Lost First World War medal discovered in Boston shed

Medal front
Medal front

Hidden amongst old paint pots, a piece of history lay resting on a shelf in a Boston garden shed.

Ian Clayton was busy sorting through the shed belonging to his mother-in-law, in Stafford Street, when he chanced upon the discovery of a medal dating back to the First World War.

War medal quest. Ian Clayton

War medal quest. Ian Clayton

Now he is trying to reunite the medal with its rightful owners.

Mr Clayton, who used to manage Ridlingtons Winery, is trying to unravel the mystery of the medal and hopes Boston Standard readers can help.

He said: “I recognised some of the numbers and lettering on the medal, as we have had other medals in our family.

“I typed the numbers into a search engine on the internet and at first nothing came up. I tried again, adding some of the letters.

Medal back

Medal back

“This time pages of information came up. This led to the name William Ladds who was on the Columbia trawler, sunk by a German torpedo boat in 1915.

“I have no idea how the medal came to be in the shed. It would have come into the hands of my late father-in-law Ron Penfield, who died in 2002.

“I was sorting through the shed for my mother-in-law as she has now gone into a care home.

“I have asked her about the medal and she also doesn’t remember anything about it.

“These medals are only issued for people who were killed and only those from the First World War have engraving.”

The numbers and letters on the side of the medal read 1922 D.A. W. Ladds L.D.H R.N.R. The numbers 1922 are the service numbers of the man, L.D.H stands for Leading Deck Hand and RNR means Royal Navy Reserve.

In his quest to track down the family of Mr Ladds, he contacted historian Dr William Hunt, who featured recently in the Boston Standard.

Although the deck hand’s name is on the Boston cenotaph in Wide Bargate, Dr Hunt could not shed any light on the man’s family or possible descendants.

Mr Clayton said: “I hope somebody will read about the medal and come forward as I would really like to return the medal to its owners.”

Anybody who can help is asked to contact Mr Clayton on 01205 363976 or email him at glenhurst@btinternet.com.