Help return hero’s World War medal

The British War medal 1914-1920 was received by all serviceman who fought in WW1.
The British War medal 1914-1920 was received by all serviceman who fought in WW1.

The lost relatives of a war hero are being hunted to return home his WWI service medal.

Joan Bestwick, 65, has cherished the family heirloom inherited from her grandfather for many years.

She has been investigating her heritage for years, hoping to find descendants of Brinsley’s lost veteran William Gasgoyne, but now out of leads she is appealing for help tracing the medal’s true owner.

Retired Joan said the hunt began in the midst of tracing her own family tree.

“When my aunty died I was having a sort out and found this medal – I’ve had it for years and never had any idea who this William Gasgoyne was,” she explained.

“I’ve also been doing my family tree so when it came up I thought I’d look into it.”

The British War Medal 1914-1920, received by all servicemen who saw action in the First World War, is inscribed with William Gasgoyne’s name and regiment.

Joan added: “He was born in 1881, and I know he was born in Brinsley. He was married to Bertha Kirk in 1902 and they had three children, John, Thomas and Frederick.

“And at the time of the 1901 census he lived at The Reach, Eastwood, three doors down from DH Lawrence’s house.”

William served with the North Staffordshire Prince of Wales Regiment and then the Notts and Derby Sherwood Foresters.

Joan added: “He must have kept it in his pocket and walked around with it every day of his life because it’s so worn and bits are missing.

“It must have meant everything to him.”

In her own family hunt, Joan has gone as far back as 1700.

She said: “It’s so hard to get information - the first census was in 1841 and before that is much more difficult to find.”

If you can help Joan locate William’s family, call 01773 744 600.

She added: “He’s got to be somebody’s great-grandpa.”