A sweet end as ‘lost First World War medal’ is reunited with family

Barry Ladds with Ian Clayton
Barry Ladds with Ian Clayton

A First World War medal swapped for a bag of sweets and lost to a Boston family for generations has finally been reunited with its rightful owners.

Boston man Ian Clayton found the war medal while clearing out his mother-in-law’s shed in Stafford Street, Boston.

The inscribed service medal was awarded to Bostonian 
Walter Ladds – and Mr Clayton has been trying to reunite it with his surviving family since August.

Last week he got a call from Iris Ladds, wife of Barry Ladds , who is the grandson of Walter. They and a relative had spotted the article in The Standard and got in touch with Mr Clayton - who visited them at their Woodthorpe Close home to finally hand over the medal.

“Mr dad was also called Walter and I can remember some of his grandchildren took a couple of family medals out to play with and then swapped them with friends for a bag of sweets, or something like that,” said Barry, 78.

“When he found out he was wild about it – so it’s great to finally get this one back.”

And history repeated itself when Barry and Iris ‘swapped’ the medal for sweets again – by giving Mr Clayton a box of chocolates for his efforts.

“I’m really pleased we finally got it back to the right family,” said Mr Clayton. “It was a bit of a mystery as to how my wife’s family came to be in possession of the medal - but it seems as though this may have been been answered now.”

The Navy medal is inscribed with the name D. A. W. Ladds.

Walter Ladds was born in 1894 and died in Boston in 1959. He married Ethel Golland in 1914 and the couple had twin boys Walter Jr and Harry. Walter Jr married Cathleen Meeds in 1934. 
Barry is their son.