Cookstown woman who found WWI medal as a child trying to trace owner

Gillian Henry and her son Shane with the World War 1 medal.INMM4315-356
Gillian Henry and her son Shane with the World War 1 medal.INMM4315-356

A Cookstown woman who found a WWI medal as she walked to school as a child, is now trying to reunite it with its rightful owner.

Gillian Henry was about seven-years-old when she found the award on a pathway alongside the old court house as she made her way to Cookstown Primary School.

The 1914-15 Star

The 1914-15 Star

Now a mum-of-three, Occupational Therapist Gillian said she had forgotten all about it until her son Shane started on a school project about WWII and found the medal at his Granny’s - Gillian’s mother’s house.

Explaining how she came across the now almost 100-year-old decoration, Gillian said: “It was on the ground, down near enough at the bottom of the avenue. That was year’s ago and I took it home and never looked about it.”

But after almost 30 years consigned to a drawer in her childhood home, Gillian said she her son showed an interest.

“Shane had found it in mummy’s house,” she added. “I had forgot all about it.

Inscription on the back of the medal

Inscription on the back of the medal

“He was doing a wee project in school and he was going on about this medal, I was like ‘let me see that’.

“At the time it had no real significance to me, I just picked it up and brought it home.

“It was just left lying about [and] it was only really when Shane found it in mum’s house in one of her drawers that he was like ‘oh mummy, this was from the war’.

“Then it just totally came back to me and I remembered finding it,” she added.

But now that the medal has resurfaced she said she would like to see it returned to the person, or family, to whom it belongs.

Describing what it looks like, she went on: “It seems to be from WWI. It’s not rare - it’s more of a common medal for anybody that served. The sentimental value is more important than anything.

“The date on it’s 1914 to 16, so it’s almost 100 years ago.

“I would doubt the person it belonged to is still on this earth but I am sure a family member would like it.

“It is about reuniting it with the family.

“There is a number and from what I gather each soldier had a number and then... it says on the back J Daly and then there’s wee initials underneath that.

“It says SMN, which means Seaman and RNR for Royal Naval Reserves, so it’s obviously somebody who was in the Navy. It could have been a case that somebody that was a collector had one and dropped it or it could be that there is family around this area.”

If you can help Gillian to reunite this medal with its owner please call 028 8676 2288.