Daughter hopes to reclaim hero dad’s lost medal

'DELIGHTED' ... Pat Stidolph's father Corporal Thomas Plummer fought in World War One and received a Distinguished Conduct Medal.
'DELIGHTED' ... Pat Stidolph's father Corporal Thomas Plummer fought in World War One and received a Distinguished Conduct Medal.

A DAUGHTER is hoping to honour her First World War hero father by reclaiming his lost medal, with a little help from the Gazette.

Pat Stidolph has only just found proof that her father, Corporal Thomas Plummer, was awarded a Distinguished Conduct Medal in 1916.

The 50th division Royal Field Artillery driver was given the medal after rescuing two colleagues from a burning weapons wagon during shell fire, in Ypres, France.

Mrs Stidolph, 78, of Canberra Drive, Brockely Whins, South Shields, doesn’t know what happened to her father’s medal, but has now found evidence of his achievement in an old edition of the Gazette.

With the proof of his achievement, she now hopes to claim a new medal in his honour from the Ministry of Defence and Army officials.

“I’m delighted to have found some proof,” she said.

“It’s the trouble when you’re younger – no one talks about what has happened – and when you get older, there is no one to ask about it.

“South Shields library were very helpful and we found his name on the honours list in the Shields Gazette in 1916.”

Thomas Plummer, a father-of-six, grandfather-of-12 and great-grandfather, of Tyne Dock, died aged 81 in 1971.

Mrs Stidolph, who is a mother-of-two, grandmother-of-four and great-grandmother-of-five, said her father lived a good life. “He did well considering that he was also a miner,” she said.

“I always knew about his medal, but unfortunately have only just been able to prove that he received it.

“He also received a watch with the details of the medal details engraved on it, but my nephew received that when his father died, and we lost touch when he moved to South Africa.”

The family also had Thomas’ pay book, and when they showed it to the Discovery Museum, in Newcastle, staff told them they had never seen one before.

Mrs Stidolph, who is married to James Stidolph, 79, said there is a military tradition in the family.

“My sisters were all in the forces,” she said.

“And my grand-daughter was in the REME (Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers) for eight years and came out when she had three children.

“We tried to apply for my father’s medal in the past but were told medals weren’t being reissued.

“But we’re going to try again and will hopefully get it.”

The DCM was first awarded for bravery in 1854 during the Crimean War. It was discontinued in 1993.

Twitter: @Monica_Turnbull