Alan digs up Victory Medal in his garden

DIGGING FOR VICTORY ... Alan McIntosh with the First World War medal found while digging a pond in his garden.
DIGGING FOR VICTORY ... Alan McIntosh with the First World War medal found while digging a pond in his garden.

IT was a famous Second World War slogan, but one South Tyneside pensioner took ‘Digging for Victory’ literally as he unearthed a piece of military memorabilia.

Alan McIntosh was creating a new pond in the back garden of his home in Inverness Road, Jarrow, when he came across an old medal.

Alan McIntosh with the medal.

Alan McIntosh with the medal.

After a bit of a clean-up, the 74-year-old realised it was a First World War Victory Medal, which were presented to men and women for their war services between August 5, 1914, and November 11, 1918.

For the past fortnight, the father-of–two has been carrying out research to try to find its rightful owner.

He said: “I’ve lived here for 30-odd years, but decided to dig a pond in the garden, and I came across the medal.

“Years ago, all of this land used to be fields and the railway station wasn’t far away, so perhaps someone dropped it as they were walking by.

“I know they’re not worth much, but this could mean a great deal to whoever it really belongs to.

“I’ve cleaned it up and I’ve been able to make out a few of the words.”

Mr McIntosh, a retired furnace manager, believes the medal’s inscription reads W Mitcherson, and has a service number of 7473.

After searching through Army pension records, Alan believes it belongs to a soldier who lived in Swalwell, Gateshead, and who served with the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, which formed 13 battalions in the First World War.

He would have been 18 when he signed up and later married Mary McBride, before the couple had a daughter, Ellen McBride, in 1920.

Mr McIntosh said: “I had a look on the internet because I was curious to see if I could trace the rightful owner.

“I’ve found details of one man, who lived in Swalwell, so the medal could quite well belong to him.

“Perhaps his family might still live in the area and they’d like it back.”

* If you think you know who the medal belonged to, or their family, call the Gazette on 427 4861.

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