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Lost and Found

Family delight at the return of soldier's medal

Story from the Dover Mercury Newspaper

A first World War medal has been presented to the family of the soldier who received it, after it was discovered buried in the ground.

Metal detecting enthusiast Pete Saunders was scanning a wooded area on the outskirts of Dover a few weeks ago when he came across the medal.

"It was about six inches down in the ground," he said.

"So I took it home, cleaned it up, and realised it was a Mons Medal from the First World War, as it was dated 1914-15."

Further examination revealed the name J. R. Bones, and Mr Saunders decided to try to find out if he could trace any of
the soldier's descendants.


Meanwhile, Bev Keen (nee Bones), from Martin Mill, had been researching her family tree.

"I started about six months ago, using my computer and the internet," she said.

"I know very little about some of my ancestors. Then I searched for my grandfather's name, which led me to a website
compiled by a lady from Ashford which had all the details of my family tree back to 1730. It was fantastic.

"Coincidentally, Pete Saunders also used that website and I then received an email about the medal and found that it belonged
to my great grandfather, John Richard Bones, who was known as Jack.

"He was born in Chilham in 1886 and married Elizabeth Gatehouse. He died in 1929.

"He served as a Company Sergeant Major in the Second Battalion of the Buffs(East Kent Regiment)."

A meeting was arranged with Mr Saunders who presented the medal to Mrs Keen and her brother Tony Bones.

"It was very generous of him to give it to us," said Mrs Keen, who now had 950 people in her family tree.

"We are very Grateful."

Mr Saunders said he was delighted with the way it had turned out.

"The result is fantastic and I am so pleased that I was able to present it to the family of the soldier who received it," he said.

Now, only one mystery remains. How did the medal come to be buried in the first place?