Beds, Herts & Bucks

WW1 medal found in rubbish tip reunited with grandson

Terry Lane (left) and Graham Perrin Image copyright Haileybury
Image caption Terry Lane (left) presented the medal to Graham Perrin at Haileybury in Hertfordshire

A World War One medal found in a rubbish tip two years ago has been reunited with the soldier's grandson.

Bottle collector Terry Lane, 65, from Reigate, found the British War Medal in an old tip in Godalming, Surrey.

Research revealed it belonged to Albert James Stedman, a private in the Army Service Corps.

It was presented to his grandson, Graham Perrin, at Haileybury School in Hertfordshire, where he is a groundsman.

He discovered the silver medal while digging for antiques in a quarry which was used as a tip in the 1920s.

'Out of the blue'

On cleaning the badly corroded medal - which was awarded to people in the armed forces who served in World War One - he uncovered an inscription of the name A J Stedman, along with a service number.

Image copyright Haileybury
Image caption Albert James Stedman was a private in the Army Service Corps

With the help of genealogist Jerry Poole, he found the soldier lived in Godalming before he travelled to fight in France in September 1915.

He married his wife Florence while on leave in 1918 and returned home in April 1919.

Mr Lane also discovered Albert had a grandson, Graham Perrin, 55, who lives in Hertford Heath.

He tracked him down to Haileybury, an independent boarding school in the village, where he had looked after the grounds for 22 years.

Mr Perrin said he had been close to his grandfather but revealed the news came "completely out of the blue".

"Like many of his generation, he never spoke about what happened during the war," he said.

Image copyright Haileybury
Image caption The British War Medal was found in an old tip in Godalming, Surrey

"I didn't realise his medal was missing and how it got there is a mystery.

"Perhaps he threw away the medal to try and forgot about the war, or it might have just been accidentally mislaid."

Mr Lane said: "I am so pleased I can finally reunite the medal with its rightful owner.

"Soldiers like Albert were unsung heroes - carrying much needed supplies to the front line while dodging bullets and bombs."

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