WWI medal reunited with soldier’s family after eagle-eyed find

Relatives of a Lincolnshire soldier have been reunited with his treasured war medal after it was unearthed by a local metal detectorist.

The Victory Medal, which was awarded to those serving in the armed forces during the First World War, was discovered near Wragby by local metal detectorist Charlie Atkinson.

The medal was given to Charles William Baggaley, who was with the Lincolnshire Regiment between 1914 and 1919.

Charlie was keen to reunite the medal with Baggaley’s family and approached Lincolnshire County Council for help.

Adam Daubney, finds liaison officer, said: “I was happy to help return the medal to its family.

“A bit of research led me to the 1911 Census, which showed Charles Baggaley living at home with his parents in Bardney, aged 15.

“Baggaley then signed up with the Lincolnshire Regiment when the war broke out a few years later.

“Records indicate he served in France, but was hospitalised for a time after contracting trench fever in 1918.

“After the war, Baggaley returned to Lincolnshire and married a lady by the name of Alice Grantham. They did not have any children, but relatives of his still live near Wragby today.”

Basil Bruntlett said it was an honour to accept the medal.

Basil Bruntlett said it was an honour to accept the medal.

As a result of this discovery, Charlie was able to return the medal to Basil Bruntlett, who is Charles Baggaley’s great nephew.

Basil Bruntlett said: “It is a great honour and privilege for my family to accept this medal for Charles’s service to his country.

“We will look after it with great pride and pass it on through the generations to come, so Charles will always be remembered.”

Charlie Atkinson said: “When I found the medal, I didn’t realise exactly what it was. It was only after I cleaned it that I found out it was indeed a WW1 Victory medal.

“I noted the name, rank, number and regiment and I contacted Adam Daubney and sent him the photos of it that I managed to take.

“Adam was extremely helpful in tracing the family tree and it was really pleasing to find a living member of the family to present it back to in such a short time.

“I’m really happy that we all did a good job to get the medal back to where it belonged.”

Anyone who thinks they have found an archaeological object can call Adam Daubney, Lincolnshire County Council’s finds liaison officer.

Lincolnshire Archives can also help with family history research.