Long lost war medal found in sewer

27 April 2015
Male holding a pocket watch.

#ReuniteMe campaign launched to help 100-year old medal find its way home

An online campaign, #ReuniteMe, has been launched to help reunite a World War I Victory Medal with the soldier’s family after two utility workers recovered it from a Manchester sewer.

Brothers Jason and Shaun Dullaghan were carrying out routine cleaning work on Byfield Road in Wythenshawe, when they discovered the WWI medal at the bottom of a manhole.

The search is now on to reunite the medal, inscribed with 32266 PTE W Harrison, with the family it belongs to.

Jason, who works for Amey on behalf of water company United Utilities, said: “We were really lucky to spot the medal when we did; another minute or so and we’d have cleared the drain and it would have been lost forever.

“At first we thought it was a coin of some sort, it wasn’t until we looked closer that we realised what it was. We know that getting the medal back to the soldier’s family 100 years after the war is a long shot but it would be nice to hand it over to the rightful owners.”

Tony Griffiths, wastewater network manager at United Utilities, said: “We find all kinds of odd things in the sewers, from false teeth to stolen goods, but this is the first time we have found anything with such emotional value as this medal. It’s sad to think how it was lost but we’re glad to have found it now.”

According to National Archive records Private William Harrison served with the 1st Battalion Manchester Regiment in France and enlisted on 15 December 1915 aged just 20.

5,725,000 Victory Medals were issued; each struck in bronze with a full-length figure of Victory on the front and inscribed ‘The Great War for Civilisation 1914-1919’ on the reverse.

Anyone with information about Private Harrison or his family can get in touch by calling 01772 317500.