Mystery 1914 medal found during revamp

Labourer Mark Scott has found a World War 1 medal while working on a property in Poulton
Labourer Mark Scott has found a World War 1 medal while working on a property in Poulton
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A run-down property was the last place a group of builders expected to stumble across their own piece of history on the day the nation stopped to remember its war heroes.

But the men, renovating an old flat in Poulton, believe they found a military medal from the First World War while they were stripping the building.

Carefully engraved on the back of the ornate bronze medallion are the words: “The great war for civilisation 1914-1919”.

And now the workers are hoping to reunite the medal with its rightful owners.

Paul Spencer, who is leading the renovation project, said: “One of the lads, Mark, found it on top of one of the old oak beams when we were taking a ceiling down.

“We were just ripping the place to bits when he found it.”

They found the medal on Monday, their first day at work on the Market Place property, which has been unused since it fell into disrepair.

Kevin Burrows, who hired the builders to work on the building, said he couldn’t believe it when the builders told him what had happened

“I was quite amazed really,” he added. “It was quite ironic it happened on the same day war broke out.

“It’s quite interesting really – it is a very old building.

“It would be quite nice to track down the family of the person it belonged to.”

Around the edge of the medal is an intricate engraving that appears to show the name of the soldier it was awarded to – Private F Astley.

The medal looks similar to the Victory Medal – known as ‘Wilfred’ – which was handed out at the end of the war to soldiers that had served in a “theatre of war” during the conflict.

Around 5.7million of the medals are thought to have been issued.

Next to the name are the letters “MGC”, which may indicate the recipient of the medal had served in the machine gun corps.

The MGC saw action right across the world, including France, Belgium, Palestine, Egypt and East Africa.

The front of the medal shows a winged classical figure said to represent victory.

When it was issued, the medal, which had a 36mm diameter, would have come with a rainbow coloured ribbon.

It was one of a set of war medals issued after the conflict and would typically have been handed out along with the War Medal for soldiers who had served