medal and plaque in her back garden in Backwell. .    

Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Helen Holmes who found a WW1 medal and plaque in her back garden in Backwell. . Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Archant

A medal and plaque belonging to a World War One soldier who was killed in action have been unearthed by a Backwell mother.

Helen Holmes who found a WW1 medal and plaque in her back garden in Backwell. .    

Picture: MARK ATHERTONHelen Holmes who found a WW1 medal and plaque in her back garden in Backwell. . Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Helen Holmes had been out digging in her garden, in Station Road, when she came across the antiques which she hopes to return to the family of their rightful owner.

The appeal comes at the same time as hundreds of thousands of people across the UK prepare to mark the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Armistice and the end of the ‘war to end all wars’.

Ms Holmes discovered the items by chance.

The 34-year-old said: “I was cleaning up in the garden and play area when I stumbled across them.

Helen Holmes who found a WW1 medal and plaque in her back garden in Backwell. .    

Picture: MARK ATHERTONHelen Holmes who found a WW1 medal and plaque in her back garden in Backwell. . Picture: MARK ATHERTON

“I had found the medal about two weeks ago and then came across the plaque just recently.

“I gave them to my dad to clean up and he did some research on them.

“I want to return them to his descendants if we can find them as they are the rightful owner.

“They are not mine and I have no use for them and they are not of any value to me but they might be to his family.”

Her father, Richard Ball, was able to uncover more about the young man.

The plaque and medal belonged to Marcus Henry Hugh Hayward, a 2nd Lieutenant from Backwell.

He was due to serve in the Prince Albert regiment of the 1918 Somerset Light Infantry from 1914 to 1920.

However, Lt Hayward died on March 26, 1918 when he was just 19 years old.

He is buried at the Mezieres Communal Cemetery Extension in Somme, France.

He left behind his parents, Ernest and Emily Mary Hayward who lived in Carfax, in West Town.

Ms Holmes hopes to return the belongings to his family in time for Remembrance Day on Sunday.

This weekend, a number of events are taking place around North Somerset to remember the other fallen soldiers who served on the frontline, much like Lt Hayward.

People who believe to be related to Lt Hayward are encouraged to email eleanor.young@archant.co.uk or call 01934 422500 where your details will be taken and passed on to Ms Holmes to make contact.

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