First World War medal found in Suffolk by detectorist is reunited with family
PUBLISHED: 15:01 06 December 2018 | UPDATED: 15:09 06 December 2018
A soldier’s World War One medal has been reunited with his family 100 years on after being found by a metal detectorist in Suffolk.
The silver British War Medal dated approximately 1918-1920 was awarded to Private Harry Thomas Hogg of the Queen’s (Royal West Surrey) Regiment and was found in Exning, near Newmarket.
Suffolk County Council’s archaeological service were able to piece together a biography of the Suffolk soldier by combing through online archives and census records from the engraved name on the medal.
From that research, a direct surviving descendant of Private Hogg was traced and subsequently contacted about the find.
The British War Medal was then generously returned to them by the detectorist.
More than 6.5million examples of this medal were manufactured, with the vast majority in silver.
They were awarded to all British Army soldiers who had been deployed overseas in a theatre of war between 1914 and 1918, for a period of more than 28 days.
Faye Minter, Suffolk County Council’s senior archaeological officer, said: “Suffolk County Council archaeological service are very proud of their finds recording team, which is externally funded as part of the National Portable Antiquities Scheme.
“The team records archaeological objects found by members of the public in Suffolk making this information about the counties heritage available for all via the national Portable Antiquities Scheme website and the Suffolk Historic Environment Record.
“This medal was an unusual and exciting find for us as we were able to trace the owner’s direct descendants and reunite them with it.”
Private Hogg was born in Stetchworth, Cambridgeshire, in 1879 but lived most of his life in Newmarket, where his father was a butcher.
He married and had six children and his occupation in the 1901 and 1911 censuses is listed as ‘gardener.’
He was a soldier in the Queen’s Royal (West Surrey) Regiment and also served in the Army Labour Corps.
His military career is largely unknown, but his medal card survives in the National Archives indicating he was awarded both the British War Medal alongside the Victory Medal.
The absence of the 1914-15 star being awarded suggests his service did not start till 1916.
In 1920 his wife Jessie died and he appears to have re-married a woman from Northamptonshire in 1921, though it is uncertain whether they had any children.
He died between April and June of 1936, aged 57.