Mons Star Medal
I mentioned in my last post that when we started to construct flower beds we discovered a medal and thought you might like to know a bit more about this.
The medal is known as a Mons Star or 1914 Star and to quote:
“Authorized in April 1917 for award to those that served with the British and Indian Expeditionary Forces in France or Belgium on the establishment of a unit between 5th August 1914 and midnight on 22/23 November 1914. Naval personnel who served ashore were included. A bar was announced in 1919 for those who had actually came under fire between the appropriate dates.”
We got quite excited when we first found the medal and carefully washed it off and cleaned it up. On the back of the medal was inscribed the name, rank and number of the person it was awarded to; Rod vaguely remembered the family who lived here and so did some of the local people. In fact one or two recalled being at school with some of the children. Looking through the electoral roles we knew who had lived in our cottage and when, but tracing the family was another matter as the name was a very common one of Jones. For a few years we did nothing but put the medal in a safe place, always with the intention of finding the family and returning the medal to them.
Some years later I wrote a weekly column for our local newspaper about the events and happenings in our local village – I was even paid for this! One year around October time Rod and I were talking about the medal and thought that with Armistice Day coming up it would be a good time to do something so I wrote up a piece for my newspaper column, we didn’t give too much information away as we needed to have proof from whomever contacted us.
Armistice Day is on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. Remembrance Day is always held on the first Sunday closest to 11th November when poppies or poppy wreaths are laid on War Memorials across the country – these have inscribed on them all the names of those who died during the First and Second World Wars -this is then followed by 1 minute of silence to remember all who gave their lives in all the conflicts.
The local newspaper decided to run the whole story and a photographer was sent to take a photo of the medal and of me holding it – once they printed the story we were suddenly contacted by two other newspapers asking if they could run the story and wanting yet more photos and then we received a telephone call from the local television news programme! Fame at last 🙂 That caused quite a stir because not only did a reporter and cameraman arrive but also a mobile satellite van, the vehicle couldn’t get up our drive so they set up down in the farmyard whilst the reporter and cameraman did their thing here at home. We were filmed talking about the medal and showing it and pretending to dig in one of the flower beds. When that bit was wrapped up Rod had to drive the film down to the vehicle so they could ‘beam’ it to the studio for the 11 am news! Meanwhile reporter, cameraman and I went indoors for a much needed cup of tea – this stardom is exhausting you know.
Once Rod was back we all then went onto to do a variation on a theme filming for the 1pm and 6pm news slots.
After all this excitement it went very quiet; we had a few people get in touch but it wasn’t the right family. I was becoming quite down about the fact that the medal wasn’t going to go back to it’s rightful owners after all, when on Armistice Day at a minute before 11am I received a telephone call from a lady who said I think that medal belongs to my great grandfather – very spooky! It was too.
It was arranged with the family that we would hand over the medal at the War Memorial; the eldest grand daughter and her son and daughter together with a brother and his daughter came and the newspapers and television people were alerted; the hand over was filmed in the pouring rain! The Jones family, Rod and I went to the nearest coffee house and talked about finding the medal and the time that the Jones family lived in our home.
Grandfather, his son, daughter-in-law and children all lived in our cottage back in the early 1940s and the medal became lost because one of the children had taken it to decorate the tree house – the remains of which were still in evidence when we bought the cottage. Apparently there is another medal missing but that hasn’t shown up yet!
Hope that hasn’t sent you all to sleep.
Thanks for stopping by 🙂