The Wolford Commemorative Medal

Commemorative Medal

Until 1965 little was commonly known about this medal but then a Mrs Lucy gave one to the Church. Her father had been the Village Postmaster since the late 19C and had pledged his daughter to take good care of the medal when he died but she had always thought its true home was in the Church. Eventually permission was given to mount & display it. At the same time, in March 1965, the then Vicar received in a letter a further medal. The donor found it amongst some old coins of his mothers. His family had served the Bull family at Manor Farm and an uncle, Henry Lyddiatt, had lived all his life at Wolford and worshipped at the Church. The two medals were mounted together and hung in the Church.

Subsequent investigation discovered the whereabouts of three others. One was in the City of Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, the second was in the possession of Miss Margaret Shepard, and the third kept in the pocket of an old villager. Enquiry at the Museum elicited the response "it is going to be difficult to track down the details of the production of this medal at the Birmingham end and, although it is very likely that it was struck here in Birmingham, output of commemorative medals was prolific; the collections here bear witness to this in that we curate over 30,000 of them". There are no maker's initials or names, nor do our church records or local newspapers give more information.

In 1998 the two mounted medals were, unfortunately, stolen from the Church. At this point, Miss Shepard gave her medal to the Church and it is now kept in the Bank with the Church Silver. After the villager's burial in 2004 his medal was also given to the Church.

Some years later two medals appeared on eBay. One was bought by an American. I did suggest to him that it might be one of the stolen and he offered to return it if it could be proved to be so. This was not possible. However, in quick succession the second was offered which I managed to purchase. I think these two might well be the two stolen medals.

I would very much like further information about this Medal, e.g. how many were struck, at what cost, who paid and how they were distributed. But his would entail expensive looking into a haystack with little likelihood of success.

If, by chance, anyone has further information I would be very interested.

Lawrie Thompson