CAN YOU PLEASE HELP US? We are searching for the First World War medals of Private William Henry METCALFE.
His grandson, Algy METCALFE from Barnoldswick in the U.K. is attempting to locate and bring the service medals of William Henry METCALFE (also known as ‘Harry’) – back to his family. It would mean a great deal to him, to have these war medals (the 1914-1915 Star, British War Medal & Victory Medal) returned to the safe keeping of the METCALFE descendants. Algy indicates that they were sold by another member of the family some time ago. Unfortunately, this is a common occurrence and I have often heard of similar stories. Just because one member of the family does not see the need to retain such family heirlooms, this is not necessarily the viewpoint of other descendants within that same clan. In many instances, the medals are sold and ‘long gone’ before other family members even realise that the awards had been put up for sale.
So where does that leave people like Algy METCALFE?
Algy does not even know his grandfather’s service number. He asks if anybody in the U.K. can help him to ascertain his grandfather’s Service Number and any other information that will ultimately assist him in his quest.
Image Left: William Henry METCALFE (centre man with moustache), lined up as a volunteer for Kitchener’s Army on the cricket pitch at Settle, Yorkshire. Note the yellow armband around the right upper arms of Harry and his fellow recruits.
His grandfather was born at Thorlaby near Aysgarth in Wensleydale. William joined the ‘Settle’ Company of the 10th Battalion, The Duke of Wellington’s West Riding Regiment. A photograph exists of his grandfather wearing a yellow armband, on Settle Cricket field in September of 1914 as a volunteer in Kitchener’s Army. A second photograph taken circa 1918, shows William with his wife. At this time, he was believed to be serving as a Driver with the A.S.C. (Army Service Corps).
If you can assist Algy with any information that may assist in his quest to have William’s medals returned to the METCALFE family, please contact the Medals Gone Missing Administrator through this website.
Image Right: Driver William Henry (Harry) METCALFE in uniform, which bears evidence of overseas service chevrons. Photo believed to be taken Circa 1918.
It is a sad fact that so many medals are put up for sale in this day and age. In a perfect world, every serviceman and woman would have a family member or descendant who values the sacrifice which they themselves made, during a time of war. It would be nice to think that somebody within their family, cherishes the memory of an ancestor and holds dear to them – any piece of memorabilia that is a reminder of their life. But the reality is – not everybody places a sentimental value on such service medals. However, to make the comment “They were sold by the family….so the family does not want them” is not entirely correct. For every one serviceman…..there is at least one niece or nephew, grandchild or second cousin who – had they been given the opportunity – would have loved to be willed these service medals. The problem is….they were never asked, nor did they know that the medals were even placed on the open market for purchase by a stranger. Whilst this “stranger” may very well be a collector who values these medals and the sacrifice made by the person behind them….I ask that they consider selling these medals back to the family – should a request be made. After all, there are plenty of medal sets out there which “nobody” is looking for ! Yet !
As with this case – there is one grandson who would dearly love to have his grandfather’s service medals returned…..Can you help?