Do you know the First World War soldier whose medal was found in a field in Hertfordshire?

Stephen Eldridge with his metal detector
Stephen Eldridge with his metal detector

A minibus driver from Bovingdon has found a silver medal while metal detecting that appears to have belonged to a soldier from 1917, won during an army sports day.

Stephen Eldridge made the discovery five weeks ago in Ashley, near Chesham. The silver medal is shaped like the suit of spades in a pack of cards.

The 64-year-old took up metal detecting about five years ago and has already had his finds featured multiple times in The National Treasure Hunting Magazine.

He said: “It’s a great hobby. I never worry about the value of the items, just the history, and I try to imagine what the person that lost the item was like.”

Describing the moment he found the medal, Stephen added: “I got a very good signal so I dug down about 6 inches and found this very nice silver medal. I called my friend over, Steven Cook who detects with me, and he was as excited as I was. I could not believe it when I saw the inscription. Straight away I thought I must try and trace his family and give it to them. I would like to know what happened to him.”

Stephen told us that he has tried to trace the soldier’s family through the Imperial War Museum and the Royal Fusiliers Museum but to no avail.

The treasure hunter said that he particularly enjoys returning personal items to their rightful owners: “Last year I found two wedding rings and a claddagh ring. It’s very satisfying and a great feeling when you hand the item’s back.”

On its front, the medal says: ‘12th Divn Sports, June 12th, 1917’

The back is less clear but seems to say: ‘1st prize, Water Gart Comptn, 9th Royal Fusiliers, Ltn G Martin, No 17434.’

If you know anymore about G Martin of the 9th Royal Fusiliers, or can help find his family, email sam.dean@jpimedia.co.uk